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Limeburners Heavy Peat was named the best international whisky by the American Distilling Institute. Photo: Holii Carmody

WA whisky crowned best in the world

Great Southern Distilling Company has been awarded the title of Best International Craft Whisky in the World by the American Distilling Institute for the second time, this year for its Limeburners Heavy Peat.

Beating more than 1,000 entries from around the world for the award, the company was announced as the winner in New Orleans, Louisiana, yesterday.

Limeburners Heavy Peat was also awarded the prize for Best International Smoked Whisky and a gold medal.

In 2017, Great Southern Distilling Company won the same award for its Limeburners Darkest Winter Whisky.

Great Southern Distilling Company founder and master distiller Cameron Syme said Limeburners Heavy Peat was a testament to the world-class quality of Australian whisky.  

“The 2017 world title was beyond our wildest dreams, now to win a ‘best in the world’ for a second time in 2020, we’re all very, very happy,” he said.

“The international recognition achieved by our Limeburners whiskies is showing the globe Australia is producing some of the world’s best whisky and achieving a level of quality that is comparable with, and in some cases better than, the best Scotch and Japanese expressions."

Mr Syme said Limeburners Heavy Peat was a fantastic representation of Australian whisky thanks to the traditional distilling process and the rare peat used to craft the spirit, which is sourced from the Valley of the Giants in Walpole.

“I settled on the Great Southern region as this region had everything that I needed to make great whisky, including top quality grain, pristine water, peat and a fantastic mild climate,” he said.

Heavy Peat has won a number of awards over the years including a San Francisco World Spirits Competition gold medal in 2017, Australian Distilled Spirits Awards gold medals in 2016 and 2015, two Australian Distilled Spirits Awards Champion Whisky trophies in 2015 and 2016, and Australia’s first International Gold Medal for spirits at the UK’s International Wine & Spirits Competition in 2015.

Mr Syme founded Great Southern Distilling Company in 2004 and has since opened distilleries in Albany and Porongurup, while its sister company, the Margaret River Distilling Company, has a distillery in Margaret River.  

Year established in WA

3rd-Kimberley Rum Company1996
4th-Harris Organic1998
5th-Great Southern Distilling Company2004
7th-Old Young's Distillery2006
8th-Geographe Distillery2008
28 distilleries and spirits producers ranked by year established in WA