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Issue 123 - Great Southern: Into the Great Unknown

Whisky Magazine Issue 123
October 2014

 

This article is 2 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Great Southern: Into the Great Unknown

Seáneen takes a tour of Western Australia's only whisky distillery

Out on the patio, we sit, and the humidity we breathe, we watch the lightning crack over cane fields…This is Australia.

The car radio crackles the lyrics to the GANGagang anthem ‘This is Australia' through dust coated speakers. I have been driving all day in the heat, through scorched land where it appears the vegetation has been singed from the sandy crust of the earth. As the names of townlands roll past, I pronounce them in the languorous accent of the local area, drawling each vowel into two syllables: Manjimup, Katanning, Narrogin. Occasionally heat-weary cows appear in paddocks, clustered beneath eucalyptus trees for shelter from the blazing heat or lapping pointlessly at empty water troughs rusted through by the elements. The road shimmers into the horizon with nothing but scrub on either side and the tarmac is actually melting in the heat. Squinting into the the searing sun I wonder if a second pair of sunglasses would provide some respite. Everything feels dry and still and the heat hangs heavily in the air.

An hour down the road, a pristine white beach opens up before the windscreen. It is completely abandoned and I wonder if perhaps sunstroke has finally claimed my sanity. The breeze from the sea puffs pleasantly in the car window and the air has become cooler and more humid. The contrast seems impossible. Staring out over the glittering water of Oyster Bay the outline of wind turbines can just be made out. Beneath them lies my destination: Western Australia'...

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