About 100 metres from Bussell Highway, down Carters Road, is one of the latest additions to the food and drinking experience available in Margaret River – Limeburners, the cellar door outlet for the fabulous Albany based Great Southern Distillery.
Surrounded by bush the newly built facility has great visual appeal – inside on a bar near the front is ranged the array of whisky and other spirits available for tasting – as well a small selection of beer and wine is for sale; towards the rear of the room Chesterfields and low tables call out for sitting back, relaxing and sipping on an award winning whisky or glass of wine. The sheltered veranda outside houses tables and chairs for customers looking to have something to eat from the kitchen.
I dropped by on m recent sojourn to Margaret River, braving the drizzly weather which I guess is all the better for sampling the spirits on offer.
I began with three of the single malts – firstly a batch matured in an old sherry cask. Pale golden in hue it has a lifted bouquet of allspice and marinated fruit; a little splash of water brought aromas of sherry, honey and malt to the fore – smooth and full bodied.
Moving to another, this matured in a port cask, while similar in bouquet to the first, it brought quite different flavours and aromas to the fore with the addition of a little water – vanilla, sweet fruit, cinnamon, malt and some rancio character. Again very smooth, warming and full bodied.
My final whisky choice – the peated version – showed fresh floral aromas, with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg, while water brought intense smoky elements, with a mid-palate saltiness, moving through to a malty and honeyed finish.
LImeburners have also released a couple of gins that called for a taste – the first in the London Dry style – lifted juniper, cinnamon and coriander notes with the quite interesting addition of meen, a native plant from SW of WA, which added some distinct white pepper notes – lovely dry gin style suited for a dash of tonic or soda.
The second, Ginnifer, has a pale golden colour – added by the maturation in an oak cask which apparently previously housed chardonnay – juniper and nutty aromas abound, while the palate exhibits notes of Star Anise, vanilla and more of the peppery notes of the meen. I tried this with a dash of elderberry cordial which gave it a lifted floral bouquet and flavour. I was quite taken by this gin so bought a bottle from the display case at front.
As I noted above Limeburners also turn out food – the small menu covers the gamut of pub style food – lemon pepper squid with Sriracha sauce, albondigas, wings and a variety of pizzas – the dough being mixed in house while I was there – leek and pumpkin, classic Margherita and chorizo, bacon and smoked sausage among the choices.
I didn’t have the chance to try the food, but if the quality nears that of the spirits then it will be well worth the while – certainly I will be back. Limeburners is a brilliant addition to Margaret River and the south west – bringing the joys of their fabulous whiskies to another audience; and excellent and friendly staff to boot.