The traditional whiskey of Ireland, pot still whiskey is made from a mix of malted barley and unmalted barley and sometimes other grains like oats, wheat or rye. It’s always made in a copper pot still, and is almost always triple distilled. 

Irish single pot still whiskey is a geographically-protected product of Ireland which evolved centuries ago. Distillers used the crops which grew around them, and historic mash bills were varied. When British-imposed malt taxes were introduced, many distillers upped portions of unmalted barley in their recipes. The distillate is matured in wood, and the whiskey is characteristically creamy and spicy (dependent on the proportion of unmalted barley that is included.) The word ‘single’ indicates that the whiskey has been produced at a single distillery. Until quite recently, it was known as ‘pure pot still whiskey’ in Ireland.  The current rules stipulate that an Irish SPS mash includes at least 30% malted barley, at least 30% raw barley, and up to 30% other grains. 

The amazing story of Irish single pot still whiskey belongs to the Irish, but it will resonate with Australians, many of whom regard their Irish heritage with affection. If you’d like to learn more about the story click here




The Irish Diaspora created pockets of whiskey-loving communities around the world. In the early 1800s, when the first Irish settlers and convicts stepped off the boats onto Hunter Island, they brought with them an enduring culture, including a whiskey culture. Some of the earliest whiskey distilled on the island, by an Irishman, was likely pot still whiskey.

In 1827, as Hunter Island was slowly disappearing, Irish-born James Hackett took over one of Tasmania’s (and Australia’s) earliest distilleries, the Derwent, in Gore Street along the Hobart Rivulet. Hackett was a larger-than-life character, originally from Midleton, Co Cork. He had grown up in the family distilling business, and the distillery’s copper still was Hackett’s personal property. Surviving records show that his mash bill was a mixture of malted and unmalted barley. It seems that Hackett’s was making Tasmania’s first single pot still whiskey. 

When Lt Gov Franklin outlawed the production of spirits in the colony in 1838, Hackett railed long and hard against the government ban, claiming it had ruined him. With little choice, he packed up and returned home to Ireland. Tasmania’s early distilleries became silent, and small-scale distilling all-but vanished in this part of the world. 

The industry was resuscitated thirty years ago by the Larks, and today Tasmania’s whisky industry is flourishing. To date, most distilleries have produced single malts. Hunter Island Tasmanian Pot Still Whisky is our take on an Irish favourite. It offers a new whisky experience for those who love the depth and richness of Tasmania’s world-class malts, and are looking to try something a bit different. 


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Hunter Island Distillery acknowledges the traditional owners of the land and waters on which we stand. We acknowledge the continuing strength and resilience of Tasmania’s First Peoples, and we walk alongside them with respect.

Under the Liquor Licensing Act 1990 it is an offence: For liquor to be delivered to a person under the age of 18 years. Penalty: fine not exceeding 20 penalty units. For a person under the age of 18 years to purchase liquor. Penalty: fine not exceeding 10 penalty units. Please enjoy responsibly. Liquor Licence Number 92338

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