Located in the heart of the Atherton Tablelands, Mt Uncle Distillery is North Queensland’s first and oldest distillery. Their delicious liqueurs & spirits are made with locally sourced ingredients and are fermented and distilled on site.
The distillery opened in 2004 and is located on what used to be a cattle property that adjoins Mt Uncle, hence the name. The logo comes from the old cattle brand that they would burn onto the cows’ butts. The owner and master distiller, Mark Watkins was available to show us around the distillery and walk us through the process of making his award-winning products.
The distillery includes a 12,000 litre jacketed fermenter that ferments the wash with a naturally occurring yeast to about 10% alcohol over 2 weeks. The wash is then transferred to a 1,500 litre copper pot still – aka the Mothership. The distillation process produces three products – the head comes first and contains all the bad alcohol (acetone), the heart is the good stuff at between 68% and 90% alcohol, and the tails is everything under 68%. The tails smell like wet dog, but is reused in the next batch so the alcohol content doesn’t go to waste.
After the distillation, the spirits travel on different paths. Clear spirits like the gin and vodka are chill-filtered at -6°C while the rum and whiskey get barrelled. The Barrelling Room – aka the Crypt – was perfumed with Angels Share and stacked to the ceiling with barrels. The whiskey is aged in hybrid barrels with a French oak body and American oak head for 5 years while the rum is aged in American oak.
After our tour of the distillery, we took a seat at the bar in anticipation of the tasting. Mark introduced us to Fruitcake, his super cute pet rainbow lorikeet, who then proceeded to trash the tasting area and terrorise the till, squawking at anyone who came close to his precious coins. With the till draw shut (with Fruitcake inside), we commenced the tasting:
- Anjea Vodka – made from local Ironbark honey and local sugarcane, it was very smooth and sophisticated.
- Botanic Australis Gin – Using a 300 year old London dry recipe, Mark added 14 Aussie botanicals to give this gin a truly unique flavour. While it smells like orange cake, the flavours were full of lilli pilli and strawberry gum, citrus from the lemon scented gum and lemon myrtle. This is a very special gin.
- Platinum White Rum – sweet and smooth with a lovely malty scent.
- Iridium Gold Rum – Despite the whiskey scent, it was all rum with a sweet, smooth entry. Perfect for both rum and whiskey drinkers.
- Big Black Cock (BBC) Whiskey – this single malt whiskey was smooth with a burst of spirit.
- SexyCat Marshmallow Liqueur – bring on the musk lollies! A wonderfully sweet liqueur with a gorgeous rose pink colour. Perfect for 21st birthdays, hens nights, or a big gay fiesta, Sexycat is the first and only marshmallow liqueur in the world and it’s Mt Uncle’s best seller.
Mt Uncle Distillery is open 7 days from 10am to 4:30pm and the address is 1819 Chewko Road, Walkamin QLD. Lunchtime is the best time to visit Mt Uncle Distillery – after your tasting, have lunch at Bridges Café and sample their huge selection of teas from around the world.
For more information, contact Mt Uncle Distillery on 07 486 8008 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mt Uncle’s also do weddings and events – to enquire, email email@example.com.