Australian whisky has been moving up the world ranks since the first distilleries were established in the late 1980’s.
Outside Scotland and Japan, Australia was the first nation to win the coveted World Whiskies Award in 2014. Take a look at some of the countries finest distilleries and their whiskies on offer.
Based in Melbourne, the Starward founder wanted a whisky that would represent the state’s four seasons in one day. When the distillery began in 2007, the Australian whisky scene was made up of predominantly small-scale ultra premium whiskies. Starward was developed to be an affordable, modern whisky that can be enjoyed neat or as a cocktail.
Malt Whisky – Made from local barley and aged in Australian re-coppered and re-toasted Apera casks providing a smooth, sweet whisky.
Wine Cask Finish Malt – This single malt wine cask matured won Best Craft Whiskey Distiller at the San Francisco Global Spirits Competition.
Before turning his dream of building a distillery into a reality, the Limeburners founder put in 16 years of research. He listened to stories of his distant relatives in Scotland telling authorities of their illegal distilleries for reward money, he spent time in Tasmania with the knowledgeable Bill Lark and travelled to the UK to learn about Scottish distilleries and how to perfect a single malt whisky. Today Limeburners has three locations in Western Australia’s south-west.
Peated M209 – This single malt from locally produced barley is matured in an ex-bourbon American oak cask.
Directors Cut 61% Cask Strength - Distilled in small batch copper stills from local barley then matured in an ex-bourbon American oak cask before being finished off in an Australian ex-Sherry cask.
Whipper Snapper Distillery
Another distillery proud to call WA home, Whipper Snapper has an interesting background story. An Australian and a US pilot shared their love of whisky during WWII. The Australian pilot returned to Perth and distilled whisky in his back shed for 50 years before sharing his recipe and memoirs with his young neighbour and friend. The two men travelled to the US and tracked down a relative of the US pilot who had recently sold his distillery to retire but helped the Perth men refine the wartime recipe.
Upshot – Local grains are hand-picked and distilled in custom designed stills for their trademark Whipper Snapper flavour. Matured in fresh charred Southern American white oak barrels.
Black Gate Distillery
The first distillery to open in central west New South Wales in 2012. Before organising the building’s construction, the distillers travelled extensively through Australia, Scotland and Ireland researching and improving their knowledge of distilling high-quality spirits and liqueurs.
Black Gate Whisky 005 – A single malt whisky with a distinctly peated tone from ageing in ex-Sherry barrels. This whisky has an impressive length and balance with a finishing touch of fruit, nut and hints of chocolate.
If you have any questions about top Australian whisky distilleries, contact the knowledgeable team at Copper & Oak.