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Wonderful Whisky Gift Ideas You Can Actually Buy In Australia 2023

Last Updated: November 27, 2023

Are you on the hunt for the perfect whisky gift in Australia? While the range of Scotch options overseas is considerable, and the prices can seem cheaper at first, when buying from non-Australian retailers, you need to be mindful of the taxes and customs charges due when your whisky gets here. The cost can almost double!

Luckily, our guide to Wonderful Whisky Gift Ideas You Can Actually Buy In Australia is here to help. We'll help you decide which whisky (available in Australia) is best to gift and then dive into our top recommendations for whisky sampler packs, gift sets, and unusual whisky gifts that are sure to impress.

And to make things even easier, we've curated a list of our favourite Australian whisky retailers that offer a fantastic selection of high-quality whiskies.

Whether you're shopping for a whisky enthusiast or someone just starting their journey into the world of whisky, our guide has something for everyone. So read on and let us help you find the perfect whisky gift in Australia.

Which Whisky Is Best To Gift?

There technically is no correct answer to 'which whisky is best to gift' as each gift recipient will have their preferred flavours/styles. This makes buying a single whisky as a gift incredibly daunting, which is why we like to gift sample/tasting packs as there's always something for everyone.

Whisky sampler packs are a fantastic gift option as they're already nicely boxed and ready to present, and they contain a selection of whiskies, so you don't have to worry about picking the wrong one. All of these sets are available from Australian retailers.

For a broader selection of gift sets, see our Whisky Lover’s Guide to Unusual & Unique Whisky Gifts and A Whisky Woman’s Guide To Whisky Gifts.

box set of 12 world whiskies (3 in photo) 30ml samples. whisky miniature bottles are glass and wax sealed

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The Drinks by The Dram 12 Miniature Whisky Collection of 3cl (30ml) wax-sealed samples of whiskies is a safe bet as a whisky gift as there are a variety of drams from around the world, and they are beautifully presented in a gift box.

red-brown box with eagle on front and large white font American Whiskey 5x30ml hand waxed drams

The Drinks by The Dram American Whisky Collection is a fabulous whisky gift for a bourbon or rye whiskey lover. The Collection includes five wax-sealed glass 30ml samples from distilleries around the USA, boxed up and ready to present.

yellow gift box containing a selection of four glenmorangie whiskies from gifts australia

This beautifully packaged gift set contains four (4) fabulous 100ml bottles of Glenmorangie Whisky, including Glenmorangie Original 10 Year Old and The Lasanta (a 12-year-old that spends its first ten years ageing in ex-bourbon casks before being finished for two years in Sherry casks). Also included in the Glenmorangie Taster Pack are The Quinta Ruban, a 14-year-old whisky that spends its final two years in Ruby Port Pipes, and The Nectar D’or, a 12-year-old that spends its last two years in Sauternes barriques.

three 20cl bottles of Starward whisky in front of their gift box. whiskies are Starward Classic, Nova and Fortis (from left to right)

From Melbourne Distillers Starward, this Whisky Gift Pack features three 200ml bottles of their awarded and much lauded-whiskies: Two-Fold, Nova and Fortis.

Starward Two-Fold 40% ABV: an approachable double grain whisky, fully matured in red wine barrels from Australian wine regions.

Starward Nova 41% ABV: Starward’s signature whisky, fully matured in red wine barrels, Nova is a deliciously balanced and bold whisky for sharing and mixing.

Starward Fortis 50% ABV: a full-bodied flavour and velvety smoothness at a higher ABV than Starward's usual releases. Matured in 100% American Oak red wine barrels to give it a fuller and richer mouthfeel.

cardboard gift box containing three samples of Morris whisky

Three x 50ml whiskies from Morris Winery and Distillery in Rutherglen (Victoria). The wine-heritage of Morris lends itself to some spectacular cask finishes (we love their Tokay matured single malt).

Morris Signature 40% ABV: The Signature expression shows bright topaz hues on appearance which open a door to orchard fruit profiles, macerated black cherry and biscuit notes balancing the zest of marmalade jam, lingering cocoa and dark-berry flavours.

Muscat Barrel 46% ABV: Creamy mouthfeel packed full of rich dark fruits and sweet malt notes, which give way to sweet vanilla and cocoa interspersed with cinnamon spice.

Sherry Barrel 46% ABV: A mature style single malt whisky that highlights the perfect balance of oak, malt and sherry barrel influence.

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Whisky Gift Sets - Glassware and Hampers

While the sampler packs provide you with a broad range of tastings, we love a good gift set for the broad range of ITEMS, especially if they include branded glassware (as most of these sets do).

3 x 200 ml bottles of Lark Distillery whisky and a glen cairn style glass engraved with Lark's logo in a navy gift box

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A fabulous gift pack from the founders of modern Tasmanian whisky, this set includes three x 200ml Lark Distillery whiskies and a Lark-branded Glencairn whisky glass.

Lark Cask Strength Whisky: A whisky for the adventurous at heart. Handcrafted at our Coal Valley Distillery, the Cask Strength 58% takes our signature Classic Cask single malt to bold new depths.

Lark Sherry Aged & Sherry Finished ll Whisky: Our second Sherry Aged & Sherry Finished Release is perhaps the world’s first ‘Triple Sherry Cask’ inspired by some of the world’s most famous sherry monsters.

Lark Master Distillers Oloroso Whisky: A treacly single malt with an extravagant Oloroso-style sherry finish.  A tantalising journey of vanilla and rich forest fruits.

open gift box showing full size 700ml bottle of johnnie walker blue label whisky and two crystal johnnie walker glasses

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Johnnie Walker is probably the most recognisable brand in the world of whisky. Most of us start our whisky journies with Johnnie (often with coke), but Blue Label is at a whole other level. This box set is the perfect gift for a Johnnie Walker fan. Full-size 700ml bottle of Blue Label and two Johnnie Walker Crystal Glasses in a Johnnie Blue gift box. Also available as a Johnnie Walker Green Label gift set.

photograph of glenmorangie socks, selection of glenmorangie 20cl whiskies,

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This gorgeous gift set from Gifts Australia includes a Glenmorangie Taster Pack with four Glenmorangie whiskies, and Glenmorangie branded socks. For a great night in, the hamper also contains Maggie Beer Quince Paste, Artisan Crackers, Toffee Popcorn (2), Savoury Nut Mix, Kangaroo Island Olives, and Roasted Capsicum Tapenade.

a one litre bottle of Bushmills blended irish whisky and two glasses next to their carry case box that resembles the Bushmills distillery

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Great gift for an Irish whisky fan - a 1 LITRE bottle of Bushmills Irish whiskey and 2 Bushmills tasting glasses, all packaged up and ready to present in a carry bag style gift box reminiscent of the Bushmills distillery.

Unusual Whisky Gifts Australia

What do you get the whisky lover who already has a mountain of whisky? Or you don't want to pick the wrong bottle because you're unsure precisely what they like? A whisky-related gift might be just the thing. All of the following items are available in Australia, including two bespoke options via Etsy that you can engrave with your recipient's name or the details of their favourite distillery.
two glasses and a glass globe with the world map filled with amber liquid

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This elegant Whiskey Decanter Globe and Glass Set will stand out on any bar, countertop, or drinks trolley for that added touch of class. The decanter and matching whisky glasses are made from quality glassware with a frosted map of the earth. The glass globe decanter capacity is 940ml and comes with a glass stopper. It also includes two 270ml whisky glasses and a timber decanter stand.

photograph of a glass decanter in the shape of a storm trooper helmet. the decanter is full of amber liquid presumably whiskey

This Stormtrooper Decanter is the perfect gift for a Star Wars Fan and Whisky Lover (this is quite a large number of people we know). Shaped to match the original moulds of the Stormtrooper helmet and armour created by Andrew Ainsworth, prop designer for the first Star Wars movie in 1976. The decanter weighs 950g, has a capacity of 750ml, and includes a cork stopper.

two Tasmanian oak whisky flight paddles, one side showing 4 holes for dram placement, the other showing 'dads bar whisky and cocktails' as personalised engraving is available

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DuckManorWoodworking (Etsy) are a small Australian business producing customisable whisky flight paddles handmade from Tasmanian oak. Holes are cut on one side for dram placement (either 3 or 4, depending on your preference), and personalised engraving is available on the other. Timber gift tags are also available.

open spread whisky journal included guided whisky notes page

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SomethingForKeepsAU (Etsy) are a small Australian business producing Handmade Leather-Bound Journals. The journals are available in various colours, cover images (Whisky Notes Bourbon Notes) and page formats (blank, lined, grid, or the very handy whisky notes template pictured). Personalised engraving is also available. 

leather hip flask with laser engraving from etsy australia

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Wildfire Engraving (Etsy) are a based on the Gold Coast (Australia), producing customisable faux-leather stainless steel hip flasks ideal for a personalised gift. They also have a great selection of engraveable timber chopping boards (including some very cool epoxy-filled boards), and leatherette stubby holders.

Bottles Everyone Will (Should!) Love

If you would prefer to give them a bottle rather than a gift pack, the following are whiskies that we would gift to our friends and family and that we would happily receive as gifts as well (hint hint to said friends and family). These are staple whiskies in our household and they're all readily available in Australia (and the links we've provided are to Australian retailers).

red toned image containing smoking branch, cinnamon quils and a cut citrus. centre is a bottle of Gospel Solera rye

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The Gospel Solera is hands down my favourite Rye and the best base spirit for a Manhattan, Boulevardier or even an Old Fashioned (I prefer them a little sweeter). It is matured in new American oak and ex-Australian wine barrels. The Gospel have a fantastic range of pre-mixed cocktails and whiskey cocktail gift sets. This is an unusual enough whisky that it will be a rare find for most whisky fans and a much-welcome gift for those who have already tried it.

photograph of a bottle of Cape Byron The Original Whisky

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Roddy and I were very fortunate to attend the unveiling of Cape Byron's long-awaited whisky, made in collaboration with Roddy's old boss, master distiller Jim McEwan. We're both huge fans of their Brookie's Gins (Jim has been involved since the beginning), and the whisky is of the same high quality. Made in Byron Bay, Cape Byron Distillery is a fabulous place to visit, and now they're also producing some of our favourite whiskies.

archie rose tailored whisky front and back labels

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From the wonderful distillers at Archie Rose comes this fantastic gift idea - a tailored whisky, customised to suit your gift recipient. Choose from preset flavour profiles, or blend your own malt type. Pick your label pattern or limited edition artwork, and add your text (20 characters on the front label and whopping 110 characters on the back label). Archie Rose Tailored Whisky is the perfect personalised gift for a whisky lover. Also available in Tailored Gin and Tailored Voda.

bottle of waterford lacken 1.1 whisky next to its blue packaging box

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Waterford works directly with the barley farmers - over 100 Irish growers - some organic, some biodynamic, some heritage grains - and each whisky is unique to that farm or grain type. If you have ever wondered what the grain influence has on  a whisky, the Waterford range is the best place to start. And they also make REALLY GOOD Irish whisky (and they insist on spelling it without an e).

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Best Rye Whisky Australia

Our first experience with rye whisky in Australia was with Archie Rose, and it was certainly a great whisky to start with! We've tried a few more Australian rye's since then, and our favourites are as follows:

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Winner of "World's Best Rye Whisky" at the World Whiskies Awards (London), and "World's Best Rye Whisky" at World Whisky Masters (also London), Archie Rose's Rye is a layered, aromatic whisky that offers notes of spiced custard, ginger and a palate reminiscent of baked stone fruits (think peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce) or baked apple pie with a fresh herbal finish that lingers on the palate. Delicious neat or in an Old Fashioned, this is the Rye that got us started on our rye whisky journey.

bottle of backwoods rye white oak cask

From the best distillery in Yackandandah (actually they're one of the best distilleries in Australia and well worth a visit if you're near the NSW/VIC border) Backwoods produce some exceptional whiskies (the white oak is a personal favourite, especially if you can get it at cask strength - another reason to visit the distillery). Backwoods rye is a beautiful sipping whisky and a great addition to the cabinet of an Australian whisky fan. Gold Medal: Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2023, Silver Medal: World Whiskies Awards 2023, and Silver Medal: Australian Distilled Spirits Awards 2022.

belgrove wholly shit sheep dung smoked rye whisky

Peter Bignell has developed quite a reputation as a maveric distiller and he is making some exceptional rye whiskies. We were fortunate enough to sample quite a few on a recent trip to Tasmania and they are superb. From 'traditional' malted rye, to peated rye, and a very untraditional sheep dung-smoked (Wholly Shit Rye Whisky), there is something for every palate and interest. Belgrove whiskies are all limited releases so get them while you can (my favourite was the last remaining drops of a Spelt whisky). Belgrove's Coffee Liquer (rye based) is an ongoing release though, and it's the best coffee liqueur we've ever had. Whisky Magazine named Belgrove Distillery “Icons of Whisky Australia, Craft Producer of the year 2019”.

Gifts For Old Fashioned Lovers Australia

While you should also see our Gift Guide for an Old Fashioned Lover, the following gifts are available from Australian suppliers and will satisfy an Old Fashioned cocktail fan.

two waterford old fashioned whisky tumblers and a crystal decanter on a tray with two bottles of whiskey in the backround

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We've got a similar set of these Waterford Cut Crystal Tumblers and they're perfect for sipping whisky, whether you prefer it neat or over ice. The glasses style is classed as "Double Old Fashioned", which means there is ample room (325ml) for you to add a large ice cube in addition to your favourite whisky or whisky cocktail. This set includes two glasses and a stunning matching 739ml Waterford cut crystal decanter.

500ml bottle of Everleigh old fashioned cocktail and 2 tumblers

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The Everleigh (award-winning Melbourne cocktail bar) seemed to kick off the pre-made cocktail craze during the two years of COVID lockdowns in Melbourne - I know because a dear friend gifted a box set of Everleigh cocktails to me, and they were a definite highlight during a really crappy time. The bottles are beautiful (they are square and solid and modern), and the gift box is of very high quality - I kept my empty bottles and box for several months after as I couldn't bear to throw them away. This set includes a 500ml bottle of Old Fashioned cocktail (29% abv, all you need to do is chill it and drink it) and two cut-crystal style tumblers. Also available as a mini 'two to share' with two glasses and 2x85ml Old Fashioned cocktails.

bottle of Starward distilelry's old fashoined whisky cocktail

A modern Old Fashioned from Starward Distillery (Melbourne) made using Starward's superb whisky, infused with distillery-made orange bitters and, wattleseed and demerara syrup. Simply pour over ice and you'll have a (New) Old Fashioned ready to enjoy. Winner of World’s Best Premix Cocktail at World Premix Awards 2020, and Best Contemporary Cocktail at World Premix Awards 2020.

photograph of the Gospel Old Fasioned 500ml pre made cocktail

From the distillers of my favourite rye (see The Gospel Solera above), The Gospel Old Fashioned Pre-Made Cocktails are delicious. I've had these several times as their cocktail sets are a fantastic gift (I've received and given). Like the Everleigh, you chill it and drink it - they're 30% abv and are hands down one of my favourite Old Fashioneds. This bottle is the 500ml version, though a smaller 100ml version is available in a cocktail set (along with a Manhattan, Sazerac and Boulevardier). And for a DIY cocktail gift, see the Gospel Old Fashioned Kit.

Whisky Subscriptions Australia

whisky club subscription

With over 35,000 members, The Whisky Club is by far the biggest whisky club in Australia. Whiskies of the Month generally range from $140 - $170 a bottle, with exclusive/premium releases also available. You can decline to purchase the 'Whisky of the Month' or delay a membership at any time. Recent past whiskies include The Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 12, Lagavulin Offerman 11 Year Old Charred Oak Cask, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel II (view past whiskies here). Many whiskies are Whisky Club only releases. Gift memberships are available ($160).

Our Favourite Australian Whisky Retailers

There is an extensive selection of whisky out there in the wide world, and most of the big online retailers like Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt do ship to Australia AND their prices at checkout are often a lot cheaper than you will see from Australian retailers AND they carry a much bigger selection of whiskies than you'll find anywhere locally. 

However, you must be aware that when you purchase alcohol outside Australia, you must pay customs duties to import it into Australia, making your bargain purchase potentially expensive on arrival. That's why the Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt offer very competitive prices to Australian customers. They know the consumer will pay additional costs after it has left their warehouse.

The following retailers are worth checking out as their prices are competitive and their whisky selections are excellent:

  • Hairydog - a relatively new online-only retailer with an excellent selection of whisky and other spirits. Great selection of gift packs and tasting packs (they carry quite a few of the Drinks by the Dram range, which is hard to find here otherwise). Purchases you make on Hairydog from links on our website earn us an affiliate commission (at no cost to you) and help keep Wandering Spirits Global going. So thanks in advance if you purchase through one of our links! It doesn't even have to be the product we suggest 🙂
  • Nicks - wine, whisky, spirits. Mecca for Australian whisky fans and your one-stop shop for spirits. Nicks has an extensive selection of whiskies at very reasonable prices, and click-and-collect pick-up is available if you live in Melbourne (they're in Doncaster East). Always worth having a look in their One Litre Scotch Deals for ex-Duty Free bargains. 
  • The Oak Barrel - located right in the heart of Sydney (Elizabeth St), the Oak Barrell have a small but outstanding selection of whiskies, including Oak Barrel Exclusives. They also carry a fabulous selection of other spirits (including a good range of Tequila and Mezcal) that you won't readily find in many other retailers. The Oak Barrel host regular whisky tastings, which we highly recommend attending if you're in Sydney.
  • The Spirt Safe - the online-only retail arm of Alba Whisky, an Australian distributor/importer of great labels such as Kilchoman, Benromach, Elements of Islay, Amrut (India), Milk and Honey (Israel), and they carry a fine selection of independent bottles (Cadenhead, Gordon & MacPhail, Hunter Laing) AND a considerable selection of glassware (Australian Distributor of Glencairn). Click and collect is available in Victoria (Notting Hill).
  • The Odd Whisky Coy - is a small business based in Adelaide with an excellent selection of hard-to-find 'back catalogue' whiskies. I picked up a favourite Ardbeg Feis release (Auriverdes) not long ago at a very reasonable price - bottles that are not available anywhere other than on the auction sites can often be found at the Odd Whisky Coy.
  • The Rare Liquor King - another small retailer, this time based in regional Victoria - The Rare Liquor King is our go to online store for all things Bruichladdich (including Octomore BBQ sauce!) and they regularly stock the latest additions from the Dramfool Range (Jim McEwan's private casks). We recently acquired some well priced Waterford from them (we highly recommend these Irish whiskies - another great gift idea as the bottles are beautiful and the whisky is divine).
  • Australian Whisky Appreciation Society - AWAS have a cultivated online-only selection of whiskies from Australia and abroad - they carry a lot of exclusive bottlings (available from AWAS only) from distilleries such as Highwayman (a personal favourite), Black Gate, and Kilchoman

About the author

Amanda

Amanda is an Australian-born photographer, digital nomad and whisky lover. Her passion for travel and whisky lead her to Islay, where she fell in love with an Ileach (an Islay native). Amanda and Roddy now share their Spirited Adventures.

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