by Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, Drinks Editor
The Land Down Under is known for many things from kangaroos to didgeridoos and Shiraz to sheep. Whiskey, however, has never figured on that list, at least on an international scale. Recently, however, Australia has been producing award-winning whiskies that have garnered worldwide attention. As noted in a story on D'marge, a digital Australian men's style magazine, five of these bottlings truly stand out.
Bakery Hill Cask Strength
Each bottle is sourced from a single barrel and bottled at cask strength. The whiskey comes in at a whopping 60% ABV. Flavors of toffee and malt meld with a hint of peat.
Hellyers Road Pinot Noir Finish
Using Tasmanian barley and local rainwater, Hellyers is first aged in American oak ex-bourbon barrels, then transferred to French oak barrels that once contained Tasmanian Pinot Noir. The result is full of citrus, pepper, and spice.
Starward Wine Cask Single Malt
Locally sourced barrels previously used for wine add a complex palate that encompasses red berries, cinnamon, and spice. This Aussie import won a double Gold Medal at the 2015 World Spirits Awards.
Sullivan's Cove French Oak Cask
Employing premium French oak barrels, Sullivan's Cove was the first single malt to win World's Best (2014) that wasn't from Scotland or Japan. At $450 a bottle, it's an indulgence, but worth consideration for true connoisseurs.
Sullivan's Cove American Oak Cask
A bit less expensive than its French oak cousin, the American Oak Cask has won twice as many awards (Double Gold at the World Spirits Competition 2015) and was noted as "liquid gold" by Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible. Made from Tasmanian barley, it offers flavors of fruit, citrus, and vanilla.