Tasmanian whisky is a relatively new player in the world of whisky, but it has already gained a reputation for being high-quality and unique. Located off the southern coast of Australia, the island of Tasmania has a cool climate that is well-suited for the production of whisky. The industry began in the 1990s when a small number of distillers started experimenting with the island's natural resources, including locally-grown barley, water, and peat.
One of the defining characteristics of Tasmanian whisky is its use of local ingredients. The barley used to make the whisky is grown on the island, as is the peat that is used to dry it. This gives the whisky a unique flavour profile that reflects the region's terroir. The water used in the distillation process is sourced from pristine mountain streams, adding to the purity of the final product.
Tasmanian whisky is often aged in barrels that were previously used to store other types of alcohol, such as sherry or port. This gives the whisky a rich and complex flavor that is often described as having notes of fruit and spice. The cool climate of Tasmania also slows down the aging process, resulting in a smoother and more mellow whisky that is often compared to Scotch.
Despite being a relatively new industry, Tasmanian whisky has already won numerous awards and gained international recognition. The small-scale production and use of local ingredients has helped to create a niche product that stands out in a crowded marketplace. The industry is still growing and evolving, with new distilleries emerging and existing ones expanding their offerings.
One of the challenges facing the Tasmanian whisky industry is the limited availability of local ingredients. As the industry continues to grow, it may become more difficult to source enough barley and peat to meet demand. However, the industry is committed to sustainable practices, and many distilleries are working to ensure that their production methods are environmentally friendly and socially responsible.
Overall, Tasmanian whisky is a unique and high-quality product that is worth exploring for whisky enthusiasts. With its distinctive flavor profile and commitment to local ingredients, it is a testament to the ingenuity and innovation of the Tasmanian distillers who have helped to put the island on the map as a producer of world-class whisky.
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from the Distiller
McHenry Distillery rests on the side of Mount Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula.
Mount Arthur stands sentinel over Port Arthur and this great southern port, with its deep harbour, opens southward onto the Great Southern Ocean. Port Arthur is a welcome sight to weary mariners, who having entered, can look back and imagine the South Pole due south of them, separated by 5,000km of mountainous salty brine.
There’s nothing quite like the cool purity of air found in this part of the world. It wraps around the globe on the latitude 43°, leaving South America without crossing another land mass, until it eventually finds its way to the southern tip of Tasmania some 17,000km later. In that time the wave whipped ocean has stripped out all but the distant memory of man’s influence.
Old Kempton Distillery
from the Distiller
AWARD WINNING TASMANIAN SPIRITS
30 YEARS YOUNG
Over 30 years, our team has built what is now one of Australia's most famous whisky distilleries, recently nominated as one of four distillers for the Worldwide Whisky Producer of the Year award.
Tasmania is ideally situated to make malt whisky, and yet 150 years after the last licensed Tasmanian distillery closed its doors, it took a whisky lover to realise the environment was perfect.
from the Producer
The historic Nant Estate is located in Bothwell, Tasmania, just one hour from Hobart (circa 1821). The Valley and the Estate were given the Welsh name Nant, which translates to "stream," by the early settlers. The Nant Distilling Company, which makes Tasmania's first premium Single Malt Highland Whisky, is now delighted to call it home. There have been new owners and management at the distillery, who are unrelated to the former founder, board, corporation, or brand, after a number of very unhappy and turbulent years, as is well known.
When Jim Murray, a whisky expert, gave Nant Single Malt Whisky - American Oak Bourbon Wood a score of 95.5 out of 100 in 2012, Nant Single Malt Whisky was propelled onto the global stage.