The Sandy Gray Whisky Company was formed in 2016 by Neil Gray and Bob Connor, two friends who have had a long association playing music together in Tasmania.
Their mission for the distillery was quite simple - to create the finest possible spirits.
The distillery, located on the Cradle coast of northern Tasmania just outside Devonport, distils Whisky and Gin from premium Tasmanian barley and water that originates in the Central Highlands.
The spirits are produced in small quantities so that the quality can be maintained throughout the entire process.
The meticulous attention to detail bore fruit in March of 2020 when the Artisan Small Batch Gin won a Gold Medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirit Competition.
Who is Sandy Gray?
Alexander James (Sandy) Gray was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1927. He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School for Boys, where his father was senior Master of Mathematics. He studied piano and became an accomplished pianist and organist.
On leaving school in 1944, he enlisted in the Navy and then transferred to Royal Marine Commando. On demobilisation in 1947 he went to Aberdeen University to study Medicine where he met his future wife, Moira. They were married just after he graduated in 1953. While at university, he composed the music for three student revues.
He was very much a people person and decided to become a General Practitioner, first of all in a traineeship and then for nine years in a single handed practice in Burnley, Lancashire. During this time his sons, Neil and Iain were born.
Life as a General Practitioner in the National Health Service was not very lucrative and Burnley was an industrial town, and so in 1967 the family emigrated to Tasmania, first of all to Cygnet and then to Evandale. He was very much a countryman at heart and as a boy spent a lot of time at his grandfather Murray’s farm in Midmar, Aberdeenshire. The practice in Evandale was perfect for him as it was a farming area and he could relate well to his patients.
He retired in 1986 and died in 2001.
His son Neil gained an appreciation of fly fishing, music and a love for whisky and gin from his father so it was decided to name the distilling business in honour of him.