03 Jan 2020
2019 saw the last of the flagpoles move out and the site become a dedicated distillery. It also saw Ian start work as a full time employee and production capacity increase. More fermenters, heat exchangers, chillers, tanks, hoses and pumps (you can never have too many pumps!) have provided us with the capacity to produce whisky in 40+C weather. We have mashed in and distilled on a 42C day just to prove we can do it, but don't plan to do it again any time soon. It isn't much fun on hot days!
We have been busy initiating water conservation and heat recovery programs. We have managed to reduce our water consumption by about 20% this year. Water is precious stuff and even though our waste water gets recycled as irrigation water for the market gardens of Virginia and the vines of the Barossa, we are aiming to reduce our water consumption by as much as 80% in 2020.
Heat recovery is also a goal. We heat a lot of liquid, we also cool a lot of liquid and both processes are expensive in terms of energy use. Tin Shed has always sourced renewable energy, but with a roof covered with solar panels we are closer than ever to sustainability. We just need a bigger roof for more panels! By scavenging waste heat we have already reduced energy consumption by around 10% this year, just 90% to go!
Output increased substantially in 2019 with two expressions specifically for two different whisky clubs. We have maintained our ethos of never bottling a whisky that we wouldn't be proud to drink ourselves, and it seems that many of our clients are proud to drink Iniquity too. Gold Batch 005 was such a release. As a 6 YO it was our oldest whisky yet and was snapped up very quickly indeed. It will probably never make it to a whisky judging as a result of selling out so fast, but that is OK and as good an indictor of quality as any competition.
2020 will see the release of REQUIEM RUM. Distilled in 2013 and bottled in 2020 it will be an almost 6YO Australian Dark Rum made from Australian Molasses. This will become an annual release.
2020 will also see the release of PYOTOR'S Vodka. This is a malt Vodka and celebrates the life of Vic's father, a French Horn playing, vodka making and vodka drinking Cossack. Not many people realise that Southern Coast Distillers started because Vic wanted to make some vodka for his father. Well, it is 16 years later and Pyotor has passed on, but we have finally made Pyotor's Vodka.
For the time being Tin Shed will remain housed in Welland while we concentrate on laying down more barrels of whisky. We are however on the lookout for new digs, in a better part of town that will facilitate a decent cellar door. With a bit of luck you will soon be able to drop in and enjoy a dram, or a beer, cocktail or rum, have a tour and see what's new.
Cheers from The Shed and we hope to see you around the shows in 2020.