Craig 'Crafty' Field ready to launch Capertee's first single malt whisky

WHISKY PLEASE: Craft Works Distillery owner Craig 'Crafty' Field with Project Ian. Photo: ALANNA TOMAZIN.
WHISKY PLEASE: Craft Works Distillery owner Craig 'Crafty' Field with Project Ian. Photo: ALANNA TOMAZIN.

Craig 'Crafty' Field has been on a whisky journey for the last five and-a-half years which has recently led him to creating something tasteful - and genius.

"I've really been working on this for the last five and-a-half years because everything I've learnt previously, I've applied in putting this one together," Crafty said.

The Craft Works Distillery owner on NSW's Central Tablelands has been brewing, distilling and making whisky among other things at his cellar door located behind Capertee Royal Hotel for three of those years.

On November 24 Crafty will release his latest creation - Project Ian. Project Ian's real name will be revealed at the virtual launch at The Oak Barrel in Sydney.

His latest product is Capertee's first ever single malt whisky.

"It has been born, bred and matured in Capertee, 100 per cent," Crafty said.

He said it was a special release as it was a blending of different barrels to create a certain flavour profile.

"One of the barrels has come from Pieter van Gent winery in Mudgee, and it's crafted a really unique, flavorsome whisky," he said.

Crafty said for this recipe he was influenced by a stout beer which has led to a rich whisky containing, chocolate, coffee and toffee notes.

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"It's a very complex tightly woven whisky with layers upon layers to experience.

"It's a whisky you'd finish up with at the end of the night," he said.

He said the whisky spoke loudly of Craft Works Distillery's DNA spirit.

"It's balanced and reflects what we are doing, we are on a journey," he said.

The limited release will be priced at $220 for a 500ml bottle.

"Some might say Australian whisky and a 500ml bottle is expensive but for something like this I ask myself would I pay this for it? And the clear answer is yes," Crafty said.

The whisky is available at Crafty Works Distillery, Capertee Royal Hotel and Leura Cellars as well as on the Craft Works Distillery website.

Other projects

Crafty has also been busy working on a Capertee craft gin.

"I've been working with a husband and wife team from Karu Distillery in Kurrajong.

"They're my gin mentors and I'm their whisky mentor," he said.

The gin was launched a couple of weeks ago and Crafty said 40 bottles were sold in the first weekend.

"It was a batch to test out the recipe and get some feedback and now we're not going to be changing the recipe," he said.

He is also working on a collaboration with Riverbourne Distillery and recently launched a YouTube channel called Australian Craft Distillers Shootin' the Shit.

How COVID affected Crafty

Crafty said he was excited to launch his latest creation after the year it's been with bushfires and COVID-19.

"Straight after fires the licensees walked out of pub so then the owners came back in and within short period of time COVID hit.

"...so they were shut and I lost cellar door, it was a tough time," he said.

"But we've bounced back now and the pub is open."

Capertee Royal Hotel is currently operating Friday to Sunday and according to Crafty, there was a need for more staff.

"If there's anyone out there looking for employment definitely give the pub a call.

"Capertee is the place to be, I travel between Sydney and here and this place is very much a home to me and the locals are great," he said.

This story Fancy a $200 bottle of whisky? first appeared on Lithgow Mercury.