The story of historic Shene Estate began in 1819, and today the majestic convict-built stables and barn continue to earn their keep on this working farm and heritage tourism property owned by David and Anne Kernke.
Shene Estate Distillery, established in 2014, is the most recent string to Shene’s bow. Damian Mackey, head distiller, is of Irish stock, and he and wife Madeleine have been making whisky at Mackey’s Distillery for the past decade. Damian caught the distilling bug from old mate Bill Lark, for whom he worked as a young surveyor back in the early 1990s when Bill and Lyn, the pioneers of Tasmania’s whisky industry, were starting off. In 2007, Damian established his own brand, and Mackey Whisky, released in 2015, is currently the only Irish-style whisky in production in the state. Triple distilled and unpeated, Mackey Whisky, released in October 2015, has been touted as one to watch. The first casks of Shene Distillery’s Mackey Whisky will be ready mid-2017.
The distillery itself, made from split timber weatherboards and hand-sawn timbers from the Estate, sits amicably alongside the magnificent sandstone heritage buildings. At present, it houses two stills, 300 litre and 2000 litre, both made by Tasmania’s celebrated still maker Peter Bailly.
Apart from whisky production, Shene Estate Distillery has also gained international recognition for its innovative small-batch gin, Poltergeist, which was released as both filtered and unfiltered expressions. A poltergeist is the only spirit which can make things move, and the distillery at Shene is indeed helping to drive the conservation programme. Marketing manager Myfanwy Kernke says the distillery has become the ‘voice of conservation. When you buy our products you are helping to conserve this amazing piece of Tasmania’s history.’
Shene Estate’s history is long and illustrious, beginning in 1819 when Edward Payne, grandson of King George III was granted land by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Shene became the country estate of prominent lawyer and early colonist Gamaliel Butler, and the property played an important part in early Australia.
Shene Estate Distillery is located 30 minutes north of Hobart, 15 minutes from MONA. Find us on Face Book and Twitter, or visit us at shene.com.au for more information, including about our distillery tours.
Mackey Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky
Poltergeist Gin: A True Spirit
Poltergeist Gin: Unfiltered