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Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Dobson’s Distillery in Kentucky has unveiled its inaugural blended whiskey, a unique creation that marries the delicate flavours of Japanese styles with the rich heritage of Irish whiskey. 

The first batch of Dobson’s blended whiskey, Moebius, has swiftly found its way into the hands of eager enthusiasts and is already sold out. However, master distiller and owner Stephen Dobson is already contemplating his next creation. 

He says this is just the beginning of his journey into the world of blends, with ambitious plans for a diverse range in the future. 

“We are moving into blends now; I’ve been doing them for 20 years, but at least the last eight, I’ve been taking it more seriously,” Stephen said. 

“Moebius was our first blended whiskey, and it sold out fast. I might make at least one more batch, but I’m hoping to eventually have more blends you can draw on based on weight.

“Once you know what weight of whiskey you like, if another blend comes out at that weight, you know it’s something you’ll probably like.” 

Another double gold for Belle Epoque

This isn’t the first time one of Stephen’s creations has sold out lightning fast. However, he says the mad scramble of people trying to get their hands on his whiskey usually follows an award win. 

His single malt whiskey, Belle Epoque, which has won double gold in the San Francisco World Spirits Cup for the third year, has also proven to be a fan favourite. 

A Double Gold medal is an accolade only given to a whiskey if the judging panel of a competition unanimously awards it a Gold rating. 

“The Belle Epoque single malt whiskey, our premium whiskey, is really gorgeous. It’s probably the best one I’ll ever do in my life,” Stephen said.

“It’s won me multiple double golds, including this year, and was even the subject of a 30 minute speech in parliament by the local member, talking about our success at the World Cup. That’s our sixth mention in parliament if I recall correctly.” 

While Stephen is happy his whiskey receives praise, he says it’s a shame that some people who purchase it are more concerned with its possible resale value than with enjoying it the way it’s intended to be. 

“The moment you win, you sell out in the next week or two, and unfortunately, it’s not to the regulars; it’s collectors,” he said. 

“It drives me a bit crazy because I make them for people to drink, not for people to try and make money off  by putting them on auction sites; I think a bit of that has gone on.” 

Family tradition and love of science drive whiskey passion 

Stephen’s passion for whiskey goes back many years. He spent 35 years travelling and went to a different bar every night to try a range of drinks.

The “complexity and infinite flavour variations,” were a massive draw but he says whiskey is also a bit of a family tradition. 

“My grandfather was a senator for 27 years, and when he retired, he was given a case a month by the people of Scotland for the rest of his life for services to the Scottish whiskey industry,” Stephen said. 

“The reason being, he prevented an excise being put on Scottish whiskey. My father was also a whiskey nut; he got me into the game as well, so it’s a family tradition of sorts.” 

Aside from whiskey, Stephen says his love of science and chemistry, which goes perfectly with distilling, impacted his desire to make whiskeys, which he started at the age of 24. 

According to Stephen though, what gave him a big push into distilling was an accusation that he’d tried to deceive the leader of a Northern Beaches Whiskey Club at a meeting in Sydney many years ago. 

“I took a bottle of my whiskey that is now known as Old Reliable, and the head of the club tried to kick me out, he called me a liar, said nobody could make a good whiskey with a home set up, he accused me of buying another whiskey and putting it in my bottle,” he said. 

“Funnily enough, that insult, that accusation, got me started because I thought I could definitely do this.”

“The fact he thought it was so good it couldn’t have possibly been made at home gave me the push to keep going and take it further.”


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