Text logo "Amber Lane" with stylized wheel icon.

Amber Lane Distillery

  • Australia
  • World Whiskies Awards 2023, San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2023, Tasting Australia Spirit Awards 2022
  • https://www.amberlanedistillery.com/
Phone Number
  • 438 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek NSW 2259, Australia

Amber Lane Distillery

History of Amber Lane Distillery

Founding and Early Days

Amber Lane Distillery, nestled in Wyong on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, was conceived under rather serendipitous circumstances. The idea for the distillery emerged in 2017 when friends and fellow amateur astronomers Rod Berry and Phil Townsend, while indulging in their stargazing hobby in Coonabarabran, NSW, discovered a small whisky distillery. This chance encounter sparked a dream that led to the establishment of Amber Lane Distillery.

Rod Berry, with a profound interest and extensive experience in whisky, including tours of numerous distilleries in Australia and Scotland, brought a deep appreciation for the art and science of whisky production. On the other hand, Phil Townsend’s passion for excellence in whisky production has been crucial in overseeing the daily operations at the distillery.

Distillation Process and Philosophy

The distillery prides itself on a meticulous distillation process, utilising ‘The Mary Rose’, a 3,600-litre copper still, to maximise copper contact and thus produce more complex flavour profiles. They use high-quality seasoned barrels, mainly of 200-250L capacity, sourced from premium producers of Spanish Pedro Ximenez, Oloroso Sherry, and Kentucky Bourbon. These barrels are larger than what many other Australian whisky producers use.

Amber Lane focuses on non-chill filtration and prefers releasing their whisky at higher alcohol strengths. Their commitment to quality and traditional distilling methods is evident in their products, which aim to bring together the natural sweetness of the barley with the rich character of aged casks.

Current Status and Range

The distillery, since its launch, has made a significant impact on the Australian whisky scene. Their approach to whisky production is marked by innovation and respect for tradition, resulting in a range of refined, complex, and beautifully integrated whiskies. Some of their notable products include the vatted Destiny, a blend of ex-PX sherry, ex-Apera, and ex-Bourbon casks, and the Liquid Amber – Sherry Cask Expression.

Amber Lane’s commitment to using ageing techniques inspired by the Cognac region of France, especially given Australia’s similar climate conditions, has allowed them to produce whiskies that are gaining recognition and appreciation worldwide.

Future Prospects

Amber Lane continues to push the boundaries of Australian whisky, experimenting with various cask finishes and innovative maturation techniques. Their success in blending and maturation, along with their strategic use of diverse casks, promises a future rich in exciting whisky releases and further acclaim in the whisky world.

Awards Won by Amber Lane Distillery

World Whiskies Awards 2023: Amber Lane achieved remarkable success, including winning two gold medals. Their Silk Road whisky received a silver medal at this prestigious event. Additionally, they were recognised as the Category winner for Australian Small Batch Single Malt.

San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2023: The distillery continued its impressive performance by securing both gold and double gold medals at this internationally renowned competition.

Tasting Australia Spirit Awards 2022: Their Liquid Amber – Sherry cask expression was awarded a silver medal, showcasing the distillery’s ability to create complex and rich flavours.

Australian Spirit of the Year 2022: Silk Road 1 from Amber Lane was a finalist in this category, further demonstrating the distillery’s growing reputation in the whisky industry.

Amber Lane Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Amber Lane Distillery offers a unique and immersive tour experience for whisky enthusiasts. Here’s a detailed overview of their offerings:

Visit Us for a Unique Tasting Opportunity

  • Distillery Open Days: Amber Lane Distillery opens its doors to the public one Saturday each month from noon to 4 pm. This is a chance to experience making some of the finest whiskies in the world. Visitors can meet the distillers, sample products straight from the barrel, and enjoy a day in the Yarramalong Valley.

A Unique Experience in a Class of Its Own

  • Discovery: Learn everything about whisky – from its making to tasting and purchasing.
  • Experience: Sample a range of whisky styles and flavors, ideal for corporate events and private whisky appreciation groups.
  • Create: Blend your own unique whisky expression using samples from the Amber Lane barrel warehouse.

Choosing Your Perfect Whisky Event

  1. Advanced Tasting: This hands-on session includes:
    • Tasting of 5 different whisky expressions.
    • Experiencing new make from the distillation process.
    • Olfactory training using a whisky flavour wheel.
    • Blending your own whisky in a unique masterclass.
    • Opportunity to purchase whiskies at special event prices.
    • Duration: Two hours.
    • Cost: $50+GST/head, minimum booking $600+GST.
    • Optional Catering: Cheese and fruit platter at $12+GST per head.
  2. Introductory Tasting: Ideal for beginners, including:
    • Tasting of 5 different whisky expressions.
    • Introduction to key whisky concepts.
    • Using a whisky flavour wheel for flavor and aroma detection.
    • Opportunity to purchase whiskies at special event prices.
    • Duration: 90 minutes.
    • Cost: $35+GST/head, minimum booking $400+GST.
    • Optional Catering: Cheese and fruit platter at $12+GST per head.

These events provide a comprehensive and engaging experience, whether you’re new to whisky or looking to deepen your appreciation. The distillery also acknowledges the Darkinjung people, the traditional owners of the land where it operates, paying respects to Elders past, present, and emerging.

Flask & Barrel Review of Amber Lane Distillery

As a seasoned whiskey collector who has toured numerous distilleries, my visit to Amber Lane Distillery was a delightful experience that deserves a solid 4.7 out of 5.

The distillery, situated in the scenic Central Coast region of NSW, Australia, offers a unique blend of traditional craft and innovative techniques. One of the first things that struck me was their commitment to quality. The distillers at Amber Lane, Rod Berry and Phil Townsend, have clearly put a lot of thought and care into every aspect of their whisky-making process. Their use of premium, large-format Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry casks from Spain, as well as Bourbon casks from Kentucky, imparts a rich and complex flavour to their whiskies that is hard to find elsewhere.

Their range of whiskies, including the Silk Road, Sleigh Bells, Noble Lane, Equinox, and Liquid Amber, showcases a remarkable diversity in flavour profiles. Each expression is a testament to the distillery’s meticulous cask selection and maturation process. The Silk Road, for instance, reflects a perfect blend of rich spices and is matured using French cognac techniques, making it an absolute standout.

The distillery’s setting contributes greatly to the overall experience. The large copper still, visible during the tour, not only makes for a great backdrop but also speaks volumes about their dedication to traditional distilling methods. The staff were knowledgeable and welcoming, adding a personal touch to the tour that made it all the more enjoyable.

If I had to point out an area for improvement, it would be the availability of their whiskies. Given their small-batch production, some expressions can be hard to come by. However, this exclusivity also adds to the charm of their products.

What To Do Nearby Amber Lane Distillery

  1. Sydney Oyster Farm Tours: A unique experience awaits at this family-run oyster farm on the Hawkesbury River. Here, you can enjoy a boat tour to oyster leases and taste some of the freshest oysters. The immersive ‘In-Water Dining’ experience is a highlight, offering oyster and prawn tasting at a private in-water table​​.
  2. Firescreek Botanical Winery: Located a short drive from Amber Lane, this winery offers a delightful exploration of botanical wines. They produce seasonal varieties of both dry and sweet wines, appealing to a range of palates. The winery also offers foraging and mixology experiences, making it a must-visit for wine enthusiasts​​​​.
  3. Little Creek Cheese Factory: For cheese lovers, this factory in Wyong crafts unique cheeses like gin cheddar and gold-medal haloumi. A visit here lets you indulge in gourmet cheese tasting and offers an opportunity to learn about cheese-making​​.
  4. Six String Brewing Co.: Beer aficionados can enjoy a tour of this brewery, where they can learn about the beer-making process and sample various local brews. This place combines great beer with delicious gastropub food, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon​​​​.
  5. Herbie’s Spices: Located in Charmhaven, this spice haven is ideal for culinary enthusiasts. They offer a vast range of herbs, spices, and blends, perfect for enhancing your cooking. The spice appreciation workshop is an educational and aromatic experience​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Amber Lane Distillery?

Angel Sussurri – Angel Sussurri Yarramalong Manor, located at 1-4 Linga Longa Rd, Yarramalong NSW 2259, Australia, is highly rated with 4.6 stars. For inquiries or reservations, you can contact them at +61 2 4356 1066.

Grill’d: Grill’d, a restaurant known for its burgers and sliders, is situated at 50 Wyong Rd, Tuggerah NSW 2259, Australia, Floor 1, Westfield Tuggerah. It boasts a 4.2-star rating and can be contacted at +61 2 4351 3055.

PaparottiS Pizza Pasta: PaparottiS Pizza Pasta offers hearty pizza and pasta and is located at Shop 1038A Westfield Shopping Centre, 50 Wyong Rd, Tuggerah NSW 2259, Australia. With a 4.0-star rating, they can be reached at +61 2 4352 2500 for more information or bookings.

What hotels are near Amber Lane Distillery?

The Dam Hotel: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61 2 4392 3333. Their address is Cnr Minnesota Rd & Pacific Hwy, Hamlyn Terrace NSW 2259, Australia.

Royal Hotel Wyong: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61 2 4352 1012. Their address is 40-44 Pacific Hwy, Wyong NSW 2259, Australia.

Mercure Kooindah Waters Central Coast: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61 2 4355 5777. Their address is 40 Kooindah Blvd, Wyong NSW 2259, Australia.