We’ve already covered places like Norway, Belgium and Taiwan, so let’s take a look at some other places that you might be surprised to hear make Whisky.
Down SouthOn the other side of the equator (assuming you’re reading this in the northern hemisphere) there are lots of places that make Whisky. South Africa is home to the only commercial Whisky distillery on the continent of Africa.
1. South AfricaThe James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington has been producing grain Whisky since 1872. Their sixth Master Distiller Andy Watts has worked hard to put the brand on the map, bringing it up to an international standard. It has now won multiple awards and been named best world Whisky several times.
Bain’s is an interesting Whisky because Watts, who founded the brand, wanted to do something a bit different. Working on it, he created a smooth Whisky with a slightly American Bourbon character to it.
If you’re looking to enjoy some, we recommend the Bain’s Single Grain, or Three Ships 10 Year Old Single Malt, which is also made at James Sedgwick Distillery.
Down South and a bit to the rightNow if we move a few km further to the right of the world map we’ll find two other countries that you might not have heard of as Whisky producers; Australia and New Zealand.
2. AustraliaAustralia has quite a few distilleries actually, which might be unexpected considering how much they probably lose to the angels’ down there.
Not to be dismayed, there are quite a number of distilleries in Australia, most of which are concentrated on Tasmania. Consider it the Islay of Australia. Only with many more distilleries; 31 to be precise.
Some notable distilleries include Starward, Lark, Sullivan’s Cove, Hellyers Road, Limeburners and Bakery Hill. Again, there are quite a lot to get through so we’re going to leave it at that. But you should know that at the same time as the spike in interest in Whisky generally, Australia has also seen a massive boom in demand for their malt.
Sullivan’s Cove Double Cask is well worth taking a look at, as is Lark Single Cask Whisky. The angels’ clearly aren’t getting all of the stuff.
3. New ZealandIn a similar vein, New Zealand is also seeing a rise in interest in their malt. Although they do not have the same number of distilleries, there has still been a significant rise in interest in the malt made here, especially from craft distillers.
Thomson Whisky for example, are one of a new breed of distillers in New Zealand who are embracing Whisky, but in a very Kiwi way.
Where once producers were buying up old stock from distillers that had ceased production, such as Willowbank, they are now creating their own malts, on their own terms.
They are innovating with maturation methods, introducing casks like red Wine and Manuka wood, trialling what a New Zealand whisky should taste like. There are some really interesting things going on here.
Manuka Smoke Progress Report and South Island Peat Progress Report really speak for themselves.
Now back up northLet’s go a bit further north now…
4. Israel... and look at Israel, who have had a number of Whisky distilleries pop up recently. These include Golan Distillery, Pelter Distillery and Milk & Honey in Tel Aviv.
While most countries have been seen huge pick up in popularity across the world, Israel has seen a surge at home. It used to be that Whisky wasn’t massively popular there, but this has changed in the last decade.
Since this is a relatively new venture for the distillers there, as well as the country itself, there is a lot of room to experiment. This has seen creations such as malt made from chickpeas, herbal Liqueurs and lightly peated malts matured in Bourbon barrels.
To really get a taste for the quality malt they make at Milk & Honey, we recommend The Single Malt Whisky Founder’s Edition or Orphaned Land, a really intriguing Young Malt (read: aged less than three years) that has been matured in ex-Bourbon, ex-Islay and new oak casks.
There is a lot going on in the Israeli Whisky world and we can’t wait to see what comes next. This seems to be reflective of the world at large, especially since Whisky has become the drink of choice for many.
Places like Scotland, Japan, Ireland and America have dominated the Whisky industry for decades, if not centuries, so it will be refreshing to see what else is out there, and what we have to look forward to.
Have you tried any new-world Whisky? What have you been impressed by? Let us know!