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World First for Kiwi whiskey producer

Media Release
11 March 2006
For Immediate Use

World First for Kiwi whiskey producer

Potent Irish twist for St Patricks Day really is ‘The Stuff’

New Zealand’s leading whisky producer, Southern Distilleries, has created a world first with the bottling of the illegally famous and illicit moonshine Poitin.

And the rocket fuel is just in time for the most hell-raising St Patrick’s Day Kiwis may have ever seen.

Southern Distilleries, the creators of the legendary Old Hokonui – an oft smuggled moonshine illegal in New Zealand for over 100 years until the mid-1990s – are dabbling in the dark side again with the release of their Poitin (pronounced Po-cheen).

Mixologists Peter Wheeler and Malcolm Willmott expect ‘The Stuff’ – the name brewed for their hand-crafted Poitin – to be a hit with Irish Kiwis on St Pat’s day.

“I tell you what, you should have seen the locals charging on Old Hokonui at the Hokonui Festival in Gore a fortnight back……’The Stuff’ is really going to hit the spot on St Patrick’s Day. It’s as good as any Poitin you’ll find,” say the pair, who recently earned of an international accolade for their boutique single malt whiskey ‘The Coaster’.

International whiskey review, The Malt Whisky Year Book has lauded The Coaster as one of its single malt picks for 2006.

“That was great and we want that kind of recognition again I can tell you. But for now our focus is on our Poitin because we reckon it’s the stuff. It’s got one hell kick and is great with a Guiness chaser.

“Let’s face it, alcohol is a fabulous fuel provided you are tuned for it and Poitin will definitely get you there faster – you just wait and see on St Patrick’s Day!”

Poitin is woven into the fabric of Irish culture having been illegally distilled for centuries and it’s a taste Wheeler wants entrenched in Kiwi society from here on in.

“It’s got a great history in Ireland. You know they used to roll the barrels into the local rivers to get rid of the Poitin so they weren’t busted by the law for illegal distilling – only the barrels floated. I guess it is just meant to be drunk!”


# The addition of Poitin to Southern Distilleries stable follows the roll out of a four-year, million dollar plus upgrade to the Timaru distillery. With further expansion planned this year production of the company’s five whisky labels will increase to 37,500 litres, or 50,000 750ml bottles.

Southern Distilleries is also responsible for three other popular whisky labels – The Southerner, The MacKenzie and internationally acclaimed ‘Coaster’.

The Southerner is a single malt whisky, The MacKenzie a blended whisky aged for a minimum of three years, and The Coaster a single malt aged for at least four years. Poitin can be purchased at Super Liquor stores nation wide.

© Scoop Media

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