A List Of Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Champions

2016 victor Adrian Callus. Pic via AMWTC

The biannual Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championships recently announced the details for the 2018 event – the grand old taste-off taking place July at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

Open to whisky lovers of all levels of experience and expertise, early bird tickets are now on sale.

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.

During the event whiskies are tasted blind and competitors have a time limit to match the drams with a list of whiskies provided by organisers. Up until 2014 a pool list of whiskies from which the competition drams would be chosen from was issued prior to the event, however in 2016 that was scrapped to make the event a truly ‘blind’ tasting. That format will continue in the 2018 edition.

South Australia’s Craig Daniels, Chairperson of the Malt Whisky Society of Australia and long-time local whisky identity, is the most successful competitor of the past ten years, winning three times since the 2008 event. He also won the Champs in 1995 under its previous guise and was runner up in 2000, 2001 and 2003.

The current reigning Champion is Sydney-based Adrian Callus, a first-time competitor who won the 2016 event in a tie-break taste-off. He won a trip to Toyko, including accommodation and whisky tasting experience, for his efforts. Prizes for the 2018 event are to be announced soon.


2008: Craig Daniels

2010: Jack Turek

2012: Alan Forrest

2013: Craig Daniels

2014: Craig Daniels

2016: Adrian Callus

For more whisky tasting events around Australia, check out our calendar of events.

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