G'day Bruce! Jeez these Aussies can make fair dinkum whiskies!

Still under Covid-19 lockdown, we held our forth virtual tasting courtesy of Zoom on Friday 25th September 2020 ...  We sampled three whiskies that had been produced upside down 12,500 miles away in the good ol' Kindom of Oz - inbetween the sheep dip and the BBQ - and what a great experience we enjoyed - a real surprise that such great tasting whiskies could be produced there..

The three whiskies imbibed were:

  1. Starward Two Fold Double Grain - a 'beaut' of a whisky that has been matured entirely in casks that previously held Australian red wine https://e-voice.org.uk/wacwac/whiskies-tasted/starward-two-fold-double-grain/
  2. Starward Tawny (4yo) - matured in tawny casks from the Yalumba winery in Barossa Valley https://e-voice.org.uk/wacwac/whiskies-tasted/starward-tawny-4yo-august/
  3. Limeburners Sherry Cask - a mouth-watering and reassuringly expensive whisky from the Great Southern Distilling Company, on the shores of Princess Royal Harbour in Albany on Western Australia coast https://e-voice.org.uk/wacwac/whiskies-tasted/limeburners-sherry-cask-augu/

Australia have been distilling for 200 years, ever since the 1820s when their first distillery opened in Tasmania.

1930s – British distilling companies opened further distilleries – primarily the Distillers Company of Edinburgh (now known as Diageo) and Gilbey’s of London
All whisky production was therefore controlled by these two large companies who had a 40% price advantage over imported Scottish whisky because of protectionist tariffs over imported whisky
1950s - They decided to produce cheaper whisky to control the lower cost whisky market in the country as well..
As what often happens with no competition, they became lazy and gradually this resulted in a poor quality of whisky and the reputation of Australian whisky suffered greatly
1960s - protectionist tariffs were lifted – imports of superior whisky became cheaper and demand for local whisky dropped
1980s both large distilleries were closed and sold
1990s – several craft distilleries started to open up;
2020s - 293 registered distilleries in operation within Australia, of which approximately 50 have a whisky on the market.
Most (22) in Tasmania

The Industry has shown steady growth since the early 90s especially in the boutique craft distilling scene.

Multiple styles of whisky are produced in Australia, including single malt, rye, wheat and blended whiskies.  Australian whisky was popularised globally in 2014, when Sullivan’s Cove French Oak single cask won the world’s best single malt whisky at the World Whiskies Awards. This was the first time a distillery outside of Scotland or Japan had won this category.


Our first whisky on the night was Starward Two Fold Double Grain, with a nose of red fruits, buttery pastry, creamy vanilla, warm baking spices, banana bread

Our second tipple was Starward Tawny (4yo) with an aroma of dried orange peel, raisins, fig and toasty oak.

Our third whisky was Limeburners Sherry Cask with its nutmeg, coconut, and cinnamon palate. Like an old-fashioned Christmas cake, all dried fruit and icing sugar.  A mouth-watering delicious whisky - who knew Aussies could make this stuff?