Image via Whipper Snapper Distillery
Honeymoons mean different things to different people. For some, it’s about nature – hiking, kayaking, and generally making other people feel bad for being lazy. For others, it’s all about luxury – spas, massages, and getting zen.
Then there’s those who don’t mind a tipple. You know, the couples who will seek out a cheeky whiskey, a gin with a kick, or a rum to make the hairs on your neck stand on end. It’s certainly where Mrs Houndstooth and I find ourselves on the honeymoon list, although we do fancy a bit of luxe thrown in for good measure.
If you’re one of those couples who can appreciate a good drop, or perhaps you’re just looking for something a bit different to do on your honeymoon, I’ve compiled a list of distilleries to add to your list.
And if you’re still in the wedding planning phase, then you might want to consider raiding one of these distilleries to give your wedding guests that little extra something to help celebrate.
I remember attending a wedding and halfway through the night the happy couple cracked out some niche Japanese whiskey and I tell you it absolutely made my evening.
Having said that, I’ve limited the list to Australia because, let’s face it, we might not be visiting any international distilleries any time soon.
Whipper Snapper Distillery (Western Australia)
To kick things off, let’s head west to Whipper Snapper Distillery. The Perth distillery boasts handcrafted whiskies produced with local grains. The distillery features a tasting room, private whiskey experiences and masterclasses, and a bar, of course.
Whipper Snapper co-founder and head distiller Jimmy McKeown started the distillery in 2014 and he tells me its Perth’s “first and only urban distillery” dedicated to creating the “perfect Australian whiskey”.
“We’re passionate about using 100% local West Australian grains and highlighting innovation and sustainability,” Jimmy says.
“The significance of provenance shapes our award-winning whiskies and as a true craft distillery, everything is created on-site in East Perth.
“We also boast a specialty coffee bar, an eclectic tasting room and a team of passionate whiskey lovers.”
Jimmy says the distillery is perfect for honeymooners
“It’s a unique experience that is sure to immerse both into a shared experience learning about whiskey and a great way to kick starting the day.”
And if you’re looking for something special for guests to try at your wedding, you can’t go past the Quinoa Whiskey.
“It’s the only one produced in the world,” Jimmy says.
Sounds good to me!
Image via Whipper Snapper Distillery
Sullivan’s Cove Whisky Distillery (Tasmania)
The little distillery with the huge reputation. When I headed to Sullivan’s Cove distillery last year, I was surprised at how unassuming this place was, especially given their whiskey’s reputation. Nestled in a quiet industrial area, but surrounded by the natural beauty that Tassie is famous for, this distillery is home to Australia’s most awarded whisky. Their French Oak Single Cask was awarded the World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards. Yes, the world! And the year before, they won the same award for their American Oak Single Cask. Located about 20 minutes-drive from Hobart, the distillery offers tastings at the cellar door and distiller-lead tours of the facility. A tour and tasting will set you back $50 per person. As for a showstopper to choose for your wedding, you can pretty much choose any bottle from the Sullivan’s range and it’s bound to get people talking. The challenge is to get your hands on one – they move fast.
Kangaroo Island Spirits (South Australia)
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of beauty and gin, well, let me introduce you to Kangaroo Island Spirits. Kangaroo Island is famous for its wildlife and culinary delights, especially seafood. On the nature front, we’re talking sea lions and ocean views, and on the culinary side, we’re talking seasonal, boutique and artisan but always local offerings. Kangaroo Island Spirits has been around since 2002, and wouldn’t you know it, it was started by a happily married couple. Jon and Sarah Lark, established the distillery and have deliberately kept it small and focussed, putting the emphasis on the ‘craft’ in craft distillery. In terms of the product, they’re flexible in flavours but the focus remains on juniper – the gin flavour you know and love. They even have a blend your own gin experience. “We’re in it for the characters of the KIS lifestyle, the passion for inclusion and being creative with botanicals. This hands-on, family approach is what being a ‘Craft Distillery’ means to us,” Jon says. The Mulberry Gin has piqued my interest, and would definitely be a talking point among your wedding guests.
Four Pillars Distillery (Victoria)
Four Pillars just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The Healesville distillery (about an hour from Melbourne, located in the famous Yarra Valley), knows what’s up when it comes to distillery experiences. They’ve got masterclasses, gin making sessions and cocktail classes. Four Pillars has been around since 2013 and in 2019 was named the world’s leading gin producer by the International Wine and Spirit Competition. As for a little something to impress your guests at your wedding, you can’t go past the much sought-after Shiraz Gin. The glorious purple colour of the label and liquid within will be enough to get your guests’ attention, but the taste will keep them interested. I’ve experimented with Shiraz gin in a number of different cocktails but if you’re looking for something simple at your wedding you can pretty much just slosh it over some ice with a dash of soda or tonic.
Tamborine Mountain Distillery (Queensland)
It was tempting to just list the Bundaberg Rum Distillery here, after all it’s basically an Australian institution, but for something a bit different or perhaps in addition to your visit to the Bundy distillery, why not try the Tamborine Mountain Distillery. They’ve got a very intriguing variety – from apricot schnapps to eucalyptus gum leaf vodka. Check out the tasting room and settle in. Make a day of it and travel about an hour south of Brisbane, book a tasting at the distillery and along the way check out a bunch of hobby farms and producers along the way – think avocados, kiwifruits, cheese wine and beer!
About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.