Brooke Hayman Wins 2018 Aussie Whisky Championship

Whisky & Alement's Brooke Hayman and SMWS's Matt Bailey

Whisky & Alement co-owner Brooke Hayman has been crowned winner of the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship for 2018.

Hayman becomes the first female to take out the title, which she will hold for two years until the next Champs is held. Taking place at the Australian Museum Saturday 28 July, competitors were given 30 minutes to match eight blind whiskies to a list of nine.

Five competitors scored equally after the first round, prompting two taste-off events to decide the top three positions.

In the end Victorian Hayman was named Champion, with Whisky Uncovered’s Matt Whisker second and Dramnation’s Matt Wooler third (both from New South Wales).

Hayman won first prize, which along with the title, includes a trip to Edinburgh to visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society Vaults. Second was a SMWS Survival Kit and Balvenie 21-Year-Old signed by David Stewart and third a $750 voucher to Sydney retailer The Oak Barrel.

Helen Boult and John Hitchen were the other two involved in the play-offs, after the room of over 100 competitors had been whittled down to five.

Whisky & Alement is located in the Melbourne CBD and considered amongst the top whisky bars in Australia. The Champs have been held since 1989, but since the revival in 2008 they have been run by the Australian branch of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. In the past decade the Champs have developed into a national occasion, with individuals and groups from all around Australia attending.

Below is a list of the whiskies tasted blind on the night and an updated list of champions.


#1: Glengoyne 10-Year-Old
#2: Lagavulin 8-Year-Old
#3: Glen Grant The Major’s Reserve
#4: Glen Moray Classic
#5: Aberfeldy 12-Year-Old
#6: Auchentoshan American Oak
#7: Teeling Single Malt
#8: Ardbeg 10-Year-Old

Red Herring: The Balvenie 12-Year-Old DoubleWood


#1: The Balvenie 12-Year-Old DoubleWood
#2: The Macallan 12-Year-Old Double Cask
#3: Aberlour 12-Year-Old Double Cask

Final Taste-Off:

#1: Bunnahabhain 12-Year-Old


2018: Brooke Hayman

2016: Adrian Callus

2014: Craig Daniels

2013: Craig Daniels

2012: Alan Forrest

2010: Jack Turek

2008: Craig Daniels

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