In a competitive Tasmanian whisky industry, Lawrenny recently established itself as one of the world’s few paddock-to-bottle single malt producers.

Story + Photos Don Fuchs 

We always knew we would need to do something to supplement our income, because the farm is so small,” says Ross Richard Mace, owner of Lawrenny Estate, a historic cattle property on the Derwent River, Tas. “About five years ago a friend of mine said this would make a good distillery. And so the seed was planted.” And so, today, an old barn built in 1883 houses shiny copper whisky stills and serves as the cellar door.

Lawrenny sits just off the Lyell Highway, near the village of Ouse on the southern fringe of Tasmania’s picturesque Central Highlands. Today’s Lawrenny is only a fraction of the original property. Once encompassing 32,000ha, the historic property was first developed in 1813. The name Lawrenny was originally given by Lieutenant Edward Lord after a little village in Wales. The property was sold to the government after World War II and split up into soldier settler blocks. In 1991 the Mace family bought two neighbouring blocks – dairy farms on the Derwent River – totalling about 160ha, using them to grow out Black Angus weaners for abattoirs. 

From 2017 Lawrenny began producing spirits, and the cellar door now offers gin, vodka, cold-brewed coffee liqueur and single malt whisky. More than 50,000 litres of spirits are produced each year. Stylish signs guide visitors to the cellar door and in a nearby barn stand rows of 20-litre oak barrels that previously held bourbon and port. Lawrenny is one of the world’s only paddock-to-bottle single malt producers, with barley grown onsite, then distilled using the water that flows through the estate. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #140

Outback Magazine: December/January 2022