The Gospel Distillers has announced the long-awaited release of its first ever Single Cask Rye Whiskey (Cask #35), priced very competitively at $130.
Co-founder Andrew Fitzgerald told Drinks Adventures that Cask #35 made a clear case for stand alone release when the company was blending its first ever batch of The Gospel Straight Rye Whiskey earlier this year.
“You can explain most things with science, but some things you can’t,” he said.
“Occasionally a barrel just jumps out and tastes absolutely cracking. They’re the ones that we set aside for single cask releases.”
With just 328 bottles available, the RRP of $130 is well below that of other limited release whiskies from Australia.
“When we started The Gospel, our intention was to make a whiskey that was shareable,” he said.
“I find that when you start spending over $150, you end up putting a bottle on the shelf and only having a dram every now and then. We didn’t want to become one of those whiskies.
“Our goal was also entering the US market, so that was what informed our price point as well.
“We saw what pricing was there and thought it would be nuts to start charging $250 for a rye whiskey.”
But Fitzgerald said it has not been easy for The Gospel to achieve its current pricing structure, whereby its Straight Rye Whiskey is routinely priced at circa $90 and its Solera Rye at $80.
“We’re hoping the short-term pain will end up helping us in the long run; that we’ll end up building a bigger community of supporters and by default sell more volume, which will counter the fact that we’re as cheap as we are,” he said.
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The Gospel Distillers Single Cask Rye Whiskey (Cask #35)
The debut single cask release from The Gospel Distillers has already received some glowing reviews from whisky aficionados.
Whisky critic and author Dave Broom – a recent guest on the Drinks Adventures podcast – rated it 4.5 out of 5, while renowned industry personality Dan Woolley declared it, “by far, the best Australian rye whiskey I’ve ever tasted”.
“It’s so encouraging to see a whiskey of this quality being produced here,” Woolley said.
“Intense marzipan with a hint of wet leather on the nose. The palate is filled with hazelnuts and cherry liqueur finishing with hints of subtle allspice and lashings of brown sugar. Bravo to The Gospel, Keep up the great work!”
Lockdowns and troubling times
In April, The Gospel’s Andrew Fitzgerald joined the Drinks Adventures podcast to discuss the company’s journey to date and its struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking this week, he said the company had debated whether to proceed with launching the single cask product during this difficult time for Melbourne, which entered Stage Four lockdown restrictions on Monday.
“The Gospel feels the time is right to share something special – a message in a bottle from the distressed state of Victoria,” the company ultimately decided.
“[It’s] a message of warm vanilla and toasted cinnamon spice, something to cherish whilst waiting for the storm of 2020 to pass.”
Due to the limited bottle quantity of Single Cask #35, stock has been allocated to a limited number of retailers only. They include Blackheart and Sparrows in Victoria, The Oak Barrel in New South Wales, Craft Wine Store in Queensland, Edinburg Hotel and Cellars in South Australia, and Copper and Oak in Western Australia.
The release will also be available online direct from The Gospel Distillers on Wednesday August 5, 2020.