Nantou Distillery OMAR Whisky Label

Nantou Distillery

  • Taiwan
  • International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), World Whiskies Awards (WWA)
Phone Number
  • +886492234171
  • No. 82, Dongshan Rd, Nantou City, Nantou County, Taiwan 540

Giant whisky bottle display in front of a barrel-shaped building.

History of Nantou Distillery

Establishment and Founding

The Nantou Distillery in Taiwan was established by the Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation in 1978. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that the distillery began producing whiskey. This shift marked a significant expansion of their product line, previously focused on wines and other spirits.

Distillery Expansion and Innovation

Nantou Distillery is continuously evolving, with plans for expanding its production capacity and experimenting with new whiskey finishes. The distillery is also becoming a popular destination for visitors, offering tours that showcase its processes and products.

Maturation Techniques

The maturation process at Nantou is particularly noteworthy. They use both sherry and bourbon casks, with a distinctive approach to each. Bourbon casks are used up to three times, while sherry casks are used until deemed exhausted. Additionally, Nantou employs creative techniques such as using third and fourth fill casks for seasoning with wines or liqueurs, adding unique flavors to the finished whiskey.

Types of Whiskey

Nantou Distillery is renowned for its diverse range of whiskies, each offering unique flavors and characteristics. Their selection includes both single malt and cask-strength whiskies. Notable among these are the Omar Single Malt Bourbon and Sherry Cask whiskies. The distillery also offers innovative whiskey varieties finished in casks previously used for other spirits, such as Lychee Liqueur, Taiwan Red Wine, and Plum Wine.

Overview of Distillation Process

The distillery employs a double distillation process, utilizing four pot stills shipped from Scotland. The first two stills are responsible for the initial distillation phase, and the remaining two handle the second phase. This meticulous process ensures a consistently high-quality product.

This overview of Nantou Distillery highlights its commitment to quality and innovation in whiskey production. From its establishment by the Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor Corporation to its diverse range of unique whiskies and sophisticated maturation techniques, Nantou Distillery stands out as a significant player in the global whiskey market.

Awards Won by Nantou Distillery

International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC)

  • Silver Medal (92 points): OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Silver Medal (91 points): OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Bronze Medal:
    • OMAR Single Malt Whisky-Sherry Type
    • OMAR Cask Strength Single Peated Malt Whisky
    • OMAR Single Malt Whisky Harvest Series Number.4

World Whiskies Awards (WWA)

  • Gold Medal: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Silver Medal: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Bronze Medal: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Category Winner/Gold: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC)

  • Score 90: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Score 92: OMAR Single Malt Whisky Harvest Series Number.4
  • Score 93: OMAR Cask Strength Peated Malt Whisky
  • Score 95: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Finalist: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC)

  • Silver:
    • OMAR Cask Strength Single Peated Malt Whisky
    • OMAR Single Malt Whisky Harvest Series Number.4
  • Gold: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky

International Spirits Challenge (ISC)

  • Gold: OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
  • Silver:
    • OMAR Cask Strength Peated Malt Whisky
    • OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
    • OMAR Single Malt Whisky Harvest Series Number.4

London Spirits Competition (LSC)

  • Bronze: OMAR Single Malt Whisky -Peated Type

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB)

  • Grand Gold: OMAR Single Malt Whisky-Sherry Type
  • Silver:
    • OMAR Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
    • OMAR Cask Strength Single Peated Malt Whisky

Nantou Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Upon arrival at Nantou Distillery, visitors are greeted by the picturesque setting of the distillery, nestled in Taiwan’s hilly landscape. The distillery’s exterior showcases a blend of modern and traditional architecture, reflecting its approach to whiskey-making. Visitors can expect to embark on a journey that not only explores the distillery’s whiskey production but also delves into its rich history and the region’s unique terroir.

The Distillation Process

The tour provides an in-depth look at Nantou’s double distillation process, crucial for crafting their signature whiskies. Visitors get to observe the four Scottish pot stills, where the magic of turning barley into whiskey begins. The guide explains the nuances of the first and second distillation phases, highlighting the meticulous care taken to ensure the quality of the whiskey.

Whiskey Tasting Session

A highlight of the tour is the whiskey-tasting session, where visitors can sample a selection of Nantou’s finest whiskies. This includes the popular Omar Single Malt Bourbon and Sherry Cask whiskies and unique cask strength varieties. For enthusiasts, there’s an opportunity to try exclusive distillery-only releases, offering a taste of rare and exceptional whiskies.

Maturation Warehouses

The tour includes a visit to the maturation warehouses, where the aging process of whiskey takes place. Visitors can see firsthand how different types of casks, such as bourbon and sherry, influence the flavor profile of the whiskey. The guide explains the distillery’s innovative approach to cask usage, including how they reuse and repurpose casks for various finishes.

Distillery Expansion and Future Plans

Towards the end of the tour, visitors learn about the distillery’s future plans, including expansion and experimentation with new whiskey finishes. The guide shares insights into the distillery’s commitment to innovation and excellence in whiskey-making. Visitors leave with an appreciation for Nantou’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of traditional whiskey production.

Souvenir Shop

The tour concludes with a visit to the distillery’s souvenir shop, where visitors can purchase bottles of their favourite Nantou whiskies. The shop also offers a range of merchandise, providing guests with a memento of their visit. With a wealth of knowledge and a taste of fine whiskey, visitors depart with a deepened appreciation for Nantou Distillery’s craft and contribution to the world of whiskey.

This structured tour experience at Nantou Distillery offers a comprehensive and enjoyable journey through the world of Taiwanese whiskey. From the distillation process to whiskey tasting and learning about maturation techniques, visitors understand what makes Nantou Distillery a distinguished name in the whiskey industry.

Flask & Barrel Review of Nantou Distillery

As someone who’s toured my fair share of distilleries, I can confidently say Nantou Distillery stands out in the crowded whiskey world. Nestled in the heart of Taiwan, it’s not just the scenic beauty of the place that captivates you, but the distinct character of their whiskey.

First off, the tour itself is a well-oiled machine. You’re greeted with the kind of hospitality that makes Taiwan famous. The guides are knowledgeable and have a way of making whiskey-making sound like the most fascinating story ever told. Their passion is contagious!

Then comes the star of the show – the whiskey. As a collector, I’ve tasted varieties from all over, but Nantou’s range, especially the Omar Single Malt, hits differently. The unique Taiwanese climate complicates the flavours you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. The generous tasting session let us sample their regular line-ups alongside exclusive distillery-only releases. I found a new favorite – the Omar Cask Strength Single Malt.

The distillery’s approach to maturation is something else. Their use of bourbon and sherry casks, along with some innovative cask finishing, adds layers to their whiskey that are both unique and familiar. And the way they reuse casks for different finishes is both sustainable and creative.

But it’s not all perfect. I felt the souvenir shop, while well-stocked with their fantastic range, could have offered a wider variety of merchandise for us whiskey enthusiasts. Also, while I appreciate the modernity of the facilities, I missed that rustic charm you get in some traditional distilleries.

What To Do Nearby Nantou Distillery

Wufeng Lin Family Mansion and Garden: Just a short drive from the distillery, this historic site boasts traditional courtyard-style residences and a beautiful garden. It’s a perfect place to delve into Taiwan’s history and architecture.

921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan: Located close to the Wufeng area, this museum provides a poignant look into the impact of the devastating 1999 earthquake. It includes an educational exhibit and a preserved earthquake site.

Puli Distillery: Situated in the scenic Puli Basin, this distillery is known for its unique rose and passionfruit wines. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting and learn about local agriculture and wine-making techniques.

Feeling 18: A charming culinary spot in Puli, Feeling 18 offers a variety of European and Japanese-style treats, including handmade chocolates and gelato. It’s a delightful stop for those with a sweet tooth.

Sun Moon Lake: This stunning lake is one of Taiwan’s most famous tourist attractions. It offers boat rides, scenic views, and a chance to experience local culture and food.

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village: Near Sun Moon Lake, this theme park combines cultural exhibits with amusement park thrills, including Taiwan’s tallest roller coaster.

Xitou Nature Education Area: A forested nature park offering a tranquil escape with walking trails, bamboo forests, and various bird species. Ideal for nature lovers and hikers.

Qingjing Farm: This high mountain farm in Renai Township is known for its beautiful scenery, sheep petting zoo, and horse riding. It’s an excellent place for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

Hehuan Mountain: A popular destination for those looking to experience snow in Taiwan, Hehuan Mountain offers stunning views and is accessible via the highest public road in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Nantou Distillery?

MianQ PASTA: It has a rating of 4.8 stars on Google Maps. For more information, you can contact them at +886492240969 and their address is No. 250號, Xinyi St, Nantou City, Nantou County, Taiwan 540.

莊記小吃 (Zhuangji Snacks): This restaurant boasts a perfect 5.0-star rating on Google Maps. Their contact number is +886492315970, and their address is 540, Taiwan, 南投縣南投市中興路229之29號.

Taiwanese Chicken: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 540, Taiwan, Nantou County, Nantou City.

What hotels are near Nantou Distillery?

Michelle Hotel: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, contact +88648359922, and their address is 510, Taiwan, Changhua County, Yuanlin City, Guangming St, 295號5樓.

Mu Yue Shishang Boutique Hotel: This hotel boasts a 4.0-star rating on Google Maps. To contact them, call +886492569966, and their address is No. 1758號, Zhongzheng Rd, Caotun Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 542.

EG accommodation Nantou: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. For booking and inquiries, call them at +886979618748 and their address is No. 10號, Alley 12, Lane 1, Datong St, Nantou City, Nantou County, Taiwan 540.