Guide to Australian Whisky

Although very young by global standards, the Australian whisky industry has seen a burgeoning growth in the last few years.

With the Australian fondness for distilled spirits, in particular rum, being so ingrained into its culture following the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, it comes as a surprise to many that Australia did not start producing their own whisky sooner.

Not only has Australia long had access to the ingredients required to produce whisky, many might have also assumed that the large number of Irish, English, and Scottish migrants that moved to the country over the last couple of centuries would have brought their skills and knowledge to produce whisky along with them.

History aside, and as can be expected from this heritage, bottles of whisky produced in Australia today are typically made in a similar fashion to those from Scotland.

We are now fortunate enough to be able to experience the craftsmanship of Australian whisky that emanates from all ends of the country.

To learn more about Australian whisky we recommend you read this incredibly useful guide.

Types of Australian Whisky

As mentioned previously, Australian whisky shares many similarities in its production method to those whiskies made in Scotland, with almost all of the products available for purchase on the market being Australian single malt varieties.

These similarities include that Australian whisky distillers use malted barley, water, and yeast as the main ingredients in their production processes and the ageing of their whiskies occurs in a variety of casks, including former sherry, french oak, american oak, and even former Australian wine barrels.

Australian Whisky Production Process

This means that Australian whisky enjoys the same breadth of flavours that Scotch whisky does, with some distilleries, such as The Lark Distillery, even having access to their own peat bog.

As the majority of the bottles available for purchase on the market are single malts, and there are not many distilleries currently producing Australian whisky, it is best to look at the distillery that produced it and the ageing method used during production when seeking to determine the anticipated flavour outcome of the whisky in the bottle.

Map of Australian Whisky Distilleries & Brands

Map of Australian Whisky Distilleries

By far the most famous of the Australian whisky producing regions is Tasmania, which boasts at least four distilleries, including The Tasmanian Distillery, which is famous for producing the award winning Sullivans Cove Australian Whisky.

This small island has some of the most pristine natural environments found anywhere in the world, even its own peat bogs, making it naturally inclined to produce some of the finest bottles of Australian whisky.

Besides The Australian Distillery, other prominent distilleries on the island include The Lark Distillery, The Nant Distillery, and Hellyers Road, who are collectively responsible for producing bottles such as the Nant Tasmanian Highland Single Malt Whisky, The Lark Distillery Cask Strength Single Cask Single Malt Whisky, and Hellyers Road Original Single Malt Whisky.

Outside of Tasmania, distilleries such as Bakery Hill, Timboon, Smith’s Angaston, and the Great Southern are responsible for producing a host of recently acclaimed whiskies including the highly popular Limeburners Infinity Solera Cask Single Malt Whisky, and Bakery Hill Cask Strength Peated Malt Single Malt Whisky.

Due to the expanding interest in Australian whisky, we can expect a growth in the number of distilleries as the demand for this prized drop increases and the current distilleries are unable to cater to this demand on their own.

Pairing Food with Australian Whisky

As Australian whisky is incredibly similar to Scotch whisky in its production method and flavour profile, it should be enjoyed in pretty much the same fashion as any other single malt from that region.

This means neat, over ice, or with a splash of water are all of the preferred methods of enjoyment. To discover some of the best bottles to have this way, consider this website.

Due to the often high price tag that accompanies most bottles of Australian whisky, and with a large number being smaller in size (500ml) than whiskies from other parts of the world (700ml), it is not recommended that they be used in cocktails that can often take away from the sublime craftsmanship present in each bottle.

If you’re someone who prefers smoother, easier drinking styles of whisky, or are looking to start your whisky journey on Australian whiskies, it is recommended that you start with a bottle of Starward Single Malt Australian Whisky, which is known for its impeccable smoothness and drinkability.

For those looking for more expression in your whisky or who possess adventurous taste buds, it is recommended you try Limeburners Infinity Solera Cask Single Malt Whisky or Lark Classic Cask Whisky, as these are whiskies known for their incredible depths of character and interesting flavour profiles that include some peat, present in the Lark Classic Cask Whisky, and raisins, spices, and citrus, present in the Limeburners Infinity Solera Cask Single Malt Whisky.

Pairing Food with Australian Whisky

When it comes to pairing food with Australian whisky, it is best to find dishes that complement the flavour profiles in each bottle.

With this in mind, bottles that contain a bit of peat or smoke, such as the Lark Classic Cask Whisky, should be paired with smoked salmon, blue cheese, or smoked meats, whilst those whiskies with a gentler flavour or delicate sweetness, such as the Starward Single Malt Australian Whisky, should be matched with lighter, less full-flavoured foods, including canapes, sushi, and light desserts.

There's a bottle of Australian whisky out there for everyone. Here are some of the brands and bottles that we recommend you look out for the next time you're browsing whisky online or in-store.

Lark Symphony No. 1 Australian Blended Malt Whisky Tasting Notes
Exceptionally smooth, this is a special release whisky that is quite sweet in taste, with flavours of vanilla & caramel.

Lark Symphony No. 1

Australian Blended Malt Whisky

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