Hawkers experimenting ‘on the periphery of beer’

Hawkers’ new experimental whisky, Feedback Loop, is the first in a series of spirits releases by the Melbourne-based brewer.

Feedback Loop Imperial Stout Whisky was created by the distillation of Hawkers Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout at Alchemy Distillers in Healesville, VIC.

After distillation, the new make spirit was transferred back into the same casks that aged the stout, where it was aged for an additional 2.5 years.

Hawkers Feedback Loop Imperial Stout Whisky

“There’s nothing better than a boilermaker, and if you pair this whisky with the beer that it came from, it’s heaven,” Hawkers founder Mazen Hajjar told Drinks Adventures.

Hajjar said Hawkers’ debut spirit is a logical extension of its substantial barrel program, which has yielded nine expressions so far in 2021, comprising imperial stouts, a barley wine and a Baltic porters combined with different adjuncts and barrel types.

“I can’t think of anyone else who has invested this much money and this much time in releasing beers aged in such a wide variety of barrels,” he said.

Hawkers 2021 Imperial Stout Collection

Hajjar said Hawkers will be releasing another beer-influenced spirit in September, with some more traditionally-styled whiskies also in the pipeline.

“We’re still a beer company, but we’re doing things that are on the periphery of beer and really pushing beer as a character into the other drinks that we do,” he said.

“We’re not chasing whatever is cool and hip, we’re keeping it relevant back to beer.”

Feedback Loop Imperial Stout Whisky is available direct from Hawkers priced at $120 (500ml bottle, 43 per cent ABV).

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Author: James Atkinson

Journalist specialising in the food, drink, travel and hospitality arenas. Australian International Beer Awards 2017 Media Award Winner and Certified Cicerone®.

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