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Magazines : Breakaway Summer 2010
WHISKY distilling has a long history around Timboon. A canny chap Tom Delaney was making 100 gallons of the illicit, but coyly named Mountain Dew, 120 years ago, until an elaborate sting with a detective inspector disguised as a tinker brought him undone. The whisky distilling business in the region went a bit quiet after that, until Tim Marwood and his wife Caroline Simmons of Timboon Railway Shed Distillery thought they'd give it a crack. And where else would you go to learn the art of whisky making but to the home of single malts. "Well of course I had to drag myself off to Scotland, and punish myself with visits to distilleries,'' Tim laughs. But whisky wasn't the first thing he learned to make and sell. Ice-cream beckoned when Tim and Caroline came back to his home town of Timboon, reluctant to follow in his parents' footsteps and take up dairy farming. He could see Timboon was already on the culinary map with the hugely successful Timboon Farmhouse Cheese, and ice cream presented itself as a "piggy back marketing opportunity''. Filled with gung-ho ideas for adventurous flavours -- blackberry and shiraz was one -- the ex- marketing executive thought he'd do some market research before the first batch was made. "We asked people getting off the buses at the 12 Apostles what ice-cream they would be prepared to travel for and, quite overwhelmingly, they said they would travel for a really good chocolate, strawberry and vanilla,'' he says. Timboon is a pretty town; there's rolling green hills, the almost soporific sight of fat contented dairy cows grazing, and the afternoon sun casts a golden glow that stills your frantic city soul. It's a good place to visit, rather than a place to stumble across. Tim and Caroline found a home for their ice cream in an old railway shed and then set about increasing the reasons why people would come to the little town, 150km from Geelong. And that's where the whisky comes in. The bright copper still grabs your attention as you walk in the door. It is their "point of difference'' and is a magnet especially for men, who Tim notices are over-represented in the whisky-lovers demographic. Success has come to Tim, proving he'd been paying attention to the masters in Scotland. His whisky was recently awarded 15th in a blind tasting of 80 malt whiskies from around the world, and came second out of 18 Australian malt whiskies. "You never really know how you're going,'' he says. "You're investing quite a lot of work in it and if it's a bit of a dud there's a lot to lose. "The awards showed we are on the right track.'' Once Tim had the whisky making in hand, he broadened his scope and now there's a limoncello, a coffee cream, a strawberry schnapps and a snake track vodka to enjoy. And the railway shed has evolved into a cafe. Tim's aim was to have every part of the business supporting each other. Now, if you don't fancy ice cream, you can have a house-made cake, or if you're not after a coffee and whisky isn't your drink, you can try a limoncello on ice. An entire extended family or a group of cross-generational friends would easily find something to satisfy each of them. If all of that is not enough to warrant a trip to Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, its location near the Camperdown-Timboon railway track is another reason to get the family there. The historic Curdies River trestle is only a 3km walk away; the first 15km of the rail trail are flat and easy for those on bikes; and the remainder of the 35km track is still very do-able for anyone with more than a modicum of fitness. Timboon Railway Shed Distillery, Bailey St, Timboon. INSIDER'S TIP Don't miss Timboon Farmhouse Cheeses on the corner of Ford and Fells roads. Stay at Inglenook Bed and Breakfast. Whisky on a Sunday There's a place in Timboon where you can eat homemade ice cream, drink home-brewed whisky and then walk it all off on a historic rail track. MARGARET LINLEY tries it all out Bring your bike and join the Camperdown- Timboon railway track just near the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. The deck is the perfect spot to enjoy any of the treats on offer at the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. Enjoy the many varied ice cream flavours sold at the property. day TRIP GEELONG ADVERTISER I 19
Breakaway Autumn 2011