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Nant Distilling Company

The world's premier whisky critic, Jim Murray, can stand it no longer.

“I now have no option but to start thumbing through an atlas and flight timetable and get over there pronto,” he wrote in the World Whiskey Bible.

He's talking about Tasmania – and well he might.

After a whisky drought that lasted about 150 years, Tasmania is now home to a bevy of boutique, world-class distilleries – all of which are producing whisky that are taking out trophies and medals around the globe.

Indeed, it was Murray who gave Nant Distillery Company's whisky a 95.5% grade last year, ranking it amongst the best in the world.

“Something majestic is happening here,” he wrote of the highland distillery.

Majestic is the word. The distillery is situated on Nant estate near Bothwell in the Tasmanian central highlands. Nant itself was settled in 1821 and is, conveniently, right next to the oldest green in the world.

The estate's convict-built, water-driven flour mill has been restored by current owner Keith Batt and converted into the powerhouse that grinds the malted barley used to produce the distillery's famed single malt.

The highland water which flows down the Clyde River is responsible both for powering the mill and fermenting the whisky – and many believe the purity of the water gives Nant's whisky its killer flavour.

Or it could be the old port, sherry and bourbon casks that house the whisky as it matures. Or, the fact that the casks expand and contract more slowly at a higher altitude, developing the whisky's character more gently.

The jury is out, but afficionados, critics and the Scots are unanimous: there is something extraordinary about this whisky.