Convict Redemption

Macquarie Gillies Newsletter – March 2014

HEARTWOOD ‘CONVICT REDEMPTION’ Batch 2 – 12 yo – 71.9 ABV – $240 RRP (but special $200 including postage to MacGillies Club)

Colour: Bronze; burnt toffee
Nose: “Plumcake’ pipe tobacco; vanilla; banana; shellac; roses; apricots; fruitcake, slightly overcooked/burnt; eucalypt; wild garlic; Spicy Fruit Pillows (Arnotts); freshly peeled cumquats; burnt apricot jam; ‘Tabac Original’ after shave
Palate: Most moist fruitcake ever tasted; sensational; well brewed tea with a touch of bergamot/Seville orange extract; sucks into the tongue, SO lovely!; sensational; liquid tokay (?!?!); shiraz & cinnamon; underside of burnt toast; too harsh in alcohol content
Finish: Super long; super; furry, velvety; delightfully perfumey in the empty glass
Comments: Simply stunning; a world beater, Tim!; would swear it was a sherried cask, not a port one; alcohol starts to burn after 15 minutes, but not at the beginning; absolutely fantastic; a ball-tearer; alcohol well managed; very nice, albeit challenging


We came back to the Heartwood Convict Redemption Batch 2 after enjoying a rich caramel tart dessert, with the following comments added:

Nose: Damp; mellowed; like it less – more alcohol ‘burn’ prevalent; not as good as before; gum trees
Palate: Loses some of its sweetness; more bitter; beautiful; liquid raisins; slightly burnt plum pudding; bushfire after rain – smoky, wet ash
Finish: A bit hotter and aggressive, but still very nice; slightly more bitter; more kick in a long finish
Comments: An ‘end of nighter’; preferred it more at first taste; nose not as good after the dessert; BEFORE- the nicest thing I’ve ever tasted: AFTER – some bitterness.


What a sensational contribution to the whisky World is Tim Duckett’s Heartwood series of releases! Few if any malts could stand up to such comparative tasting before and after a rich dessert! Nice one Tim!

Release the Beast

From Twitter:

Douglas Clement ‏@KingsbarnWhisky
@heartwoodtas thanks loved the BEAST, beautiful rich dark colour, really molassesy nose, strong rich sherry \ port flavour: delicious!

Convict Redemption

Independent Tasmanian distiller Heartwood has never been scared of making a statement or putting out big, loud and aggressive whiskies.
Truth be told, they can be a bit hit and miss, some misfiring with choking sulphur notes or sappy immaturity. But the latest offering is a veritable monster, a perfect example of everything different and good about Tasmanian whisky, and Lark whisky particularly.
And you don’t have to take my word for it. This is an internet blog from a whisky fan who did a whisky swop with an Aussie mate. Says it all really.

Heartwood Convict Redemption
Distilled at Tasmania Distillery
Aged 12 years in Port wood.
Cask HH0611, Batch 1, Bottle 64/115
Type: Australian
ABV: 72.5% whaaaaaa?

Nose: Blast of ethanol initially. After a 20 minute rest I’m getting tons of vanilla, figs, nutty chocolate, peppermint, black licorice, fresh oak, and baking spices. Sweet and dry wine. Solvent notes as expected at such high ABV, but they don’t detract.

Palate: Ridiculously rich and creamy. Tiny sips get past the heat and peppery spice and bring about beautiful notes of extra dark chocolate, cane sugar sweetness, more baking spices (cinnamon, cardamom), dehydrated cherries and strawberries. Strong fresh coffee grounds and oak. Holy shit.

Finish: Ridiculously long and hot. Ashy smoke. More fragrant baking spices. Fades slowly with faint vegetal notes and vanilla.

Fuck me. This is absolutely incredible. Uncle warned me ahead of time that it’s a “big” whisky and he couldn’t be more right. I don’t believe I’ve had a more flavorful whisky, clearly due to the extremely high alcohol content.
Despite that, the mouthfeel is gorgeous, the finish delightful. I don’t usually smoke cigars but this dram was beggingfor one. Definitely looking forward to enjoying one of the smokes he sent me along with a dram of this over the weekend.
It’s expensive and hard to come by, but by golly, Mr. Duckett is doing some absolutely amazing things and if you have the chance to sample this you’d be a fool to pass it up. Absolutely worth the international shipping costs.

And if you’re impressed with that, well there’s more to come. This is what Tim Duckett of Heartwood had to say:

“We are still learning about Australian conditions and how that will effect maturation. We have had a 38c day followed by a 15c day in the past.
“The whisky is pumped in and out of the wood rapidly and the barrels are exhausted after 1 fill. Hence the concentration of flavours over a short period and our high alcohol levels. We have much more to
learn and as we do, better whiskies are yet to come. Lark is producing some absolute crackers at the moment.

Release the Beast

The new “Beast” is the most impressive Aust whisky I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. Pure brilliance!

Dan Woolley
Whisky Ambassador – World of Whisky

Convict Redemption

** Is This Tim Ducket’s Best Yet?

Hearwood’s Latest & Greatest

Heartwood Convict Redemption 11yo 500ml 72.5%

Is the best Heartwood yet? Another totally unbelievable malt from Mr Duckett, and yes at this alcoholic weight it is massively expressive bordering on aggressive. But that is the absolute joy of this dram, it really takes you to the boundaries BUT doesn’t quite cross over. Every part of this dram is just kept in check.

This time Tim has used Tas Distillery spirit made by Bill Lark that was matured in ex port barrels. Less than 100 bottles released.

The nose is chock full of fresh cut oak, dried fruits, a touch of old fashioned furniture polish, a hint of brandy, cardamom with just the barest hint of mint.

The length is ripping, long and intensive but overall very well polished and there we go again, it is just borderline aggressive. But not quite. To me this gives this belter a certain nervous quality. And look out for the well-polished barley, it’s a beaut. dried fruits, white pepper. kitchen spice, with a touch of sweet vanilla ice cream. And it just lingers and linger and lingers.

Is this the best Duckett release yet?

You betcha it is!!


Graham Wright
The Odd Whisky Coy

Release the Beast

From: “” <>

But… no. The Beast still tops my list as one of the best whiskies

I’ve ever tasted!

Brooke Hayman
Whisky + Alement

Release the Beast



A son came up from Canberra, no not just to try it, but it was an excuse to open the first bottle and put a dent in it.  We agreed that apart from the obvious (a double shot was felt by both of us) that it is seriously delicious.


He ran out of puff before he ran out of listing it’s flavours. I have tried it a couple of times since and agree it gets better.


M (we both use G as a supplier) was telling me he had a few business issues so I suggested he get some of the Beast so he could forget his concerns, at least for a while.


He has received some but I haven’t heard back. Maybe he’s prone on the floor; after work of course.


You have a new continuing customer so please keep me informed of progress.





Release the Beast

Dear Tim

A big ‘WOW’ from us what a truly amazing whisky, like something we have never tasted before –superb. I have attached a couple of pics of the expert giving her opinion – Fran rarely smiles – but!

The tasting guide certainly increased the pleasure, we also noticed that the warmth from Fran’s hand made the bottle evaporate more than usual!

We are intrigued as the the cask it was matured in, to me it has more than a hint of fortified Muscat from north NSW, am I close?

We will now pursue a good home to give the maximum exposure to bottle number 2.

Very many thanks

Ken & Fran

Whisky and Wines
Wiltshire UK

Release the Beast


Nose gives a lot of spices, nutmeg, leather, caramel, sage, espresso, nuts, and rosemary at first. Then a thick almost meaty flavour emerges, bbq flavours… Quite meaty, almost like a good piece of bacon in there with some pine wood, and dried fruits, vigs, prunes, raisin, and a bunch of heather honey. It is a quite complex nose must say. It keeps on developing and releasing more and more.


Sticky toffee pudding, spices, liqeurish, wood, meaty bbq, honey and heather at first.
Then after the first initial WOW also from the 65,4% has faded a bit the notes come flying around on my palate. Creme brûlée, sugar cane, vanilla, raisin, mango, prunes, spices, heather honey, abricots, orange, mint, cinnamon, christmas cake, and so many more. Oh my. What a dram. Balanced and complex, full of sweet notes, combined with the heavier ones, it just gives it a very beautiful balance….

Long finish, and beautiful, ending in a bit chocolate and espresso mix, making up a mocca creamy flavour.


Gonna give this one a 9 out of 10. Had the pleasure of tasting this one at a blind twitter tasting and this was definitely the highlight of the night, just wow! Very intrigued by this one must say. On their website they state a couple of details on this one, but not much is made known sadly. They say it is matured in two port barrels and then married in an Australian Sherry cask, that makes really a hell of a combination must say!

Loving Whisky Blog

The Convict

worldwide students convict redemptionHello Tim

Thought you might like the attached photo. The guys are from the Military College and are from Australia (Holding bottle of course), India, Japan, Holland and Italy. We had a tasting and finished up with a drop of the Convict – no guessing which one they wanted to buy!

Best wishes

Ken & Fran
Arkwrights Whisky & Wines