Australian Whiskey Innovators

I've been reading up on the Australian whisky scene, and I've found it to be quite interesting so far. In particular, I was interested to read about Wood Aged Holdings a distiller that offers a whisky investment scheme allowing individuals to invest in whiskies while they are being aged. This ingenious idea provides a unique alternative investment for whisky aficionados, as well as helping the distillery to raise the money needed up front before embarking on the long, expensive process of distilling and aging whisky.

I've read about similar schemes in Scotland, but this one seems to be very well put-together, and I think it makes more sense in Australia where there is a lot more risk in aging whisky for 15 years. This risk comes from the fact that it's hard to predict what the market for high-end Australian whiskies will like be that far down the road - there simply isn't as much historical market data to base projections on as there is in Scotland - although Wood Aged Holdings is betting the only direction for Australian whisky sales to go is up. They back up this belief by agreeing to buy back the whisky from investors, at a premium, after it is aged. Allowing individual investors to fund the distillation and aging not only spreads the financial risk, but also gives some indication of how much demand there will be once the product is ready, since we can assume that most of those investing in whisky now will be consumers of 'their' product 15 years down the road.

Another sign of the bright future of Australian whisky comes from the island of Tasmania off Australia's southeastern coast. Most familiar to Americans as the home of the cartoon character Taz (at right, obviously after drinking a bit too much Tasmanian hooch), Tasmania is also home to six whisky distilleries and counting. According to this article, some Tasmanian distillers think it's only a matter of time before their whiskies rise to the top of the whisky world alongside the best products of Scotland. Apparently Tasmania has the perfect climate and conditions for making whisky, and at one time in the 1800's was home to 16 distilleries, so the tradition is there as well.

It seems that most Australian whisky is currently sold in Australia and nearby Asian countries. I haven't seen any Australian whiskies in the U.S., and I don't have plans to travel down under anytime soon, but if you hear of any being sold in the states let me know, I'd love to have a taste to see what all the fuss is about.


Jade Graham said...

It has always been one of my favorites. It is a great blend of whiskies resulting in a soft, brandy investment