Celebrity chef, restaurateur and long-time whisky collector Matt Moran has a penchant for smooth, bold flavours and rich smokiness; combined with a love of gin. Making the most of his highly trained palate and the naturally occurring resources of the Apple Isle, the famous foodie has partnered with McHenry Distillery in Tasmania, to create two spirits designed to deliver festive cheer as part of Amazon Australia’s new line of spirits, Further South Spirits.
Further South Spirits is one of the hundreds of local and international brands available within the Wine, Beer & Spirits category on Amazon.com.au, all underpinned with convenient delivery options. Customers can now shop for the collaboration between world renowned Aussie chef and Tasmanian family run distillery, exclusively on Amazon.com.au.
A PERFECT PAIRING
Having grown up on a farm, Matt switched rural life for the big city while pursuing his career as a top chef. Now, he’s returned to the land, which he says has provided him an even deeper appreciation for both food and flavour.
“As a chef, restauranteur and farmer, everything is about the flavour,” he says, “but it goes beyond the food.
“When you come to one of my restaurants, the dining experience is about so much more –– it’s about the food, sure, but it’s also about the service, the ambience, and — very importantly — what you drink.”
Seeking a signature drink to pair with his signature dishes meant Moran was looking for unique spirits that could also be applied flexibly to a variety of dining experiences. Armed with a sense of the flavour profiles he was looking for, the celebrity chef set about looking for the perfect distillery partner, which he found in the form of McHenry Distillery in Port Arthur, Tasmania.
Founded over decade ago by whisky lover, Bill McHenry, the husband and wife operation has made a name for itself around the world producing award-winning spirits with the help of the surrounding, naturally occurring, crystal-clear springs.
“The real reason behind this collaboration is Bill,” Matt admits, who has developed a healthy respect for the distiller’s exacting process. “I love his ethos — it’s all about quality and flavour. And I’ll tell you what, he’s got the best water in the world to be making gin and whisky with!”
FLAVOUR IN FOCUS
Matt and the McHenry team set about an exhaustive processing of crafting the chef’s dream whisky with “just the right amount of smokiness", and a “dry, citrusy gin” that could meet the high expectations of his customers. Matt tasted sample upon sample to find the best representation of his desired flavours and aromas in search of spirit perfection.
Bill describes working with an experienced chef like Matt with an air of excitement, “As distillers, we’re always working with and thinking about alcohol, whereas someone like Matt brings an entire wealth of relevant experience from food,” he says. “And we just loved the idea of bringing those two things together.”
But the master distiller also had another mission: to change the way Australians look at gin.
“Gins have always been seen as a drink you might have before a meal, rather than with a meal,” explains Bill. “But we think gins –– gin and tonic, or other gin cocktails –– can actually be equally enjoyed with a meal.”
With that in mind, teaming up with the renowned restauranteur made even more sense. And the result? Two new spirits available exclusively on Amazon.com.au as part of the Further South Spirits brand - Moran’s No. 9 whisky, and Moran’s Blend 299 gin.
A SPIRIT FOR ALL TASTES
Moran’s Blend 299, is a dry gin perfect for cocktails and martinis, while the No. 9 offers a rich experience for the whisky aficionado and first timer alike.
“Starting with a rush of malt, stone fruit and nuts on the nose, my signature No. 9 whisky offers a warm palate with more nuts and maple, green plum and mild, peppery heat,” says Matt, marveling at the depth of flavour. “Roasted sugar and ground coffee notes round out a smooth finish.”
Bill is just as excited about Moran’s Blend 299, which he describes as a dry gin with a strong burst of citrus. Citrus notes from the Geralton Wax Flower leads the botanical elements, followed by the aroma of lemon thyme and Rosemary across the palate, all making for a refreshing, summery gin.
“It’s really a modern London-style of gin, with a nod to the cooks pantry and it’s going to be just perfect for cocktails,” the distiller says. “It’ll go well on its own if you like a classic dry martini, or it’ll work just as nicely in something with a lot of fruit.”
SPREADING FESTIVE CHEER
Not only has the unique partnership of McHenry Distillery and Matt Moran delivered exciting, new Australian products to the customers, it’s supporting more local producers by doing so.
That’s because a portion of the sales from every gin and whisky sold will go to charity organisation Thankful. Matt is an Ambassador to their Thankful4Farmers initiative which raises fund to support long term sustainable change in regional and farming communities.
For someone who’s been on both sides of the table, as both farmer and chef, Matt knows that this support initiative has come just in the nick of time.
“Between natural disasters, rodent plagues and COVID-19, our farmers need all the help they can get and I’m confident the two new spirits we’ve released will help bring a little holiday cheer this Christmas,” the lauded restaurateur-turned-spirit maker says. “After the last 18 months we’ve had, we could all use something to celebrate!”
Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer? Take a closer look at the Further South Spirits range available exclusively available on Amazon Australia here. Prime members can access free delivery on eligible orders, including Moran’s No. 9 whisky, and Moran’s Blend 299 gin. McHenry Distillery started selling on Amazon Launchpad earlier this year and you can check out their full range here.