The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Expansion for The NZ Whisky Collection following successful crowdfund

The New Zealand Whisky Collection, based in Oamaru, has successfully raised more than $780,000 in funds to assist with the next stage of its development.

The New Zealand Whisky Collection Founder, Greg Ramsay was delighted that the PledgeMe campaign raised $780,030, with support from 312 new shareholders. He thanked the new shareholders for their support and said “we look forward to working with you to share our award-winning NZ whisky with the world.”

He said one of the most rewarding aspects of the crowdfund was travelling around New Zealand meeting supporters and whisky lovers. “We’ve hosted tastings and presentations throughout the country and it was wonderful meeting so many people who appreciate New Zealand-made whisky, its rich history and share our vision for growing New Zealand’s whisky industry.”

“The highlight was hosting former staff from Dunedin’s Wilson’s Distillery who shared their stories, photos and memorabilia with us. We’re looking forward to including some of the material in our new Cellar Door”

Since launching their PledgeMe crowdfund at the start of November, The NZ Whisky Collection has signed the lease to move its Oamaru barrel storage and to bottling to the charming old Northern Hotel.

The NZ Whisky Collection General Manager Grant Finn said “we’re looking forward to work beginning shortly to restore the building and develop a bonded warehouse. We are also assessing the potential to develop an expanded Cellar Door in the building.”

In November the company also took delivery of new distilling equipment and confirmed it will source ‘wash’, the sweet beer and base of all whisky distilling, from Speights Brewery in Dunedin.

The NZ Whisky Collection was established in 2010 but its history and heritage date back to Otago’s Scottish early settlers who brought a love of whisky and distilling to their new home. The Baker family started the Willowbank Distillery in Dunedin in 1969, they sold it in the 1980s to Seagrams who later sold to Fosters, which eventually closed the distillery.

Hearing  about the legend of the of 443 barrels (80,000 litres) of mature-aged NZ Whisky distilled at Willowbank which was without a home Greg Ramsay stepped in. After ‘evaluating’ the stock, Greg knew he was onto something special and immediately brought together a group of investors to purchase the lot and so The NZ Whisky Collection was born as he revitalised brands and relaunched them around the world.

Fast forward to 2018 and The NZ Whisky Collection is maturing its aged casks, alongside its own new make whisky distilled with its production partners over the past four years. Both lie side by side in Oamaru’s harbourside Victorian Precinct. Following its crowdfund The NZ Whisky Collection is looking forward to 2019 when it will commission its own distillery and move to a new Oamaru building to begin a new era in New Zealand’s whisky story.