If you’re a whisky or spirit enthusiast looking to explore the hidden depths of Australia’s craft distilleries, then this guide is just what you need. From cosy coastal hideaways in Tasmania to tropical gin makers in Queensland, we will provide an overview of some of Australia’s best distilleries.
On your journey throughout the country, you’ll discover new and exciting flavours from each unique family-owned business; on top of that, these friendly teams are delighted to share their stories with visitors, so it’s sure to be an enjoyable experience! So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the incredible places dotted around down under…
Let’s get started!
1. Whipper Snapper Distillery
Whipper Snapper might well have begun as nothing more than a dream and an old shed, but it has now developed into one of the most reputable distilleries in Perth. Whiskies manufactured by Whipper Snapper are made by hand, include original recipes, and are made using local grains exclusively. You can engage in personal whisky encounters as well as masterclasses, in addition to having the opportunity to attend the tasting area. Head on over to the Whisky & Coffee Bar located right here on the premises if you’d prefer to take it easy and relax.
2. Starward Distillery
The unpredictability of the climate in Melbourne may be a source of frustration for most people. Still, for the people who manufacture whisky at Starward Distillery, it’s an essential component of their business’s success. They claim that the continuously shifting temperatures of the city make it possible for their drams to extract flavour from the casks considerably more quickly than they would in an environment with a consistent climate (Scotland, for example).
Visit this amazing distillery in Port Melbourne to sample their whiskies, which have won multiple awards but are still accessible. You may do so as part of a large tour, a whisky-making workshop, or just by having a beverage with friends in a relaxed setting.
3. Manly Spirits
This tiny distillery has won a number of awards, and the people who work there have a genuine love for spirits. In order to flavour its one-of-a-kind assortment of libations, the Manly Spirits crew uses foraged coastal materials. You can sample their mouthwatering assortment of gin, vodka, and whisky at the distillery’s sampling bar, which is open on weekends (Friday through Sunday) and also hosts tours of the facility. In addition, there is a chance that there is a limited-release batch hiding behind the counter if you’re fortunate.
4. Black Gate Distillery
A distillery that prefers to keep things straightforward can be found in the middle of New South Wales. Black Gate Distillery, which can be reached by automobile in around 5 hours from Sydney, is known for producing single malt whisky, dark rum, and quandong liqueur, utilising time-honoured production techniques and premium-quality materials. Discover more of the finest distilleries that New South Wales has to offer.
Unofficially, the origin of current Tasmanian whisky may be traced back to Lark as the spot where it all got started. And besides, it was while founder Bill Lark and his father-in-law Max were trout fishing in the highlands of Tasmania that the two rubbed their heads and asked, “I am curious why there isn’t someone creating malt whisky in Tasmania.” The temperature, availability of barley, native peat bogs, and clear, soft water were all abundant; however, due to antiquated licencing restrictions, no one had linked the dots for over a century.
Ever since time, Bill has been untiringly working on advertising the Southern island to become one of the best whisky-producing areas on the planet. At the same time, he has expanded his titular distillery from a tiny equipment in his kitchen to a massive copper still that is constantly put throughout its rates of speed to keep up with the demand. The family still runs the business, and the distillery has just been given a renovation that is on par with the best in the world.
6. Margaret River Distilling Company
When it first began operating in 2015, the Margaret River Distilling Company had a lot to demonstrate due to the fact that it is the sister company to the Great Southern Distilling Company.
The Margaret River Distilling Company has gained a reputation as a top contender by providing a comprehensive selection of bespoke spirits. The distillery can be found in the picturesque Margaret River area, which is only three hours away from Perth. In addition to that, it is the only location in all of Australia to house a Giniversity, where guests may learn how to manufacture and mix their own gin.
7. Tamborine Mountain Distillery
The Tamborine Mountain Distillery is a small distillery that uses local flora and fauna in the production of its beverages. It is located on a mountain with a view over the hinterland of the Gold Coast. You’ll get anything from eucalyptus gum leaf vodka to apricot schnapps in this shop. In their sampling area, in which you’ll take your taste receptors on a voyage they won’t soon forget, you can sample a small portion of their enormous selection.
8. Bundaberg Rum
Bundaberg Rum is a Queensland institution with a long and illustrious history that dates back to 1888. This distillery can be found in the town of Bundaberg, which is about four hours’ drive north of Brisbane. The rum that they produce is famous all over the world. Bundaberg produces robust rum that may be sampled and savoured on-site using materials that are gathered from the local area. Those who have a true passion for rum may even have the opportunity to “mix their own rum” as part of an immersive experience.
9. Bakery Hill
Bakery Hill can be found near Balwyn North, only thirty minutes away from the central business district of Melbourne. This variety of Australian whisky has been in existence since the year 2000, and it was publicly accessible to the general public for the very first time in 2003; therefore, it is by no means a novice to the world of Australian drams.
The collection at Bakery Hill features a single cask malt that is either peated or unpeated, with the option to purchase either type at cask strength if that is what the customer prefers. Our favourite is the non-peated cask strength, which starts out a touch harsh on the tongue, but the sweetness that builds up as it goes down is more than enough to make up for it.
10. Morris Rutherglen
Another young and promising Australian Whiskey brand that has gained our attention is Morris Whisky due to its extensive variety of offerings as well as their equally mouthwatering quality. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to sample a good number of the containers, but the Single Malt Muscat Barrel is the one that stands out the most to us. It has a velvety smoothness and a taste that is characterised by rich dark fruits, sweet malt flavours, vanilla, cocoa, and cinnamon spice. In 2022, during the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this exact drop was recognised with the GOLD medal.
11. Little Stiller Distillery
Little Stiller gets local herbs for their gin collection, which includes their hallmark label as well as pink, mandarin, and peach gin, in addition to their vodkas. This allows them to capture the spirit of the Peel region. Choose a customised label for some added merriment, or sign up to be a VIP member to receive advance notice of special deals and limited-edition products. Both options are available to you. In addition to the delectable dishes on the menu, such as Nashville chicken dippers, bento boxes, Berkshire pork, and Amelia lamb, you may have a sampling plate of gin.
12. Archie Rose
This distillery, which is located in Rosebery, is first and primarily a functional production line; yet, its slick Brooklyn-style, industrial fit-out – think copper highlights, retro woods, and whisky barrel booths – and fully equipped bar offer this vintage sipping lair limitless allure. The bar is stocked with every type of alcoholic beverage imaginable, the most of which are made by Archie Rose himself, who is also the proprietor.
You can sample your way through Archie’s outstanding variety of gin, vodka, single-malt whisky, and unaged rye, in addition to a range of regional beers and other boutique beverages. In the event that someone is left looking peckish, there really are snacks and sharing boards available for them to use to soak up all of the alcoholic beverages.
Despite the fact that Overeem only has four items in its main line, the Australian whisky company has kept from innovating in recent years as the whisky industry has become increasingly forward-thinking. At its heart, it gives you a choice between four drams: a Port Cask or Sherry Cask in either distiller’s strength (43%) or cask strength (60%), depending on which you want.
Because it is one of the finest descriptions of Australian whisky’s capability to adapt to conventional ways and still discover new varieties, our preferred drop is the 43% Port Matured. This is because it is one of the strongest indicators of the capacity of Australian whisky to take conventional methods. This whisky has a robust flavour profile, with notes of butterscotch, creme brulee, rum-soaked raisins, and plum pudding all coming through on the tongue. The texture is equally powerful, and the peppery finish is something that we really enjoy.
The oldest distillery in Western Australia that is still operational is also one of the most isolated distilleries in the state. The Hoochery is a no-frills Australian spirit distillery that can be found near Kununurra in the Kimberley region. It is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Visit the Hoochery to sample their selection of rum, which is produced with sugar cane that is cultivated directly outside the building.
15. Poor Toms Gin Hall
Poor Tom’s Gin Hall is unpretentious, enigmatic, and trendy all at the same time. It is located in a warehouse in Marrickville. The hall itself has a church-like atmosphere, complete with a rising archway that is backlit from within, bathrooms that resemble confessionals, and an altar or shrine that is dedicated to Poor Toms’ gin god, Ginsus.
Poor Tom’s Gin Hall is a juniper lovers’ paradise open on the weekends (Friday through Sunday). On the menu, house gins can be ordered in the shape of a traditional G&T, shaken as a martini, or as an exquisite, fruity beverage. The floral strawberry gin and tonic is one of the restaurant’s most popular drinks.
16. Four Pillars Distillery
Four Pillars Distillery, which can be found in the picturesque Yarra Valley, was established with the intention of producing a gin that exemplified contemporary Australia. They have accomplished that objective with their much-loved Rare Dry Gin, but they have not stopped there in their pursuit of excellence. On the menu, you’ll find unique drops such as Spiced Negroni Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin, each of which demonstrates a different facet of the Australian spirit scene. You can get a sample by going to the entrance of the distillery.
17. Bass & Flinders
Located on the breathtaking Mornington Peninsula, just a little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Bass & Flinders was the initial distillery to be established there. Grapes are Bass & Flinders’ sole focus, as the company is located in the heart of a region renowned for its sprawling vineyards.
This small-batch maker takes their product all the way from the vine to the bottle, hand-making their spirit foundation from the fruit that grows right outside their front door. The commitment to using grapes grown in the area is what lends the brandy, gin, and liqueurs that are available to their distinctive taste. Reserving a space at the Gin Masterclass will allow you to create a bottle that is uniquely yours.
18. Kangaroo Island Spirits
Kangaroo Island is not only home to some of the most magnificent wildlife and seafood in the state, but it also features one of the most acclaimed distilleries in the country. Kangaroo Island Spirits is an Australian distillery that produces gin, vodka, and liqueurs by hand in tiny quantities. Visit the historic cellar entrance or the serene Gin Garden to sample the multiple award-winning beverages while enjoying the warm friendliness of the island.
19. Hellyer’s Road
Hellyer’s Road Distillery is an Australian whisky brand that can be found in the town of Burnie, which is located at the most northern point of Tasmania. A group of dairy farmers founded the distillery. It is well known that Northern Tasmania has the purest air in the world, and as a result, it produces a number of the best whisky that can be purchased.
Hellyer’s Road is a well-oiled enterprise that has a higher output compared to some of the other small distilleries in the area; as a result, prices start at $98 AUD, which will not break the bank. In addition, there are over 20 nations where Hellyer’s Road may be purchased, making it one of Australia’s most successful alcoholic beverage exports.
Whisky with a Hint of Smoke that is 10 Years Old
Both the Japanese and European markets are quite enthusiastic about the brand’s 10-year-old whisky that has a light amount of smoke added to it. The tart and fruity taste palate that remains so wonderfully on the end is one of our favourite aspects of this wine.
This one of our favourite peated Australian whiskies is aged in American oak that was previously used for bourbon barrels. The Pinot Cask Finish, Original Single Malt, and an extremely limited-edition 12-Year-Old Original Single Malt are the four primary expressions that this brand offers.
20. Applewood Distillery
Applewood Distillery, which can be found in the lovely Adelaide Hills, is a distillery that does things a little bit differently. Applewood calls the variety of spirits they produce “hyper-creative,” and they embrace the use of local ingredients to produce gin and liqueur that is typical. For example, Okar is an Australian spin on an Italian liqueur that is blended with rare local riberries and strawberry gum leaves. You shouldn’t pass up the chance to try it out!
21. Patient Wolf
Gin-making, sampling, and consuming are just some of the activities that take place inside Patient Wolf’s gleaming Southbank headquarters. They had outgrown their first home in Brunswick, so in 2019, they relocated south and outfitted a red-brick factory with towering copper stills and a sleek new bar.
Here, you may sample all of their products, from light gins with thyme to gins matured in oak barrels. It is an elegant space that seats up to thirty people. Gin enthusiasts who want a sneak peek behind the scenes can also sign up for distillery tours and gin masterclasses, both of which are available for booking.
22. Big River Distillery
Big River Distillery is a beloved among residents of Canberra thanks to its artisan spirits and creative production process. Their goal is to move away from conventional methods by high-quality sourcing herbs – a total of 14 of them – from both Australia and other countries. Either taking a guided tour of the distillery or participating in a sampling there will instil in you a greater understanding for the drinks that are produced using the pure water and fresh air of Canberra.
23. Timboon Distillery
This single malt whisky is produced at the Timboon Distillery, which can be found in the teeny-tiny town of Timboon in Western Victoria. The distillery itself is housed in an old railway station and manufactures a wide variety of alcoholic beverages and liqueurs, including whisky.
Distillery of the Timboon Cask Strength Christie’s Cut
The “Christie’s Cut” whisky produced by Timboon is our top pick among their offerings. Detective Inspector Christie was an ex-boxer, bodyguard to Prince Alfred, and master of disguise. He was recruited by the government to put a stop to the unauthorised distilling practises of moonshiner Tom Delaney, who was famous for his elevated whisky that was created in Timboon.
The name of this whisky is a hilarious tribute to Detective Inspector Christie. He was known for his work in Timboon. The whisky itself is a stunning illustration of an unfettered single-malt Australian scotch whisky. It has a lovely thickness, a well-balanced flavour profile, and a very smooth and refreshing aftertaste.
24. Little Lon Distilling Co.
The Little Lon Distilling Company is a micro-distillery that produces handmade gin in small batches and may be found inside a quaint home in the central business district. They have a gin still in one room and fermentation containers in another. Unfortunately, their licence only allows for a capacity of twenty people.
Make a reservation to ensure a space at their inviting cocktail lounge or, if the weather is nice, the spacious garden where you may have a naughty G&T or two. Choose to participate in a masterclass that offers a tour of the distillery as well as a supervised sampling of their numerous infused gins, such as rhubarb and violette or fresh lychees, in order to get the most out of your visit.
25. Nonesuch Distillery
The Nonesuch Distillery is a family-run business located just a half-drive hour’s outside of Hobart in the surrounding countryside. Despite its diminutive size, the cellar door is responsible for the production of a few of the finest handmade gin and whisky in Tasmania. Visit us for a sample of all we offer, including our highly forward-thinking Hemp Gin, developed via many distillations.