Hope you all had a great Xmas and are looking forward to nice new year.
After the last couple of weeks of visiting counties that have only one whisky distillery or maybe two, I head to Australia which has seen a boom in the industry. With a plethora of distilleries that are known for their character, not just in the spirit but also for the characters that have built them and run them now.
I would start my Australia leg of the journey on the island of Tasmania before heading to the main land. Tasmania has seen a boom in the whisky industry over the recent years, with over 14 distilleries on the island with more planned to open in the coming years. It’s making a name as the place to visit and discover the character of Australia whisky, in my opinion it’s becoming the Speyside of Australia and a whisky lovers paradise.
In all fairness I’ve had help with this part of the trip from fellow bloggers Whisky Waffle, they have given me a great insight into where to visit and how to get the best out of a visit to Australia. Being local lads from Tasmania they have also introduced me to a great company that do bespoke tours around the local distilleries, called Drink Tasmania premium tours. I would most definitely take one of these tours, more so because I feel it would benefit me more than doing it myself. How could I possibly turn down the opportunity to do a tour with fellow whisky enthusiast’s and at the same time benefit from a more unique and authentic experience at the distilleries, because of the local knowledge and working relationship built up with the tour company. Plus I also get the bonus of a seasonal picnic with the tour and more importantly I don’t have to drive.
The distilleries I would visit are Lark distillery, I could not go to Tasmania and not visit the legend that is Lark.
To possibly meet and talk to Bill Lark has got to be highlight for any whisky lover, it’s then onto Shene estate to see what could be the first Irish style Australia single malt. Something I would love to try, from there it’s onto Redland estate to see a complete in house craft distillery. I believe that they grow the barley on the estate farm and it’s floor malted on site as well, both of the last two distilleries are relatively new but to me full of character, determined to succeed and produce a quality malt whisky.
It’s then across to the main land and to Baker Hill distillery in Victoria, a distillery that has had a great success at home and around the world. Although recently has had to put a temporary stop to export, due to a significant increase in demand from the home market.
My last stop in Australia would be the New World Whisky distillery also in
Victoria, a distillery that has made the news just recently with the investment from Diageo. Showing how good Australia whisky is and what a bright future it has. I love the way this distillery is marketed and how down to earth they are about the whole process. I also can’t wait to get my hands on a bottle of Starward from the distillery and with the big boys investment I’m hoping it’ll be a little easier.
This is were I will leave Australia but I must say that I don’t feel I’ve done it justice. I felt the same with Canada and the US, you could easily double the number of distilleries I’m supposed to visit and I’d be happy to visit them all. But I have a limited number and as much as I would love to I have to be strict with myself. Although if I have my way I’ll be in Tasmania around the time the Shene Estate bottle their first single malt, just need to sweet talk the wife a little more.