The Whisky Encyclopedia


The distillery with fivenames! Sometimes known as Willowbank, Wilson’s, Dunedin, Lammerlaw and more recently Milford.

Distillation began in 1969 when the farm distillery was know as Willowbank Distillery by the founding Baker family. Being established on the South Island (to the south of Oamaru in Dunedin) of New Zealand which interestingly made it the most southerly distillery in the world.

Formally production began in 1974 and the whisky was released under their Baker family's Wilson’s brand name. In 1981 the Seagram’s acquired the distillery, replaced the stainless steel stills for traditional copper stills and released their Whisky as Lammerlaw the name being both a nearby mountain range, and the source of water for Whisky production. The distillery was mothballed in 1997 when Seagram’s sold the distillery to Foster’s. The site was dismantled, the two copper stills and the four column grain still being sold to Fiji for rum distillation.

The remaining stock is now owned by The New Zealand Whisky Company and stored it in a seaside warehouse in Oamaru being released gradually sometimes under the Milford Brand.

NamePronouncedAKARegionCountry of Origin
WillowbankWilson’s, Dunedin, Milford, LammerlawDunedinNew Zealand
StatusActiveWhisky TypeWebsiteTours Available
WillowbankNot Available
ManagerDistillerBlenderOwned byParent Group

Willowbank Timeline:

1969 : In December 1969 the Baker family started distillation in Dunedin. They named their distillery “Willowbank”

1974 : The Whisky was released under their Wilson’s brand name

1981 : Seagram’s buys the distillery and replace the copper necked stainless steel stills for traditional copper stills

1997 : Seagrams sold Willowbank to Australian brewer Fosters who mothballed operations