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A Guide to Australia’s Top Whisky Distilleries

Food & Drink

A Guide to Australia’s Top Whisky Distilleries

Australia’s whisky scene is a dynamic and evolving landscape that reflects innovative spirit and dedication to the craft. But with a growing number of distilleries that are flooding the market, it’s hard to find one that offers premium quality spirits. Read on to discover how to choose the perfect one for your drinking needs.

Check out this virtual haven of popular Australian whisky brands where you’ll find the finest blends handpicked with care.

How Do I Find Good Whiskey?


When looking to buy an Australian whiskey, you’re embarking on a flavourful journey filled with many choices. Taste, of course, is subjective – what delights one palate might not resonate that well with another. So, before choosing a bottle, reflect on your personal preferences. Is it the smokiness, the sweetness, or the complexity that intrigues your taste buds?

Quality also serves as a reliable measuring stick. Consider the ingredients, the age and condition of production equipment, the cask types, and the distillation process. Yet, the true indicator of quality lies in whether a whiskey carries any faults or flaws. Is it well-balanced, or does it lean too heavily in one direction? Is it overly oaked or tannic, lacking complexity, or too aggressive on the palate? Does a hefty price tag necessarily equate to superior quality? Some distilleries produce outstanding bottles that won’t break the bank, challenging the notion that exceptional quality comes with a large cost.

Availability is another crucial factor to consider. While some brands enjoy widespread visibility, others operate on a smaller scale, with limited releases that quickly vanish from shelves. Does the distillery handle its mashing and fermentation, or does it outsource some of these critical steps to third-party breweries? Understanding the hands-on approach of a distillery adds another layer to the search for the perfect bottle.

Amber Lane


This might be one of the younger Australian whisky brands, but they’ve crafted some sensational spirits. Consumers around the world have had the pleasure of sampling their works-in-progress, and they’ve had nothing but kind words. What sets them apart is the fact that they took the road less travelled, outsourcing their brewing to a local brewery – a move that might raise an eyebrow or two.

They go for full-size cask maturation right out of the gate. Imagine quality ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks, a sprinkle of virgin oak, and a hefty dose of patience. That’s the Amber Lane magic recipe. While other newbies fumbled with missteps and questionable cask choices, these guys played the long game. Even in their early releases, this resulted in a level of balance and refinement.

Hobart Whiskey


These Australian whiskies hail from Tasmania. It’s a small distillery that spent its early years cruising under the radar. Established in 2014, they didn’t grab the spotlight initially but blended into the Tasmanian whiskey scene that was buzzing with new distilleries. However, while they were in the shadows, they were figuring out the secret sauce for their spirit, navigating the nuances of casks and maturation techniques that harmonise with their unique Tasmanian environment.

Tasmania, with its dry climate, can be a bit of a challenge for maturation, and Hobart Whisky learned from the school of hard knocks, steering clear of those small ex-wine casks that can spell trouble. In 2017, they brought the brewing in-house and chose the robust embrace of 200L American oak, ex-bourbon casks. Their signature expression is a masterclass in balance and consistency, showcasing the craftsmanship that comes from years of experimentation.



Led by the maestro Tim Duckett, Heartwood combines balance, refinement, character, and flavour. Every Australian whiskey from their line is like a curated masterpiece. They’ve won many accolades – from Gold Medals to Category Winner awards, they’ve been racking up praises since 2013. Tim Duckett, the wizard behind the curtain, seems to know the secret of crafting spirit that transcends flaws and achieves precisely the desired flavour profiles. Many of their releases are like blended malts on steroids, bringing together spirits from various distilleries and cask types to create something greater than the sum of its parts.



Fleurieu opts for a quieter, more understated presence, letting its spirits do the talking. Meet Gareth and Angela Andrews, the dynamic duo behind Fleurieu, who adds a touch of magic to the whiskey scene. Before they dipped their toes into the world of whisky, they were busy crafting beer since 2004. But the allure of distillation beckoned, and in the mid-2010s, Fleurieu unveiled its first Australian single malt whisky in 2016. Since then, they’ve been on a roll, consistently snagging awards and turning heads in the industry.



Limeburners’ core-range offerings are initially matured in second-fill, ex-bourbon casks. The plot thickens with expressions like Port Cask and Sherry Cask, which undergo a brief dance in their respective fortified casks, adding layers of flavour complexity. Their peated expression brings a gentle smokiness courtesy of locally sourced peat. Limeburners take this one a step further, employing a solera method that imparts a unique balance and consistency.

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