Best Whisky Distilleries in Tasmania

Updated 9 months ago

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The globally renowned Tasmanian whisky industry is home to more than 50 producers, creating single malt, rye, corn and even oat whiskies. The industry dates to the early 1820s, when some rough and ready trailblazers founded fledgling distilleries in what was then known as Van Diemen’s Land. But distilling was effectively wound up following 1839’s Distillation Prohibition Act, and took well over a century to return.

Lark Distillery founders Bill and Lyn Lark were the catalyst for the present-day boom. In the early 1990s, the couple realised Tasmania was blessed with the perfect requirements for whisky making: pure water, world-class barley and highland peat bogs. With help from a local MP, they obtained the state’s first distilling licence in more than 150 years, and many others followed.

Whisky producers are now dotted right across the breadth of the island, with cellar doors and restaurants turning these distilleries into destinations in their own right. Visit some of these remarkable operations and you’ll see why Tasmania now ranks as one of the world’s great whisky-producing regions.

  • The granddaddy of Tasmania’s – and Australia’s – contemporary whisky scene, founded in 1992. Visit this production HQ to taste the extensive range, and even blend your own gin and whisky.

  • This distillery has been around since 1994. But after winning big global awards, its latest whiskies still sell out in minutes online. If you want to get closer to the action (and score a bottle) it’s just 15 minutes from Hobart.

  • Distilling since 1999, this is one of Australia’s finest whisky producers. Visit the panoramic site to taste peated and unpeated whiskies aged for up to 20 years. It also makes a cracking variety finished in former pinot noir barrels.

  • Now back in the original family’s hands, this relatively early player in the Tasmanian whisky scene is still winning new fans with its exceptional port, sherry and bourbon cask-matured whiskies. Visits are by appointment.

  • Take a tour (appointment only) to see how farmer Peter Bignell produces one of the world’s few paddock-to-bottle, 100 per cent rye whiskies. Then taste some, alongside distilled ginger beer and coffee liqueur.

  • Tucked into the side of Mount Arthur, this family-run, Scottish-inspired operation is perfectly located for both whisky making and tasting. And you can extend your visit overnight, at one of the property’s cabins.

  • Australia’s first female-owned and operated distillery, backed by impressive heritage. Visit the clean, minimalist cellar door to taste its highly sought-after single malt whisky, plus Bush Liqueur and Apothecary gin ranges.

  • Drive through golden fields of barley to find this paddock-to-bottle distillery, helmed by a Lark Distillery and Archie Rose alum. Sample the latest whiskies, gins, vodka and a coffee liqueur, all while overlooking the River Derwent.

  • Inspired by the coastal-influenced single malts of Scotland’s Kintyre Peninsula, this family-run distillery produces subtle and distinctive drams. Taste all its whiskies – plus gin and vodka – at the seaside cellar door.

  • This state-of-the-art distillery centres around an enormous 19th-century mill. Take an interactive, self-guided tour through the heritage grounds before pulling up stumps at the polished in-house restaurant.

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  • Paying homage to its Aboriginal roots, Waubs Harbour Distillery uses the land and sea that surround it to create rich whiskies with oily and salty notes. Enjoy your dram with a view of the wild Tasman sea.

  • Complex, refined spirits are the hallmark of this distillery, where the whiskies are matured in ex-bourbon and fortified wine casks. Sip a nip, buy a bottle or take a tour – all just a 10-minute walk from Launceston Airport.

  • Run by triplet brothers and their dad, this tiny passion project produces just 30 to 40 bottles of nuanced, distinctive whisky at a time, using ancient water from a local spring, barley milled on site and a custom-made still.

  • Using distilling equipment they built themselves, engineers Mark Kolodziej and Tim Freeman produce not only triple-distilled Irish-style single malt whiskey, but other spirits, too – like poitin and gin.

  • This bucolic coastal operation is best known for its unusual American-style bourbon whiskey, a blend of corn, rye and barley. It’s one of just a few examples of its type in Tasmania.

  • Book ahead to ensure you get a tour slot at this windswept distillery, located on Flinders Island in the middle of Bass Strait. It produces rich, smoky peated whiskies in the tradition of Islay.

  • Adams Distillery is one of the bigger small-scale distilleries in Tasmania’s south. Here, you can find a range of bold single malt whiskies poured in a big, airy warehouse and function space.

  • Housed in an old 1840s inn, Old Kempton distils more than a dozen of its own whiskies, gins and liqueurs. Add a cafe and providore and it becomes a one-stop shop on your way between Hobart and Launceston.

  • This small-scale operation is best known for its sought-after single malts, frequently matured in ex-sherry and pinot noir casks. More recently, it’s added gins, aperitifs and other liqueurs and spirits to the roster.

  • Former port, sherry, bourbon and pinot noir casks are the finishing vessels of choice at this multi-talented operation, which makes beer, wine and various spirits in addition to single-malt whiskies.

  • Set in a domestic garage, Fannys Bay is one the smallest distilleries in the state. With help from former port, sherry and wine casks, it nonetheless produces wonderfully rich and textural whiskies with a maritime flavour.