Tasmanian whisky has developed somewhat of a mystical quality in whisky echelons around the globe. This little island resides at 42 degrees south, on the bottom end of Australia and has been painted in antipodean ruggedness, forged on the back of convict labour.
The reality of today’s Tasmania is probably a little different from the popular perception of Tasmania. In global terms, the state of Tasmania (Tassie as it liked to be called) is a village. Its 520,000 people are thinly spread over the landscape and meld nicely from the harbour of Hobart across into some of the world’s greatest wilderness world heritage areas. It is the southern-most region of Australia, an island, and a short over the ditch from New Zealand.
In Tasmania, whisky is a way of life. Not in the ‘everyone drinks whisky cocktails in the streets way’ but more that its growth has been so rapid and visible that it has permeated into the local culture and the local psyche. The craft brewing scene in Tasmania has kept pace with the emerging whisky industry and works side by side sharing ideas, people, tasting events and creating whisky wash for local distilleries. In this whisky village, everyone knows a distiller, is friends with a distillery owner or has a mate making wash for a distillery. It should be no surprise then the Tasmanian Whisky Academy has emerged as an experience that capitalised on whisky life in this lovely island state.
Tasmanian whisky trades on a wonderful combination of some of the freshest water on the planet, a great environment for rapid maturation and access to salty coastal air. There are around 20 distilleries in the state, with more coming on line, and some fairly handy distillers busy making great spirit. The whisky which is made in small batches around the state, is rated highly and it hard to get hold of. For people who love a great whisky then a visit
to Tasmania offers by far the best experience and opportunity to try and buy Tasmanian whisky.
One of the advantages of the village approach to life in Tasmania is that there is rarely a distillery you can’t visit, or a distiller you can’t meet and every single distillery offers a different story, a different experience and thankfully a different whisky (and most probably a gin crafted from Australian native plants). The greatest problem will be choosing a favourite.
For people who are looking for something a little more intimate, the Tasmanian Whisky Academy has created the Introduction to Tasmanian Distilling. It shares with students, the twenty or so current distilleries in the state, takes you on a journey of what makes Tasmanian whisky unique and essentially runs through the whisky making process from grain to bottle.
The course provides a special day-long learning experience about whisky making, taking you to Tasmania’s leading craft brewer – the MooBrew Brewery and at the award winning Sullivans Cove Distillery. Hadley’s Orient Hotel
will look after Whisky Academy guests, the Frogmore Creek Winery provides a special lunch, and people who join the course will be given a special gift and certificate upon completion, before heading back to the Hadley’s bar.
If you’re heading to Tassie for whisky, then don’t just come for the day. If you’re doing the Tasmanian Introduction to Distilling, offered as a special Thursday experience once a month, then also take in a Signature Tour at
Drink Tasmania or a special gin making course at one of the local distilleries on the Friday. Follow this up with a walk through Salamanca and visit one of the many whisky bars that will take you into the weekend.
There is a veritable grab bag of food and whisky delights in Tasmania that starts with seafood, fresh produce and great restaurants and finishes with wine, gin, whisky, cider and beer. Tasmania’s Introduction to Distilling is
available at www.whiskyacademy.com.au. Special requests and assistance for people from around the globe are available by contacting the Academy. www.discovertasmania.com.au can help you work out what else you would like
to do while you’re here.
Tasmanian Whisky Academy