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Not since the 1850s has Sydney been home to a distillery. This fact often dumfounded Will Edwards, who dreamed of opening his own distillery for nearly a decade before he decided to put the wheels in motion. That dream became a reality in 2014, when Edwards and his team opened Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Edwards long had a passion for spirits, and experimented for a while without much success. In 2013, after six months of spending weekends and evenings working on the project, Edwards took a sabbatical from his corporate job to visit the post-prohibition distilleries of Brooklyn, where he found some true dedication to the cause.

Archie Rose is an operating distillery, an ageing facility and a bar. The fit-out is impressive; a large copper bar dominates and is surrounded by booths styled as whisky barrels. The main purpose of the bar is to sample the Archie Rose range of gin, vodka, un-aged rye whisky and single-malt whisky, but there’s a rotating selection of local beers, and a select range of other boutique spirits. Snacks and sharing boards are also available.

Edwards has done a pretty good job of finding the right people to run the project with him. Leading the team is head distiller Joe Dinsmoor, who started working at famed Hobart distillery, Lark, when he was 16 years old. Also in the team is Dave Withers, whose name is synonymous with whisky about town, having been the spirits expert at The Oak Barrel for a number of years and the organiser of its regular whisky events.

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Updated: November 1st, 2023

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