When I think of distilleries I rarely think of Asia. I know it’s normal to have pre-conceived notions about areas of the world and the culture, but I kick myself when that stereotype is defied. And it has happened in the heart of Taiwan with the Nantou Distillery. I NEVER would have associated Taiwan with libation spirits and was wowed when I heard about it from Max, the voice behind the wonderful site Dame Cacao.

Enjoy a Whiskey at the Nantou Distillery in Taiwan
Enjoy a Whiskey at the Nantou Distillery in Taiwan

The Nantou Distillery in Taiwan

Just as the Philippines isn’ t know n for their chocolate, Taiwan isn’t know n for their whiskies— unless you’re luck y enough to be in the loop. Just a few years ago, one of Taiwan’s many whiskies was named best in the world, raising the demand for and the quality of all whiskey made in the country. Most of the tourists visiting Taiwan come from the nearby countries of Japan, Korea, and the Philippines, as well as mainland China, so we don’t hear much in the west about the smooth whiskies coming out of Asia. But we’re about to.

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Nantou Distillery in Taiwan
Nantou Distillery in Taiwan
Credit: Dame Cacao

Nantou Distillery is one of the most famous wineries and distilleries in all of Taiwan, and that reputation is well-deserved. The government-owned company has been producing various alcohol products since the mid-century, but the whiskey distillery itself opened just 10 years ago, in 2008. Single-malt whiskey production began shortly thereafter, and the distillery has become a massive draw in the region ever since. T he winery and distillery are actually right across from each other, so it’s possible to visit both in the same afternoon , but I’d head for the distillery first . Follow the signs for “visitor’s route” on the left, or simpl y ask around, if you get lost.

The Nantou Distillery in Taiwan has incredible whiskies to try.
The Nantou Distillery in Taiwan has incredible whiskies to try.
Credit: Dame Cacao

Offering both Bourbon Cask and Sherry Cask vintages, the whiskies are available in three different sizes, all with the same strong 46% ABV. The vanilla notes from the bourbon wood pulled in my own palate the most, but the fruitier sherry cask is not to be overlooked. Unfortunately, you aren’t legally allowed to sample the whiskies, but we’d heard such good things that we brought home a few small bottles of each and were very happy with them . The wine, however, is definitely up for tasting. After poking around the distillery and heading back to the main building to look at the wine museum on the second floor (translated into English), you’ll end up practically where you started.

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The Nantou Distillery in Taiwan has incredible Bourbon and Sherry to try as well.
The Nantou Distillery in Taiwan has incredible Bourbon and Sherry to try as well. Credit: Dame Cacao

On the first floor of the main building, you’ll find a wide range of local products for sale, from the wines & whiskies to jelly, fruit liqueur, and nut brittle. When it’s in season, there’s fresh sugar cane juice outside. So settle into one of the stands along the perimeter and simply point to which wines you’d like to try, no Mandarin language skills required. Some of the stand-outs are the onion Cabernet, lychee liqueur, and the very savoury-scented house red wine. Be sure to pose for a few of the designated photo-ops before you go . It’s all a part of the experience.

Plan Your Visit to the Nantou Distillery

Hours: 8:30 am-5 pm, Mon-Fri & 8:30 am-5:30 pm, Sat/Sun

Address: No. 219, Section 3, Zhongshan Road, Puli Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 545 (Google Map)

 

 

Check out our post detailing where to Enjoy a Bourbon in Taiwan! The Nantou Distillery is the perfect spot to relax and learn how bourbon and sherry is made in the country #taiwan #distillery #asia #taiwantravel #distillerytour #bourbon #whiskey #sherry
Enjoy a Bourbon in Nantou Distillery in Taiwan

 

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Fill My Passport invited Max of Dame Cacao to write about her experience enjoying an incredible local distillery in Taiwan.

Check out her blog – a space where she shares stories and tips on sustainable travel with her readers. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for the latest updates.

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Disclaimers:

Fill My Passport invited Max of Dame Cacao to write about one of the best Distilleries in Taiwan. All opinions are hers and were not influenced by Fill my Passport.

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