Whisk-ory A History

Whiskey (or whisky) is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grain mash, aged in wooden casks.

The origin of the word 'whiskey' can be traced back to the Classical Gaelic word 'uisge beatha' meaning 'water of life', also known as 'aqua vitae' in Latin.

The art of distillation was first founded in ancient Mesopotamia, used to produce perfumes and aromatics, and then later by Christian monks who used the process to make medicines.

The origin of whiskey, however, began in the 11th century when travelling monks introduced the distilling technique to Ireland and Scotland. The monasteries, lacking vineyards and grapes, turned to ferment grain mash, resulting in the first distillations of modern whiskey.

The Bushmills Distillery is licensed in Northern Ireland and holds the title of the oldest licensed whiskey distillery in the world.

Whiskey first came to Australia with the Scottish and Irish settlers. Sorell Distillery in Hobart was the first of 16 distilleries that opened in Tasmania before the state government enacted the Prohibition Distillation Act, banning spirits production in 1839.

In 2014, Sullivan’s Cove won 'World’s Best Single Malt' at the World Whiskies Awards, bringing Australian whiskey to the global stage. There are over 300 distilleries across Australia, with Tasmania having the most distilleries of any state, with over 22 distilleries in 2020.

IMAGE - Wood engraving of Warrenheip Distillery, near Ballarat, October 20, 1863 // Samuel Calvert (State Library Victoria).

Types of Whiskey

Discover the rich and diverse world of whiskey, unlock unique flavours and aromas, and find your new favourite.

Scottish whiskey is made from malted barley and aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Single malt scotch is made from 100% malted barley, while blended scotch is a combination of single malt and grain whiskey.
Typically made from a mash of malted and un-malted barley, and aged for at least three years. It is known for its smooth and gentle flavour.
Made in the United States, from corn and aged in charred oak barrels. It has a sweet, caramel and vanilla flavour.
A North American whiskey, made from a mash of rye and aged in charred oak barrels. It has a spicy, bold and robust flavour.
Made from a blend of different grains, such as corn, wheat, and barley, and aged for at least three years. It is known for its smooth and easy-drinking flavour.
Similar to scotch in terms of production methods and aging, it has a unique and distinct flavour.
Known for its unique and diverse styles, using different types of grains and experimenting with various cask finishes.