Hoochery Distillery

  • Australia
  • 2015 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 2023 Decoded Spirits Awards
  • https://www.hoochery.com.au/
Phone Number
  • +61891682467
  • 300 Weaber Plain Rd, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia

Hoochery Distillery, oldest legal still in Western Australia.

History of Hoochery Distillery

Founding and Vision

Hoochery Distillery, established in 1993, is the first Western Australian rum distillery, legally speaking.

Founded by Raymond ‘Spike’ Dessert III, who arrived in the remote Kimberley outback in 1972, the distillery was born from his love for the region and his desire to diversify his farming business.

Spike’s vision was to create a unique rum that reflected the warm, tropical climate of the area.

The Distillery’s Unique Construction

The distillery, built on the Dessert family farm just outside of Kununurra, was constructed entirely by hand. Spike crafted everything from the still to the building itself using materials found around the farm.

He taught himself distilling, driven by a passion for making good, honest rum. This hands-on approach resulted in a distillery that, while not the world’s prettiest, is deeply personal and authentic to its roots.

The Spirit of the Kimberley

The distillery embodies the spirit of the Kimberley region. Spike’s philosophy, “Life’s good,” reflects the passion and love for the craft that continues to drive the distillery.

Visitors to the distillery can experience this spirit firsthand, enjoying the tropical essence of the Kimberley in every sip of their rum.

Whiskey Production Process at Hoochery Distillery

Starting with Local Ingredients

Hoochery Distillery begins its rum production with locally grown Australian sugar cane, ensuring freshness and supporting local agriculture.

They use only Australian molasses, combined with natural Kimberley rainwater and yeast, emphasizing the use of local, natural ingredients.


The fermentation process is a slow, five-day procedure that transforms the mixture of Kimberley rainwater, Australian molasses, and yeast into a strong molasses brew.

This extended fermentation period is crucial for developing the rum’s foundational flavors.


Distillation is carried out in a hand-made double-pot still, without the use of computers or automated measurements. This traditional approach relies heavily on the distiller’s personal touch and taste.

The distillery distils to a lower alcohol percentage to retain as many of the input flavors as possible, prioritizing quality and flavor depth over alcohol strength.


The cane spirit undergoes maturation in barrels that are re-coopered and charred by the distillery. The unique climate of the region, characterized by warm days and cool nights, is ideal for maturing rum.

The rum is aged for anywhere from 2 to 15 years, allowing it to interact with the barrel, resulting in a smooth and sophisticated finish.


Each barrel is tasted individually, and only the best barrels are selected for blending. This meticulous process ensures that each blend meets the high standards set by the founder, Spike.

The blending process is key to maintaining the unique character and consistency of the rum.

Final Touches

The final product is cut with fresh tropical rainwater, a nod to the region’s humid climate and monsoonal rains. This step adds a unique local signature to the rum.


The bottling process at Hoochery Distillery is done entirely by hand, reflecting their commitment to traditional, artisanal methods. This hands-on approach is a testament to their philosophy of making good, honest rum.

Awards Won by Hoochery Distillery

  • 2015 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards: Hoochery Distillery’s Spike’s Reserve Dark Rum was honored as the Champion Rum. Additionally, the distillery received one silver medal and three bronze medals.
  • 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: The Ord River 10-Year-Old Spike’s Reserve Rum from Hoochery Distillery was awarded a Double Gold Medal in the Extra-Aged Rum category, along with another silver medal.
  • 2019 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards: The distillery’s Ord River Rum Single Barrel Selection won the inaugural Raymond B “Spike” Dessert III Trophy for Champion Rum, as well as a gold medal for Dark Overproof Rum.
  • 2023 Decoded Spirits Awards: The Premium Ord River Rum of Hoochery Distillery was crowned the best Australian rum.
  • 2017 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards: Hoochery Distillery shared the top honor of Champion Australian Distiller with Old Young’s Distillery. The award was based on the average scores of their top three scoring entries from almost 70 producers.

Hoochery Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Scenic Location and Year-Round Accessibility

Hoochery Distillery is nestled in the picturesque Ord River Valley, offering visitors a scenic drive to its location.

The distillery, housed in a rustic shed, is open all year round, inviting guests to explore its unique setting and experience the spirit of the Kimberley region.

Distillery Café and Local Delicacies

After indulging in rum tastings, visitors can relax at the Hoochery Distillery Café. The café serves a variety of local dishes, including wild Barramundi and roast pumpkin and chia salad.

For those with a sweet tooth, the café offers homemade treats like the famous Ord River Rum Cake, cheesecake, and ice cream sandwiches. The café operates year-round, providing coffee, cake, and bar snacks, with a full kitchen open from May to September.

Cellar Door and Rum Tasting

The Hoochery Distillery offers a unique cellar door experience where visitors can taste various spirits, including their signature rums and Hoochery cocktails. The cellar door is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm, closed on Sundays.

Guided Distillery Tours

Visitors can join daily guided tours at 2 pm to explore the hand-made small pot distillery. The tour includes insights into the distillation process, stories from the distillery’s history, and an understanding of the “Angel’s nip.” It’s an opportunity to see the distillery’s unique still and learn about the craft of rum-making.

Group Tours and Functions

Hoochery Distillery welcomes coach and tour groups, offering tailored packages that can include morning or afternoon tea, lunch, dinners, and distillery tours with tastings.

The distillery also hosts private functions for up to 200 guests, accommodating events like parties, conferences, and weddings, with both indoor and outdoor facilities available.

Booking and Contact Information

For tour bookings or to organize a group visit or function, guests can contact the distillery at 08 9168 2122 or email online@hoochery.com.au.

Flask & Barrel Review of Hoochery Distillery

I recently visited Hoochery Distillery, and I’ve got to say, it was pretty close to perfect! As a whiskey collector, I’ve been on my fair share of distillery tours, but this one really stood out.

Nestled in the stunning Ord River Valley, the drive to the distillery set the stage for a unique experience. The rustic charm of the place hits you as soon as you see the old shed – it’s like stepping into a different world.

The rum tasting at the cellar door was a highlight. I got to try a variety of their spirits, and each had its own distinct character.

The staff were super knowledgeable and friendly, adding a personal touch to the experience. And let’s talk about the food – the café’s Ord River Rum Cake is a must-try! It’s the perfect blend of sweet and boozy.

The guided tour was insightful, especially learning about their hand-made distilling process. It’s clear they put a lot of love and craftsmanship into their rum.

My only nitpick? I wish the tour dove a bit deeper into the technical side of their distilling methods.

Overall, I’d rate my experience at Hoochery Distillery a solid 4.7 out of 5. It’s a must-visit for any spirit enthusiast!

What To Do Nearby Hoochery Distillery

  • Lake Argyle Cruise: Discover a Ramsar wetland site with abundant wildlife, including waterbirds and freshwater crocodiles. The cruise offers a unique aquatic experience with options for sunset cruises and barbecues.
  • Mirima National Park: Just minutes from Kununurra, this park features ancient sandstone formations. Ideal for sunrise or sunset walks, the park has accessible trails showcasing the region’s natural beauty.
  • Fishing at Lake Kununurra: Stocked with barramundi, the lake is a prime spot for fishing enthusiasts. It’s a saltwater crocodile-free zone, perfect for a safe and exciting fishing experience.
  • Waringarri Aboriginal Arts: Dive into Miriwoong culture through art, music, and guided tours. It’s a place to connect with the world’s oldest living culture.
  • Pink Diamond Boutiques: Experience the luxury of rare pink diamonds in local boutiques like Kimberley Fine Diamonds and Nina’s Jewellery.
  • The PumpHouse: Enjoy dining at a historic pumping station turned restaurant, with views of Lake Kununurra and local fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Hoochery Distillery?

  • Gourmet Camp Oven Experience: It has a rating of 5.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 75 Coolibah Dr, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61457570132. 
  • Kelly’s Bar & Grill: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 47 Coolibah Dr, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61891681024. 
  • Kimberley: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 75 Coolibah Dr, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61891693698.

What hotels are near Hoochery Distillery?

  • Hotel Kununurra: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 37 Messmate Way, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61891680400. 
  • Kimberley Croc Motel: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 20 River Fig Ave, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61891681411. 
  • The Kimberley Grande Resort: It has a rating of 4.0 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 20 Victoria Hwy, Kununurra WA 6743, Australia.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +61879187885.