Whisky Magazine Issue 138
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Where Aussies are making strides in whisky distilling
Australia is the only island continent, the sixth largest country in the world, where 60 per cent of the population huddle around five coastal cities. It is a land of droughts and flooding rains. A landscape of tropical jungles, deserts to snowy alpine mountains, where sugar cane plantations and vineyards are as bountiful as the fields of grain. It should come as no surprise the similar extremes can be found in Australian whisky. These extremes make Australia's whiskies fascinating, diverse and surprising.
It should be pointed out we have broken down Australia into mainland which is detailed below and Tasmania which is featured from page 78.
Australia and whisky
Let's start with Australia's drinking habits. A nation famous for beer drinking (fitting connection to whisky), for the past 130 years has ranked as the world's highest in per capita consumption of whisky. It remains Australia's favourite spirit at almost half of all spirits consumed. In the late 1940s, Australian whisky was 85 per cent of whisky sales; the 1960s 80 per cent blended Scotch, today Bourbon is 60 per cent. Domestic whisky brands now only contribute 0.2 per cent to sales volume. High prices and limited distribution are two impediments. Ready to Drink (RTD) have been an Australian phenomenon since 1960s. This pre-mixed format still represents around 13 million cases (average 5% ABV), mostly whisky and cola mix in cans and single serve bottles. These major shifts in whisky partially explain the diversi...