Disguise, capture and surrender. In the 1890’s, Tom Delaney, became the most notorious distiller in the Timboon district. Delaney was known to police, with records showing Delaney’s interest in whisky as far back as 1881. But whisky making flourished mainly between 1890 and 1893. At the peak of production, Tom Delaney is said to have made 100 gallons a week.
It was labelled "Mountain Dew" and they cheekily put the official Government stamp on it. The whisky was described by a local as "smooth as new milk", with other reports confirming it was of a high quality. The Government finally decided to stamp out the practice. The man chosen to round up the notorious Nirranda Distillers was Detective Inspector Christie, champion boxer, champion sculler of Victoria, and one time personal bodyguard of H.R.H. Prince Alfred.
Christie was a master of disguise and posing as a travelling tinker, he embarked on the task of catching Tom Delaney and his associate, Jim Love. The story continued with twists and turns, shots were fired, the distillers escaped, but not for long and soon enough, illicit whisky distilling in the area came to an end. Bottles of Mountain Dew still turned up for years to come, the reputation of the whisky increased and the story of the Nirranda Distillers became a proud part of local folklore.
At the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, we have been inspired by the local history, to make Timboon famous once again for its high quality whisky, and this time all above board. Call in to "The Shed" and do some detective work of your own, investigate our whisky and spirits, cross examine our distiller and learn a bit more about the colourful history.
Cellar Door: T 03 5598 3555