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Whisky Distilleries of Austria

Austrian whisky has a relatively short history, as the first whisky distillery was only established in the mid-1990s. However, in the years since, the industry has grown significantly and there are now several distilleries producing a variety of Austrian whiskies. These whiskies are known for their smooth and complex flavors, which are influenced by the local ingredients and production techniques used.

Austrian whisky distilleries

Name Country Status Type
J. Haider Austria Active Rye
Broger Austria Active Malt, Grain
Dachstein Austria Active Malt
Waldviertler Granit Austria Active Malt, Grain
Guglhof Austria Active Malt, Grain
Keckeis Austria Active Malt, Grain
Achensee'r Edelbrennerei Austria Active Malt, Grain
Kuenz Naturbrennerei Austria Active Malt, Grain
Lava Braeu Austria Active Malt, Grain
Pfanner Austria Active Malt
Pfau Austria Active Malt
Reisetbauer Austria Active Malt
Rogner Austria Active Malt, Grain
Weidenauer Austria Active Malt, Grain
Farthofer Austria Active Malt

Austria is probably not the first place you think of when you think of whisky, but the German speaking state has a booming whisky industry. It’s nearly three decades years since Austria’s first whiskies were distilled at the Waldviertler Roggenhof Distillery in 1995. Now 13 distilleries form the Austrian Whisky Trail in the Alpine Republic, which can be traveled like those in Ireland, Kentucky or Scotland.

The Austrian Whisky Association

The Austrian Whisky Association (AWA), was founded in 2012 on the initiative of Jasmin Haider-Stadler who runs the Haider whisky distillery in the Waldviertel. Jasmin Haider-Stadler and the AWA see their task in strengthening the appreciation for whisky and promoting Austrian whisky culture at home and abroad. The joint appearance of the companies to the outside is the focus and underlines the individuality of the individual distilleries.

Open Day for Austrian Whisky Day

The second Saturday in August is dedicated to Austrian whisky. Not just because it’s grain harvest time, but because the Austrian Whisky Association (AWA) has declared the second of August every year to be Austrian Whisky Day.

The private distillery Broger from Vorarlberg, for example, processes corn into whisky and mature their new make in sweet wine barrels from Chateau d’Yquem, while in Styria the Lava brewery produces organic whisky with volcanic Grander water and Chardonnay barrels and in the Waldviertel at the Distillery Rogner even combines three types of grain in one whisky.

Although Austria is a small country, tastes differ enormously. The products from Reisetbauer and Guglhof are the focus of media attention. The famous schnapps distillers brought whiskies onto the market as a sideline and are now quite successful. Guglhof relies on Tauern Rogg, which is distilled from Tauern rye and then matures in Sauternes barrels for four years. Reisetbauer from Upper Austria is a little further along and offers 7, 12 and 15 year old single malts as well as many special editions and bottlings. Austria whisky might not offer the variety of tastes found in Scotland yet but due to the various regional differences and innovative approaches, is slowly earning a special place among the hearts of whisky connoisseurs.

List of Austrian distilleries and their products

  • Broger Distillery (Voralberg): Bourbon and single malts
  • Dachstein Distillery (Salzburg): Single Malt (Rock Whisky)
  • Waldviertler Granit Distillery (Lower Austria): Whisky made from rye, barley or spelt
  • Guglhof Distillery (Salzburg): Single malt from Tauern rye
  • J. Haider Whisky Distillery (Lower Austria): Single Malts and Rye
  • Keckeis Distillery (Vorarlberg): Single Malts
  • Achensee’r Edelbrennerei Kostenzer (Tyrol): Single malts, grain and rye whiskies
  • Kuenz Naturbrennerei (East Tyrol): Single Malts
  • Lava Bräu (Styria): Many different whiskies
  • H. Pfanner Distillery(Vorarlberg): Single Malt
  • Pfau Distillery (Carinthia): Single Malt
  • Reisetbauer (Upper Austria): Single Malts
  • Rogner distillery (Lower Austria): Various whiskies
  • Weidenauer Distillery (Lower Austria): Grain and malt whiskies