The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

NZ’s whisky trail celebrated with motorbike tour

A tour of New Zealand’s fledging whisky distillers this month signalled the beginning of a campaign to raise between $2 and $3 million to develop a distillery for the New Zealand Whisky Company in Oamaru.

The motorcycle tour saw a group of enthusiasts transporting whisky barrels by motorbike from Christchurch to Invercargill’s Burt Munro Festival. New Zealand’s emerging Whisky Trail was the focus with the group visiting; Workshops Whisky, Christchurch; NZ Whisky Company, Oamaru; Lammermoor Distillery, Paerau Valley; Cardrona Distillery, Cardrona; Hokonui Moonshine Museum, Gore and Wilson’s Distillery site in Dunedin.

The group was led by Bill Lark from Tasmania who is known as the Godfather of the Australian Whisky revival, having lent a hand to more than 50 distilleries in the last 10 years. He was joined by supporters from the Australian whisky and motorbike communities.

Up to eight motorcyclists joined the tour which originated after Kiwi whisky authority, Jak Jakecevich owner of New Zealand’s Glengarry Liquor Stores toured Tasmania’s distilleries by motorcycle recently with Bill.

General Manager of Oamaru’s New Zealand Whisky Company, Grant Finn says the tour coincided with the beginning of a campaign to raise between $2 and $3 million to develop a distillery for the company in Oamaru’s harbour basin.

“We plan to raise the money from a mix of private investment and are considering crowdfunding,” he says. People can register their interest in investing and receiving further information on our website Our plan is to start building later this year with the hope of being completed to allow distilling to start by the end of the year. Development will allow us to create up to 30 new jobs in Oamaru in the long term.”

The NZ Whisky Company’s existing cellar door in the Loan & Merc building will be retained and the new development will complement it.

Grant says transporting the whisky barrel on a motorbike will have a positive impact on its maturation and flavour. “The constant agitation of the new-make spirit in the barrel, strapped on as a pillion passenger, will also accelerate the uptake of flavours and colour from the cask. It will be exciting to see how these whiskies mature,” he says.