The Scottish Highlands and Speyside region. The back roads of Kentucky and Tennessee. Suntory’s Yamazaki Distillery and Hakushu “forest distillery.”
For seekers of premium malts, these are some of the touchstones of whiskey travel.
Now a new whiskey region is laying claim to world-class status. And at some distilleries, the youth movement is right out front and center.
At age 26, Jane Overeem has been tasting whiskey since she was 18, primarily as a producer. She and her father, Casey Overeem, distill some of the world’s finest single malt whiskey in the garage of their suburban home in Hobart, capital of the Australian island state of Tasmania.
In the terms of whiskey bragging rights, the Overeems have already hit the distiller’s sweet spot above 94 out of 100 — the score needed to reach “liquid gold” status in the ranking system used by international critic Jim Murray in his annual Whisky Bible.
Some of the world’s finest single malt is distilled in the garage of the Overeem family’s Hobart home.
Tasmania has a solid share of the world’s single malt whiskeys that carry the “liquid gold” tag — a testament to the island’s pristine water, richly flavored brewing barley, highland peat and a favorable climate.
Success on the global stage for names such as Overeem, Lark, Nant, Sullivans Cove and Hellyers Road has prompted a trickle of whiskey aficionados to drop into Tasmanian distilleries to taste the product and discuss firsthand with the makers their distinctive characteristics.
It’s a bit of an advert for these distilleries, but it was new to me, and interesting. I’m going to keep an eye out for them. However, since New Zealand has been described – by Ivor Tiefenbrun, I believe – as “Scotland done right”, does that mean that as well as the fine Australian malts there will be an Auckland Ardbeg, or a Christchurch Caol Ila out there?
Read it all (and see the pictorial coverage) here.