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If You Love Whisky, You Need To Put These NSW Distilleries On Your Travel List

It may not be QUITE time for domestic travel, but it’s sure as hell time to start thinking about it. Maybe even planning a few itineraries.

To me, when I think winter travel in Australia, I think weekend getaways to cosy places with good food and drinks.

Which makes a trip to one of New South Wales‘ many local distilleries the perfect plan: you’re inside nice and warm, sipping on top notch liquors made right on site. PLUS you’re helping out local businesses, so everybody wins.

Here are 11 of the best whisky distilleries around the state to tick off your tasting list. Many of them are open for (socially distanced) business, and others will be opening soon.

#1 Archie Rose Distilling Co

 

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This gin distillery is basically a household name in Sydney, and now it’s taking on whisky too. In fact, a cask sample of its Rye Malt Whisky won gold at London’s International Wine & Spirit Competition. While all their events have moved online at the moment, you can expect things like Japanese or Australian whisky masterclasses back in action when the world is.

#2 Manly Spirits

 

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Known in Sydney’s Northern Beaches for their gins and vodkas, Manly Spirits are moving into whisky later this year with their North Fort Whisky. The bar is dog-friendly, super chill and offers tours (or at least, will again soon), making it the perfect weekend activity.

#3 Earp Distilling Co

 

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This family-owned distillery in Newcastle has already made a name for itself producing gins in its Dutch 5000-litre still, nicknamed Zeus, and their DIY gin classes. But you can’t overlook the top notch whisky it has ageing in a barrel, ready for your tastebuds. Sign up for a tour or workshop for a little extra zest.

#4 Lord Byron Distillery

I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about the whisky world, beyond how to drink it. But even I know the name Dan Woolley, who created this Byron Bay distillery’s latest malt whisky, Highwayman. Get yourself a tasting flight at the distillery and join in the complimentary distillery tours.

#5 Cape Byron Distillery

 

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Um, excuse me, they’re using malted barley wash from their beery neighbours Stone & Wood Brewery to start making their first single malt whiskies — and that’s all the information I needed. You’ll have to wait until 2021 to try it, but they have many gins to keep you entertained in the meantime. Plus their tasting sessions are officially back on now.

#6 Black Gate Distillery

This husband and wife team are producing world-class whiskies onsite in Mendooran, Central Western New South Wales. You can get into the nitty gritty of production and enjoy the fruits of their labour with tastings and tours by appointment. Heck, they even throw the odd event and will do again in future.

#7 Husk Distillers

 

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Where is Tumbulgum? Why, it’s where this fab distillery lives, of course. To be more specific it’s in the very pretty Tweed region. They produce rum and gin, but also have have whiskies ageing in their Scottish Forsyth still. So basically, there’s something for everyone. They’re opening up some pretty epic on-site experiences now, so get involved.

#8 Bluestill Distillery

Family-owned since 1995, this adorable distillery in Young knows what they’re doing, having won awards for their James Bentley Whisky blends. Pop in for a visit to what used to be an old jam factory, and soak up the country vibes of the town while you’re at it.

#9 Joadja Distillery

Not content with producing their own whisky, this distillery in the beautiful Southern Highlands is one of the few in the WORLD to grow its own barley and even source its own spring water on site. Which is probably why their single malts closely reflect the characteristics of this historical rural region.

#10 Corowa Distilling Co.

 

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Near the banks of the Murray River in the Riverina region, this 1920s flour-mill-turned-distillery is as easy on the eyes as its small-batch malt whiskies, organic chocolate and liquorice are to the tongue. The family even designed their own Australian made copper pot stills. Oh and there’s a restaurant. Like, honestly, why aren’t you on your way?

#11 Dobsons Distillery

Part of Eastview Estate in the New England High Country, these whiskies are crafted in the Highland style. It’s not just whiskeys though, if you can name a spirit, there’s a good chance they produce it. Really get into the whole vibe at their onsite speakeasy bar or the restaurant. Oh yeah, there’s also a brewery onsite.

(Lead Image: Instagram / @corowadistillingco)