Australia’s whisky industry is clearly starting to boom. We at Dramnation have once again recently returned from another pilgrimage to Australia’s whisky motherland, Tasmania, the state that gave the rebirth to our water of life.
Making this pilgrimage to Tasmania while sorting out access into the distilleries is not as hard as you may think. Our experience proves there is one true solution to getting access into the Tassie distilleries and that is through the Tasmanian Whisky Tours.
Tasmanian Whisky Tours is the original tour business geared specifically towards whisky. They have literally blazed the way for what is starting to become known as the Tasmanian whisky trail. Day tours cost $249AU, last for approximately 8hrs, and will take you to between 3 to 4 distilleries a day depending on each distillers locality, needs of the group, and how distilleries are placed for taking guests. This cost covers transport, guided tours, distillery access, gourmet lunch, and all whisky and other spirits sampled on the day.
Like wineries most distilleries in Tasmania have a cellar door you can roll up to and do a tasting. Just hitting up the cellar doors is not the point of Tasmanian Whisky Tours. Owner and operator Brett Steel ensures special access to the distilleries via tours of the inside of facilities, talks with the distillers themselves, wanders through the bonds stores (personal favourite), and tastings of current to upcoming releases. If you are not dipping your finger in the wort, sipping new make spirit straight off the still, or nosing a barrel of a distilleries next big thing then we can assume you have not been on the Tasmanian Whisky Tours.
Bookings are easy and best done online. Simply enter the dates you are looking to go on tour, check availability, then lock it in. Don’t leave it too late to book tough. We recommend getting in weeks if not months early. If you are already in Hobart bookings can be made in person at the William McHenry Distillery Shop, in the Brooke St Pier, Hobart.
Each tour starts at approximately 9am at the Lark Distilleries cellar door for a lesson on Tasmania’s whisky history and how whisky is made before enjoying a dram of Bill Lark’s breakfast whisky. Soon after you board the chauffeur driven bus that take you through the Tasmanian countryside on onto the nominated distilleries. Through the day a gourmet lunch is served at either a distilleries secluded fireplace, on the side of a mountain overlooking the Tasmanian southern peninsula, or one of any other amazing locations encountered on the way. Cross your fingers because Bill Lark might just be sitting at the Lark cellar door in Hobart enjoying a dram as you return. It has happened to us more than once.
Of course it has to be said the golden egg on these tours is Brett’s intimate knowledge of everything whisky while knowing the secret handshakes that get you meeting the whisky makers and go behind the scenes of the distillation process.
On this particular tour featured in the images we set off from the Lark Cellar Door in Hobart, ventured into Sullivan's Cove Distillery, made our way out to the islands southern peninsula to lunch at the top of the mountain at McHenry Distillery, before closing off the day at a new distillery just opened titled Nonesuch. Depending on the tour schedule other distilleries on the list may included Lark & Old Hobart Distilleries, Redlands Estate, Belgrove Distillery, Shene Estate, or the Richmond Tasting House. With new distilleries coming online all time time this list is sure to expand.
We cannot say enough good things about Tasmanian Whisky Tours and highly recommend the tours as the ingredient to build a Tasmanian holiday around. No whisky snobbery to be seen, these tours are perfect for beginners to high level appreciators side by side.
For a full immersion into whisky, Tasmanian Whisky Tours is also running 3 day tours in conjunction with Whisky Live. Lastly be sure to also check out the Tasmanian Cider Tours run by Brett and his crew. Based very much on the grounds of the whisky tours it is also something not to be missed.