Best-selling Whisky In Australia – Last week I got an angry email from a reader. It was a recent whiskey review and the article was about how “expensive” (his words) the whiskeys were. He didn’t understand how people bought it because the average price per bottle was about $280 and they were all 500 ml. He says all Australian whiskey is expensive. He wants to buy some, but it costs over $100, maybe $150 for a bottle.
Bad language was used in the email and I disagree with this man’s assessment of the Australian industry. But I sympathize with his pain. I’ll even let you in on a little secret (but don’t tell anyone): I spend over $100 on a bottle of whiskey (oh, finally said).
Best-selling Whisky In Australia
To the? I have been a bartender and writer for most of my adult life, professions not synonymous with buying expensive whiskey. If I regularly spent $150 on a bottle of whiskey, my partner would kick me down the stairs too.
Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky
Thanks to these qualities, I have tasted hundreds of Australian whiskeys and several thousand international whiskeys during my travels. But here’s my question to my correspondent and all the angry people out there: “Why is Australian whiskey so expensive?” Yelling and banging on your keyboard is useless.
Industry data shows that most Australians rarely buy whiskeys under $80-$90 (see the previous article on Australian whiskeys under $90). But most Australian whiskeys, especially single malts, fall in the $120-$250 range, and some punters aren’t satisfied with the lack of Australian Glen Moray to take home with the locals.
Why is that? Most Australian whiskey distilleries are small businesses. They are not designed to produce large amounts of alcohol like many large foreign distilleries. Most of the more than 60 whiskey producers in Australia are small and independent companies.
Meanwhile, four or five major conglomerates own three quarters of Scotland, and only a dozen companies own most of the Bourbon on our shelves. As a result, major Scotch and Bourbon producers are able to competitively price their whiskeys thanks to revenues from other areas of their business and the fact that they are very efficient at whiskey production. These factors, plus unfavorable taxes, mean that Australian whiskey will be slightly more expensive than its international competitors in the future.
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As the Australian industry grows, I have no doubt that prices will fall, especially as the big players enter the market and take advantage of economies of scale. Today’s Australian whiskey industry is still young and in some cases competes with distilleries that have been around for over 200 years. So let them! Whiskey takes time. Be patient my friends.
However, Australian manufacturers are feeling the pinch, which brings us to the whole point of this Clickbaity list. As you’ll see below, higher end Australian single malt whiskeys are now selling online for around $90-$130 – an interesting trend given the quality on offer and independent Scottish estates such as Kilchoman and Arran. Wolfburn and Daftmill are in the same price range.
You won’t find many Australian single malts on this list, as I’m stuck with 700ml bottles (except Korova Heroes, because it’s so cheap). Many of us wish Australian whiskey came in a 700ml bottle, like the standard abroad. But Australian producers use 500ml bottles for a variety of reasons, mostly to give consumers a taste of limited editions, and I’m not happy with their decision.
Single malts don’t get the attention they deserve. Deliberate, distinctive – that marine, waxy character is a constant feature – and the baseline is now well defined and always drinks better. Get to know these three and then explore their unique casks and peat, serving some of the best single malt whiskeys around for a pure blend.
Buy Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch Whisky 1 Litre Online In Australia At Gooddrop
A newcomer to the Australian single malt whiskey scene. This bottle will be the flagship of the 5Nines expression, although it may vary from competitor to competitor depending on which barrels are used. It has a lot of flavor thanks to the influence of South Australian peat which is sometimes used to lightly roast the barley, similar to the Lark Distillery method. The 5Nines team will be releasing some exciting single malts from South Australian wineries in the coming years, so stay tuned.
This release comes from Naomi and Stuart Mackintosh’s distillery in the Mornington Peninsula. Tanist hit the shelves last month and is aimed at those who hate the high prices of Australian whiskey. Perfect for beginners and seasoned whiskey enthusiasts alike, the whiskey is aged in ex-bourbon casks for its sweetness, while Australian fortified malts and peated malt add depth and appeal. It is the perfect introduction to the Captain’s Son series, where there is a variety of specialty malts, cask types and aging regimes to suit every taste and style.
Hellyers Road has been largely overlooked in Australia. A bit of unease in the early years caused many to write off this leading Tassie distiller, and now that the world’s most prestigious international whiskey critics rank Hellers as the best in the business, we hope to wake up. this is good. The core Hellyers range here is in a league of its own, offering whiskeys from various years all under $150 – an honest win. The 15 year old is one of the best Australian whiskeys on the market by the pound, and some of their wares, particularly the heavily peated estates, are excellent.
This blended malt comes from one of the most humble, forward-thinking distillers in the country. Loch’s ales, whiskeys and gins have won Melinda and Craig Davies, the husband-and-wife duo behind the brewery and distillery, in front of legions of loyal fans. They have just released their eleventh whiskey release and interesting to our history Loch has gone from a 500ml bottle to a 700ml bottle over the past twelve months and is now selling for $149 to throw in their unique features. Great value in an Australian context, and if you haven’t tried Loch Ale alongside their single malts you are seriously missing out.
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Starward is the benchmark for affordable, tasty, diverse Australian single malt whisky. They are now making an international mark on Australian whiskey and the recent release of Starward Fortis has further cemented their position at the top of the pyramid. Fruitier, cask influenced and generally light in flavor than most malt and cask whiskeys in Australia, Starward appeals to all types of whiskey aficionados, many of them positively, some not. Forget the noise, try the whiskeys, decide for yourself. Your wallet will thank you later.
I attended the launch of Distillery 23 in 2016 and have closely followed the progress of the distillery as they have produced a range of brandies, gins and, as of 2019, this delicious single malt whiskey (evaluate here). Like Starward, it is on the fruity end of the spectrum, but differs from Starward and most Australian single malt whiskeys in that it is aged exclusively in ex-Bourbon casks, not oak. It’s more of a classic Speyside malt so if that’s your jam it’s worth checking out.
This is a cask number of red wines from the certified team at Corowa Distilling Co – a must visit if you are in the area. The wine cellars, ex-shiraz, Rutherglen and the Barossa beans, and the team at Corowa have done an excellent job of ensuring that these wines do not contain too much tannin or spirit. Even the 500ml is a great value (see here) and once you’ve done that, there’s another world of limited edition Corowa casks and bottles to explore.
They are an ambitious couple at Adams Distillery, and their first single malt of 2018 is quietly gaining fans and a cult following. These are bold, full-bodied Tassie whiskies, with specialty malts adding weight, sharpness and smoke, while aging in a variety of casks – bourbon, amber, aperret and red wine – has produced some interesting whiskies. I love the Bourbon Cask release – it gives you a real glimpse into the complex mind of Adams. Yes, Adams whiskeys are usually over $150, but without them Tassie would be underrepresented here.
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Archie Rose’s new single malt was one of Australia’s biggest whiskey releases of 2020. The Sydney Distillery’s Rye Malt Whiskey has won the ‘World’s Best Whisky’ award at a major international competition. So expectations were high when the single malt was released and it’s not surprising. The chocolatey, cocoa character comes from the unique six-malt puree. Aging in ex-casks of Aperez, Bourbon and Archie Rose and it’s a great experience. Interesting