It looks like you have one of our 3pc Aussie Whisky Tasting Sets. This set is designed to give you a brief glimpse into the styles of whiskies made here. You'll be tasting one single malt whisky, one blended whisky and one rye whisky. We consider these drams to be entry level, meaning they aren't going to do things like blow your head off with lots of smokiness, but we've selected them because they serve as a fruitful introduction to kickstart your exploration of local liquid gold.
Eleven years ago, founder Cameron Syme set up a small distilling operation in Albany. With a background in law and accounting, he was well equipped for the commercial side of the business. Now he just had to learn how to make whisky. Attracted to Albany’s pristine location and access to quality local barley, Cameron set out to make the world’s best whisky and some of WA’s first single malt whisky. Great Southern Distilling has since become one of the country's most recognised whisky brands, with its signature Limeburners whiskies taking out a number of high profile awards in recent years.
Dugite is the latest release from Great Southern Distilling and an addition to their core range. It's a blended grain whisky incorporating some of the distillery's single malt spirit as well as a grain spirit they've made out of barley, corn, wheat and rye. As opposed to the Limeburners series of whiskies that are distilled in shorter and wider stills, Dugite is distilled in a still that towers nine (!) meters into the air with a narrow tapering neck accounting for most of that height. This forces the spirit to have a lot of contact with copper and provides a lot of time for the heavier compounds to condense back down into the boiler. The result is a light, delicate new-make spirit. This spirit is then aged for between two and three years in both brand new American Oak casks and ex-bourbon casks before being blended together for bottling.
The McIntosh family set up a new whisky distillery on the Mornington Peninsula as a nod to their Scottish heritage (McIntosh means 'son of the chief' in Scottish Gaelic). With a vision to becoming a main-stay in the Australian whisky industry, they’ve always had a long-term vision for building up a sustainable stock of aged whisky. To this end, they've been quietly making whisky since 2012, but only launched in 2019. And who said making whisky was easy? Often it involves a big investment that’s only starts to pay off many years down the track.
With only one still, a 4000L copper pot beauty, the distillers at Chief's Son need to climb in and clean it out every time they switch from a wash run (distilling the wash into low wines) to a still run (distilling the low wines into new-make spirit).
The Tanist is a relatively new addition to the distillery's core range of whiskies. Designed as an easy-drinking single malt whisky to please a broad spectrum of whisky lovers, The Tanist is made from mostly pale malt with a very small addition of peated malt. The new-make spirit is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-fortified wine casks for up to five years before being married together and bottled. The ex-bourbon casks typically impart vanilla and honey flavours on the spirit, while the ex-fortified wine casks add sweetness, fruitiness and dark caramel flavours. This technique of using two different casks to age a whisky is traditional and widespread in Scotland.
Straight Rye Whiskey
Inspired by the style of music that shares its name, The Gospel was founded with the vision of producing American whiskey with a unique Australian twist. To date, it's Australia’s only dedicated rye whiskey distillery. Rye is well known for being fiendishly difficult to ferment and distil economically as the yields are typically very low, so hats off to these guys for making it their everything.
This whiskey is made using 100% Australian grown unmalted rye from a single farm in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia. Specifically chosen for its harsh climate, the rye from this area is small and dense, renowned for its distinct spicy flavour. The rye is fermented then double distilled in the distillery's copper pot still.
The new-make spirit is aged in virgin American Oak casks ('virgin' meaning these are brand new casks that have never been used to age other liquids before) which are sourced from a cooperage in Kentucky, US. This is in keeping with the strict regulations imposed upon bourbon producers in the US. Make what you will of the timber waste this generates, but whisky distilleries around the world have embraced the massive numbers of emptied bourbon casks and used them to age their own whiskies. One man's waste is another man's treasure in the whisky industry. The casks themselves are heavily toasted with a specific level of char before being filled with new-make spirit. Each cask then left to mature for at least two years prior to bottling.
Keen to explore more?
Now that you've had a quick preview into Aussie whisky, why not branch out and check out our more in-depth and wide ranging 12pc Australian Whisky Tasting Flight, featuring twelve different delicious drams?
Or, if you've now decided whisky ain't your thing (which is totally fine, by the way), why not check out our other tasting flights which include gin, rum and liqueurs instead?