But it hasn’t been immune to what’s happening in the wider world of spirits with an explosion in both numbers of distillers, styles and innovation in both the way things are made and what they taste like.
With the emergence of so many craft distilleries – there are over 100 whisky makers in Australia with more coming- around the world the big labels have responded with special releases to appeal to a wider market- even a Game of Thrones set from Johnny Walker!!
Whisky, particularly Single Malts, are also commodities, often sold as collectors items at auction, rarely drunk -which seems a pity to me, so they are being created with that in mind, with special branded and limited releases.
Also, the new generation of distillers around the world are looking to make a new expression of whisky that speaks to where they live. So there’s a few things going on to be aware of:
- Innovation in the way it’s made: expect to see new types of grains instead of the usual barley or rye used as the base of the whisky including antique or unconventional varieties such as Whipper Snapper’s Quinoa grain expression or unaged Rye and similar spirits.
- Enhancing he ageing process: by law in Australia a spirit must be aged in barrels for two years before it can be sold as Whisky. But some makers are experimenting with sound waves (yep) and the types of wood used to create a new style
- Micro releases: limited edition, small batch, one off expressions. Blink and they sell out.
- More accessible blends: not exactly cheap and cheerful, but quality whisky that’s more affordable and good for mixing and cocktails.