Whisky Review: Bakery Hill Classic Malt

, | May 27, 2016

Bakery Hill Classic Malt Editor’s Note: Starting with this review, we will be making correct geographical use of the word whisk(e)y in titles to match the region of the world the spirit comes from.

This review marks the second stop on my couch-bound tour of three Australian whiskies. Having been impressed with Tasmania’s Overeem, I’m now headed north across the Bass Strait to Victoria, where David Baker founded the Bakery Hill Distillery in 1998 and continues to run the operation out of North Balwyn, just east of Melbourne.

Bakery Hill offers this Classic Malt in addition to a Double Wood Malt (using both ex-bourbon and French oak casks), and a Peated Malt. The Classic and Double Wood are both available in cask strength.

The Classic Malt reviewed here is produced entirely with malted barley and yeast. Every bottle is poured from a single cask with no chill-filtering or added coloring. This sounds like a safe bet, but we are talking about a relatively new spirit out of Australia, so I’m prepared for anything.

After a sip, it’s clear I needn’t have worried. This whisky is warm, bright and welcoming, though it turns out to be hotter on the tongue than I expected. There’s no age statement, but I’m certain it’s a very young spirit. Alcohol cuts through much of the sweet, fruity, youthful flavor.

Tasting Notes: Bakery Hill Classic Malt

Vital Stats: 92 proof. 100% malted barley. No age statement.  Pricing varies, but bottles tend to go for around $130.

Appearance: Very light gold, nearly as light as a pilsner.

Nose: Soft, fresh, and fruity—sliced apricot and fresh-baked yeast rolls.

Palate: Apples, malt, and fig jam characterize the flavor profile, but the alcohol heat is surprisingly intense, overwhelming some of the subtler notes. I picked up a hint of vanilla, but no other traces of oak. A surge of allspice on the long (and unexpectedly dry) finish adds an interesting twist.


This is a spritely, capricious dram. It’s not especially complex, but from the appearance to the aroma and flavor, it’s sunny-spirited and full of mischievous cheer—or at least I am while I sip it.


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Mark Bilbrey

Mark is a poet, writer, editor, and cheese monger. He’s also a real trip on karaoke nights. After leaving a career as an English professor, he started a small business at ParagraphDoctor.com and moved to Portland. Now he’s all about birds, bourbon, and breweries. His ridiculous birding blog can be...