Photo: BAROSSA DISTILLING CO.
We have compiled a list of the must-try whisky bars and distilleries in Adelaide.
World Whisky Day started in 2012 by founder Blair Bowman in the hope that it would be an approachable way for whisky newbies to give the smoky drink a go.
So for any whisky newbies wanting to dip their toes in, or even if you’re an avid whisky drinker already, here’s a list of some of the best places & SA whiskies for you to try.
Distilleries with cellar doors
Distilleries without cellar doors
DISTILLERIES WITH CELLAR DOORS
Tria Prima was established as a small family business in 2017 by owners Paul and Trang Shand with a view to producing premium malt whisky. They follow the traditional distilling techniques of the ancient Celtic alchemists, honed by Australian ingredients and an arid environment to create a unique single malt whisky which reflects our values of quality and transparency.
Tria Prima distillery is located in the picturesque Adelaide Hills approximately 4 km from Mount Barker Summit. At Tria Prima they foster creativity but respect tradition. They do their own mashing and fermentation using Australian barley. This is followed by a long and slow distillation in their Australian-made 2200 litre copper pot still.
Their aim is to highlight different styles of malt whisky in relation to cask type used for maturation. They use a range of cask sizes (100-300 litre) and type (inter alia tawny, apera, bourbon, rum, red wine and champagne style wine) to produce different taste profiles. Their label designs by local Adelaide artist and graphic designer Matt Kavanagh reflect the quality of spirit and the magic of alchemy. Their products are all non-chill filtered with no added colouring. Although the focus is on single malt whisky, their future plans also include pot still rum.
Tria Primia is located at 31 Oborn Road, Mount Barker
78 Degrees Distillery
78 Degrees Distillery was founded in 2014 by winemaker Sacha La Forgia. After completing his degree, Sacha left Australia to work 13 vintages in famed wine-making regions across the globe. During his final stop in Frulia Italy, Sacha spent time at a Grappa distillery where he met a distiller who recognised his ability and passion and encouraged him to return to Australia and start his own distillery. Sasha decided on the name 78 Degrees, because 78° is the boiling point of alcohol. Water boils at 100° so 78° is the magic number that lets us distil. Sasha launched with gin, and for their Gin, all of their botanicals are extracted at 78° which is much lower than other distilleries.
In 2016, Steve Dorman and Toby Kline of The Hills Cider Company joined Sacha and together they embarked upon the next stage of 78 Degrees Distillery – expanding the product range and increasing production capabilities.
78 Degrees now have 5 whiskies in their range including Australian Whisky, Muscat Finish Whisky, Ginger Ale Cask Whisky, 2022 Native Grain Whisky, and Melbourne FC 2021 Premiership Whisky.
Twenty Third Street Distillery get the name from their location, situated on the corner of Twenty Third Street & Renmark Avenue in Renmark, South Australia. The distillery creates a range of award-winning products including brandy, gin, rum, vodka and of course, whisky. Twenty Third Street offer up two different whiskeys – the Hybrid Whisk(e)y and their Single Malt Whisky.
Twenty Third Street dare to blend the best of both worlds for their Hybrid Whisk(e)y: Scotch with Bourbon. Round malted flavours, rich sherry characters and toasty oak bamboozle and seduce. Why can’t we all get along this well? It’s also won a swag of awards including Silver, World Whisky Awards 2019 | Silver, San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2018 | Silver Outstanding Medal, International Wine & Spirits Competition 2017 | Bronze Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 | Bronze Medal, Australian Distilled Awards 2017.
XXIII the connoisseurs’ range from 23rd Street Distillery explores rare territory with their signature adventurous spirit – the Single Malt Whisky. This 100% Australian Single Malt Whisky has been patiently biding its time. Australian Pale Malt, distilled in their towering twin copper pots and aged in first-fill ex-Bourbon American oak. Matured to an assertive, balanced complexity over four Riverland summers. Due to its Southern Hemisphere birth, swirl anti-clockwise in the glass to waken its slumber and unlock sensory treasures including honey, tangerine, cardamom, and brioche.
Twenty Third Street Distillery is located at Corner of Renmark Avenue and Twenty Third Street, Renmark.
The Fleurieu Distillery is located in the centre of the historic Goolwa Wharf Precinct, and is known for distilling its award-winning Single Malt Whisky. On the waters edge of the river port of Goolwa, the whisky develops expressive maple and vanilla oak overtones mixed with spicy sea-air aromas. These elegantly combine to create a smooth bodied character that comes only from maturation on the southern coast. The distillery and brewery is open for tasting and sales Wednesday to Sunday, from 11.30am to 4.30pm.
The Fleurieu Distillery is located at 1 Cutting Road, Goolwa.
Sunny Hill Distillery
Sunny Hill Distillery sits atop one of the highest points on the Yorke Peninsula 5km North of the township of Arthurton. The tasting room and deck have amazing rural views to the North and West overlooking some of the best cereal cropping land in the state. Built on our family founded and owned farm since 1872, their modern distillation journey has now begun.
Sunny Hill Distillery Whisky is made using barley grown on their property. When the grain is ready, they take it off site to get malted. This Sunny Hill Malt Barley then forms 100% of their grain bill which is mashed, fermented, distilled and laid to rest in an oak cask. Projected first release of Whisky will be late 2021.
Sunny Hill is located at 8658 Upper Yorke Road, Arthurton SA
Barossa Distilling Co.
Known for their amazing range of gins, Barossa Distilling Co, is on the cusp of releasing their first Whisky. Stay tuned for more inforation.
Barossa Distilling Co is located at Provenance Building 18-28 Tanunda Road, Nuriootpa SA 5355
DISTILLERIES WITHOUT CELLAR DOORS
Tin Shed Distilling Co
The lads at Tin Shed Distilling Co have been distilling whisky for over 15 years, a very long time by Australian standards. Their passion and mantra are simple, just make whisky that we enjoy drinking and are proud of.
At the Shed they don’t use fancy or sophisticated mash bills, fancy barrels or spruik marketing bullshit. Iniquity is made in the traditional double-distilled, Scottish pot still style using good local malt, local peat, local Mallee root smoke and good local barrels. Making whisky isn’t rocket science. Making a great whisky is all about patience, practice and passion, things found in abundance at Tin Shed Distilling Co.
For the third year in a row, Tin Shed Distilling Co.’s Iniquity has won Gold at the World Whisky Awards. This year it was in the category of Australian Singe Cask, Single Malt NAS.
For more info or to buy online, visit https://tinsheddistillingco.com.au/collections/iniquity-whisky
Mount Compass Spirits
Formed in 2014 by owners David and Jenny Martin with a view to producing quality craft spirits. David and Jenny were both born in Liverpool, England and moved to Australia in 2009. Jenny is a nurse and David a research chemist.
David had been producing home made wines and beers with his father since he was 13. Living so close to the wine region of McLaren Vale he wanted to see if his hobby could be turned into a full time business. However, the cost and number of producers was already high but what was noticed was how little spirits consumed in Australia are actually produced here. The idea was borne and lots of hard work and filling of forms was undertaken.
Mount Compass make a Contempt Single Barrel Whisky derived from American Oak barrels.
For more info visit https://mountcompassspirits.com.au/
Two guys, David Pearse and Steven Griguol, created 5Nines with one sole passion – to create the perfect spirit. At 5Nines they’re all about trying to achieve perfection. 5Nines – 99.999% perfection.
They are a small batch distillery located in the picturesque Adelaide Hills, specialising in hand crafted single malt whisky, gin and other premium spirits.
One of their special offers is the 5Nines Whisky Barrel Experience, where you can take advantage of the unique opportunity to purchase a selected cask, and fill it with their hand crafted malt spirit. They will mature it for you into your very own whisky. It’s matured in their bond store for a number of years, giving you the perfect reason to come and visit them!
5Nines doesn’t have a cellar door currently.
One of SA’s most awarded small bars, this nautically themed gin & rum bar has a strong penchant for whisky and cigars. Their spirit range is extensive, with an expert knowledge to match. The bar itself is situated in the west-end, surrounded by heritage buildings right in the heart of the CBD. As you enjoy the taste of your drink, you can choose from the delicious bar menu on offer; including burgers, fried chicken, and fries.
Hains & Co is located 23 Gilbert Place, Adelaide.
Malt & Juniper is another small bar located on Adelaide’s iconic Peel St laneway. The bar’s aesthetic and décor references classic bars of times gone by; moody, slightly modernist, and a bit botanical. The whisky available is sourced from almost every region with prices ranging from affordable to not-so-affordable. There is something for everyone’s tastes and budgets.
Malt & Juniper is located at 18 Peel St, Adelaide.
Suzie Wong has the self-proclaimed biggest whisky collection in South Australia, with an impressive 500 bottles. They offer classic whisky-based cocktails and delicious signature drinks, alongside an Asian-driven bar menu for you to enjoy.
Suzie Wong is located at 82 Hindley Street, Adelaide.
Tucked away in the east end, Baddog is fitted out with timber, leather booths, exposed lighting and raw concrete floors and has become a local favourite for those wanting something with a little more edge. It can be a little difficult to find, but this bar really is the definition of a hidden treasure and is well worth the effort. With over 120 bottles of booze on the wall, you can select from Baddog’s impressive whiskey and gin collections.
Baddog Bar is located at 63 Hyde Street, Adelaide.
The Bibliotecha Bar and Book Exchange is a European style bar focusing on spirits from around the world, classic cocktails… and some books because why not? There are more than 100 whisky’s to choose from in this small bar, drawn from Scotland, Japan, France, India and more. If you’re after a bar with a fun twist, check out Bibliotecha this World Whisky Day.
The Bibliotecha Bar and Book Exchange is located at 1/27 Gresham St, Adelaide.
NOLA is a New Orleans inspired bar and eatery, with a whisky collection of over 350 that is forever changing and evolving. The space occupies the former horse stables which were attached to the Stag Hotel, and the remaining sandstone adds to the rustic charm of the American-influenced bar. The wooden stools and booths make this the perfect place to try some whisky with friends.
NOLA is located on 28 Vardon Avenue, Adelaide.
Deli Cellar is possibly Adelaide’s smallest boutique bar, licensed for just 35 people. With an emphasis on cocktails, wine, gin and whisky, this hidden gem is the perfect place for office knock-offs or for an event.
Deli Cellar is located 12 Waymouth Street, Adelaide.
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