Australian Whiskey may not have the age-worn history of their Irish and Japanese counterparts, but it definitely compensates with quality. And the entire world agrees.
Since 2014, the Australians have taken over the Whiskey scene, churning out exceptional liquors and gaining international accolades for their excellent quality.
Even among this impressive bunch of quality liquor, a few brands stand out as extraordinary enough to transcend their continent and become world-class favorites even in countries with well-established distilleries and renowned Whisky brands.
I am not the Whisky quality control officer, but I love Whiskey, and I know enough about it to have well-informed opinions on their quality.
Here is a list of Australia’s best Whisky brands based on experience, expert opinion, and poll from Whiskey lovers.
The Sullivans Cove brand brought the world’s attention to Australia in 2014 when its French Oak Single Malt Whisky won the award for Best Single Malt in the World.
Produced by the Tasmanian-based Sullivan Cove Distillery, this brand uses exclusively Tasmanian Malted Barley for its variations. The malted barley is double distilled in a pot still also of Tasmanian origin before the solution is matured in Oak barrels.
Depending on the variation, the distilled solutions are usually aged in 200L American Oak ex-bourbon barrels or in 300L French Oak ex-tawny barrels to allow for variations in the taste.
The Sullivans Cove brand believes that its products are due to its commitment to Tasmanian products, and they may be right; apart from the award-winning French Oak Single Malt, the brand boasts of over ten other products with equally exceptional quality.
Lark Tasmanian Whisky
Here is another whisky brand with rich Tasmanian history. The Lark distillery prides itself as the true representation of genuine Australian Whisky, a position it has earned by being the first distillery to produce Whisky on the Continent after over 150 years.
Beyond its implied pioneer status, the Distillery has made a name for itself with the Classic Cask and Cask Strength whiskies. The amber-colored whiskies are loved among Whisky lovers for its spicy flavor, and the rich citrus feel it leaves on the palate.
The Lark distillery uses malted Australian barleys that are distilled in its 1800L wash still or the 500L Spirit still before being matured in America Oak casks that play a large role in its amber glow and spicy tang.
Archie Rose Whiskies Collection
Despite being one of the youngest Whisky brands in the world, the Archie Rose Collection boasts of an award-winning whisky, the Rye Malt Whisky.
Perhaps the most awarded Australian Whisky, the Rye Malt Whisky represents the creativity of the Archie Rose Collection, which is also seen in its Single Malt Whisky.
This brand prides itself in creating elixirs through unconventional choices, whether it is an unusual mash bill of six malts or by choosing Rye Malts instead of the typical un-ryed ones. However, these choices have proven effective enough to give the brand its international reputation.
This is my personal favorite on the list; it might be the red wine flavor or its fruity taste, but the Starward appeals to my taste buds.
The variations of this brand are some of the most recommended whiskies for its modern production processes. The Starward Whiskies are made from Melbourne sourced wheat and barley that end up as distilled solutions in Australian Sherry ex-wine barrels that give it a special fruity flavor.
The Starward Two-Fold and the Starward Solera are excellent choices to drink with company, especially when you want to stand out for your liquor taste.
Whipper Snapper’s Upshot Whisky
While the Whipper Snapper has about ten whiskies to its name, its Upshot collection has only two variations: the Upshot and the Upshot Cask Strength.
This brand was made to be very similar to American Bourbons, with a similar mash bill of corn, wheat, and barley to give the Australians a feel of something diverse yet very indigenous.
The Upshot and its accompanying Cask Strength have both been regarded as best for adventurous Whisky drinkers. Between its mash bills and maturing process, the brand has gotten itself recognition as the Australian Champion, and its finishing is enough proof.
While I am already partial to the Starward brand, it is still tough to ignore the appeal of the others on the list. Each brand has its uniqueness, which is enough to make this harder. If you ever find yourself torn between any of these choices, try choosing for the occasion. If there is something worth drinking to, these whiskies are your best company.
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