Best Australian Whisky 2023

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Our (unofficial) list of the best Australian whiskies in 2023.

Welcome to a celebration of Australian whisky, a journey through the amber waves of grain that stretch from Tasmania's rugged coasts to the sun-kissed fields of mainland Australia.

In a land more renowned for its Shiraz and surfers, whisky has been quietly carving out a niche, with over 200 distilleries now dotting the Australian landscape.

This growth has not been a slow burn, but rather a fiery explosion of passion, innovation, and an unmistakable Aussie character.

The Australian whisky scene is as diverse as a bushman's breakfast - you'll find everything from peated malts that could give Islay a run for its money, to silky, wine-cask matured drams.

It's a world where traditional Scottish methods meet Aussie ingenuity, and where the unique climate imparts a distinct quality to every bottle.

Now, it's time for us to share our findings.

This isn't your typical (or official for that matter) whisky awards ceremony. There's no grand jury, no black-tie gala.

Our selections are not the outcome of an official panel but are deeply personal, reflecting our own tastes and experiences.

In that spirit, our 'awards' are more like a friendly nod of appreciation – a bit like giving a thumbs-up to a mate for a well-cooked steak. It's casual, it's subjective, and it's all about what tickles our taste buds and warms our hearts.

So, let's dive into this journey of discovery, celebrating the craftsmanship, passion, and unique character of Australian whisky, one delightful sip at a time.

1. whisky whisky smoker Australian Whisky: Sullivans Cove French Oak Single Cask

Why It's Our Top Pick: The Sullivans Cove French Oak Single Cask is like a maestro conducting an orchestra of flavors.

It's aged in French oak casks that previously housed Australian port, a unique twist that infuses the spirit with a rich, complex character.

With notes of dark chocolate, dried fruits, and a hint of Tasmanian terroir, it's a drink that doesn't just tantalize the palate but tells a story.

Its international acclaim, including winning the World's Best Single Malt, is just the cherry on top.

Price Point: High, but for a whisky of this caliber, it's an investment in sensory bliss.

Why You Should Try It:

  • Award-winning pedigree, with a global reputation.
  • Unique Australian port cask finish.
  • Rich, complex flavor profile ideal for special occasions.

2. Starward Nova

Why It's a Contender: Starward Nova bursts onto the palate like a supernova of flavor.

Matured in Australian red wine barrels, it offers a unique take on whisky maturation.

The result is a vibrant, fruity whisky, with a spicy finish that's as inviting as a warm Melbourne evening.

It's a modern Australian whisky classic, showcasing innovation in the whisky world.

Price Point: Mid-range, offering exceptional value for money.

Why You Should Try It:

  • Innovative red wine barrel aging process.
  • Vibrant, fruity profile with a spicy kick.
  • Great value for a whisky of its quality.

3. Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky

Why It's a Contender: Hailing from Sydney, Archie Rose Rye Malt Whisky is like a perfectly orchestrated jazz piece – complex, soulful, and utterly captivating.

With its bold use of malted rye, it offers a profile that's rich in spice, caramel, and fruit notes, all dancing in perfect harmony.

It's a testament to the craft of Australian whisky-making.

Price Point: Mid to high, reflecting its artisanal quality, craft and making our Best Australian whisky list.

Why You Should Try It:

  • Unique malted rye composition.
  • A complex, yet harmonious blend of flavors.
  • Artisanal craftsmanship and innovation.

4. Lark Classic Cask

Why It's a Contender: Lark Classic Cask is the whisky equivalent of a hearty Tasmanian embrace.

It's a whisky that's both robust and refined, with a rich tapestry of peat, vanilla, and citrus notes.

Matured in smaller casks, it develops an intensity and depth of flavor that's both bold and inviting.

Price Point: Higher end, as you would expect from one of the Best Australian whiskies. For those looking for a premium experience.

Why You Should Try It:

  • Intense flavor profile from smaller cask maturation.
  • Beautiful balance of peat, sweetness, and citrus.
  • A classic example of Tasmanian whisky craftsmanship.

5. Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish

Why It's a Contender: Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish is like a surprise gift you didn’t know you needed.

This Tasmanian delight takes the traditional whisky journey and adds a twist, finishing the spirit in Pinot Noir casks.

The result is a beautifully smooth whisky with a subtle complexity, carrying hints of berries, vanilla, and a soft oakiness.

Price Point: Mid-range, accessible for an everyday luxury.

Why You Should Try It:

  • Unique Pinot Noir cask finish adds complexity.
  • Smooth and approachable, with a diverse flavor profile.
  • Excellent value for a whisky of its finesse.

While Sullivans Cove French Oak Single Cask takes the crown in our unofficial best Australian whisky roundup, each of these Australian whiskies brings something special to the table.

They are not just drinks; they are stories in a bottle, tales of innovation, tradition, and the rich tapestry of Australian landscapes.

Whether you're sipping a dram by the fire on a chilly evening or sharing a bottle with friends, these whiskies are sure to provide a memorable experience.

So here's to the best Australian whisky – a world where the spirit of adventure is just a cork away!