The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Pōkeno distillery launches world-first whisky

Mike Tawse handcrafted the world’s first-ever 200 litre Totara barrels.

Single malt whisky distillery, Pōkeno Whisky, has announced the launch of the first single malt to have been matured in Totara barrels.

Pôkeno Whisky came on the Kiwi spirits scene last year with a core range of single malts made uniquely with New Zealand ingredients.

Now, with the Pōkeno Exploration Series, founder Matt Johns says their ambition is to create an even deeper connection between their spirit and the essence of New Zealand.

“Totara is the tree that has built Aotearoa – traditionally used for waka, carvings, homes and food storage,” he says.

“Thanks to the unique skills of New Zealand’s only cooper, Mike Tawse, working here in Pōkeno in New Zealand’s only cooperage, we can now add whisky barrels to this list.”

Tawse has handcrafted the world’s first ever 200-litre Totara barrels and given them a light toast and char.

After an initial maturation in first fill bourbon casks, the whisky was transferred to these Totara barrels for a second maturation period.

The result is a single malt whisky that offers notes of creamy coconut, sweet-scented sap, ripe white peach and freshly cut wood on the nose, leading to the discovery of bitter lemon, stone fruit and hints of dark chocolate in the mouth for a long and sweet finish.

The Pōkeno Exploration Series is an extremely special limited release collection with only 100 bottles of the Totara Cask available for purchase.

For more info, click here.

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