Review: Fleurieu Distillery – River’s End Whisky

IMG_5349Not all Australian whiskey comes from Tasmania or Western Australia!

Goolwa is 80km south of Adelaide on the River Murray just a few kilometres from where Australia’s longest river meets the Southern Ocean. 

Here, on the very banks of the Murray River, you will find Fleurieu Distillery.  It is here that husband and wife duo Gareth and Angela Andrews are making great Australian Whisky.

Gareth and Angela started off making beer as the Steam Exchange Brewery (their beers are available at the distillery – all are good, but I highly recommend the Stout). 

A few years later, they moved into distilling and Fleurieu Distillery was born. 

They have been releasing whisky now for almost 2 years and all of them are worth hunting down, winning numerous awards, including;

  • Bogart & Bacall – Gold at the Australian Distilled Spirit Awards 2018
  • Atlantic Crossing  Silver and Best of Category American Distilling Institute Awards 2018
  • River’s End – Gold Medal, Best of Category, and Best of Class Trophy – American Distilling Institute Awards 2018

Only 200 bottles of the trophy-winning River’s End whisky were released.  It is an un-peated single malt aged in former Seppeltsfield port barrels in the building on the left above…Bottle #1 of this whisky was carried by a group of adventurers along the Kokoda Track for Anzac Day 2018.

Image from Fleurieu Distillery  / Peter Golotta photographer

Tasting Notes


This is a beautiful burnt amber in colour.


Initially, River’s End is dominated by a salted caramel/toffee and vanilla scent.  Its 53% is evident, but not unpleasantly so.  The longer it is left in the glass, the more the sweetness tones down and the underlying smells develop, including raisins and Granny Smith apples.


The alcohol content is evident here, but extremely well integrated, providing some heat and some tingling on the tongue.  There is a great length with saltiness, malt, oatmeal, nuts and Anzac biscuits all evident. 

Interestingly, the flavour that lasts the longest however is that of oranges.  This lingers and lingers.

There is a real oiliness in the mouthfeel of this whisky.  It coats the whole mouth and really hangs on.

From experience, I can tell you that this whisky goes well with dark chocolate (I had Lindt 70% with sea salt) or a dark chocolate and cumquat tart.


I’d recommend that you try the River’s End neat. I tend to drink most of my spirits neat or with a touch of lime/soda.

Possibly with a drop or two of water to soften down the alcohol content.  However, if you do want a cocktail, then I’d try an Old Fashioned, Rob Roy, Manhattan, Boulevardier (Negroni but substitute whisky for gin) or, of course, a Boilermaker!

Take home

This is a delicious whisky with plenty of heat for those who like their whisky cask strength, yet accessible for those who would like to.  The flavours marry well together to form a whole that is better then the sum of the parts.  Strongly recommended.


  • ABV – 53%
  • Find their website here
  • Friend them on Facebook
  • Tune into their Instagram feed
  • Purchase / RRP: Direct from Distillery – $215.00 – becoming very hard to locate
  • If you are trying to get here via Google Maps, the building is described by its former name Steam Exchange Brewery.
  • Angela’s Blog can be found here

Disclaimer: this review is of a sample from the writer’s personal collection.  All opinions expressed regarding the product are my own.


About our Guest Contributor

Chris GillottChris Gillot from Queensland has been exploring flavour for as long as he can recall. A love of good food led naturally into the world of wine.

Working in sales, as a bouncer, a barman and a lawyer, exposed Chris to more opportunities to have a drink than most doctors would recommend.

Nevertheless he persisted!

The journey through various wine styles and trends eventually led him to spirits including rum, tequila, scotch and gin. He particularly enjoys teasing out the subtle differences between similar spirits (say 3-4 tequilas) as one would do with a flight of wine.

He takes these flavours and tries to bring them back to the food he would like to be enjoying whilst tasting that particular drink.

Chris is currently looking into starting a new career as a distiller whilst brewing (and drinking) good beer.