As the young prodigy of the whisky world, our fair country’s boutique whiskey era is producing some of the most acclaimed drams gracing the glasses of aficionados. Many of these spectacular labels, produced across the country, deserve a place in your collection. Join us on the hunt for the next best Australian whisky.

The Hunt for the Best Australian Whisky

Without the sophisticated reputation that more established whisky regions have built, Australian whiskies are instead judged on the quality of their stellar profiles and rich flavours.

Since 1992, the beginning of what has been labelled the boutique period of Australian whisky, distillers in Hobart have elevated the quality of their liquor to the point of competing and winning awards on the international stage.

Notably, Lark Distillery and Overeem Distillery produce exquisite Australian whiskeys with profiles comparable to the best Scotch available. And while most acclaimed Australian whisky comes from the ideal maritime temperate climate of Tasmania, the rest of our country’s artisans are quickly adding their own names to the board.

Excellent Australian Whisky Brands

For the scotch drinker eager to dip their beak into the recently acclaimed Australian whisky or even a newcomer ready to start their journey, there are some few stand-out distilleries that will open the door.

Lark Distillery

Founded by Bill Lark in 1992, Lark Distillery revives and re-establishes the style of Tasmanian single-malt whisky that has become so popular in Australia. With some truly excellent single releases, Lark has performed exceptionally well locally and on the world stage.

Their Symphony No.1 and Classic Cask Single Malt are particularly touted as some of the best Australian whisky available.

Archie Rose Distillery

The Sydney distillers, while broad in scope with multiple liquors produced, are renowned for their single malt and rye malt whiskies. With six unique malts in the mash, their single malt whisky is a labour of love, and it shows after winning Australia’s best whisky in the World Whisky Awards.

Overeem Distillery

Casey Overeem, a meticulous and precise man, founded Overeem Distillery in 2007 to produce extremely high-quality single-malt whisky. Their whiskies are touted as technical masterpieces, with the 12yo Bourbon Cask Matured particularly pined after. Due to their limited releases on small-batch whiskies, you need a keen eye to secure a bottle for your collection – and it is absolutely worth every dollar.

AWAS Presents: The Australian Whisky Awards

For the best in Australian whisky, the entrants, finalists, distillers, and honourable mentions from the Australian Whisky Awards should be at the top of your list.

Hosted by AWAS own Niko Devlin, the Australian Whisky Awards are a celebration of Australian whisky - in true democratic Aussie style. The Sydney event brings excellent whiskies, carefully crafted by our country’s best artisans, to further fame and highlights years of faithful service from founding distillers.

In the most recent 2021 awards (hosted in February 2022), the main event; whisky of the year, was awarded to the Lark Christmas Cask Release III, with runners-up Overeem Bourbon 12-Year-old and Archie Rose Whisky in Every Port.

FAQ

What is the best single malt whisky in Australia?

With Australian whisky taking off so fast, it can be difficult to put a finger on what might be the best bottle available. Indeed, limited releases from the award-winning Tasmanian distilleries like the Sullivans Cove 25th Anniversary Special Edition 21yo or the Overeem 12-Year-Old Bourbon Cask Matured are amongst the most faithful and technically proficient whiskies in the classic single-malt Scotch style.

But there is also quite a lot to say about Starward Distillery’s fantastic offerings, like their superb Vitalis or Peated Finish, or maybe Archie Rose in Sydney with their ever-consistent single malt whisky.

Many great Australian whiskies are making a name for themselves, so why not join the hunt and throw your opinion into the ring?

How many distilleries are in Australia?

As of 2020, Australia is the home of around 50 active distilleries, with the majority situated in Tasmania due to its ideal climate for Scotch-styled whisky. That is no small amount compared to Scotland’s nearly 140 distilleries or Japan’s meagre 11.

With such a significant interest in whisky-making, we can only see the future quality, demand, and global popularity increasing.

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