Australia's Best Whiskies: Our Top Five Drops

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Geographically Australia couldn’t be further away from the best whisky producing regions of Scotland, but it is now crafting world-beating premium quality spirits. Some of them are so sought-after that distilleries cannot meet the demand for bottles.

Yes, Australian whisky’s time has come. Since 2014 when Tasmanian distillery Sullivan’s Cove took out the honour of “World’s Best Single Malt” for its French Oak expression, the demand for the Aussie spirit has been booming.

And, if you’ve never tasted whisky from Down Under, it’s probably because the local producers are still relatively small in scale, turning out around 100,000 bottles (combined!) per year. By contrast, some Scottish facilities produce more than that in a single day.

Everything You Need To Know To Get Started Drinking Whisky

If you've never really explored it before, drinking whisky can be intimidating. Deciding what whisky to try first is a big decision. And once you decide, should you put in on ice? Drink it straight up? Try it with water? And how are you supposed to taste all these crazy flavours people keep saying you'll pick up when you sip on it?

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There is nothing like a whisky to warm you up on a cool winter’s evening, so here’s five whiskies you should get your hands on.

Starward Nova

  • Size: 700mL
  • Region: Victoria
  • Standard Drinks: 22.6
  • Alcohol: 41.00%
  • Price: $94.99 per bottle

Made from Australian barley and aged in steamed red wine casks from the Barossa Valley, this is a uniquely Australian single malt. It has an attractive red ochre colour and a great blend of sweet and savoury on the palate. There’s a reason that this was a big winner at the World Whisky Awards in 2017.

Buy it here.

Hellyer’s Road 15 Year Original

  • Size: 700mL
  • Region: Tasmania
  • Standard Drinks: 25.5
  • Alcohol: 46.2%
  • Price: $159.99 per bottle

Northern Tasmania has famously the cleanest air and water in the world, so it’s no wonder an exceptional whisky like this award winner is distilled there. It offers a sweet vanilla and citrus flavour with a softness reflecting the time it spent maturing in premium American Oak. It may be one of the best bottles in the Hellyer’s Road range.

Buy it here.

Sullivans Cove French Oak

  • Size: 700mL
  • Region: Tasmania
  • Standard Drinks: 25.5
  • Alcohol: 46.2%
  • Price: $550 per bottle

The whisky that put Australian spirits on the map, this single malt is one of the most sought after whiskies in the world. Aged in French Oak barrels, this expression has flavours of dark chocolate, maple syrup, coffee, hazelnut and dark toffee. Each hand-crafted batch is different and has the unique characteristics of the barrels it was aged in. You won’t be disappointed. (If you can get it.)

Overeem Port Cask Matured

Matured in a single port cask, this Tasmanian single malt is delicious, intense and offers notes of butterscotch, caramel, chocolate and dried spicy fruits. It is delicately balanced and has received very high praise from whisky lovers around the world. It is rich in flavour, but drinks very easily.

Buy it here.

Limeburners American Oak

  • Size: 700mL
  • Region: Western Australia
  • Standard Drinks: 23.7
  • Alcohol: 43%
  • Price: $144 per bottle

When first released in 2016, this whisky became an instant hit and sold out immediately. It’s produced in a pristine corner of Western Australia and matured in American oak bourbon barrels. It has a lovely golden colour with citrus, vanilla and spicy notes and is definitely not one to be missed.

Buy it here.

Five Delicious Whiskies Under 100 Bucks

$100 can go a surprisingly long way when it comes to whisky. (Or is it "whiskey"? It largely depends on where it was distilled.) Whatever spelling you plump for, these five whiskies all taste amazing - and they start at just $69.

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    At those prices, I’ll stick to Scottish single malt.

    $550 a bottle? The one problem with Aussie whiskey is the huge price for a local product.

    I'll stick to imported Scottish/Japanese for one quarter to one half the price.

    I recently had a tasting at Mt Uncle Distillery and their whiskey was really nice, but they had a barrel of their TBBC (The Big Black... synonym for rooster) had been found and that was amazing! Smoothest I've tasted and I regularly indulge in single malts.

      I have a bottle of Mt Uncle gin with the Australian botanicals and it's delicious. I don't think they had their whiskey available when we were up there though. My partners parents live in Atherton, we'll have to visit again so I can taste it.

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