Coal to Newcastle or ice to eskimos - there is the inevitable cliché for Oamaru whisky to Scotland.

Yesterday, 648 bottles of whisky from the New Zealand Whisky Company's store in historic Oamaru was loaded on to a truck to begin the journey to Scottish whisky, wine and spirit wholesaler Gordon and McPhail in Elgin (about 60km east of Inverness), Scotland.

In the shipment are a number of different 700ml bottle labels, including medal-winning whisky.

New Zealand Whisky's New Zealand manager Deb Preston said this was the first shipment to the wholesaler by the new company and followed sales promotions in the United Kingdom, boosted by medals won in prestigious overseas competitions.


In the shipment were South Island single malt 18 and 21-year-old, Dunedin Distillery Doublewood 10-year-old Milford single Malt 15, 18 and 21-years-old and Cask Strength Whisky 1987, `88, `89, `90 and `93.

Export of the Cask Strength Whisky was a major breakthrough for the company.

"It is top of the line, in the top echelon of whisky," she said.

The company just learnt at the weekend that its whiskies had won gold, silver and two bronze medals at the Wizards of Whisky world whisky awards.

The gold was awarded to the 1993 Cask Strength, which was included in yesterday's export shipment.

The Doublewood and the South Island single malt 18-year-olds both won silvers, and the bronze was for the South Island 21-year-old.

Those awards followed two of the company's whiskies winning world's best awards at the Whisky Olympics in Michigan, United States.