Aussie distiller finds whisky-ageing loophole

For distillers, one of the hardest parts of making whisky in Australia is having to wait for the spirit to age. But with this new breakthrough, this two-year legality might be a thing of the past.


According to Australian law, whisky (and rum for that matter) must stay in barrels for a minimum of two years to be legally sold as that spirit.

It’s a hangover from colonial times, and from laws and traditions in the UK, where distilled spirit will take at least that long, interacting with the wood of the barrel enough to develop the characteristics of the finished spirit.

But because of our climate, the spirit moves in and out of the timber of the barrels much more rigorously, which suggests the maturation time is probably a lot less than two years.

But all this could be moot very soon.

Hill Valley Distillery’s new maturation process


Mike Fox of Hill Valley Distillery, NSW has developed a new barrelling technique that will change the whisky industry forever.

Ageing whisky almost instantly - Fox’s technology means new-make will be legally ready for sale in a matter of hours.

Fox’s friend and in-house cooperer Dr Chris Lloyd developed this new barrel system.

“The only downside to the barrel is it takes a huge amount of energy—1.21 gigawatts to be precise,” he explains. “However, the results speak for themselves.

“We’re currently working on a 10-year-old whisky that only came out of the still a few hours ago.”

Although the guys at Hill Valley Distillery are reluctant to share much more information on their system at present, it’s an incredibly exciting leap forward for the Australian distilling industry.


As Dr Lloyd puts it: “the way we’re going, we won’t need roads.”


Happy April Fools Day ;)