Australian Whisky Holdings is embarking on a plan to expand production at its newly acquired Tasmanian distiller Nant by 75 per cent.

Australian Whisky (ASX: AWY) bought Nant for $1.7 million last year after the Tassie spirit maker fell into receivership.

AWY this week revealed expansion plans for the Nant distillery just outside of Hobart, sending its share price up 12 per cent to close at 3.5c on Wednesday, just shy of its 52-week high of 4c.

Current facilities produce eight 100-litre barrels of single malt whisky per week but that could be upped to 14 as early as July.

About 166 barrels of mature whisky will be available for sale this financial year, rising to 699 by 2024.

Each barrel is aged for at least five years.

Troubled history

The expansion plans follow a prolonged period of turmoil for Nant and its purchaser.

After taking over the brand from receivers in 2016, Australian Whisky discovered as many as 700 barrels purchase by investors had never been filled, an unknown number were missing and others had been allegedly secretly decanted and sold without the knowledge of the barrel owners.

AWY chief Chris Malcolm told Stockhead the process of reconciling the barrels had taken the best part of 16 months since its acquisition.

“The smartest thing we ever did was to stipulate that first three months of due diligence,” he said.

“We only the acquired the assets, not the company, and are now looking forward to progressing and expanding the estate to increase future production of single malt whisky.”

The numbers

In the December half, AWH reported a wider $1.9 million loss on revenue of $181,000, due in part to the Nant purchase. That compared to a $740,000 loss in the same period last year.

Wednesday’s closing price gives the company a market cap of about $15 million.