Oz Whisky Review is an independent online magazine for anyone curious about the Australian whisky industry. We taste and write about whisky through a creative, critical and honest lens, and revel in bringing you the stories and histories behind this fascinating industry.
While our focus is Australia, we’re constantly thinking about the wider world of whisky and our place within it. Whisky is the ultimate sharing spirit, and we’re excited to be sharing these stories and spirits with whisky lovers from across the globe.
The site is published and edited by Luke McCarthy, with contributions from Brooke Hayman and Julian White.
Luke McCarthy is the editor and publisher of Oz Whisky Review. After receiving a bachelor in writing and literature, he then completed his graduate studies at Melbourne’s Whisky & Alement and wrote a longstanding national drinks column for Fairfax Media’s Executive Style on the drinks and bar trade. Now a freelance writer, author and semi-retired bartender, his writing on whisky, travel, books and culture has appeared in numerous Australian and international publications. He’s the chief judge at the Perth Royal Distilled Spirits Awards, a judge at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards, and his book, The Australian Spirits Guide, the first to tackle the history and resurgence of the Aussie spirits industry, was published in 2016 by Hardie Grant Books. His spare time is mostly filled with average distance running and sub-standard cricket, and he’s convinced whisky is helping with both endeavours.
Brooke Hayman is the co-owner and business director of Melbourne’s Whisky & Alement. She first developed a taste for whisky while in charge of Galway’s finest nightclub, and since then, she’s owned and managed bars for over 15 years. These days, her love and passion for whisky takes her road-tripping around the world, collecting rare, forgotten gems, selecting unique independent bottlings for Whisky & Alement, and sharing stories and laughs with some of the industry’s most respected figures. She’s also a judge at the Royal Australian Spirits Awards, the Tasting Australia Spirits Awards, and is currently the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Champion after winning the prestigious 2018 competition. Known to travel inordinate distances in the wrong direction for quality espresso, Brooke loves being a part of the Melbourne community and is a proud Richmond Tigers fan.
Julian White is the co-owner of Melbourne’s Whisky & Alement and the driving force behind its importing arm the Independent Whisky Company. His career in whisky began in the normal way, with an advanced diploma from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts and a degree from the National Institute of Circus Arts. Those boxes ticked, he then drew on years of hospitality experience to co-found Whisky & Alement and turn it into one of Australia’s most renowned whisky bars. When he’s not scouring the planet for old and obscure bottlings, and creating daring whisky and beer projects for Australia’s curious drinkers, he’s a panel chair at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards and a presenter, whisky educator and consultant. He’s also a devoted homebrewer and gardener, but finds that success with the former kills progress with the latter.