Whisky devotees will be in heaven with this jam-packed itinerary of whisky-dedicated events.
After enduring a 150-year ban on distilling alcohol, Tasmania has more than made up for lost time. The tiny island state has gained a global reputation for its unique, flavoursome barley, and is now home to more than half of Australia’s whisky distilleries. Devotees of the liquor travel from all over the world in search of the perfect single malt and Tasmanian whisky has become somewhat of a holy grail. Each year in August, the island puts on a very special week of events in celebration of whisky, hosted in distilleries, bars, barns, stables, restaurants and hotels. Enjoy daily bespoke distillery tours, distilling master classes and elegant dinners paired with (you guessed it) some of the best drops on the island - you can opt for as many or as few events as you like. Just be sure to book early as there are limited seats for each event. If you decide to take part in the action, here’s what you’re in for.
How to get there
Events are scattered throughout the island, with the vast majority in and around Hobart. Flights depart regularly for Tasmania from most capital cities, or you can travel via sea from Melbourne to Launceston (three hours from Hobart) on the Spirit of Tasmania.
Go on tour
Each day, a bespoke tour of Tasmania’s whisky distilleries takes place. From the north to the south, there are over 20 on the island, each with their own special story. The tours offer an exclusive chance to explore distilleries, many of which don’t usually open their doors to the public. Enjoy everything from behind-the-scenes tours to meeting the distillers in person, access to unreleased whiskies, and unique dining opportunities where distilleries (both old and new) will recount the successes, challenges and events that have shaped who they are today.
Discover whisky heritage
Bill Lark is considered by many as the godfather of Tasmanian whisky, seeing as he was the one who convinced parliament to repeal the ban on distilling liquor. Lark Distillery subsequently opened in 1992 using barley borrowed from the Cascade Brewery, which Lark credits for giving Tasmanian whisky its distinctive terroir. As part of this special week of whisky appreciation, guests will have the chance to try six whiskies pulled from the Lark vault to see how its whisky has evolved from conception to current day.
Place your bids
Take part in a special night of VIP access to some of the rarest whiskies in Tasmania. The best part? You can take them home with you...for the right price. The Rare Whisky Auction is an event highlight, held at Hadley’s Hotel. It is your chance to add some of the week’s whisky highlights (both local and international drops) to your personal collection. An event not to be missed for any discerning whisky collector.
Enjoy the gourmet delights
Sure, Tasmania does good whisky, but it also has quite the reputation for its super fresh produce and gourmet food scene. Pair your new auction spoils with a special meal in Hobart - try Franklin or The Source - or set off on a gastronomical tasting tour of the island with this 10-day itinerary that covers some of the island’s most delectable culinary treasures. The options are endless.