There are 18 distilleries in Australia — none of which existed before 1992 — and many of them are located in Tasmania, according to Simon McGoram for The Sydney Morning Herald. While Australia isn’t known worldwide as a whisky-making powerhouse, “Australian whisky is closing the gap on the world’s best,” writes McGoram.
Similar to the distilling renaissance in the United States, Australia’s whisky scene is coming alive, thanks in part to the founder of Lark Distillery, Bill Lark. He “is considered the father modern Australian whisky,” writes McGoram. Lark applied for a received a distilling license in 1992, after a 150-year ban on distilling in Tasmania. He’s since been crucial in rebuilding Australia’s whisky market.
As evidence of this revival, the first annual Australasian Whisky Awards took place this year on July 21. The awards were part of the annual Whisky Show in Sydney. The 2012 edition was the largest show yet, with over 1,000 attendees.
The “Overall Winner” and highest scoring whiskey was Overeem Port Matured Whisky from Tasmania’s Old Hobart Distillery, which opened in 2005. Old Hobart whiskies also took first and second place in the single malt category and first place in the cask strength category.