Have you ever wondered who wins those ‘25 Words or less’ competitions? Well we do! Many years ago the following words were scribed by Alasdair McIntosh, resulting in the richest whisky research and planning trip that directly resulted in the establishment of the Chiefs Son Distillery:
“My Grandparents passed the love of Whisky through my Parents to Me and I want to make sure my Children pass it onto their Children”.
Our story is a living part of history, part of the ongoing legend and legacy of whisky and most importantly of its connections.
As Malt Whisky Custodians, our distillery is the epicentre of our lives; it reflects absolute dedication to the craft, uncompromising attention to detail and the endless pursuit of perfection. As a family owned and operated small batch distillery, we hand craft Single Malt Whisky by utilising the very best of artisan ingredients, small batch processes, hand selected barrels and a totally manual system.
Our surname ‘McIntosh’ or “Mhic an Tòisich” in Scottish Gaelic literally means “Son of the Chief”. We are passionate about the intergenerational meaning of our name, especially as our distillery truly represents passage from generation-to-generation. So we simply flipped our surname around and locked in ‘Chiefs Son Distillery’.
Whisky is a powerful spirit that connects people, connects families and connects generations. In our family, as in so many others, whisky has been a common thread throughout the ages. For the past 500 years of our family’s long history, whisky has been at the epicentre of love and laughter, life and death, tears and triumphs. Our ancestors transformed exactly the same ingredients, utilised the same ancient craft and derived the same level of enjoyment as we do today. And going forward… it reaches so far forward past our future, connecting through the generations.
We refer to 900 a bit, so perhaps we should explain. It’s pretty simple really, Chiefs Son Distillery was established 900 years after the formal establishment of the McIntosh family. During these 900 years each generation has passed knowledge, experience, love and passion to successive generations. So our reference to 900 pays homage to our proud ancestors and hails future McIntosh generations (particularly through the 900 Club).
Our family haven’t always been so fortunate as to live in the Land-of-Plenty. The Crown considered us traitorous after the Highland uprisings and after the final battle of Culloden, all of our ‘Mhic’ lines were threwn to the four corners of the new world… Bummer… we can’t understand why the English didn’t move here and leave us there, but here we are! So yes we’re partly of Scottish lineage and yes there’s some distilling heritage through the ages, but this is who we are now, new world, new vision, beautiful whisky and proudly Australian
At Chiefs Son Distillery we are the custodians of an ancient craft. Since the early 1500s, small batch malt whisky has been crafted exactly the same way. The ancient art and science of craft distilling hasn’t changed, nor has the passion, enjoyment and satisfaction of each glass. We honour, but elevate the true hand crafted, original style of whisky developed by our forefathers over 500 years ago.
Whilst our family will operate the Chiefs Son Distillery for many, many years to come, we recognise that we are temporary Malt Whisky Custodians and that whisky and its story will outlive us all. However we are honoured to be creating a living part of history, helping to build and continue the legacy and in doing so, help to connect people, families and generations.