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Last Friday was our annual Milestones Lunch, RACQ’s event recognising staff celebrating significant years of long service.

A special element of this year’s event was the gift given to each attending Milestone – a hand painted bottle of Toffee Wattle Liqueur from Tamborine Mountain Distillery (TMD).

I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate source for 2016’s Milestones gift for our most-loyal staff at Queensland’s largest club than from another celebrated and independent Queensland local.

Established in 1993, TMD was built from the ground up as a family business.

Managing Director Michael Ward recalls how he and his family moved up from Tasmania seeking a change of climate and lifestyle.

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“We had visited Tamborine Mountain some time before that and fell in love with the place and the special people of Queensland,” Michael reflects. We had found our utopia and wanted to be part of this special place. Relaxed and down to earth”

Michael and his family stumbled upon a rundown property with an abundance of fruit, including an avocado & citrus orchard.

“We wanted to convert the fruit into something that would make our orchard productive. We thought cordials, jams, fruit wine, Nah!”

“Every man and his dog did that! Then I thought let’s make some schnapps & liqueurs. After some 18 frustrating months we finally got all the necessary government licences made a small 80 litre copper pop still and the rest as they say is history.”

Despite being a small, niche Queensland family business, TMD are Australia’s most awarded distillery and liquor brand in the new millennium. Over 300 international awards is testament to that.

“Even with this critical success, we still battle to get our name out there and battle the bigger players.RACQ Intranet Article_Page_2_Image_0001

“I’m thrilled to bits to supply RACQ’s 2016 Milestone gifts to their long serving staff. RACQ has always been regarded as an organisation of integrity and this certainly was exemplified with recognising your long serving staff. We were honoured to be part of this.”

The 2016 Milestones gift, Michael’s Toffee Wattle Liqueur, is his most celebrated and popular drop.

“The wattle blossom is on the Australian emblem, so we wanted to create an Australian Liqueur using this magnificent tree.

“Without giving any secrets away, we use the seeds to create this iconic pecan nut, wafer biscuit flavoured liqueur.

“Our toffee wattle is TMD’s best seller and has collectively over 20 international medals from as far away as the UK, USA, and China.

“I hope all of 2016’s RACQ Milestones love their bottle of hand painted of liqueur and pop by our beautiful distillery to say hi very soon!”

I stumbled across TMD myself last year. Michael’s range of liqueurs are amazing and the quant distillery looks like a set from The Hobbit.

Set amongst the stunning surrounds of Tamborine Mountain and the tourist town of Eagle Heights, you’d be crazy not to take the short and beautiful drive from Brisbane one weekend and try TMD’s liqueurs for yourself.


Luke Gilpin