An Australian rye? Interesting. Is it in the same style as North American rye whiskey (aged in charred virgin oak), or is it a different beast?
You know, I had to research the answer to this. haha! Sorry, I forgot most of what was "shown" to us in the tour. Here's the process though.
This precious combination of grains is mashed by hand into precisely heated water. Here, time-honoured techniques meet precise chemistry as exact measurements and the distiller’s intuition combine. Our local Sydney water, filtered six times, is left for hours with the grain – the once-pure water is then drawn off, leaving the distinctive flavour of the malt and the critical sugars.
To convert the sugars to alcohol, three specific strains of yeast are added in the wort. Long cool fermentations are facilitated by temperature-controlled washbacks to promote complexity and balance of flavour. After five days, we induce a wild lactic fermentation that generates mouthfeel and encourages floral and buttery notes in the final spirit.
The wash leaves the fermenter at around 8% alcohol by volume. As the still heats up, the alcohol begins to form a vapour, leaving the majority of the water behind. This more concentrated vapour moves along the copper contours of the still before it is condensed in a chilled copper chamber. After ten hours, the still is turned off and any residue in the still is discarded.
The result of the first distillation or ‘low wines’ is around 26% alcohol by volume and requires another distillation to purify and refine the spirit. During distillation, the spirit is broken into three components: the foreshots, the heart and the feints. The distiller’s skill in deciding at what point to collect the heart is a perfect balance between experience and intuition. Our stills create a rich style of rye with a full flavour and notes of buttery baking spices.
Does that answer your question somehow? Crossing my finger that it does. Haha