It’s not your average Distillery. During the course of 2015 life on the farm changed forever: the dilapidated hayshed at Shene Estate was rebuilt to accommodate the Distillery. It’s a spirited place.
From a historical context, it was essential that the design and construction of the Distillery sat in harmony with the adjacent Gothic Revival stables and Shene’s collection of convict-built structures.
The Distillery building has been hand crafted in a meticulous and passionate showcase of rare trades in the same manner as our whisky and Poltergeist Gin is created.
Timbers from the hills of Shene were sourced and harvested by hand and used in the frame of the building. Hand split timbers where then sourced from within Tasmanian and the Distillery cladded, just as the original hay shed was, complementing building methods of early 19 century Australia. The building is a showcase of rare trades that still survive today and was completed in late 2015.
Shene Estate Distillery’s products reflect the melding of the old and new. We create spirits which are infused with exciting flavours capturing the spirit of Tasmania and preserving the essence of traditional distillation practices.
Our stills are crafted by Tasmania’s own master still-maker Peter Bailly, and our techniques are those that have remained largely unchanged for centuries. Shene Distillery is home to one of Tasmania’s largest copper pot stills producing our single malt Mackey Whisky.
At Shene we proudly create our own wash, daily mashing in 1,250 kilograms of Tasmanian grown and malted barley. The distillery has its own fermentation brew house and each week produces over 38,500 litres of wash. This ensure that whisky produced and distilled at Shene has its own unique flavour profile. It also means that the black Angus cattle that roam Shene’s paddocks are very well fed with our draff. Today Shene proudly produces Mackey double and triple distilled Single Malt Whisky and Poltergeist Gin.
Head Distiller, David Kernke is supported by a passionate and hardworking team. These team members refer to themselves as “Team Shene” and bring knowledge, integrity and unbridled enthusiasm to the craft of distilling.
Meet the maker
In many ways this is a simple story of a man and his dog. Meet Head Distiller David Kernke.
David is an old soul at heart and his family nickname him Rudd after Steel Rudd’s “On Our Selection”. Where there’s David, there’s Gillie (a Gaelic term for an attendant) the West Highland terrier.
Each morning, before the sun rises, this duo clicks shut the door of Shene’s Georgian farmhouse as they head for the old hayshed in the quest for making the finest Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky.
David spent his teenage years in country Queensland unearthing old bottles and artefacts from gullies and creeks. He has always had an appreciation of the past.
In the 1960’s David’s father built a bondwood caravan and drove their family of seven in their FX Holden from Queensland to Adelaide and back. It was this family road trip that began a lifelong affinity with the Australian landscape, a great love and admiration of Australian history and early Australian architecture.
In 2006 David and wife Anne began the challenge of conserving historic Shene Estate. They have always joked that they are ordinary people with an extra ordinary challenge.
To this day, David still unearths broken bottles and artefacts found around the historic estate. Only now he spends his days distilling, creating and bottling Mackey Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky and Poltergeist Gin, naturally Gillie in tow.
These elements allow the art of alchemy to take place. We pride ourselves on sourcing the very finest of our elements to create our double and triple distilled single malt whisky and gin. The convict forged walls of Shene keep our spirits company and secure whilst they mature.