Jones and Smith following their dream
Teams don’t get any better than a Father, Mother, Daughter and Son-in-Law one, and that is what ‘Jones and Smith Distillery’ is, the first family craft distillery in the Orange area.
Dot and Tony Jones purchased their property back in 2002 with a long-term dream of starting their very own distillery, well.. that dream is becoming a reality as we speak. The name, evidently derived from a culmination of Tony and Dot Jones, and their daughter, Kylie, and husband Nicholas Smith.
Before the dream could become a reality, extensive research was undertaken with multiple trips to numerous states around Australia. Tony explained, “We met many people in the industry from distillers to cooperages to still and equipment fabricators and met some wonderful new friends. We were eventually convinced it was something achievable. We then began the tedious process of obtaining licences and approvals through all three levels of government.”
Tony and his daughter, Kylie then flew to Tasmania to what was at the time, the only recognised ATO excise licence distilling course in Australia. Kylie said, “We studied under some of the most well-known names in Australian Whiskey including Jack Lark (The God Father of Whiskey, Bill Larks Son.)”
“Dad then proceeded to travel back to Tassie to work/learn from other leading distilleries. It has been invaluable in allowing us to develop the skills required to be able to start producing our own take on the Modern Australian Whiskey scene.”
“We found that other Distilleries in Australia are very welcoming. It’s not hush, hush - business against business, they’ve been fantastic. We call them up with ideas and questions and they are only too happy to help you, no secrets, they have really embraced us. We have also been working with local wineries, such as Patina Wines to source a series of local barrel flavour profiles for our whisky, and to create our own Brandy and they have been wonderful.”
“With the four of us so passionate, full of ideas and different interests, Mum and Dad working part time, Nick is working full time and I’m a full time Mum, between us all, whenever we have time we come here. We are doing more than we thought we would, which is pretty exciting.” The family take pride in working to make their efforts as sustainable as possible, with waste used as fertiliser on their farm and water being treated for irrigation.
“It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you do it with”
There is an evident art to distilling and this family certainly have the passion and talent for it. “The long-term goal is to sell locally, online nationally, and be stocked in local restaurants and bars. We would love to have a cellar door though, that thought is still in the pipeline. The craft whiskey scene is really taking off in Australia at the moment, which is quite exciting, our main goal is Whiskey, as that is Dad’s passion and it’s why we started, though we already have some brandy ageing, and are perfecting some gin and Eau De Vie recipes.”
Up to 16 hours at a time is spent in the distilling shed, but Tony wouldn’t have it any other way, “When I come in here, to be honest it’s like being in Wonderland, I love it.”
“It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you do it with.” Sit tight, it’s not long before you’ll be indulging in their hand-crafted spirits, in the meantime keep up with all of the happenings on their Facebook or Instagram, ‘Jones and Smith Distillery.’