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10 expl o red rinks.com


WELCOME Welcome to Explore WHISKY magazine

Our cover shot highlights our American friends and the collaboration between Wild Turkey and actor

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you the 2018

Matthew McConaughey. One of Hollywood's A-list,

launch edition of Australia's WHISKY magazine. Though it

McConaughey has himself been very hands-on in the

is not entirely new.

development of the new expression - Longbranch.

Explore WHISKY was, in fact, the first book in the Explore DRINKS series, released in 2012 before being republished in 2013 and updated again in 2014. It was a coffee table book that went through the distillation process, how to taste, glassware, whisky vocabulary and a general whisky 101. In 2018 Explore WHISKY returns as an annual whisky magazine for Australia, released each September perfect for Father's Day, Jack Daniel's 'official' birthday and Christmas. The pages of Explore WHISKY are bursting with the latest

Wild Turkey's master distiller, Eddie Russell, is touring Australia in September (as this magazine is released) so Explore WHISKY reached out to bring you both Russell and McConaughey's view on the all things whisky, and it's one we like a whole lot. Of course, we now have our own whisky offering with some seriously good Australian drops. Tasmania has become the spiritual home of Australian whisky, but producers on the mainland are also making their mark. Jump to page 174 to start your tour around the whisky isle - or over to page 76 to catch our chat with David Vitalie of Starward Distillery in Melbourne.

releases from around the world and the stories behind them, and when working through this publication, it was those stories that captivated our imagination and made this such a fantastic project to work on. We hope you will agree, it is the people and the stories behind the drinks that contribute so much to their appeal.

Just to make sure we know what we're talking about, our tasting panel examined 87 whiskies; all blind. Our panel was made up of professional tasters, industry experts, educators and writers. After the tasting was complete, we fielded some guesses from the panellists as to the identity of their highest rated drops, and the

This edition also features a focus on Dufftown - the 'malt capital of the world' and the heart of Speyside. Four days travelling the hills and glens around this region was never enough, but a wonderful experience none-the-less and a teaser to ensure a hasty return. I visited the new distillery at The Macallan which was quite literally breathtaking. A sizeable investment from Edrington, the owners of The Macallan, has given the master distillers and all who work there the Grand Designs of distilleries. Environmentally sensitive yet quite enormous, the distillery sits against the backdrop of the river Spey and surrounds and can almost go unnoticed.

results were eye-opening. Enjoying a great whisky is as much about the people you're with and the place you have it as the liquid itself. The overall experience is richer for the people and stories that go into every bottle. Travelling the world of whisky brings more enjoyment from every drop - so I encourage you to get out there and visit the distilleries, chat with the makers and breathe in the air. The range and innovation on show in the whisky world are both impressive and exciting as a whisky lover. The choice is there; it's just a matter of exploration.

The quality of the liquid coming from The Macallan has been uninterrupted, and the distillery came online earlier this year. Check it out on pages 102. Jumping across the Irish sea we've visited the land of the triple distillation and warm Irish hospitality - and plenty more stories - visiting castles and cutting-edge visitor centres.

~L Ash

exploredrinks.com

11


DRIKK RESPOKSIBLY.


CONTENTS 60

Whisky & Oysters, Simon McGoram

62

The Art Of Blending, Simon McGoram

66

No Oak No Whisky, Chris Middleton

72

Australian Whisky, Chris Middleton

78

Differentiate Or Die, Chris Middleton

82

Whisky Barrels, Stephanie Aitkins

86

Scotland The Brave, Charles Maclean

92

Dufftown - Seven Stills, Ashley Pini

138 A Rye Tale, Chuck Cowdrey 158 Emerging Whisky Producers, Ken Gargett 174 Tasmanian Journey, Fred Siggins

INSIGHTS 19

Insights, news and trends from the whisky world

FEATURES 32

Special and Rare - Ghost Distilleries,

178 Tassie Insider, Jane Sawford

VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS SCOTLAND 40

Glenfiddich's Great Experiment

44

Ailsa Bay Launch

Ken Gargett

36

Special and Rare - High End Bourbon, Ken Gargett

46

Whisky & Cheese, James Buntin

56

Whisky & Chocolate, Ben Davidson

100 The Balvenie 102 The Macallan 106 Chivas Regal

exploredrinks.com

13


CONTENTS

112 The Glenlivet

170 Jameson Redbreast and Midleton

116 Glen Grant

172 Tullamore DEW

117 BenRiach 118 Abelour 124 Dewar's

AUSTRALIA 85

184 Lawren ny Estate 185 Belgrave

128 Jura

186 Devils

129 Dalmore

187 Hellyers Road

130 Muirhead

188 Corra Linn

132 Talisker

189 Bruny Island House Of Whisky

136 Scapa

189 Kil Iara

AMERICA

190 Overeem

142 Jack Daniel's

191 Lark

146 Buffalo Trace

191 Nant

154 Woodford Reserve

55

Ross Blainey, The Balvenie

64

Jim Beverage, Johnnie Walker

76

David Vitalie, Starward

98

David C Stewart, The Balvenie

Starward

126 Long morn

150 Wild Turkey

1~1~=1 1

192 Nonesuch

105 Colin Scott, Chivas Regal 110 Alan Winchester, The Glenlivet 122 Stephanie Macleod, Dewar's 134 Brian Macaulay, Scapa 152 Matthew McConaughey & Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey

165 Brian Nation, Jameson

!•l,JI~ 1a.; 38

Premium Mixers

so

Australia's Top Ten Whisky Bars

193 Old Kempton 200 Classic Whisky Cocktails

CANADA

194 Launceston

156 Pike Creek & Lot 40

195 Sullivan's Cove

214 Highballs 216 Whisky Cabinet

JAPAN

196 McHenry

160 Nikka

196 Sawford

IRELAND

197 White Label

164 Slane

197 Spring Bay

166 Jameson Redbreast and Midleton

199 Shene Estate

14 exploredrinks.com


-ES

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Dewars~

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ENJOY RESPONSIBLY. DEWAR'S ANDITSTRADE DRESS ARETRADEMARKS.


CREDITS

DRINKS EDITORIAL

ADMINISTRATION

Publishing Editor I Ashley Pini

Accountant I Melinda Virgona

ashley@hipmedia.com.au

accounts@hipmedia.com.au

Associate Editor I Stephanie Aikins

PHOTOGRAPHY

stephanie@hipmedia.com.au

Ryan Stuart

DESIGN

Senior Designer I Raes Salcedo ryan@hipmedia.com.au

DRINKS

Drinks Curator I Ben Davidson ben@hipmedia.com.au

SALES I ADVERTISING

National Sales Manager I Tim Ludlow tim@hipmedia.com.au

Explore WHISKY is published by Hip Media

Other Hip Media titles include:

Explore DRINKS Explore WINE Explore COCKTAILS drinks trade magazine 169 Blues Point Road,

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To order your copy of explore visit: The views expressed in Explore WHISKY are of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the magazine or Hip Media. Copyright is held by Hip Media and reproduction in whole or in part, without prior consent, is not permitted.

16 exploredrinks.com

EXPLOREDRINKS.COM

Hip Media was the winner of Small Publisher of the Year at the Publishers Australia Awards of 2010


CONTRIBUTORS CHRIS MIDDLETON is a whisky writer and

Convinced he is a grave disappointment

works with the whisky and spirits industries. One

family; his mother once chastised him for drinking

in the hospitality and global spirits industries.

of the founders and a director of STARWARD,

Pol champagne, disgusted he'd drink anything

He has recently returned to Australia from

he was previously global brand director Jack

made by a Cambodian dictator. Now he mostly

London where he spent the past two and a half

Daniel's, with over thirty years in international

writes on wine and spirits plus a little on cigars,

years working with William Grants & Sons as

management

to his

JAMES BUNTIN has over 30 years experience

fishing, travel and food. When not writing, you'll

The Balvenie Ambassador

director of the Whisky Academy and a

find Ken fly-fishing for trout in NZ and bonefish

Before joining The Balvenie, James was the

regular contributor

roles. Chris is currently the

for the UK.

on the flats of Cuba; travelling; following a variety

Ambassador

publications. He works, drinks and thinks whisky.

of too-often dismal sporting teams - Queensland

Experience' an educational

Reds rugby, Washington Redskins, Arsenal and

showcasing the unique differences between

CHARLES MACLEAN is described by the

our once glorious cricket team.

Scottish, Irish and American whiskies. James

to drinks trade and other

Times of London as the world's foremost

for the 'International

Whiskey

tasting program

has also been the Ambassador

for Chivas

BEN DAVIDSON is one of Australia's leading

Regal, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute and

whose particular subject is Scotch whisky, about

drinks and cocktail experts. Former Cocktail

Glenfiddich

which he has published ten books to date,

World Cup Champion (2004), Australian

has presented thousands of tasting sessions and events and hosted several discussion

authority on everything whisky. He is a writer

including the standard work on whisky brands,

Bartender of the Year (2005) and Brand

Scotch Whisky and the leading book on its

Ambassador

subject, Malt Whisky, both of which were short-

year's experience behind bars, he is one of

listed for

the most knowledgeable

Glenfiddich

Awards.

of the Year (2013). With over 20

whiskies. Over his long career, he

panels educating

and entertaining

audiences

around the world.

spirits professionals

& culinary cocktail craftsman. In 2015 Ben

FRED SIGGINS is Strategy Manager for

CHARLES K. COWDERY is an internationally

launched his drinks consultancy business,

Sullivans Cove Distillery. He sets strategic

renowned whiskey writer, specialising

Bespoke Drinks, working closely with spirit

direction across all aspects of the business

American whiskey. He is a Kentucky Colonel

brands and cocktail bars as a strategic and

including sales & marketing,

(Patton, 206) and a member of the Kentucky

creative advisor and consultant.

infrastructure,

Bourbon Hall of Fame (2009). He is the author

Since 2016, Ben has been the Drinks Curator

product development.

of BOURBON, STRAIGHT: The Uncut and

and Spirits Writer for HIP Media publications.

of the hospitality

in

Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey (2004) and the producer/director

of the documentary

"Made and Bottled in Kentucky" a regular contributor

(1992). He is

to The Whisky Advocate

Black Pearl), chef, brand ambassador and

Ambassador

manager. He also writes regularly about bars,

for Diageo, based in Sydney.

Simon, an avid whisky enthusiast,

and publisher of The Bourbon Country Reader,

years as a bartender,

the only publication

consultant,

American whiskey. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

A twenty year veteran

industry, he has worked as a

bartender (including three years at Melbourne's

in the beverage

exclusively to

digital

SIMON MCGORAM is the National Whisky

Magazine and WHISKY Magazine. He is editor dedicated

production,

branding, cellar door and new

has worked

pubs and drinks culture, and works as a private consultant and whisky educator.

industry for the past 17 bar owner/operator,

drinks magazine contributor

and

JANE SAWFORD, formerly Jane Overeem,

brand ambassador.

has been heavily involved in the Tasmanian

A former editor of Australian Bartender

whisky industry for over 10 years. Her whisky

BEN CANAIDER writes about drinking and high

magazine and contributor

culture, including wine, spirits, and beer and is

nationally syndicated

for Fairfax's

career began with her father Casey Overeem,

Executive Style, Simon's

also the author of six books on similar subjects.

knowledge

He is the drinks editor for GO Australia and

described as encyclopedic.

of beverage alcohol has been

ALPHA and writes for The AGE, SMH Online,

Before opening Neighbourhood

who taught her to distil at Overeem Distillery in 2007. In 2011 launching Overeem Single Malt Whisky, Jane very quickly built a large

Bar &

customer base and placed Overeem whisky in

Restaurant & Catering Magazine, VirginBlue's

Restaurant in Bondi (of which Simon is a

bars, restaurants and bottle shops around the

Voyeur Magazine and The Mumbai Trumpet.

co-owner), he was the New South Wales

country and overseas.

Brand Ambassador

for Diageo's RESERVE

In 2013 the Overeem family distillery was sold,

KEN GARGETT was born and bred in Brisbane,

brands. After four years of working on his own

and Jane became the sales and marketing

Queensland. A non-trendy, perfectly happy

businesses and working as a consultant for

manager at the newly formed company, Lark

childhood, in a family convinced alcohol

Diageo whiskies, Simon is now able to lend his

Distillery. In 2016, Jane and her husband Mark

meant instant condemnation to Hades. Law at

passion and knowledge

Sawford opened their own distillery, Sawford

for the category as the

Queensland Uni. On a break fishing on the Great

Diageo National Whisky Ambassador

Barrier Reef, someone opened a good bottle of

with Johnnie Walker, The Singleton, Talisker,

working

port and so commenced a serious obsession.

Lagavulin and Diageo's greater malt portfolio.

Distillery, where they are now in full production.

exploredrinks.com 17


WOODFORD

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:he Wayof WhiskY Journeyaround J

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year for whisky - from auction

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o u ar.

ANWfE ABOUT UAVJJ

BROO!f'S FABULOUS BOOK ON JAPANESJJ WHISKY Dave Broom is one of the world's leading

,

writers on spirits. His book, 'Rum', is essential ~

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for any fan and he has a series of manuals on

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various spirits, however his forte is whisky.

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BAROSSA WINERY SEPPELTSFIELD IS GETTING INTO THE WHISKY BUSINESS The lines bet ween wine and whisky have been blurred even further. The Barossa winery, Seppeltsfield, founded 167 years ago and famed internationally for its amazing 100-Year-Old

His latest, 'The Way of Whisky', is, as he sub-titles it, a journey through the world of Japanese whisky. It is a personal account of his travels throughout the islands of this exciting whisky nation, touching on the history, the people, the distilleries and so much more, while also offering tasting notes.

Para Tawny, has taken an interest in the spirits business Australian Whisky Holdings, listed on the Australian sto ck exchange (AWY). It has done this by way of loan conversi on into equity.

Personal it might be, but most importantly, this is an informative, educational book,

Seppeltsfield was part of the wine empire now known as Treasury Wine Estates, but was sold in 2007. The new owners have worked tirelessly on upgrading what is a must-visit winery in the Barossa regi on and expanding its range. Managing Direct o r (and largest shareho lder), Warren Randall, has also entered into a JV with the Minquan Jiuding Wine Company to open a $75 million Chine se chateau. It is believed that this will pave the way for expansion into the region for AWY There was already a link between Seppeltsfield and the whisky industry, as they have long been supplying aged fortified barrel s for maturing spirit.

which makes for thoroughly enjoyable reading. He is accompanied on his odyssey by photographer

Kohei Take, and together

they have created a beautifully presented book.

Between $50 to $60, depending on your source, this is the seminal tome on the

AWY has recently been in the news, after purchasing the assets of failed Tasmanian distillery Nant, as well as a taking over Lark Distillery, Australia's first whisky distillery, set up in Tasmania in 1992.

subject of Japanese whisky. Whether you are a long-term aficionado or taking your first sips, it is a must.

explored rinks. com 19


THE MACALLAN BREAKS ITS OWN WORLD RECORD WITH A 1926 BOTTLE FETCHING THE HIGHEST PRICE PAID FOR A SINGLE-MALT SCOTCH. Rare whisky is one of the hottest commodities on the planet at the moment. At the time of writing, a bottle of 1966 Bowmore sold overnight for almost $70,000. Chicken feed compared to some recent records, notably a pair of 1926 Macallan whiskies. They sold earlier this year at Dubai Airport for US$1.2m, bringing a whole new meaning to picking up a bottle of duty free on holidays!

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This famous whisky was bottled in 1986, after 60 years in sherry casks. Only 40 bottles were produced. 24 of the bottles <?- received special labels, a dozen each \ .designed by Sir Peter Blake and Valerio \, ""Adami. Even if the name, Peter Blake, \ does not ring a bell, there's a good chance you've seen some of his work. He designed th ~ 1~over of the Beatles' 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'.

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' some debate about whether There is' these bottles were ever sold, or were simply given to the distillery's favoured customers. The last time one appeared at auction was in 2007, when it went for US$75,000. At US$600,000 each, they did not uite i the world record for malt whisky- HK$4.9m (US$628,000) for another Macallan, their 'M Imperiale'. In fairness, the Imperiale contains six litres, more than 8 ½ standard bottles.

CaskNi263

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blending. Change was in the air, as a new team, in awe of the incredible old stocks held at the distillery, started offering these whiskies in bottle. It was during this period they discovered the old sherry cask, Cask No. 263 from 1926, quietly maturing away in a corner of the distillery and gave it a go. It yielded 40 bottles. Blake was encouraged to design the label for the first dozen bottles. In 1993, Macallan's Italian distributor wanted to repeat the exercise, and Valerio Adami was commissioned to design labels for a further 12 bottles. The remaining 16 bottles, you ask? Two were sold at auction in 2001 and 2002 under blank labels, so that the new owners could design their own. They were records at the time - £15,000 and £18,000 respectively. It seems that the rest, or most of them, were released as part of the Vintage Macallan program in 2003, priced at £20,000 a bottle. And what has been their fate? Some have apparently been drunk, but who knows exactly how much. Rumour has it that a dozen were destroyed by the earth uake that hit a an in 2011. We may never know.

Scotland does not have all the glory . • A recent auction at Bonham's _saw the hammer fall for a 1960 Karuizawa, Hold the proverbial phone - these records - 52-Year-Old 'The Dragon' at a hefty lasted barely the time it might take to HK$2.45m (US$312,130), the highest enjoy a top bottle of whisky. In May price ever achieved for a Japanese this year, Bonham's in Hong Kong sold whisky. It was bottled in January 2013, a similar pair, the 1926 Macallans with much younger than the Macallan, and the Blake and Adami labels, for more production is slightly higher at 41 bottles. than US$2m. First up, the Blake went for HK$7.96 million (US$1.01 million). Needless to say, this is not over yet. By Moments later, it was relegated to second the time you read this, it is almost certain place with the Adami exceeding that, that all these records will be smashed, as tipping the scales at HK$8.63 million. Sotheby's will soon be offering yet another of the 1926 Macallans with the Sir Peter Some history. Apparently, back in the Blake label - bottle 9 of 12 . 1980s, the Macallan distillery did not enjoy the near-legendary status it holds today, offering primarily malts for

20 exploredrinks.com


TRENDS

72-YEAR-OLD SINGLE MALT IS THE MACALLAN'S OLDEST WHISKY EVER RELEASED, PRICED AT $65,000 Macallan has a peerless reputation for offering superb agt·d whiskies as prestige releast•s. To celt•brate their new l"SS225 million distillerv and visi1or c1·n1re. which adds 48 stills idl'ntical to the 36 already in opl"ra 1ion. the brand is releasing the oldest whisky it has l'\ Pr bo1 tled - a 72-YearOld 111alt.in an exquisite decan1t·r fro111Lalique, dubbed the 'Genesis Decanter'. The packagt• comes in an elegant presentation case. This new dis1 illny. with its increased production ability, will ensun, 11,a1 fu111rc generations will see 111orr·of these gems, but tlll'y will liave to bide their time. Onh 600 of these decanft>rs ha,1· bPt•n made for worldwidt· distribution. They will be rdt·ast·d in September 2018. at a pricl' of CS$65.000 each. Hand-blown. the idea is to reflect the gentle , rolling hills found in tl1t• Speyside region where the new distillery is located. The whisky it contains, an extr emely rare malt which was distilled back at the time of World War TT. has received rave reviews (as one would hope for such a price tag).

MINIATURE BOTTLE OF 1937 THE MACALLAN SINGLE MALT HAS BEEN SOLD FOR £3,300. To 11ws1of us, miniatures are not really considered to offer 1111whhang for your buck. Hotel mini-bar rip-offs, most of tl1t,111.No doubt, a Glasgow couple had a similar inclination las1 year when they went to toss a couple of old miniatures in1o the bin. At the last moment, they had second thoughts and decided it might be wise to check. Their 'small', in every way~ collection sold at a1u:1io11for £2.100 with a tiny 'bottlP ' of '20 Under Proof' Laphroaig going for £830. Tl,a1 figure was expected to be left in the dust at a n,cen1 auction where a miniature of Macallan 1937 Fi,w & Rare Aged 32 Years (distilled in 1937, bottled in 1969. then rebottled in 2002) was coming up for sale. Esti111ates thought it could go as high as £1.000. Estimates wen~ wrong. It went for £3,300. It was the first occasion this whisky had come np for auction. Macallan's Fine & Rarl' selection is well known as offering some rarely st't·n whiskies, the 1926 a famous example (the series ran np to releases from 1991). It was purchased by an Italian collector who presumably will 1101be tossing it in l,is rnhhish.

THE BRISBANE He has a crater on the moon named after him, along with one of Australia's great cities . He was a close friend of the Duke of Wellington and, after joining the militar y at the age of 16, served in the West Indi es, Ireland , Ameri ca, India and throughout Europe. Fa scina t ed by the stars, he built one of Scotland's earliest ob ser vatories, and personally funded the Parramatta Observator y in NSW In 1821, he took over from Lachlan Macquarie as Governor of the Colony of N ew South Wal es, working hard to improve the young settlem ent. And now, the Scottish soldier, Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisban e, ha s a whisky as well. 'The Bri sbane ' is th e fourth in the intriguing seri es of Fu sion Whi skies , a concept established originally in Edinbur gh to celebrate the link s b etween Scotland and other nation s, and to commemorate the rol e played b y famous Scots in th e hi story of those countries. Th e first, the 'Glover', wa s a tribute to Thomas Glov er, who played a key role in th e ea rly days of trade with Japan. Th e ' Kincardine' acknowl edg es the 'Walking Viceroy' Vict or Bruce , who worked tirelessly in India. 'The Wint er Qu een', the third in the series, recognises the legac y of th e Scottish prin cess, Elizabeth Stuart, who spent mo st of h er lif e in Th e Hague , The Netherlands. In eac h case, whisk y from Scotland was blended with whisky from the nation to whi ch the tribute is offered. Produ ction varies considerably. A uniqu e concept and a brilliant on e. 'The Brisbane' is a bl en d of two sherry hogsheads di st ill ed at Glen Garioch in th e Highland s, a portion from anoth er sh erry butt distilled at Glen Grant and three ex-apera casks (ap era is our name for what was once known as sherry) dist ill ed at th e Starward Di still er y in Melbourne. Onl y 932 bottl es were produced , as a five- yea r-old malt at 57.5%. A lovely tribute to th e m an who oversaw the repeal of an ea rly attempt at prohibition in the Colony. exploredrinks.com

21


$10,000 WHISKY DRAM THAT TURNED OUT TO BE WORTHLESS Some might suggest that anyone who pays $10,000 for a sip of whisky almost deserves this, especially if he is only in his 30s, but that would be a touch harsh. Zhang Wei has made his fortune from writing martial arts fantasy stories, but he still goes on holiday with his grandmother, on this occasion, to St Moritz in Switzerland. Amongst the many rare whiskies at the Hotel Waldhaus Am See was a bottle of 1878 Macallan, supposedly the last remaining bottle of this malt left on the planet. Who wouldn't want to try it? The hotel, which has around 2,500 whiskies in its collection, had purchased the bottle several decades earlier and originally told Mr Wei that it was not for sale. Mr Wei was keen, as the bottle was the same age as his grandmother's

grandmother (or would presumably be, if she was still with us). So, the manager rang his father - this really is a family story - who was manager of the hotel at the time of the purchase of the Macallan. He said it was time to open it, although they were hardly giving it away at ten grand a dram. Unfortunately, it just didn't Naturally, Mr Wei blogged. detectives were soon on the manager was keen to know

as well. Oxford University performed carbon dating and, with the assistance of experts, Rare Whisky 101, was deemed to be around a century younger than presumed and unlikely to be a single malt (just a blended Scotch with 60% grain). It was suggested to be worth around $300,000 less than its estimated value of $300,000.

seem right. The whisky job. The the truth

The manager, to his credit, was on the next plane to China to apologise and provide a full refund.

ABARREL FULL A few words on the use of barrels

The process of preparing

in making whisky. Fat chance. A few

plays a role - seasoning and heating

the oak

words? You could write books on this

the staves. This helps draw out some

topic. It is absolutely crucial to the

of the flavours that the barrels will

whisky in your glass and will help define

impart to the whisky. These flavours

your preferences almost as much as

vary considerably

any other factor in the production

vanilla, caramel, creaminess, even

of

your favourite drop. Oak barrels rule.

- toast, butterscotch,

coconut, spices, smoky notes, and so

Oak has proven itself over the centuries

much more. The oak is also considered

and nothing else has come close.

to draw out some of the undesirable elements in the young spirit.

Oak barrels act not only as a container for the whisky in which it may mature,

There are so many more matters to

often for many years (at the very least,

consider in this. Various types of oak,

three years to legally become whisky),

the different treatments

but they also impart character/flavour

different forests, age, growth rate of

and impact the colour. Traditionally, the

the oak, size of the barrels, charring,

barrels used are those which were once

method of drying the oak before it is

employed amontillado

as home to sherry - fi no, or oloroso, depending

they receive,

made into barrels, previous contents .. do you need more?

on what the blender is seeking - or bourbon.

Never underestimate

the importance

of oak and the contribution Oak isn't perfect - contents of the barrels evaporates over time, the lost quantity earning the moniker, 'the angels' share'.

22 exploredrinks.com

your whisky.

it makes to


TRENDS

GLENFIDDICH SNOW PHOENIX From the ashes .. or in this case, from many

course, devastated

feet of snow.

got to work and created a legend.

at the destruction

but they

of this whisky have been extremely positive, confirming

that this was, despite the great

name, far more than a marketing gimmick. The winter of 2010 was a fierce one and the

The Malt Master and Distillery Manager got

Glenfiddich

together

distillery felt the full force of nature.

and selected, from the remains, some

Four of their warehouses collapsed under the

of the best old casks across a range of ages,

weight of the build-up

from 13 to 30 years. Some had previously held

The temperature

of snow on the roofs.

had dropped

to minus 19°C

oloroso sherry and others were made from

as two winters worth of snow fell in a short

American oak, first and second fill bourbon

time. It was estimated that the roofs in part of

barrels. The final blend came in with a strength

the distillery were carrying the weight of a herd

of47.6 per cent.

It comes in a tin box which has a brilliant image on it of a phoenix arising through the devastated

warehouse roof. No wonder that

even empty tins are collectors'

items - the last

one on eBay was on offer for just under US$300. Meanwhile,

bottles, originally released at

under $100 or thereabouts,

now go for around

A$1,200 each.

of elephants. There were some quarter of a million casks in those warehouses and the team

Naturally, it is a one-off limited edition (at least,

managed to save all but a couple (chill filtering,

I'm sure the team hope it will never need be

anyone?). The team at Glenfiddich

repeated) with 12,000 bottles released. Reviews

were, of

exploredrinks.com 23


EXPLORE As a kid, I loved those old black and white film noir detective thrillers where Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum would, inevitably, end up in a bar somewhere - usually with hat and trench coat still on - drowning their sorrows . If it wasn't a straight shot of whiskey (rye or bourbon), then it was a boilermaker . I had no idea what a boilermaker was, but if these blokes were drinking them, then they must be cool. At the time, I thought the epitome of being an adult was to sit in a dimly lit bar by yourself, knocking back boilermakers . To be fair, I was only seven or eight. Many years later, when I could legally sit in one of these bars had I wished to, I discovered that a boilermaker was an American beer/whiskey cocktail basically a mix of the two. It seemed a rather odd mix, neither one thing o r, the other and possibly a waste of oot f;). WORDS KEN GARGETT

,, '.Ji ,,,._,,,I

PHOTOS BOILERMAKER HOUSE

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TRENDS

Naturally, as alcohol is involved, there are various permutations

and combinations,

and

aficionados will swear blind that theirs is the only way a boilermaker

should be consumed.

Some mix the two; some prefer to follow their beer with a shot of whisky. Others use the beer as a chaser, though if that is your preferred method, anything less than knocking off the entire whisky in a single go is considered poor form. A further version on mixing the two is the 'depth charge', where the entire shot glass is dropped

into the beer. Others sip from a beer,

slowly replacing the consumed portion with their whisky. There are numerous other spirit/beer Boilermakers originated

in Butte, Montana in

the 1890s, where they were first known as a

pairings

they are, in general, both the result of grains,

brandy and others all feature.

yeasts and water. Indeed, there is an argument

Sean O'Farrell (other names included 'citywide specials' and 'two-steps'). miners on completion

They were served to

of their shifts.

some similarities between beer and whisky-

around the globe - vodka, gin, Korean soju,

that you could call whisky 'distilled

beer'.

The first recorded appearance of the boilermaker

in Australia was shortly after the

Brewers have taken advantage of the potential

Second World War, in Kings Cross, where the

pairing by using casks from various distilleries in

England had its own version but that was

newspapers of the day noted its consumption

which to age their beers and ales. Harviestoun

usually a mix of a couple of different types of

at a party given by a local 'theatre artist',

Ola Dubh 18 spends time in casks from

beers/ales. The Scots have a 'half and half',

Mrs Littlejohn. It must have made quite the

Orkney's Highland Park Distillery. Tennent's have

which involves enjoying the beer next to a

impression as the legend insists that Mrs

used Speyside Single Malt Whisky infused oak

whisky, moving back and forth between the

Littlejohn woke up the next day, under a rug.

for flavour. The BrewDog Paradox Jura is aged

two. The Irish have the delightfully

Now that might not seem so extreme, but the

in casks previously used for Isle of Jura whisky.

Car Bomb, in which Irish Cream and whiskey

rug was on the deck of an American trawler

There are numerous examples. Even wine

are mixed in a shot glass, which is dropped

headed for New Zealand.

named Irish

has got into the act, with the Jacob's Creek

into a stout. And you can bet that someone

'Double Barrel' spending time in standard wine So is all this merely a way to get alcohol into the

barrels, followed by a stint in old whisky barrels.

a better way," for everything here. Such is the

system as quickly as possible or is there more

The advertising

way with cocktails the world over.

to it? In fairness to the combination,

Hemsworth - perhaps they drink it on Asgard.

somewhere is immediately

saying, "no, there is

there are

uses narration from Chris

exploredrinks.com 25


Needless to say, if a human is combining two items to eat, drink or even to just consider, someone else will be experimenting to see if they can raise that match to a higher level. No longer is beer and whisky an end-ofday wind-down the boilermaker

drink with mates. Nowadays, is a form of art. Now, it is

a culinary and gustatory experience and there are, of course, as any quick glimpse at the internet will reveal, more possible combinations,

Horatio .. Those miners in Butte

would be so proud. Or confused.

malt-flavoured

one. Blended whiskies? So many

varying styles mean endless options. Some possibilities? A blended Canadian rye

brine beers which allow one to replicate the Pickleback - a shot of whisky immediately followed by a sip of pickle brine.

with either a rich stout or a ginger-flavoured

Personally, think along the same lines as

beer. An Irish whiskey with a touch of nuttiness,

you would when matching food and wine.

like Jameson, with a nutty brown ale, but if you

Consider the weight of each, as it always

mixologist,

prefer an easier style of Irish whiskey, a lighter

helps to ensure that they are not out of

why not put them to the test? Pick a whisky or a

wheat beer might be the go. Your favourite

alignment - light with light, heavy with heavy.

beer and see what they can come up with (and

Islay malt with a smoky German rauchbier -

Comparable

rauchbier uses grains smoked over beechwood

common way to go and likely to be the most

so that should make it an ideal match for those

successful. Smoky with smoky, chocolate with

alluring peaty malt whiskies from Islay (yes,

chocolate (so a rich stout with a caramel-

The traditional

I fully understand those who might feel that

flavoured bourbon might be worth a shot) and

far from the realms of the blue-collar bar, and

simply enjoying your favourite Islay unadorned

fruity with fruity. And so it goes.

some of our trendiest establishments

flavours is the easiest and most

is not the worst thing that will ever happen). A pale ale with a corn-dominated

Kentucky

Next time you encounter a barman (or if they think they are really good),

if you are not sure about the results, ask yourself what would Bogie think). boilermaker

now finds itself

Then, take a risk and try for contrasting

Boilermaker House in Melbourne for example,

matches. This is more difficult but can be

is the Mecca - devoted to this very pairing.

bourbon (worth noting that a number of those

rewarding - think Roquefort and Yquem. Some

who specialise in matching beer and whiskey

swear by a fresh, light beer with a heavy, smoky

suggest avoiding IPAs as they rarely work). The

Islay whisky. If you wish, you can experiment

combinations

fruity style of Speyside whiskies might appeal

for the rest of your life. If you think that you

them with food. Or if you are George

to a more fruity beer or perhaps a strongly

might ever go too far, one can now find pickle

Thorogood

26 exploredrinks.com

pride

themselves on their versions of boilermakers.

Of course, once you find some good then the next task is to match - a bourbon.


ExploreWhiskyat

WHISKYLIVE

Australia'sPremiereWhiskyTastingEvent Whisky Live is the whisky tasting event of the year. Held in 6 cities across Australia it offers a huge assortment of fine whiskies and spirits, all open for sampling. Whisky Live gives you the opportunity to try before you buy. Whether you're a whisky novice or can identify a brand in a blind tasting, there'll be something for everyone. Come and explore whisky at Whisky Live!

Tickets online now : whiskylive.com.au

Sydney Melbourne Perth Adelaide Canberra Brisbane


AUSTRALIAN WHISKY SELLS FOR HIGHEST EVER PRICE AT AUCTION - A BOTTLE OF SULLIVAN'S COVE WENT FOR $11,000. The Australian whisky industry has come of age. The small Tasmanian producer, Sullivan's Cove, has achieved the highest price ever seen under the auctioneer' s hammer for a bottle of local whisky - a whopping $11,000 (more correct ly, £6,600). Proceeds went to a children's char ity. Eleven grand might not compare with the massive amounts some of the very o ld and extremely rare whiskies are attra cting, but for a much younger maker and whisky, it is extremely impressive and shows just how seriously Aussie whisky is now seen by aficionad os. The auction was held by Christie's in London, and the bottle in question was the Sullivan's Cove Amer ican Oak Single Cask #H H0351. No do ubt, much of the attention came as this whisky wo n the World's Best

PRESTIGE WHISKIESADER4TE The best of the best'? Welcome to the most subjective and debate-provoking topic in the world of whisky. One man's 'prestige' bottle is another's mouthwash. In fact, there isn't even a recognised category for these whiskies. It is whatever vo11 dt•cide it is.

Sing le Cask Single Malt at the 2018 World Whiskies Awards. The whisky was distilled in June 2000, spent its life in a 200- litre American oak ex-bourbon barrel, and was bottled in January 2017. Only 136 bottles were ever made - this one was number 88. It came in a handmade Tasmanian Blackwoo d display box. Until the auction, it had never left the dist illery. As the world wakes up to the quality of our whiskies, don't expect this record t o last for long.

28 exp lo red rinks.com

Is it simply tlw top regular production whisky made by a producer? Their oldest? Most expensive? Rarest? Could it be a one-off li111ited edition? Or just make up your own rules, but remember, preferences vary enormously. If, for example, you an· a Highlands devotee, you'll likely opt for one of their standards ahead of what might be seen by others as so11wthing special from another region.

Explore some of the reviews on the int er net for regular production stars - I read that some authorities say you won't find better than the Lagavulin 16-Yt•ar-Old. Hard to argue. Otlwrs opt for the Glenmorangie Signet , a not her supt•rstar and whisky I love. Otlwrs would legitimately insist that it 11111st be the standard Ardbeg 10-Yt~ar-Old (big smile here, even thinking about it). A111I exposing my Islay adoration? And this without even stepping foot beyond the borders of Scotland. I have no doubt that everyone reading this has aln·ady said to themseh ·es, but what about ... Flagship whiskies'? If ever tht~n· was a case of beauty in the eye of tlw beholder.


TRENDS

COULD AN IRISH WHISKEY SHORTAGE BECOMING? WORDS KEN GARGETT If Irish whiskey is your preferred tipple, you

OR MORE LIKELY (DEFINITELY) A

might be in for some tough times. The

JAPANESE WHISKY SHORTAGE?

impending

shortage of Japanese whisky is

well-documented,

but a lack of the finest

from Ireland has received less coverage.

A friend of mine from a past life, when I worked as a lawyer, recently turned up for a visit. I first met him at a firm in London

John Teeling has issued the warning and

He has recently been working in Japan. He

Back in the mid-1850s, Irish whiskey

very kindly arrived with a bottle of whisky

accounted for approximately

THE WHISKY AND DREAMS - AUSTRALIAN WHISKY FESTIVAL. Whisky lovers residing in Melbourne are fortunate. In March this year, they had the opportunity to greatly expand their horizons with the 'Whisky and Dreams' Festival. It was the third incarnation - the event was previously known as 'Independent's Day'. Sixty-five bucks will get you a decent bottle of whisky, or it allowed you entry to the event held at Starward's Port Melbourne distillery, and the chance to look at around 150 different products. Guests also had the prospect of talking to the people behind the whiskies, and to attend various masterclasses with international experts. It was a two day event spread across four sessions. The whiskies on offer included local products, as well as those from around the globe. Among the international guests were Dave Broom (yes, he of the brilliant new book on Japanese whisky, as well as numerous others) and Charles MacLean. Alex Bruce, the man behind 'The Brisbane', the first official Scotch-Australian whisky blend out of Scotland, was also in attendance. Around 500 whisky lovers attended each session. Keep an eye out for future festivals, as they are a terrific way to immerse yourself in great whisky, taste many you might not have seen before and to learn more about this great spirit.

many years ago, and we have kept in touch.

if anyone would know, this is the man. 60 per cent

as a gift-

a malt from the Highlands. Most

of the world market. There were literally

welcome, of course, but it seemed odd to

hundreds of distilleries. Then came the

bring a Scottish whisky from Japan. Handing

collapse, down to a monopoly

it to me, he apologised.

and less than

2 per cent of sales by the 1970s.

There simply was

not a decent bottle of Japanese whisky at the airport, he explained. Not one.

Teeling undertook a doctorate

at Harvard

in the early '?Os and studied this collapse.

It speaks of the massive problem facing

His conclusion? Time for a new distillery,

the Japanese whisky industry. They are

though it took some time to achieve (in the

simply exhausting stocks of aged material.

meantime, he lectured at Dublin University

It hit home to a wider audience earlier

and also founded a number of mining

this year when Suntory stunned its fans by

exploration

companies). He is often credited

as the man who saved the Irish whiskey

announcing that they were withdrawing the single malt, Hakushu 12-Year-Olds,

industry and is a whisky hall-of-famer. Now,

and blended whisky, Hibiki 17-Year-Old,

he sees dangers ahead.

from their portfolio.

They just can't make

it anymore and they had previously done In 1986, he re-opened Kilbeggan,

Locke's Distillery in

naming it 'Cooley', and installing

the same with their Kakubin Black Label 43 Degrees, in 2016. Termination of the

both column stills and pot stills, in order to

17-Year-Old will devastate Bill Murray and

provide a wide range of whiskies. It took

his fans, as this was the whisky he made

until the new century for sales to hit the

famous in the 2003 film 'Lost in Translation'.

mark, but Irish whiskey was back. Beam

They simply cannot make and mature stocks

Suntory bought the distillery in early 2012,

as quickly as is needed. Some distilleries are

but Teeling's sons have kept the flag flying,

attempting

opening Dublin's only operating

moving from whiskies with age statements.

distillery,

to get around the shortages by

the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. We are already seeing many retailers limiting The problem for the Irish industry is that

sales to a bottle or two of some of the more

there is simply a lack of aged malt, and

popular Japanese labels. It is such a shame

only time can cure that. The explosion in

for the industry, as their products have

popularity

never been more in demand or more highly

of Irish whiskey-

it has been

growing at more than 10 per cent per

regarded. Production is being ramped up,

annum in 75 countries for some time -

but, as with Ireland, time is needed for the

meant that reserves have nearly been

making and maturation of their whiskies.

exhausted.

Estimates suggest that the shortage could last 10 years.

So, Irish aficionados might find themselves disappointed

in the coming years. Even

No wonder prospective

and wannabe

worse, they will not be able to turn to Japan

distillers are turning to gin. Distillery to

to alleviate their woes, as that nation has

dollars in months, not decades.

similar problems.

exploredrinks.com

29


Whisky is the gift that can last a lifetime, starting a journey that can bring people together and provide time to contemplate

life's

vagaries. Either way, the right whisky can be the start of something beautiful.


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SCOTLAND'S and · like something involving Captain· J ac k_ Sparrow . Ghost distilleries ; sounds more d dignified world of fine whisky h h the more gentee I an f barrels of rum, rat er t an · more and more important or a eal and becoming nd rom Scotla . They are very r · · t · fine wh isky has even seen pans 1 · easing 1nteres 1n range of reasons. The ever-incr f ous ghost d istiller ies, such as Port th Of · e of the more am _ but som man g hosts as any horror movie, o r e re-opening y_ Ellen an d Bro ra . Be assured Scotland has as

.._i

these ~are g hou Is you hope to encounter.

t,

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.

--: ...

So what is a ghost distillery? Basically, a once working distillery, sometimes much loved

still potentially

and highly regarded, which, for whatever reasons, has closed its doors.

of very fine whisky quietly maturing away in barrels.

Now, in most industries, that would be it. Game over. The best it could hope for would be a mention in some nostalgic trivia competition. If a shoe factory shuts, it is unlikely that shoe aficionados (are there such people?) will seek footwear from the closed establishment decades later. Not so with whisky. Remember that it takes at least three years before the glorious nectar in barrel can even be called whisky, and any decent distillery worth the name will have many barrels of much older material. So when business stops, there is

3 2 exp lo red rin ks .com

significant quantities

It can be sold for blending, but often it continues to mature and is eventually

see if you can find anything under several thousand dollars a bottle - if you can find them at all. It hardly makes sense. If all this whisky is in such demand and so highly valued, why close? Many reasons, of course.

bottled as special releases. Or possibly included in something very limited and exciting - the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare is the perfect example. And of course, there will also have been

great whisky, it is hard to imagine that

bottles from the closed distillery which are

there are times when supply far exceeds

already on the market. They will immediately become collectors' items and highly prized. Prices escalate enormously. Search the

demand and many distilleries are simply not economical, let alone profitable

internet for prices of old bottles from the Brora and Ellen Port distilleries, two ghost distilleries which both closed in 1983 and

During a period such as this, where there is extensive and intense interest in

Brora is the perfect example.

Its success

caused its downfall, as detailed elsewhere. Things were going so well that a second distillery was built nearby (and given its name, the Clynelish Distillery, which was


FEATURE

N THE lB00'S IT IS ESTIMATED THAT THERE WEREAROUND 200 DISTILLERIESI COTLAND.BY THEEND 0 WORLD ~R II AT LEAST 70 0 THESEHAD CLOSED.

the name of the original subsequently

changed

Unfortunately,

distillery, to Brora).

the timing

have been worse. Almost after the new distillery operations,

And it is. It is the first release in what will

In the 1800's, it is estimated

be a series of very special whiskies.

around 200 distilleries

one will be based on a whisky from a long-

immediately

closed distillery

commenced

- a ghost distillery

include various other components,

the market took a downturn,

may be from distilleries

not. Many of these 'contributions'

The older distillery

part of Blue.

was the obvious

However, there were a number

choice.

liquid gold sitting

halls, continuing

to mature. They have not

a bottle,

operating

distilleries

Walker Blue Label Ghost and takes full advantage

from ghost distilleries.

the operating of

At A$480

this new whisky needs to be far marketing

distilleries

is the aforementioned 'ghosts'

of this

closed. We've mentioned

a number

of

Clynelish).

and with cult followings

(Linlithgow),

Rosebank,

are

St. Magdalene Kinclaith,

Glenugie

There may be ghosts in Scotland,

but they

and Glenlochy.

one of

which contributed The other

in this blend are from the Cambus

and Pittyvaich

opened,

in the 1980s and more

Braeval, Glenglassaugh,

made contributions,

as did three Ghosts. The 'heart'

more than an overpriced

are often

but things changed

the Ghosts. A few others that are highly

whisky is from Brora (interestingly,

the plunder

or

For the first release, five currently

gone to waste.

Rare, a new offering,

had closed. After the War, whisky enjoyed boom times, and new distilleries

regarded

in the

By the

which

of barrels

of the proverbial

in Scotland.

end of World War II, at least 70 of these

- and will

still operating

and the owners were forced to close one.

The Johnnie

Each

could hardly

that there were

are friendly

ghosts, and one only wishes that

we encountered

them more often.

distilleries.

gimmick.

exploredrinks.com

33


The maltings

facility

at Port Ellen, built in

1972, has been used by other distilleries in the Diageo portfolio

and subsequently

others from the region. The malting

drums

are the largest in the UK. The whisky produced from its reopening considered

during

the period

to ultimate

closure is

to be some of the greatest

Islay whisky ever made. Diageo advantage

has taken

of this with various bottlings,

annually since 2001. Other producers, including

Signatory

and Douglas

have released independent though,

Laing,

bottlings

needless to say, stocks are

diminishing,

pushing

prices even higher.

The whiskies are seen as having a strong peatiness

PORT ELLEN DISTILLERY

access. It was invented

Recent news will be wonderfully

encouraging

for

mandatory

earlier style - something

from 1823, no doubt ensure all taxes

Excise officer actually

•m.wuuni

in 2020. ESUIL UiHUI. 1121

is from the dress

PORT ELLEN.

circle of Islay, with neighbours like Ardbeg,

are that once the doors open

again, the intention

not least because the Customs &

}7thn u,,1,1: I

which shut

in 1983, will reopen

complexity.

wonderful

will be to replicate

the

all lovers of that

Islay style will appreciate.

were paid on the spirits produced,

famous Port Ellen Distillery,

This distillery

Indications

by Fox

in the early 1820's and made because it helped

lovers of Islay whiskies. The owned by Diageo,

and considerable

but does not allow them

until 1983 (now, usually held by

Cigar aficionados

the distiller).

whenever

:.~: ~i ;:;:u ,sce ot•

The lease for the distillery

howl at the moon

one of their preferred

discontinued.

ISLA YSl~GLE MALT SCOTCH WHISII 1 1 , ,:1~~, ~ P: , r1Ell11

Bowmore,

BRORA

held the key

whiskies, when a favoured

was

cigars is

So too, lovers of great malt distillery

closes its

•n • •I IUCUI

Lagavulin

and Laphroaig

-

U.t ldlll

o,,.1,..r,1u1f.ml.t1 , HP'

bl.,. ff ft•tl'I A;,fC131, ... 11

elite names by any standards. Diageo,

H*t.lflMlf

tiril tt1t1Ulfl

51n %AiJl~ ''~" f50mL

which also owns

not only Lagavulin

obtained

1t,1111t1t11fii101r••

31YEARS DL □

but also

£35,000 refurbishment.

and whiskies very quickly increase in value,

he was trading

and often legend,

with North

becoming

cult favourites.

Ramsey was a local

powerhouse.

He was involved

the development stills, assisting

with

of continuous

That is certainly Highlands

the case with Brora, a

distillery

which closed its doors

in 1983, after so many years of producing

Robert Stein

As is so often the case, when

and Aeneas Coffey. He also

fine malts. It originally

a distillery

established

back in 1819, built by the Marquess

- especially

one of

quality - closes, existing remaining

bottlings

and those

stocks of whisky produced

on site,

gain cult status and prices to match.

to the Islay, imported and the chairman of Commerce. into Diageo,

The distillery, originally

on the south coast of Islay,

built by A. K. MacKay & Co, was

established

in 1825, gaining

first distillery safe design'

by Septimus

process of distillation. has a padlock technology security).

fame as the

which incorporated

the 'spirit

(or did - perhaps

will provide

other methods

It allows distillers

spirit as it is produced

of

to observe the

and hence improve

the accuracy of the cuts,

34 exploredrinks.com

modern

a steamboat

of the Glasgow

Chamber

DCL, which later morphed took over Port Ellen in 1925.

for the maltings It re-opened

service

wines, was a local MP

They soon closed the distiller, and bonded

other than warehouses.

in 1967, after the number

stills had been doubled previous

Fox into the

A spirit safe literally

cigars

John Ramsay in 1836. By 1848, America.

~

Cao I I la, is in the process of a

doors. In both cases, the remaining

by the 21-year-old

of

possibly

bootleggers popular

of

in order to send local

broke. The Marquess was not a

man in the district,

having evicted

15,000 crofters from his property

in order

to run sheep at the time of the Highland Clearances

- some were resettled

as far away

as Canada and Australia.

from two to four the

year, but was closed again in 1983

thanks to the downturn

Stafford,

begun production

in interest

in whisky

The distillery

had been called 'Clynelish',

until 1968, when the Clynelish

at that time. It might seem unbelievable

near neighbour,

today, but distillers

suggests

felt that there was simply

was opened.

that the adoption

Distillery,

of the name was

little market for single malt whiskies in the

so as the new distillery,

peated

trade on the good name and reputation

style which

Islay offers.

a

One theory

same owners, could

that Brora had established.

However,

like so


1· , . • ;_-~1- --,.,.

-ti ~

.

'-. ~

--•I .· -·.C ~~. ---

-

FEATURE

.

-

-

• 1-

I~

,,.

'l!l -t -

, .-

·,

Along the way, it suffered

i\. ~ _

,

1909. It reopened

badly from a fire in

a year later, with matching

pot stills and a new and experimental continuous

I

column still, working

with malt.

Plans and details of this still, which only ran for five years, have been lost in the mists of time. The column still produced known as a 'silent

what is

malt' - potentially

2,273

litres per hour. 'Silent malt' is simply the name given to malt whisky from column stills rather than the pot stills. After the dismantling

' zrTflNGLE MA LT SCOTC H w 111sKV

much of what went on

Why then was it permanently

in that era, exact details

seems that the Clynelish

are a little sketchy. The

to handle increased

closed? It

Distillery

demand,

was built

as a result

of this still in 1916, the distillery

returned

to pot stills. Glentauchers

Speyside

and the Lochruan

Campbelltown 'silent

malts'.

name of the original

of the success of Brora. But with changing

,1,,34 ,u11

distillery

tastes, it was not long before two distilleries

Subsequent

were one too many and the old one was the

after a period

obvious

during WWII, saw

il lllfl

t

to Brora.

1111111

••• •• • •• I O 12

20 I 7 UI

tot•

II

Ull

11""'

0 I~

another

The style of whisky

N0

IUHU

choice for closure.

at

were two others which made

BRORA

was changed

at

distillery

expansions, in limbo

pair of stills

IN SCOTLAND

BRORA OISTJLLE RY

produced

l~UULANO , lWI tU I

:~~H~:~ I

from 1968 was

heavily peated, shortfalls

of Islay thanks

to drought region.

style. If evidence

to assist

Any bottles

remaining

collectors'

are now very much

items and very valuable.

the occasional

bottlings

So too,

from the dwindling

stocks held by Diageo.

in that

1985, the distillery It sits contiguous

From 1973, the to a more

Last year, Diageo announced

lightly peated

Highlands

famous distillery

in

as well as a

dark grains plant. By

mothballs

was

surplus to requirements.

style reverted

of its fame was needed,

installed,

that this

would emerge

from

and begin production

again in

news for all lovers of

other distilleries empire,

to in the

Balvenie and

Glenfiddich,

and the

2014, Diageo (owners of the old distillery)

2020. It is welcome

released a 1972 malt at £14,500/bottle.

great malts.

exist, but all equipment

Malts from this distillery

CONVALMORE

today is simply that of a

shells of the buildings

still

is long gone and its role considerable

had enjoyed

originally

was

Convalmore

sold only to private customers

and not to blenders. rosy. The distillery periods

warehouse.

success from the very early

days, so much so that production

Things were not always

had closed down for

on two earlier occasions - 1931

to 1938, thanks largely to Prohibition;

and

distillery.

Sadly, it is now effectively

demolished limited

is not simply a ghost

releases from its ever-diminishing

stocks a momentous

1941 to 1945, thanks to the War. Accounts

Speyside

small quantities

numerous

other suggestions

of breaks in

production

for any number

of reasons, but

it seems these two periods

were the most

likely closures.

included

from blenders

performed

the new

Not all of the malts produced

here were heavily peated, whatever

for

malts soon ensured full

recovery and, subsequently, distillery.

do not hesitate,

a valuable

as the distillery

role, producing

style of malt was needed.

though

are more likely to be

malt from this distillery speak highly of it, noting a rich fruitiness. suggest

architect,

1983), at the

quality to Clynelish

but

from

from

Convalmore

in 2005 and, more recently, a

Convalmore

32-Year-Old

Donald

MacKay, it was one of the Ten years

later, it was sold for £6,000 and years later, up as part of the Diageo empire.

The fruitiness blenders,

released a

28-Year-Old

and under the design of local

famous 'seven stills of Dufftown'. ended

Some

it was similar in

with 'an extra fruity heart'. Diageo

Built in 1894 (some suggest

behest of a group of businessmen

demand

heavily peated

distillery,

from this famous

Those who have sampled

as part of a blend.

Glasgow Afterwards,

event for whisky lovers.

If you ever see a bottle

vary considerably,

and there are actually

a

one, making the rare, very

it offered

was much prized by

and it often contributed

famous Black & White whisky.

to the

'Special

was part of their

Releases' in 2017, though

3,972 bottles

were ever available.

1984, it was aged in refill American and bottled

in

oak casks

with a natural cask strength

48.2% ABV Though bottle,

only Distilled of

its price is over $2,000 a

that won't stop those keen to sample

part of history.

exploredrinks.com 35


Quick quiz: Front row tickets, opening night, for Springsteen at the Meadowlands or a bottle of Pappy van Winkle bourbon - which is harder to get? Nothing,

fact, there is almost no bottle of wine, spirit

that the suggestion

or champagne on this planet harder to get on

Pappy van Winkle creates. Every bottle could

by the Sazerac Company.

release. You might even have more chance of a

be sold one hundred times over, despite the

of different aged Pappy's, including 15, 20 and

bottle of DRC Romanee-Conti,

price. No wonder that there have been faked

23-Years-Old.

and the prices

however, comes close to the clamour

Distillery', but is distilled and bottled at the

The Pappy, by the proverbial country mile. In

of an available bottle of

Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfurt, Kentucky There are a number

are not that different - they have been resold

bottles. Pappy is released on a set day - Pappy

for up to $20,000. It is said that Pope Francis

Day - and in some American states is sold by

gets a single bottle of Pappy every year. But

lottery. Fans from thousands of miles away will

1893 when 18-year-old Julian van Winkle Snr

only one.

take their chances. People have been known to

(who would become known as Pappy) took a

be on retail waiting lists for more than a decade

job as a salesman with the liquor wholesaler,

before they get a single bottle. Very often,

W. L. Weller & Sons. Eventually, he acquired a

under no illusion that spirits such as bourbon

those successful sell their loot to aficionados for

part interest in the business and then, in 1910,

and Tennessee rye can be of superb quality,

many times the original price.

purchased the Stitzel Distillery in Louisville,

Pappy van Winkle's Family Reserve Bourbon

'medicinal

is the flagship from the 'Old Rip van Winkle

implemented,

For anyone who has not experienced

them, be

Kentucky. Prohibition

not to mention seriously expensive and in extraordinary

demand.

36 exploredrinks.com

Pappy, as it is commonly known, dates back to

limited production

to

purposes', but just before it was they introduced

the 'Old Rip Van


FEATURE

Winkle' label. Though it did not last. It was not until 1972 that the label was reintroduced

when

the distillery and various brands were sold - this had been the only label to which the family retained the rights from the sales. When Pappy passed away in 1965 he was 91, and the nation's oldest active distiller. It was Pappy's son who had reintroduced

the brand.

After his death in 1981, Pappy's grandson, Julian Van Winkle Ill, took over (his greatgrandson, Preston, has also joined the business since). In 2002, a joint venture was entered for the Sazerac Company to distil and bottle the van Winkle brands at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. An issue for the company is that the old stocks

It would be easy to focus solely on this

from the Stitzel-Weller

legendary bourbon when looking at the best

limited and priced to sit alongside the great

of the best, but it is far from the only prestige

cognacs and malts, is the Eagle Rare 17-Year-

distillery are almost

exhausted, but they are continuing

production.

Another prestige bourbon, again extremely

release and more than a few of them emerge

Old 2017. Again from the Buffalo Trace

from the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Distillery, it is aged for at least a decade and

from 6,000 bottles to 84,000 bottles - take your

As mentioned,

around the globe.

This seems to have made no dent in demand. Production estimates vary, and there are quotes

has been highly awarded in competitions Pappy van Winkle joined the

pick, though the higher estimate seems likely

firm of W. L. Weller, and that gentleman

to be the most accurate. Whatever the amount,

is commemorated

why not an increase in production?

Weller Antique Bourbon. Weller developed

(There

himself

in the flagship, William Larue his

And then we have the Sazerac Rye 18 Year-Old. The Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans was

are rumours that the current output will be

original recipe for bourbon by using wheat, not

founded

expanded by a small quantity by 2025, but there

rye, in the mash bill (wheat being the secondary

home of America's first cocktail, not surprisingly

are more rumours about this bourbon than

grain, behind the traditional

almost any other spirit). Aside from potentially

leads to a smoother, more gentle taste. Pappy

damaging

'the magic', Julian van Winkle Ill

has expressed concerns that should tastes, or

corn), believing it

in 1850 and is considered to be the

named the Sazerac. This whiskey comes from a special 25 barrels, filled initially for the purpose

is also a wheat, not rye, adherent. While there

back in 1998. If anyone is questioning

are several bourbons in his name, the Antique

tag, consider not only the quality of these

the price

circumstances change, they may be left with

is the pinnacle. Uncut, unfiltered, hand-bottled

bourbons but the fact that over the time it

large quantities of unsaleable bourbon. That

and barrel proof (and with a price to match), the

spent in barrels, an extraordinary

seems overly cautious, given the extraordinary

Antique comes from the specially selected 145

of the original liquid was lost to evaporation.

demand for this bourbon, and one wonders

best barrels. It comes in at an impressive 67.7

72. 7 per cent

per cent ABV, although this varies from year to

Finally, the George T. Stagg. Aged in newly

designed to maintain the mystique.

year. This whiskey was first introduced

charred (for just 55 seconds) oak barrels for

This cult adoration of Pappy has only been

The Thomas H. Handy Sazerac is an annual

how much of maintaining

a tiny production

is

in 2005.

more than fifteen years, it comes from a specially selected 309 barrels.

around since 1996, when the Chicago Beverage

release which was designed to meet the

Testing Institute rated the 20-year-old at 99 out

consumer demand for aged, barrel strength

All of these last five prestige bourbons are

of 100, the highest score ever awarded. The

whiskey. It will vary from year to year, but the

part of what is known as Buffalo Trace Antique

bottle was submitted

distillery does put out an admirable amount

Collection,

of information.

limited edition bourbons, released every

by one of their salesmen,

and it is rumoured that it was just as well, as

The latest came from a select

the family was suffering financially at the time.

72 barrels, was 127.2 proof and a whopping

Part of the myth also stems from the fact that

27 .2 per cent of the original blend was lost to

a five-bottle

series of these glorious

Autumn to a lucky few.

before these mature bourbons were released,

evaporation

it was rare to find any bourbons aged for over

the bartender who first use rye whiskey in a

great bourbon can sit at the same level as any

12 years.

Sazerac cocktail.

spirit then nothing will

while it was ageing. Handy was

And if they are not enough to convince you that

I

exploredrinks.com 37


DRINKS FLAVOUR PROFILE

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PREMIUM INDIAN TONIC WATER: A blend of

Ginger Beer offers a deep, long-lasting

subtle botanical flavours, such as hand-pressed

character that is not too sweet on the palate.

bitter orange oil from Tanzania, mixed with

Try it in a classic Dark & Stormy, Moscow Mule,

spring water and the highest quality quinine.

non-alcoholic

ginger

Gunner, or simply on its own.

Try it out in a classic G& T and see if you notice

PREMIUM LEMONADE: A blend of real

the difference.

lemons, spring water and 'sfumatrice'

MEDITERRANEAN TONIC WATER: Made by blending

essential oils from flowers, fruits

extracts

from Sicilian lemons, Fever-Tree Premium Lemonade contains no artifcial preservatives

and herbs, to create a delicate and floral tonic.

or sweeteners. Perfect in a refreshing vodka &

Perfect with a smooth vodka or light gin, it

lemonade.

can also be enjoyed as a sophisticated

'adult'

soft drink.

SODA WATER: Fever-Tree used soft

GINGER ALE: Three natural gingers, subtle

just the right amount of carbonation.

botanical flavours and natural spring water are

Soda Water's versatility allows it to mix well

spring water to create a premium mixer with Fever-Tree

blended to create a refreshing ginger drink

with just about anything in your bar. Try with

with an authentic taste and aroma. Perfect to

whisky or bourbon,

balance and enhance the flavours of whisky,

spirits or liqueurs.

bourbon

or any of your favourite

and rum.

exploredrinks.com 39


DISTILLERY FOCUS

Landing on our fair shores as this edition

uniquely fresh lychee note instead of being

The first expression,

of explore WHISKY goes to print is Winter

swamped by sweetness," said Kinsman.

Experiment,

Storm, the third instalment to the Glenfiddich Experimental Series. The limited-edition

The result is a perfect pioneering

resulting in a short, crisp premium whisky imbued

sweetness

combination

of both

been finished

liquids, the heightened

candied

held a Speyside

and oakiness of Glenfiddich

with a unique layer of sweetness and complexity.

is complemented

The new expression joins Glenfiddich IPA

tropical

Experiment, single malt Scotch whisky finished

notes derived

by the mouth-watering

fruit notes and underlying

Storm comes as a

2016, during which he visited - a renowned

subtle fresh hops.

freezing

weather,

vineyards,

Brian toured

too. Craig McDonald,

Peller Estates VP of

is Australian

here

and started

at -10'C

when they were as hard as pebbles. Inspired

by his experience,

he started

Distillery

experimenting

Brian returned in Dufftown,

to

where

with several French

oak lcewine casks from the Canadian - filling

conventions,

them with various Glenfiddich

Brian invited 20 whisky experts

from 16 countries around the world to channel

We go to extreme lengths to

casks, the result is a refined and balanced flavour, with candy floss sweetness and a rich

always looking for ways to push the boundaries

vanilla oakiness. It embodies

of taste, so I was intrigued

character of a classic Glenfiddich

to see how it could whisky.

The resulting liquid is a unique combination

of

the warming soul of whisky and the frozen cold character of lcewine,"

aged

chilled glass.

said McDonald.

Experimental

unusual and unexpected combines

whisky, with

pear. It is best enjoyed with a frozen grape in a

You'll find Glenfiddich The Glenfiddich

the warm, fruity

hints of apple blossom, summer fruits and ripe

winery

malts for up to six months.

and develop a progressive

whisky. Blended in a variety of different

produce our intensely sweet lcewine, and are

be used to create a new unexpected The Glenfiddich

his

career in Mudgee.

experiment.

most unique

whiskies. Going against normal whisky making

their knowledge

the beautiful

to the series, Glenfiddich

Project XX, is one of Glenfiddich's

"It was a privilege to work with Brian on this

Enduring

where he learnt how the grapes

had to be picked by moonlight

The second addition connection

winemaking

in a vibrant

with zesty citrus

from the lcewine.

Peller Estate

winery in Niagara.

IPA, resulting

flavours and notes of soft, sweet vanilla and

wine

There is an Australian Winemaking,

result of Kinsman's trip to Canada in January

in oak casks that previously

Scotch whisky imbued

in india pale ale (IPA) and Glenfiddich Project XX (pronounced 'twenty'), both launched in late 2016. Winter

IPA

to blend the

flavours of Scotch and hops. The whisky has

whisky

has been finished in Canadian lcewine casks,

Glenfiddich's

Glenfiddich

has been crafted

Series inspires

variants, and

in a striking

the brand's passion for pushing

"Only the rarer whiskies, those aged for 21

Scotch whisky boundaries

years, could cope with the extra lcewine

collaborating

intensity. Having more tannins, extracted from

world of whisky.

with its interest

with trailblazers

beyond

Australia-wide

the

embossed

Winter

Storm in stores

priced at RRP $350. It comes white ceramic bottle

presentation

and an

box.

in A limited

edition

- when it's gone, it's gone.

the years in oak, these malts brought out a

exploredrinks.com 41


Conventional wisdom would suggest that when it comes to whisky, there is nothing quite new or ground-breaking in the foreseeable future. However, a recently established distillery, Ailsa Bay, built in 2007 in Ayrshire, would imply otherwise.

44 exploredrinks.com


DISTILLERY FOCUS

"WITHAILSA BAY, WE 11'l1NTED TO CREATEA VERY EAVILYPEATEDWHISI(YWITHALL OF THESWEETNESS ND SMOI(INESSWE COULDMUSTER,BUTALSO DIAL OWN ON SOMEOF THEMEDICINALNOTES THAT CHARACTERISESOMEPEATEDWHISI(IES,"SAYS PETER GORDON,DIRECTOROF WILLIAMGRANT& SONSAND GREATGREATGRANDSONOF WILLIAMGRANT. Ailsa Bay is on the same site as the Girvan grain

The process of micro-maturation

distillery, which was also the site of the Ladyburn

by Ailsa Bay is unique to the whisky industry,

employed

distillery, making the Girvan complex a multi-

although it has been used in the production

functional operation. A rare thing. Girvan, and

Cognac. The spirit just off the still, is then cut to

Ailsa Bay, are both part of the William Grant

the desired 'cask strength' for the maturation

& Sons family of independently

(ageing) process. It then goes into ex Hudson

owned and

of

operated distilleries.

Baby Bourbon petit casks, between 25 and 100

Ai Isa Bay malts come from a run that lasts

encourages an intense and quick maturation.

litres, for a period of six to nine months, which only two weeks, one week for lightly peated and one for heavily peated malts. The rest of

It will then be moved to virgin, first-fill/refill

the time is devoted to the contribution

American oak casks for the next few years.

they

make to other blends in the William Grant portfolio.

The result is a peated Lowland single

Overall, four different types of oak are used for maturation - the Hudson Baby Bourbon casks,

balanced

first fill Bourbon, refill American oak and new oak.

and unique as the brand's timeless muse,

The aged whisky maturates are then married and

Ai Isa Craig - a large rock in the 'Firth of Clyde'

bottled, without chill filtration, at 48.9°/oabv.

malt whisky, a spirit as beautiful,

off the Ayrshire coast, West Scotland, which dominates

the distillery's horizon.

All of this happens within their multi-functional distillery, something we are likely to see more of

"With Ailsa Bay, we wanted to create a very

due to its success here. The Ailsa Bay distillery

heavily peated whisky with all of the sweetness

produces an approximate annual capacity of

and smokiness we could muster, but also dial

twelve million litres on site.

down on some of the medicinal notes that characterise some peated whiskies," says Peter

The various different aspects of production

Gordon, Director of William Grant & Sons and

of Ailsa Bay will be of considerable interest

great great grandson of William Grant.

to aficionados, but what is perhaps most fascinating is that this is a move to a style of

Part of Ailsa Bay's single malt whisky production

whisky not solely or even dominantly determined

is a unique micro-maturation

by location.

process. They

21 parts per million (PPM), but it is measured

"Ailsa Bay Distillery has allowed us to do

from the finished liquid, not the dried malted

something extremely special," says Master

barley. Ailsa Bay's method is believed to be more

Blender Brian Kinsman. "Using our precision

accurate. They also have the world's first SPPM

distilling methods and a special process for cask

reading - 'sweet parts per million', designed

maturation, I am able to carefully control the

by master blender Brian Kinsman, to give an

outcome of the whisky. With Ailsa Bay, I took

indication to consumers of the level of sweetness

exceptional peated malt and ex Baby Bourbon

hopefully an innovation which

..

SWEET SMOKE MIC-AO MATUilU1TI0N

also include a 'stated phenol content', which is

they can expect-

Ft(LEASE 1.2

o:nPPPM

OltSPfl'N

Hudson casks to create a whisky with a balance

catches on. Theirs is 11 SPPM, which they believe

of smoke and sweetness, to occupy a new space

provides the ideal balance.

on the flavour map."

exploredrinks.com

45


â&#x20AC;¢


FEATURE

In my hand is a rather heavy leather

case, not

unlike the one dear old Dr. Watson would have had.

However

expressions

mine contains

several

of single malt whiskies,

glasses and water pipettes

tasting

for two.

You see, I'm on my way to one of the best, if not the best, cheese shops in the world - La Fromagerie,

Marylebone.

I have arranged

They are not traditionally

to meet with my good friend

Bruno D'Abo,

one another,

who is not only the manager

of this fine

they both enjoy a similar

establishment ambassador

but also a renowned

cheese

and expert.

tradition. attributes,

associated

with

ever had, as hundreds

yet when you think about it, rich heritage

combine

and

almost takes my breath

it's distinctly

perfect don't

match of whisky and cheese, and we

to be awesome

1"

Bruno promises

as he

opens the door and invites me in from the chilly London

My love of cheese and whisky pairing

is to find the

care how long it takes. "This is going

So off we go. I have the whisky, and Bruno

Australia.

has the keys to the cheese room - a massive

William

glass cold room storing

literally

hundreds

of

cheeses from around the world.

think of single

of pairing

food

spontaneously

malt whisky and fine cheese.

room, my excitement

builds.

Then, as the

door slides open, I am suddenly one of the greatest

hit with

food experiences

I have

I was the Whisky Ambassador

Richard Blanchard

and I opened

bar to celebrate

Balvenie,

when thinking

started

for

Grant & Sons, and my good friend

pop-up

fog.

with drink, one doesn't

I"

quite a few years earlier in Melbourne,

As the key turns in the door of the cheese Admittedly,

away. The first thing

smoky,

nutty, spicy or yes, even creamy sweetness. Our mission this evening

cheeses

of aroma that

that pops in to my mind is, "I love cheese

They can both possess similar whether

of different

to create a tsunami

all things

a week-long craft. The

being the most handcrafted

in the world,

was the obvious

choice,

whisky and we

invited

craftspeople

exhibit

and tell their stories over some single

from around Australia

to

malts and cheese boards.

exploredrinks.com 47


One of these craftsmen

was Nick Haddow

from Bruny Island Cheese Co. in Tasmania. I had the opportunity

to sit down with Nick

and try his fantastic

selection

some of the finest Balvenie was it; I was hooked. matches

That

Over 2,000 tastings

later and I am still finding surprising

of cheeses with whiskies.

wonderful

and

(Thanks Nickl).

Back at La Fromagerie,

Bruno has selected

around 20 cheeses of varying sty Ies, textures and ages, from the soft, mild creaminess brie or camembert, texture

of a young cheshire

whiskies

are a selection

distillery

in Dufftown,

We begin strength, profile

by trying

The

Scotland.

each of the whiskies at

of each one and its attributes, aroma and texture.

on to the cheese, doing taking

or caerphilly.

from The Balvenie

so that we can fully understand

as flavour,

of a

to the hard and crumbly

the

such

Then we move

the same thing and

notes along the way (best done this

way when cheese is involved,

if you know

what I mean .. ). When we selected we thought

a cheese

may match with the chosen

whisky, we then tried them together.

Put simply, you want to taste the whisky

not allowing

you time to see the

through

connections

between

the memory

of the cheese. First, put

a piece of cheese in your mouth and chew it

textures

Now there is a way to do this. You don't

while moving

just shove the whisky and cheese into your

the cheese and its texture

mouth all at once and hope for the best.

A soon as that's done, try a sip of the whisky

of how mouthwash

There is a slightly

at bottle

that right nowl

scientific,

approach

more complex, to matching

their best. It's imperative understanding

before

or 'introduce

48 exploredrinks.com

you bring them

them',

so that the flavour

cleanses

.. think

of

coat your palate.

strength.

and

This is because

alcohol

works. We don't want

these to

to get a good

of both the whisky and

cheese separately together

near

it around,

the flavours

or mouthfeel.

as I like to say.

So, have another

You may find that, as good as that experience alcohol,

was, the whisky, being

stripped

and cleansed

the flavour

high in

of the cheese

your palate far too quickly,

go. This time, add two

drops of room temperature

water to the

whisky and mix well by swirling slightly

tilted.

Using a pipette

the glass is best, as


this allows you to be more accurate. won't believe

You

how just one drop of water

will change the connection

between

After a few memorable matches we settled

hours, these are the

indigenous

the

Navarre.

cheese and the whisky. Try a piece of the

Balvenie 12 DoubleWood and Ticklemore

same cheese again, coating

your mouth

from Totnes in Devon, England.

with it, and then try sipping

the whisky again

This cheese is a semi-soft,

through

the memory

of the cheese.

white moulded,

wrinkled

from unpasteurised Hopefully, flavour

you will see the difference

and texture

as the

vegetable

If you get a

match, you will know it, believe

If not, go up in increments

me.

of one drop of

water at a time until you do.

Move on to the next whisky and cheese and remember,

the unique whiskies

goats milk using

Balvenie 21 PortWood and Shropshire Blue from Nottingham, England. Bold blue cheese, similar but with an incredible

rennet.

area around

smoky with intense

and aromas.

Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask and Coolea

Warning:

from Macroom, County Cork, Ireland.

especially

Made with cow's milk from the Meuse

with friends

Rhine lssel herd, a well-known

whiskies

Germany

selection

natural grey/ crust made

flavours

to the mountain

Slightly

in style to Stilton

butter-like

texture.

of both the whisky and

cheese start to come together. perfect

Ewes milk cheese from the Latxa breed,

on:

and Holland,

breed from

You could be here all night, if you are sharing

the experience

who also bring their favourite

and cheese.

this is a traditional

rennet Gouda style cheese.

It's elementary,

my dear reader.

just like creating

and cheeses, this is not

an exact science, just good fun

I

Balvenie 17 DoubleWood and ldiazabal

Remember

from Navarre, Spain.

whisky responsibly.

to eat cheese and drink

exploredrinks.com 49


We've scoured the country high and low for the best venues to sit down, relax and indulge in a dram or two. These bars are all home to impressive collections or rare, limited-release and favourite bottlings, making this list the ultimate guide to where to drink whisky.

\YHISKY & ALEMENT 270 Russell Street , M e lb-ourne VIC 3000 www.whiskyandale.com.au


-

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.,7 Brownin g Street, r,;;'

~oo 1erbar.com co

Wes i' End QLD 4101

I :\~

.Jll,-,j .. BOILERMAKER HOUSE ·209-2 ti" t nsdale Street

Melbourne VI ~ 000

THE BAXTER INN Basement 152-156 Clarence Street www.thebaxterinn.com

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1111 M!~wij • Allfi: .. •• .. ~. •--

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NSW 2000


Located on the original site of The New Town Store, Webster's is a time capsule of King Street's rich history. The whisky and cocktail bar pays tribute to the owners and operators of the 19th century grocery store, John and Eliza Webster, with the downstairs bar featuring elegant black and white photographs of the buildings that have stood on the site since the days of this bygone era.


DRINKS

The venue now spreads across three levels, spanning a vertical timeline of these time periods. Stepping inside at street level, visitors are greeted with an industrial steampunk styled bar, with exposed brick and low-lit fairy lights framing the space. Head upstairs to the second floor and you'll be transported

to a classic speakeasy

of the 1920's Prohibition era, complete with

-~~--,~-

dim lighting, dark wood panelling, tealight candles and seating hidden away in secret nooks and crannies. Take a seat near the higharched windows and revel in the view out

). L J \ !· _/,\ · ,:{,.:.·\ ,.... ' J 111 ' ' • ,·"-r·,,.., ; ' 4'1"'f L · I

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over the hustle and bustle of the famous nightlife district.

it's here that you will find Webster's 500-strong whisky collection. Guests can indulge in rare, unreleased and exclusive drams, including the bar's own special blend of Woodford

Reserve.

There is also a cocktail menu of classic serves alongside six bespoke whisky creations, such as the Jam & Smoke (Caol Isla 12YO, Grand Marnier, egg white, fresh lemon and marmalade jam) and the Webster's New York Sour (Hudson Maple Cask Rye, egg white, fresh lemon & A pigs Peake House of Sticks Shiraz float). For those who like it neat or are interested in broadening

their tasting knowledge, whisky and

bourbon flight tasting panels are also available.

.

'~A .•J!. ,ii " ' \\ -~:.. -_·. 4 -~wlfI(~ t"·~-1-•··..~-~ : -. __ ........,...,

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This level is known as the whisky bar & grill, and

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Alongside

this, the bar & grill floor regularly

plays host to an array of whisky nights and events. On Wednesdays, guests can enjoy 20% off all drams, while the frequent whisky dinners offer the chance to taste unique whisky or boilermaker

and food pairings.

Up on the top level, you'll find yourself in your stereotypical

Aussie backyard from the 1950s,

from the bright green Astroturf

through to

the ultra-kitsch plastic flamingos. Bask in the open air while enjoying a 360-degree view over Sydney's trendy Inner West. Webster's is located on the corner of King Street and Eliza Street and is open Monday - Sunday.

323 King Street, Newtown NSW T: (02) 95191511 W: www.webstersbar.com.au Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-4am Sunday 1 0am-12am

54 exploredrinks.com


explore WHISKY: As an ambassador for The

gone. Whisky is for everyone. It doesn't have

Balvenie, you must meet a lot of people

a gend d'r, it's a drinkl Our craftspeople

l: RB: Au str alia sh';:;'uld be \ }ery proud

at the

.• who a!~eady love '."' .his~y but want t~ _learn distill {y work hard on making the liquid in ,~ach # What' { t f\e best way to develop your . •,. ,bo t_tl,e and would prefer that everyone feels ·'

7

-:}-,-(.·, r' m,o[e. ' · '

kn~ wle"dge' ~f ; h1sk:, ·: .,~Hh'aJ;' yo~ "~joi ! ~/ \t< • •

tips fo~ t lios~ just st~r,t.m~ o.y,l1

,

~.:: ss

-.'·fi'~:t~,;.

· Iii•

:ihey can enjoy it.

~-

Bl:Al~ ~Y:1~ ~~

a lo_t of ~'.e~~ le ·"':~'-: ~r~~m job', some mornings it mu~t still be 1_·Stt~t)~~ ~ · ·~ ·_-~, _lt ~ ~tW.~ ve th1~ d1ffo:_ ult to drag yourself to the office and

·. -:.· ehough to app ·reciate ·.whisk y,'but the first part ·

...

·-·.-'f.. :,_:·.-•._~~;-~

.ofwhisky tasting

•.

•.·y·_·

•. }_ ..:_.,..

'.•-''~

•1

There are !

; bout co~ paring J hem, ~ trying to be anythi ~g 'else. Every region of whisky around the world 1_

~~- ~

has its distinct style, and the exciting thing

. .._

. ,,,,,. .....,,::,_'.; ,., ·""-'t-~ ew: While many would label yours as the •·•

~ :t1;'i.D ~sf,,, n..'i ~?~}Q; J;: o ,•.,:t..~-;f" ~.C:: ~tt ~hJ , R7 \ . 1 ~ ,.t ~).Q ~J \ \2.[f~~~ / ,n, tf~ L~Y,l~ ~ ,l,~:0 1 ' ; f·:/_··7.w_e;r_ry ab ';'~,~ no :C,. ~~;=; ~ '.~g _?_F.~~-?.'."~,;t~ ,1 1,~.9.. }j.;,'7 ,\.

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some incredible whiskies here I I don't think it'~

n

a~d the passion alive?

~ --,.

,.

Bal\/enie, we.love to~share ~ r knowledge and experience with tho_se starting.out,

.

·:•: ;·.:

:'.'J

and I'm

curr : ntly wo ~~ing w1t~ peopl 'U n the industry, sudi as Bill lark, to share those stories of '

is.e_rijoying:yo~~~~lf l'/ e .bee :n . ,. RB:_/ or me, it really is the dream job, and there working a lot on giving pe ?'ple the tools _'.<=: _do · are .so r;iany aspects that keep me going even their own food pairing at ·my events .-Everyone · on ' the hard days I At The Balvenie, we have

working together across the world. More to come on that in 2019 ..,.• l O ''

understands

0

some r~ai ~haracters at our distillery who spend

eW: Whisky is a great Father's Day or

things like cheese, chocolate and fruits ca.n

years, de~~d~ { ; ~-i;,,; n a lifetime crafting the

Christmas (really any special occasion)

really spark some great conversation and build your knowledge of flavours.

whisky we have in our glass on the other side of the world. It keeps me going to know that I'm

present. Wha ta r~/ ourt oll three p~ ks for ~, \. whisky presents?f"i \ 1, 1\

food and what they like, so usi~g

,.

\t. ~..·

watching that identity form right now. At The

put_pn a smil~. W~at keeps this role fresh

: .

T~~

t~ me is t ~~t AustrJl_lia is so :young in whisky , ,._,i,:~ that we don't know the exact style yet. We are , t"}~

showing what these real people have worked

·: I

l

,

I,

l \

. ;

1

eW: Are you finding that the whisky drinker

so hard to create, so far away from where it

is changing? Are you seeing younger people

started. Telling the stories of the people who

RB: For a special occasion, and every r• occasion - really. myfavourit .; l ince I wa~ 19

become more interest~d? Where is the most

make it really keeps me going. Each bottle we

was The Balvenie 12 DoubleWood.

_considerable interest coming from?

pop open here has the experience and hard

special place in whisky history with 6J r Malt \ \.

work of generations

Maste ;s; role in 2aj k finish ing, and the whisky ~~

of people, all of which have

their own story. The stories never get old. That's what keeps me going.

.....

r.'f

It has a

,

1

Joi."

really ~.s es fit every occasion. For Father's Day, I think the 17 DoubleWood fits the bill (with a

"'·

':


FEATURE

ffifiere are ma ~ _w ays to enjoy your favourite whisky. Often that's neat in a Glencairn glass, as you savour: tf;ie arom as and flavours that are present from the many years of mild oxidation and oak ~ barrel maturation. That's the purest form of whisky appreciation.

~ ~•H~wev ~

l nim ~ re recent-times, there have been many inroads made into the enjoyment of whiskies itb ,a,.~weet -.sir ·savoury accompaniment. This has allowed for more discussion about our favourite _ 1 •• ~. food ~ nd how they complement or contrast the flavours in a good whisky.

.='~ -.

B r.iefly, the foo _ds .we enjoy the taste of set off a cascade of sensations in the brain, triggered DY.tfi e p~ys.lglogical an_d chemical makeup of those foods. The five main basic tastes that our tongues detect from ,the food we eat are sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami - the description given to t P.i e taste •sensation of savoury, meaty, unctuous, fatty flavours. When these tastes are detected by taste buds 011 t fie tongue, the chemo-receptors in the olfactory bulb behind the nose are activated with t fi e r.rese r.ire,of air, to identify the specific taste of the food which we describe as flavour. ffine w. ce Rtion of these thousands of different flavours is dependent on the nose being open, to all ~ _.fl rl t ne.olf ~ctory bulb to unlock them and match the chemical scent code with something :.,..• > that we recognise .

., .r,.._... r-

WORDS BEN DAVIDSON

complemented

by medium dark chocolate with

orange and almond, or perhaps medium dark

of toffee, dried fruits and a delicate saltiness.

chocolate with coconut and lime. works ': 9UiJlly: well ~

These flavours can be complemented

new consumers early

SUGGESTION:

contrasted

seasoned aficionados

The Glenlivet Nadurra 'First Fill American

option is to contrast the peat notes with mint

~

_...___~-

• -~

sweeti _e,wh~I~ -~ e~

-

who don't mind a wee

......--·~

-.

t!,O _!·:beirfavourite ':.dram .

. ~--tr__..........,.""ln sJ;i;=is,olat e_; there ,are vary ~ g c!,egrees of 'the raw cacao ingredient, .- ~~_ an_d a~tringent -

~

:

...:.-,

--

which is quite bitter

on its _own. It's the addition

of

~

r-

sugars and milk solids that helps to sweeten

--.......

the .cacao to make it palatable, into chocolate. elements

and turns it

But for me, it's the flavour

added into the chocolate

makes it a more exciting

which

-_ ____. ~. · ,._ __

Here are some suggestions you are next settling

to try when

down to a neat whisky,

chocolate, to help soften the smoke with

chocolate

the cooling sensation of the sweet mint and

"The beautiful bright citrus, subtle vanilla and

bittersweet

coconut notes of the whisky are softened and

match it with salted caramel chocolate to

complemented

further amplify the maritime subtleties

by the bittersweet

intensity of

chocolate. Another option is to

whiskies, as well soften the intense flavours of

and coconut fattiness playing along to subdue

the whisky with the sweet caramel toffee.

the oaky tannins into a long and deliciously flavourful finish."

SUGGESTION:

Chivas Regal 18-Year-Old paired with orange

mint dark chocolate

Lagavulin 16-Year-Old paired with intense and almond dark chocolate

"I love the way this complex and powerfully

"The deep, rich and subtle smoky touches

built whisky is contrasted

of the whisky are superbly complemented

by

or to try at your dinner party when it's time

the slightly bittersweet

and chocolate, with the soft almond nuttiness

notes of the orange

mouthfeel

in this chocolate."

helping to amplify the subtle sherry notes in this

Ardbeg 10-Year-Old paired with salted

superb blended whisky,"

caramel dark chocolate

ISLAY WHISKY

caramel characters are accentuated

gentle and soft, with a i elicate fruity character,

- .• --

by the bright mint

notes and the smooth and creamy, bittersweet

"The heavily peated, . Whisk j es from around the River Spey tend to be

in Islay

the chocolate, with the delicate notes of lime

for dessert.

. SPEYSIDE WHISKY

in a couple of different ways. One

Oak' paired with coconut and lime dark

flavour match when

p ~ ed with whisky. -

and

on in their journey of .discovery, as well as for ..

-.,

malting stage imbues it with an intense smoky character that is often balanced by flavours

complex

oak and subtle

of this legendary

by the noticeable

sometimes typified as orchard fruits like apple

Whiskies from the island of Islay have

the chocolate,

or pear, with notes of citrus, vanilla, coconut

traditionally

slight bitter toffee and creamy notes of the

- and subtle honey. These flavours are beautifully

been made in the heavily peated

style, where the drying of the barley in the

amplifying

whisky saltiness of

the sweet caramel,

dark chocolate."

exploredrinks.com

57


One of life'sprivileges.

HIGHLANDSINGLE MALTSCOTCHWHISKY

DRINK RESPONSIBLY. For people 18 + only. Enjoy in moderation.


FEATURE

HIGHLAND / ISLES WHISKY Whiskies from th · 0 style sand .includee Highlands span a variety f t d _ some of h b 1st11lerie s in Scot Iand Th t e moS re mote old and heath . . e flavours can b ery right h end maritime-influenc~d. Ea t rou_ght o light a nuanced by th . ch whisky is of t . e terro1r wh · en which ranges fro ere 1t is produced moo r and m m_rugged coastline to ' o unta1ns · h co nditi o ns add. , w it variabl e wea th ing to th e · er ~eated, heavi ly sherried m~. Wh ile some are rom the sea, others or ave a salty tang The sherr ied whisk · are fresh, light and gras .h 1escomb· sy. wit raisins and ine beautiful I . I nut cho I y is and wh isk·1esare co ate, while so me dark choco late.

accentuated by sea-salt

SUGGESTION· Th . e Dalmore 15-Y. fruit & hazelnut d e:-Old

paired with

" The rich and b ldar chocolate its o taste o f Th . prominent sherry b e Dalm ore, wit n d1stmctive hazelnut fla:o

ideally accompanied :tt

aged influence, is th e sweet raisins ana

amp lifying the deep fl

urs in the choco late

and nuttiness in the

havokurs of sweet sherry' W IS y."

Talisker 10 -Y.ear-Old \ · chocolate paired with sea salt d ' " Th . ark 1s sublime w hisk . loca ti o n by th y perfe ctl y rep resent · . e sea, e lem · s its smokiness and enta l 1n its subtl gentle salf e expect from this iness, as one wo Id b coastal h · u eautifully with w isky. It goes a natur I tt at softens th e .intensea flav sea salt dark ch oco Iate h oge ther into a gratif in ours, bringing it y g taste sensation" How To Do It: Have a taste of the wh · k the choco late. 1s y. Have a taste of

nd Have · hav a more . prominent taste O f · whisky a ea b igger taste of th and savour the fl avours. e chocolate. Sit b ac k

exploredrink

s.com

59


WHY THIS UNLIKELY PAIRING IS


FEATURE A freshly shucked its 'liquor'

oyster - still containing

(sea water from the inlet where it

was farmed) will a have a powerful flavour. Immediately,

sea-fresh

these flavours bring

to mind whiskies from the west coast of Scotland

and, in particular,

Talisker - sweet,

spicy, smoky and with a distinct maritime

briny/

nature. Both ingredients

here

display a real sense of place, but it's in the bringing

together

of these two products

- your local oysters with the Isle of Skye's finest - that the magic really happens. The pairing

works on many levels. The

saltiness and smokiness compliments

of the whisky

the oyster, whilst the spiciness

and sweetness

cut and contrast

~

respectively.

-

_, -

Talisker really is the ideal partner to oysters in this regard. But don't be afraid to experiment

HOT TIP: Should you be lucky enough to visit Talisker Distiller on the shores of Loch Harport in Skye make sure you grab a bottle from the distillery and take a short stroll to _. the Oyster Shed. They sell a variety of fresh seafood including Pacific Oysters straight out of the loch!

with other whiskies - there's a lot

of fun to be had in this exploration

1

THE OYSTER RITUAL WITH TALISKER STORM

OYSTER SPECIES

Sydney Rock Oysters offer a variety of flavours well suited to being paired with

There are three species of oyster found

a range of whiskies,

What we call 'The Oyster Ritual' at Talisker

in Australian

complex

is a great way to enjoy the experience.

introduced.

Here's how:

Pacific Oyster (introduced) common

STEP ONE:

Pour yourself

a little (30ml) neat

waters - two native and one Sydney Rock (native) and the are the most

with Angassi (a native flat oyster)

Talisker Storm (a more intense, sea-fresh Talisker expression)

and take a sip

SYDNEY ROCK OYSTERS WITH OBAN 14-YEAR-OLD

STEP TWO: Down your freshly shucked oyster

from fruity, malts, through

to rich, intense, spicy and smoky island malts. My tip is to try Sydney Rock Oysters with a coastal Highland 14-Year-Old.

being a little less so.

ranging

and lightly peated

malt like Oban

Lightly peated,

fruity, malty

and with just a subtle

maritime

and mineral spiciness

coming

stands up to the complex

character through,

it

flavours found

in

these oysters. The native Sydney Rock Oyster - despite its name - can be found around

much of

PACIFIC OYSTERS WITH LAGAVULIN 8-YEAR-OLD

STEP THREE: Pour 30ml of Talisker into your

Australia's

oyster shell

concentrated

STEP FOUR: Drink the Talisker Storm from

Sydney Rocks offer a rich savoury flavour

next pairing

the shell

with a subtle mineral and herbaceous

yet youthfully

coastline,

though

farming

is

in New South Wales. Sticking to the West Coast of Scotland finish.

our

features the rich and powerful, fresh Lagavulin

8-Year-Old

with

Pacific Oysters. Pacific oysters were introduced

from

Japan in the 1940s, and are the most common

in Australia.

the southern Australia

Australian

They are grown in waters of South

and Tasmania, and in some New

South Wales estuaries. They tend to be more firmly textured, with a refreshing

salty/sweet

and subtle herbaceous

ocean burst

flavour - it's that

'ocean burst' that works so well with the maritime

intensity

and smoke of Lagavulin

8-Year-Old. exploredrinks.com

61


CELEBRATE THE

WHY THE '8-WORD' HAS ABRIG Whisky is enjoying a golden period of growth. This is, of course, no surprise to you if you picked up this publication - you're already a fan and proud that your local bottle-shop, bar or even pub now boasts an impressive selection Scotch, Irish, American, Australian and Japanese whiskies. But what is enabling this growth? Why is every other Joe Biogs now a member of a whisky appreciation club? WORDS SIMON MCGORAM, DIAGEO NATIONAL WHISKY AMBASSADOR The answer is what it has always been - it's thanks to the art of blending.

For you single malt devotees out there this may be a

little surprising as the 'b-word' days in polite conversation. important

is something

you rarely drop these

The thing is, the art of blending

is as

now as it has ever been and the future for this craft is

looking bright indeed.

Through

the educational

Diageo's

National

seminars and training

Whisky Ambassador,

for budding

whisky enthusiasts

isn't limited

to blended

you're drinking

is realising that the art blending

Scotch whisky, but even that single malt

has been crafted by an expert blender. As no

two casks age the same, distillery a marriage

that I run as

a real 'a-ha' moment

bottlings

of casks pulled together

are almost always

to reflect a house style or

desired flavour expression.

However, amongst the whisky drinking elite there is an endless quest for achieving a perceived purity in Scotch whisky, through an increased focus on the 'singularity' with 'limited-edition',

of the whisky they are drinking,

'non-chill filtered',

'cask-strength'

and 'single-

cask' being their markers for quality. That's a lot of hyphens

Whilst these single-cask bottlings

I

are often delicious, it's erroneous

to believe that these casks - as unique as they may be - are innately superior or reflect a distillery's true character. contrary they can be a one-dimensional

just one shade of that maker's true colour.

62 exploredrinks.com

On the

look at a distillery's style -


FEATURE

"WENEED TO REMEMBERBLENDED SCOTCHWHISI(YIS A WHISI(Y0 THEPEOPLE- MOREACCESS/BL IN NATURETHROUGHMIXABLITY, FLAVOURAND PRICE POINT.' this supreme whisky. The trouble is, even if they had it, they would then struggle to find the stock. It represents the best value for money of any whisky in the world." Despite blends having their advocates, there's a common misconception popularity

that with the rise in

of single malts, blended Scotch has

fallen by the wayside. Single malts still only make up about 10% of global volume despite their growth and have been at this level for some time - testament to the art of blending's continued

relevance. We need to remember

blended Scotch whisky is a whisky of the people By extension blended whisky enables the

a dizzyingly large array of blends including

- more accessible in nature through mixablity,

expert blender to paint a whole picture, not just

famous brands like Bells, Black & White,

flavour and price point.

in monochrome.

Old Parr, Vat 69, Buchanan's, White Horse

The different distilleries offer

access to a wider palate, with each cask in turn

and and, of course, the world's favourite whisky

offering its own shade of that colour.

Johnnie Walker.

Whisky in general, and Scotch in particular, is notorious for being an intimidating

category to

get into for novice drinkers - but if blends can This isn't new thinking in the whisky trade, with

Let's not forget that blends offer an

continue to be part of the answer here then that

famed whisky writer Dave Broom weighing in

extraordinary

is something to be celebrated.

on the debate in his book 'The World Atlas

price. Take a look at Johnnie Walker Black

of Whisky': "Malts are about intensity of

Label - a 12-year-old blended Scotch whisky.

Closer to home, we've been lucky enough to

This dram is considered a benchmark, a

see Australian whisky really take off in recent

about maximizing this singularity. Blends are

yardstick against what other whiskies should be

years but high entry level prices - usually well in

about creating a totality."

judged.

excess of $90 a bottle - mean that the majority

character," he writes. "Single malt bottlings

are

amount of complexity versus

It's assembled by a team of 12 expert

blenders, led by Doctor Jim Beveridge - only

of Australians are yet to experience its promise.

Single malts are known as being a product

Walker's 6th Master Blender in almost 200

of place, but in a blend flavour becomes

years of history - many of whom have several

I'm going to make a prediction

the focus. Blends use malts with distinctive

decades of experience in the industry. They

there's always the risk I'll get this completely

combine over 30 malt and grain whiskies from

wrong and be haunted by this being forever

regional character to create their 'totality'

but

here - and

they lean more to being a product of people

the four corners of Scotland including grassy

in print - but the art of blending

rather than place. Blends are made by experts,

Cardhu from Speyside, waxy Clynelish from the

answerl That's right in coming years we'll see

Northern Highlands, fragrant Glenkinchie from

Australian producers putting blended whisky

an innate understanding

of blending

the Lowlands and smoky Caol Ila from Islay. As

into people's hands.

and an encyclopaedic

knowledge of

a blend Black Label manages to capture all the

craftspeople providing philosophy

is the

with decades of experience

their maturing stocks.

flavours of Scotch whisky in a single glass.

The art of blending celebrated.

is something to be

It's putting more whisky into more

Jim Murray the author of The Whisky Bible once

hands, it's fundamental

is lucky to have a flavour palate that's bigger

described Johnnie Walker Black Label as, the

of single malts' house style and it's about

than anyone else. They have access to over

'Everest of deluxe whiskies', saying that, "there

unlocking and harnessing flavour. The 'b-word'

8 million casks of maturing whisky from more

is not a blender who would not give their right

- be it Scotch, Australian or other has a

than 30 distilleries enabling them to produce

arm - or even their left one - for the recipe of

promising future

At Diageo, our experienced

blending team

in our understanding

I

exploredrinks.com 63


WHISl(YROYALTY

-;:··

Jim Beveridge joined Johnnie Walker in 1979 as an analytical chemist and has gone on to be one of the most influential master blenders in the whisky world. His expertise is widely recognised and just part of the reason he is entrusted with the world's most famous whisky - Johnnie Walker. What drives the pursuit of quality is flavour,

whisky memories that propelled you into

experimentation

your illustrious career?

our small team of 12 whisky experts, we put these three pillars at the heart of everything we do.

aware of Scotch whisky. It was part of the fabric All the team are natural experimenters.

Scottish and that people were very proud of.

always questioning

We're

things and challenging

ourselves to find new flavours by u~

t·ir,."'r

•~,~ g,·

·,

I

o,ur

When I joined Johnnie Walker in as a flavour

expertise and our intuition to explore w liat:'s

chemist in 1979, working with the malt and

possible. In this way, we continue the legacy of

grain to understand how they mature in the

those six generations

wood, those early memories of just how

have stood in my shoes.

important

.

and a lot of patience. Leading

of Scotland, something you knew was uniquely

. :·.~··· .

__..... -

_.

.

.

explore WHISKY: What is one of your earliest

JIM BEVERAGE: Growing up, you were always

_,;it •

I

of Master Blender who

Scotch was to people started to

come together

in a more coherent way.

All of this requires a lot of patience. The nature

That's when my passion for Scotch was fired,

of whisky means that things can take a long

and that's when it became more than just a

time. If you want to experiment

job to me.

to discover something

with flavour

new, then you have to

\ .•.-.

expect to wait a long time to see the fruits of eW: Is there a philosophy that guides

your labour.

you when it comes to blending Scotch whiskies?

eW: How has your background in analytical chemistry been put into practice when it

JB: My philosophy and, indeed, that of

comes to blending whisky?

Johnnie Walker, has always been about the pursuit of quality.

JB: An understanding

of the chemistry

involved in making whisky is the bedrock of my When John Walker started blending whisky,

work. During the first years of my career with

most single malts were terribly inconsistent.

Johnnie Walker as a flavour chemist, it became

He started blending them together so that his

obvious to me how science could be applied to

whisky tasted just as good every time. John was

whisky production.

pursuing and delivering quality, and we do the same today. Bringing that philosophy to whisky

There is no doubt that an analytical mind and a

is something which proved to be extremely

scientific background

popular then, just as it is today.

is extremely useful when ·

it comes to making whisky, but before any of that you need a passion for flavour.

64 exploredrinks.com -,

._.. __JJ,JIII'".~ _.


eW: How has the heritage of the Johnnie Walker blends influenced your approach to making whisky today?

JB: I feel a great duty to all our wonderful whiskies and to ensuring the continued consistency and quality of our Scotch. There is an amazing heritage behind Johnnie Walker. We all, if you like, stand on the shoulders of giants - all the men and women who made Johnnie Walker the iconic Scotch whisky that it is today. That tradition

of skilled whisky making

and innovation is in the DNA of Johnnie Walker. What we are doing in the 21st century is expressing our version of that heritage. In my job, I am effectively trying to foresee the future. With something

like Johnnie Walker

Black Label, I'm making decisions that will have to hold for 12 or 18 years. You're leaving a legacy for those who come later, which is as daunting as fulfilling the legacy of those who've gone before. It's my job to take our experiments

and the

passion of our diverse small team of whisky experts and focus our ideas into something which honours the unbroken blending

heritage

of Johnnie Walker.

the whiskies can bring out a particular aspect

corners of Scotland all have their own distinct

or note in another whisky. For me, that means

flavour characteristics, and it's that variety of

eW: Can you mention about the role of single

understanding

flavour that's of most interest to me as a

malt and grain whisky when it comes to

comprehending

assembling a blend for Johnnie Walker?

really understanding

JB: Of course. To craft a blend means using

a single malt is not just about its own flavours and layers but

work as part of a bigger picture - and that's

For example, iconic distilleries, such as

pretty exciting

Clynelish in the north with its rich, vibrant

1

single malt and grain whiskies and, therefore, understanding

these whiskies is critical to my

work as Master Blender. It's very important

for

Master Blender.

how those things might

flavours; the peatiness of the whiskies produced

eW: Do you believe that distilling is a science and blending is an art? Please explain.

me to understand the range of flavours that

on the islands to the west of the mainland, such as Lagavulin or Talisker; the sweet and fruity single malts, such as Cardhu from Speyside;

come from each distillery and the whiskies

JB: For me, distilling and blending are both

and the Lowland whiskies, such as the delicate

they produce.

science and art. The technicalities

fresh fruit character of Glenkinchie, when

distilling, maturing and blending Scotch means

brought together

While a good single malt or grain whisky can

that you make decisions at the right moments

roundness in flavour, a richness and a balance.

be wonderful

that are defined by science - chemistry, physics

It's the combination

brings such quality to Johnnie Walker.

on its own, what really excites

of malting,

can create a wonderful of these characteristics that

me is thinking about how each of these great

and maths. Yet, there are so many moments

whiskies can also be building blocks of flavour

where imagination

to produce something that is greater than the

that make this liquid so special. The real skill is

eW: At the end of a hard days' work what do

sum of its parts.

bringing these worlds together

you find yourself pouring a glass of?

and flair are the ingredients in harmony.

Often, it's in bringing together the range of

eW: Can you mention some of your favourite

JB: Right now, I am enjoying a Johnnie Walker

flavours, characters and textures in different

single malts when it comes to using them in

highball - Johnnie Walker Red Label or Johnnie

single malts and grains that you begin to unlock

a blended Scotch? What do they bring to the

Walker Black Label and soda (or ginger - if you

the hidden depths of the individual whiskies.

flavour profile of the finished whisky?

What we do is not just about combining

prefer). It's a very refreshing tasting drink, but what I like about it most is that it showcases the

different expressions. With every whisky playing

JB: The four main whisky producing regions

whisky. It's a brilliant way to taste the richness of

its own, individual role, it's about how each of

and the single malts that come from these

Johnnie Walker.

exploredrinks.com

65


.

,-;._., .,,. ...:., ¡,:

Oak adds all the colour and most of the flavour to whisky. Not surprisingly, oak casks* are the single most expensive material in the manufacture of whisky. WORDS CHRIS MIDDLETON

In the US, straight

bourbon

and rye, by law,

can only use new charred American barrels. These wooden

white oak

sugar cubes create

over 80 per cent of bourbon For malt whisky maturation,

whiskey's flavour. over 60 per cent

The cask being a wooden apt metaphor.

sugar cube is an

Over 70 per cent of oak wood

is made up of the simple sugars cellulose, hemicellulose compounds

and xylose, plus flavouring like lignin, tannins, lactones and

of the flavours are derived from their oak

other tasty volatiles. When preparing

containers.

That's because the more delicate

the cask

whisky 69.5 per cent. Straight bourbon

takes

over four years to ripen, Scottish whisky, more than 10. Scotland's cool stable climate in dunnage breathing

warehouses

means the cask is

under less stressful conditions,

it's slower and more prolonged,

so

allowing

other

for the spirit, the cooper will toast or char the

chemical reactions to take place to enhance

malt spirit requires used casks to gain their

internal staves, caramelising

the whisky's complexity.

flavour, gently. In Scotland and Ireland, the law

a sweet cube. As soon as the spirit fills the

Tennessee, in tin-sheeted

only permits the use of oak. Today, over 95 per

cask, it soaks into the stave wood. The ethanol

barrels behave more like sponges as variations

cent of first fill casks are ex-bourbon with the remaining

barrels,

balance mainly ex-sherry

wood. That's because the bourbon

barrels can

only be used once to make bourbon. the global surge in bourbon

With

sales, there's

plenty of empty, healthy and modestly

priced

these sugars into

warehouses, the

and water act as soluble agents, dissolving

in daily temperature

the sugars and flavonoids

out of the staves to maximise extraction.

in the wood to

squeeze the whisky in and

bring the colour and flavour to the spirit. The

fermentation

ratio of water to spirit plays a vital role in the

to the base raw spirit; it's the wood and

maturation Bourbon

of different

styles of whiskies.

is usually entered into the barrel at

maturation subtraction)

and the distillation

time (extraction,

around 58 per cent ABV, by law not more than

is five times more expensive due to the sherry

62.5 per cent ABV A new charred barrel with

This important

market collapsing.

a corn-based

species of hardwood:

mash bill (malted barley plus

interaction

oak. Oak has proven

rye or wheat), stored in the warm Kentucky or

to be the ideal wood for flavour, flexible

life of a centenarian.

Tennessee countryside

shaping and extended

different

Many of the barrels are

and enjoy multiple

lives under

wood programs to mature malt and

grain whiskies.

flavours. In Scotland,

yields the best whisky larger hogshead

in cool storage conditions,

casks,

using lighter malt

spirit are filled at 63.5 per cent ABV; grain

storage. Hundreds

oak species are indigenous hemisphere.

and

raw material relies on a single

be used many times, giving some casks the

reconditioned

Grain,

contribute

that creates most of the flavour.

barrels to buy. Sherry wood, by comparison,

In Scotland, casks can

In Kentucky and

of

to the northern

Only a dozen and their sub-

species are suitable for whisky, and each

exploredrinks.com 67

'


FEATURE

and spicy notes, while Asian oaks)C? ~ercus Mongolica

and Crispula) are :_= hara _cterised "with .

sandalwood

and cedar. Each oakspe .cies has ~

its unique lifecycle and growth composition. White oak is grown for 70 years and can be sawn. European oaks take twice as long to grow, and can only be split. Even the grain of each oak tree is a product soil, position

of its terroir of

and climate. White oak grown

in cooler Pennsylvania has tighter

growth

oak's flavour. Cooperages

shape the staves

to raise the cask, which is held tight by external metal hoops, the only non-oak part

rings than white oak from warmer Arkansas.

of the cask. A gentle fire toasts the internal

In 2010, Buffalo Trace conducted

staves to convert the carbohydrates

experiment

using 137 variables and producing

1,400 expressions. included

an oak

Some of the variables

staves cut from different

stored in different

maturation

68 exploredrinks.com

staves, caramelising

parts of the

tree, some longer seasoning periods,

others

conditions.

sugars. Bourbon cooperages

The

into

scorch the

the sugars and creating a

charcoal skin inside the barrel which also acts as a natural filtration

system.


THREE DISTINCT WOODS SMOOTHER

TASTE


FEATURE

The distillery, subject to the country's whisky

its flavour profile. The top level, the buzzard's

in oloroso sherry or madeira hogsheads

regulations,

nest, is hot and stressful, the floor cooler and

an extra flavour layer. Add solera-style

has a range of options to shape

their wood policy and flavour styles of whisky

slower. Artificially

for their brands. For simplicity's sake, we'll

winter works the whisky and wood year round,

heating the barrel house in

with accelerated

blending,

and filtration

adds ageing,

processes and the

variations seem endless.

look at bourbon

and Scotch. Bourbon is

others experiment

straight-forward

as they can only use virgin

techniques

like sonification.

Finally, filtration

maturation

new American charred white oak barrels. The

treatments

and the bottling

proof will complete

distillery can choose char levels from No.1 to

the tweaking of the whisky's finished flavour.

Without

barrel is not mandatory. Some barrels are

In Scotland, they have more variables to

*Cask is a generic term for the wooden

smaller, which is how craft distillers can expedite

harness. They can use any oak, not only white

container. Casks come in different

All the colour, most of the aroma, and flavour is due to the marvellous oak, we wouldn't

qualities of oak. have whisky.

No. 4, the alligator char. The standard 200-litre

extraction

and get to market faster. The proof

oak. The can use virgin, second, third or even

with different

entry cannot be over 62.5 per cent ABV. Leaving

fourth use casks. More importantly,

litres), sherry butt (500L), hogshead

more headspace when the barrel is filled means

allowed to used barrels impregnated

more air is present to aid oxidisation.

the flavours of a previous occupant.

filled, the maturation

conditions

Once

offer many

bourbon

has the print of American

they are with Exwhisky in

names such as port pipe (650 (capacity

varies by country and industry, i.e. 300L in Australian

wine, 225 - 250L in Scotland's

whisky) and the barrel is an American

generic

more variables to affect the whisky's flavour.

the staves, ex-sherry and ex-port wood the

term for a cask (US standard

The storage conditions

residual flavours of the fortified

and Ireland are the only Western whisky-

in different types of

barrel house construction, climate (temperature,

the location, the

humidity, wind, etc.) and

location of the rick in the warehouse impacts on

"'·• \ \

~

maturation,

other techniques

flavour complexity.

wine. After add to the

Such as finishing

types of casks, where, say, another

countries

law, merely 'storage

12 months

Spirits Act of 1906.

l

··,

producing

in other

,~-

liquid

capacitates

is 200L). Australia

not to specify oak by in wood' since Australia's


HAS NEVER HAD ITSO GOOD

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72 exp lo red rinks.com

- -··

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FEATURE

Australians#hold a unique place in the world of whisky. Every year since theJ1880s, whisky has been our most popular spirit. No other country has crowned whisky the king of spirits every year for over }'30 years. Today, whisky still commands a dominant 45 per ceny of the total spirits consumed. During this reign, whisky has fou~ght off the arrival of new spirit categories arriving after the Second World War, with the influx of Eastern European and Medite, ranean immigrants, vodka and ouzo, followed by white rum,i equila and mezcal, and now cacha<;a,pisco and baijiu. Regardless of our ethnic composition, we remain a whisky nation.

I

WORDS CHRIS MIDDLETON

With ead i generation

whisky fashions

chang~ _!ft'rom Scotch to Australian back t ;

cotch and now bourbon

stimulating,

whisky.

So to eff onsumption

patterns and how we

drink:,i hiskychange.

As whisky is being

rediscovered,

into this global whisky boom

whisky,

this demand

craft distilleries

worldwide;

countries are making whisky today, a far cry

Mille ~ nials, it's the cocktail trend and sipping

the rapid expansion over a thousand

renewed interest.

our per capita consumption

of ~ isky is declining.

they too have

from a dozen counties in the 1980s. Following

whiskies that are creating Co ~~ terintuitively,

if not

increased more than fivefold since 2008. Fifty

from Baby Boomers to

'"'

Joining,

is the arrival of small

in the distilling

even more new line extensions

In other words, as the

industry,

new whisky brands, and released from

existing brands, are hitting the market. Never

po i ulation increases, new cohorts enter and

before have we had such choice, competitive

ol tr er ones live longer, whisky is not keeping

prices, and outstanding

'If

styles of whisky to

P.ace. In recent years, whisky case sales

drink, from Taiwan to Sweden, Scotland to

~.ave declined,

Kentucky. This boom is described

II

yet the amount of money

new 'Golden

we spend has upsurged. The reason: we

as whisky's

Age'. Much of it is high quality

at good value, as advances in science, technology

and inventiveness

push whisky

into new and exciting directions,

from grain

to wood. 1!' • · \i~ T 11e eJ ta bl.Is h e d

to dominate

. . I b ran d s continue . , 1nternatIona

our whisky landscape, with the

three top brands holding

half of the total

whisky sales. In the small malt segment, five malt brands dominate. garnered

Attention

is being

by the new craft segment, which has

carved out a noisy half per cent share in the whisky category. Craft is the amorphous

"'.1/- - ·, ~~

/

-

/

:(;.

attributed

....... -

to micro-distilleries

ups that have populated

. . -:..-. :.._,,,, ,,....., .---

term

and nano start-

the whisky landscape

,- over the past two decades. Their smaller

•. ~"

...l ~;. _., -.

.

~

.

.

-

scale -operation

and m ; re manual resourcing

have conferred

on them the perception

of

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'I:"-

exploredrinks.com

73


;--~ - . - -""-- I, ~~--~--~

',..-

~

- '

;::. -~ ~

J

being more artisan than significant distilleries. In marketing parlance, provenance and authenticity make craft whiskies more popular with younger drinkers seeking to discover a brand, especially as the cocktail phenomenon sweeps the night economy. Marketing the provenance to a town, suburb or district, sourcing local ingredients and being operated by locals spurs in the consumer a sense of small, local and intimate, earning them the 'craft' moniker. As Australia's sizeable industrial whisky distilleries were shutting-down, the new small craft movement was in ideation. By the mid1990s, the old Australian whisky brands that dominated sales for decades disappeared, from both the liquor shelves and memory: Corio, Four Seasons, Bond 7, etc. As the last of the large distilleries silenced their stills, it was school teachers, gun store owners, property developers, plumbers and publicans who put their hands to experimental whisky distilling. It was as if a bushfire had wiped out the old hardwood trees and new shoots reappeared from their ashes. Most of these new craft whiskies were poorly made, young whiskies that struggled in the 21st century. Some of these distilleries closed, however persistence and outsider help slowly improved the quality. Twenty years later, some labels were winning awards in competitions. The success of these pioneers and the low barriers to entry attracted dozens of wannabe distillers. Some were looking for a sea change, others to lure tourists to a food stop and, for younger recruits, a different and romantic career path beckoned. The transmission of knowledge and skills proliferated, with specialist suppliers like still fabricators, coopers and maltsters serving this demand. From 10 whisky distillery start-ups in 2005, a

74 exploredrinks.com

hundred operate or are in development Australia today.

in

In 2018, spirit production is projected to exceed one million litres of pure alcohol. The six largest distilleries generate over two-thirds of this spirit. By 2021, capacity could increase by another four million litres, as significant plant upgrades and new large distilleries are erected to capitalise on this current upswing.

Australia, along with the rest of the world is experiencing an exciting and expansive whisky era. There are extraordinarily good, high calibre new whiskies released almost every day, and the major distilleries keep improving their international brands. The massive leaps in world production and entry by new players mean prices, quality and choice will remain very competitive. The whisky drinker has never had it so good.


FEATURE

TEN LITTLE-KNOWN AUSTRALIAN WHISKY FACTOIDS • Australia was the fifth largest whisky producing nation in the world until the 1960s, when Japan moved up the rankings: 1. Scotland , 2. US, 3. Canada, 4. Ireland. • Today, Australian whisky represents less than 0.03 per cent of total world whisky sales, excluding Indian and Thai molasse s-based whiskies. • Australian whisky whisky drunk, yet cent of the global Thai whisky made

holds 0.3 per cent of the Australians drink over 5 per whisky (excluding India and with molasses).

• About 100 distilleries make whisky, two-thirds of the sales are from STARWARD, Hellyers Road and Limeburners . • In the 1920s, Australia had the largest malt whisky distillery in the world, Federal Distillery, in Port Melbourne . It also had the world's largest mash tun at 2.75 million litres. • Until 1994, two of Australia's largest grain whisky distilleries quietly operated in Botany, Sydney and Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley. Seagram's Continental and United Distillers closed these distilleries as the first nano-malt whiskies started. • Australia has the highest per capita consumption of bourbon in the world, 2.5 times more than the US. • In 1925, the number one selling brand of whisky in Australia was Old Court. It was an Australian blended malt whisky, the first and only time a malt whisky brand was a market leader anywhere in the world. • The first Australian whisky was made at Parramatta by the Webb brothers in 1793; by 1796 distilling was banned until 1822 . • Australia was the UK's top export market for Scotch whisky every year from 1880 to 1939. After the Second World War, Australian whisky brands held 75% of the local whisky market.

expl o redrinks.com 75


MEET: DAVID VITALE, FOUNDER OFSTARWARD WHISKY David Vitale established Starward Whisky in 2004 under a simple premise - whisky doesn't need to be complicated and inaccessible. He saw a gap in the market for young, great tasting whisky at an approachable price point, and turned his hobby brewing skills towards making this vision a reality. The proof is in the pudding, as Starward has been lauded both in Australia and abroad, and now produces 250,000 litres per annum. explore WHISKY caught up with David recently to find out how he got started in the industry, why he believes Australian whisky is unique and what he sees for the future of the category. explore WHISKY: Your background isn't in the WHISKY industry. What inspired you to create Starward whisky and how have you come to this point? David Vitale: My background

is actually in

hobby home brewing. That was my weekend passion. I used to own an elearning delivering professional development advisors, and developed

business, to financial

a bit of a passion for

making stuff at home. I thought, when I sold the elearning

business, that I would perhaps set up

a micro-brewery but, unfortunately, good beer doesn't travel well - as we all know. So, I shelved that idea and went back into consulting before realising that, indeed, single malt whiskies have a lot in common with craft beers, in terms of that provenance of place and that story. So, once

I realised that single malts were basically just distilled beers, I applied all ofthat learning and passion I had for brewing into whiskies, which travel a whole heap better around the world. The origin was really thinking about whisky from a craft beer perspective. eW: To your knowledge, at this stage were there other distilleries in Australia attacking whisky production from this perspective, or did Starward lead the way? DV: I actually discovered whisky at the Lark

Distillery. Up until then, my understanding

of

whiskies was very limited. Chivas Regal was what we gave our accountant as a gift at Christmas, and Johnnie Walker Red was what my Greek friend's Dad drank when they were playing cards.

76 exploredrinks.com


MEET we're using those red wine barrels, and very few

perhaps talk to bartenders that have got a

distilleries around the world mature their whisky

range of Australian whiskies and explore the

from the day it's made in red wine casks.

category through flights. Use those bartenders as a fountain of knowledge that can help you

eW: What is your ongoing vision for

navigate what flavours you like and don't like.

Starward?

The challenge for Australian whisky, really, is the availability of stock. The hard part is you might

DV: To me it's mainly to be the approachable,

like a whisky that isn't necessarily available

affordable Australian whisky that you can share

anymore, and so we always strive to be as

with friends. We're not too concerned if it's

consistent and accessible as possible.

used in a cocktail or not - we're not precious about how it is used. I'm really excited about the opportunity

for us to broaden the audience

of whisky, because it is more approachable

eW: As a dynamic industry, whisky is always looking ahead. What do you see as the future of Australian whisky?

and carries those wine flavours, which gives it something different and exciting in comparison

DV: I think the future is really bright. I'm

to the whiskies that come through from the Old

confident that between the likes of the

World. I think for us, it's about taking Starward to

Tasmanian distilleries, Limeburners on the west

the world and making sure every self-respecting

coast, Archie Rose in Sydney and ourselves, that

back bar has a bottle of it on the shelf to talk

there's the potential for Australian whisky to be

about why Australian whisky is interesting.

the next Japanese whisky.

That was my world of whisky. It was almost by

eW: What do you think sets Australian

eW: For any readers looking to potentially

accident that I went into the Lark Distillery and

whisky apart from the Old World whiskies?

explore their own craft ventures, what would be your advice?

saw all these single malts on the back bar. That was the moment. It was like a light switched on

DV: We've been talking about this a lot,

and I went, "Wow, I can't believe the similarities

actually. Generally, in terms of, 'Why is

DV: Be patient. But more importantly, you

(between this and craft beer production)."

Australian whisky so interesting?'

need to have real clarity about what the vision

compared

Bill Lark at Lark Distillery and Patrick Maguire

to bourbon and Scotch. I think a lot of it has

at Sullivan's Cove were already in the market,

to do with the fact that all of Australia's brands

Because there will be moments through the

selling amazing whisky that was starting to

were created by living people who have a

whole process where it's going to be really

get attention around the world. So, I always

story to tell about why they've gone down this

tough. We've gone through some pretty

knew we could make great whisky in Australia.

journey. We all make great whisky, and so does

white-knuckled

It was about saying, "How do we get it out of

the Old World, so it's not quality. You're not

what really kept the team going through those

the special occasion cabinet into the sharing

going to live long on a shelf if you don't have

periods of time was a real clear vision and

cabinet?" I think this is something Starward has

quality, and that's no different between Old

purpose for the brand and the whisky. It serves

led the way on. It wouldn't be necessarily making

and New World. It's really about the ability to

as your North Star, without being cliched. The

great Australian whisky - we've been doing

engage the consumer with a really interesting

guiding principles of what you're trying to do

that for a long time. It's probably us being very

story about why you're making whisky. Then

will come back and help you get through those

passionate about moving whisky into the sharing

the second part, I think, is obviously flavour. All

difficult times.

cabinet and making it more accessible.

of the whiskies that we make in Australia are

eW: What about Starward makes it uniquely

for the business is and why you're doing it.

moments in our history, and

flavour forward, and celebrate the place that

eW: What's new on the horizon for

they're made.

Starward? Are there any new releases or

Australian?

events coming up? eW: What advice would you give to a consumer who is looking to approach the

DV: We've just launched our first bottled

whisky in Australian wine barrels. You can't be

DV: It's pretty straightforward:

whisky category, but doesn't know where

cocktail, which is really an opportunity

any more clearly Australian than that. All of

to begin?

whisky on the dinner table and shared with

it's Australian

the ingredients that we use for Starward are,

to get

friends, and we're really excited about that.

basically, a day's drive away from the distillery.

DV: This is a bit self-serving, but one of the

They're limited releases. This is the first in a

If you compare that to, say, Scotch whisky, they

reasons I started the distillery was to be that

series of cocktails we're going to launch, so in

source their barrels from Spain, and Portugal

first rung on the ladder of Australian whiskies.

the New Year, we'll have a new one coming

and America, and barley is grown all throughout

I don't think I'd be speaking out of line to say

out which is pretty exciting. The bottled

Scotland and Europe. So, from our point of

that even $90AUD, which is what Starward

cocktail is a pretty important

view, Starward is more Australian than Scotch

costs, is a lot of money for a whisky. I think

whole idea of making whisky more

is Scottish. It's distinctly Australian because

what you want to do is actually go to a bar,

approachable

part of that

and accessible. exploredrinks.com

77


There is no such person as the 'average' Australian. We're individuals differentiated by gender, age, ethnicity, size, education, etc. Similarly, whiskies made in Australia are differentiated by grains, wood, age, size, location, etc. This variety makes our whisky landscape diverse and exciting. ,"'WORDS CHRIS MIDDLETON

·, '

This emergent whisky diversity will allow

globally traded consumer commodities,

some distilleries to find niches to survive

be commercially

and commercially

superior quality, value-for-money

grow, while the whisky

to

viable brands must deliver

market remains buoyant. Whether a distillery

distinctiveness.

the Australian whisky industry also depends

like Scotland', 'bourbon-st ~ ryes' or venturing

experimental

mashes', into more

whisky routes, many have

The revival and surv ival of

--...

on these business imperatives.

Ideally,

Australian whisky brands need to stand apart from the international

competition,

with

found a place within the market. The impact

meaningful

of our local raw materials, internal processes

The liquid diversity emerging

and environmental

country indicates the industry is off to a good

conditions

have gradually

started to influence the range of styles and flavours. Because whisky is one of the most

78 exploredrinks.com

differences to attract drinker ~.

start in a long race.

-

{··

, ) •

and brand

started with the premise of making 'malts 'American

1

.. /,\\

across the

""1


investments to increase capacity, this potential exists. At present, subtle differences vectors can be attributed of local ingredients, and environmental

in flavour

to the influences

processes, equipment conditions.

These

diverse inflexion points are present in five manufacturing

areas.

GRAIN: As mentioned much experimentation

earlier, there has been with different grain

species and varieties, using different specifications.

malting

Some smoke the grain with local

peat and hardwoods,

others mash with mixed

grain. There's whisky made from oats, corn, corn/rye/barley the hot, dry inland, as well as micro-climates

nearly half of them make whisky. For many, it's

every capital city, except Darwin. They distil all

Australian

part of a broader spirits portfolio

kinds of grain, including

from numerous local hybrids bred for local

including gin,

in

and rye whisky. The majority

Of the two hundred odd distilleries in Australia,

rye, oats, rice, wheat,

of whisky made in Australia uses 100 per cent malted barley. This barley originates

vodka, rum and liqueurs. A few distil hundreds

barley and corn, with most of the grain locally

cultivating

of thousands of litres, most a few thousand or

grown. Most distilleries brew their own wash,

beer industry and exports. The large maltsters

only a few hundred litres a year. There's much

some contract it from local breweries. Similarly,

practice differing

diversity in size and capacity. Today, there are

when it comes to casks there also a wide variety

procedures which affects colour, flavour, aroma

over forty local whisky labels, but less than a

of different types and sizes, from new virgin oak

and fermentability.

dozen are found in leading off-premise

containers, ex-bourbon,

varieties, there are vast regional choices (Scope,

chains.

There's also a wide variety of liquid quality and

80-year-old fortified

in price points. A few are competitively

oldest in the world.

most are over-priced.

priced;

ex-rum and ex-wine, to

ex-wine casks, some of the

small distillers face, having no trading access to

Colloquial

any cost-efficiencies

divergences

Amongst

and kilning

the local barley

La Trobe and Planet, etc.) and the different malting specifications

markers or small discernible

primarily to serve the

germinating

offering distilleries

It's a cost of entry penalty

from grain to bottle. Some

conditions,

subtle differences

(pilsner, ale, amber, etc.)

much scope to formulate in their wash.

are evident in Australian techniques,

which could impact

FERMENTATION: Distillers can select from

are remarkably good whiskies, and there are

production

some prettty poor whiskies too.

finished whiskies. Whether any of these

an international

will coalesce into charming and distinctive

yeast strains from wine and ales to add to the

Whisky distilleries are scattered across all states

styles, only time and investment will tell. As

high-yielding

and operate in every type of climate: tropical

nano-distilleries*

fermenting

North Queensland

larger enterprises are undertaking

to cool Tasmania, and even

continue to mushroom and substantial

shopping

list of proprietary

distiller's yeast. Yeast strains and conditions

and compounds

result in different esters

in the beer before distillation.

exploredrinks.com 79


CASKS: The oak cask has the most significant impact on whisky's flavour. Distillers exercise a range of options from cask size to wood programs. What the cask previously held in its first use for maturation finished product.

directly affects the

Many craft distillers rely on

smaller capacities (50, 100 and 150 litres) to expedite

maturation

to meet Australia's two-

years minimum in wood. However, reducing the liquid to wood ratios risks extracting unbalanced

oaky

whiskies. Established distilleries

have built up more in-depth

inventories.

Australia's thriving wine industry provides tawny, apera, muscat and wine casks to 'Australianise' the whiskies. Wine hogsheads, as well as ex-bourbon

barrels, rum barriques and/or

new virgin casks, add to this extensive flavour palette. Other maturation

methods use wood

inserts, paxarette and experimental

staves

from local hardwoods. When the different grain mashes, yeasts and distilling

plant get added

to the differing wood policies; the sensory matrix explodes geometrically.

The challenge,

as brands develop, is to market a consistent whisky. Otherwise, the variability for consumers means unpredictability

post-purchase.

MATURATION: There's no such thing as perfect climate to mature whisky. Just different climates for different whiskies. Over time, distillers learn to shape their whisky styles, from their new-make to the best wood policies, to their local climate and their storage conditions. Even entry proof of the spirit to cask and other maturation

As well as different yeasts, fermenting

the traditional

techniques

shapes vary considerably

also vary. Tasmanian distillers often

favour long fermentations

where spent yeast

pots still, although their from onions to

charentias alembics, flattops to boil balls, or

factors can be adjusted

to manipulate

flavour outcomes. The hotter

temperatures

across Australia draws the whisky

into the stave wood more aggressively than cooler climates. In metal warehouses during

cells are not captured in the wash, making for

Moorish Iberians to pinched conical shapes.

heat waves, the temperature

a lighter spirit. A dozen or more distilleries

There are also small column stills, column-

at roof level. In hotter, drier climate means

can reach 60°C

are practising the American sour mash

pot hybrids, retorts and doublers. Six local

most distillers can eliminate years of ageing,

method, setting aside a percentage

still fabrications

as Mother Nature extracts rich flavours faster,

of spent

serve growing craft distillers;

distiller's wash for the next ferment. Yeasts and

others are supplied from Germany, Britain,

while evaporating

fermentation

America, Italy, Spain, China, Czech Republic

Others mature in cool subterranean

to the diversity of flavour variations in the wash

and Portugal. Their engineering

minimising

variability allowing estification

before distillation.

methods of operation

complexity

to emerge slowly over time.

methodologies

add incrementally

design and

effect reflux, heating and

more water than ethanol. sites, with and

speed, while double batch or triple distillations

STILLS: Most are full copper, while a few have

influences the structure of the final distillate.

stainless steel, which affects the flavour profile.

Here again, these subtle variations in new-make

exciting chapter in Australia's 21st-century

When it comes to still shapes, size and design,

distillate will influence the finished whisky after

whisky redux, and brands that have meaningful

it is a multinational

spending

differences will be written into this story.

affair. Most are variations on

years in wood.

The current whisky diversity represents an

exploredrinks.com 81


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INGENIOUS USES FOR EX-WHISKY BARRELS Speak to any whisky connoisseur for long enough about the spirit they love and you'll see the almost reverent way they regard the humble barrel. The more you listen and learn, the more this esteem makes sense, for it's in the barrel that spirit becomes whisky as we know it - full of flavour, viscosity and subtle character. The barrel is the mother of whisky, holding and nurturing the spirit until it's ready to face the big wide world. And like any mother, its influence on its progeny is immense. WORDS STEPHANIE AIKINS

With such respect and interest held in their

decades old tradition

lives, it seems to many almost sacrilege to

stretches across continents,

simply discard the barrel in death. To go from

within the industry that whisky styles

of old oak seems dismissive and wasteful, and has come into

it was a cost effective choice for war-ravaged British producers, but Scottish and Irish

and distilleries.

whisk(e)y makers were more than happy to

being a hotly sought after resource to a pile that's where human innovation

barrels once the war came to an end. Perhaps

In an attempt to create work for coopers and

take the once-used barrels off the Americans'

loggers during the Great Depression, the

hands. These barrels took with them about four

play. We live in a world where sustainability

American government

to five per cent of spirit that had been aged in

forms the basis of all we do, while the desire for

bourbon

products that feel personalised

Keep in mind though, the big players like

hint of bourbon flavour to the Scottish and

us drives our buying habits. The result of these

Brown-Forman

Irish expressions.

intertwining

fewer times a barrel is used the more flavour it

phenomena

be re-imagined decorations,

and unique to

is that the barrel can

into a seemingly endless list of

tools and accoutrements.

The adaptation

and re-use of barrels isn't a

new concept, however. In fact it links to a

82

exploredrinks.com

mandated

in 1938 that

could only be aged in new barrels.

were already doing this, as the

imparts to the spirit. The war effort during WWII may have halted the distillation

of new

their interiors, which added a slight desirable

There are certain sought after characteristics based on which a Scottish or Irish

whiskeys but it didn't stop consumers from

whisk(e)y maker will choose a barrel. The type

drinking the already matured barrel-aged

of oak used, the amount of roasting or charring

expressions, resulting in a huge surplus of used

of the barrel and the spirit that has sat in it are


FEATURE

,

all important factors when choosing a b.=

l~!n.

a happy ~~incid e nce, the traditional American -~-r · Oak ex-bourbon barrels, or Ouercus Alba, . ,, '

r ..

----. .......

-

..

were not only relatively cheap and pl; ntiful in ·

•:'I,

the mid-20th century, but wer ~ fou,~i to inst_il delicate woody .characteristics ,

in the whisKy

:~

and promote subtle notes of v.anilla and sweet

:4 on ,U.Sc< .. <

caramelisa =fhj""

• , ., coconut due to ,the . the lignin and 'l ood sugars. Hence tnese - '.'."'·, ... . , indus .tries became largely dependent barre l imp.'.='.( ~

•"""r. i' •. '. ,, . -' ... ~t.~ During the same time per.iod, soo1itre , •• ,·;,-'. • ' ~ 1V'. '\ ' European oak ~ utts us; d to trt nsp ~rt sherry 1~;: from Spain to the UK were also being re-used ' as a vessel . fo ; ; ing wh i; ky. It ~ as fou r d I

4•

·.·."..:,ti

the remnants of sherry absorbed

into the

. wood enhanced the dried fruit a~d n·utty

•.:"f .

·.\!

• characteristics in the whisky.

'•

As 80_per cent of a whisky's final flavour comes ·, from the oak cas_k it rests in, it's common practice nowadays to use multiple types of oak to mature a spi.rit. Generally the first cask ,, i, · used is the American oak ex-bourb o~ barrel, .: which gives the whisky a good base before European oak, previously used to mature rum, cognac, oloroso sherry, fortified wines like port or madeira, or wines such as pinot noir or Bordeaux reds, rounds out the flavours. Beer '" casks like former stout or IPA barrels are also growing in popularity.

exploredrinks.com

83


FEATURES

, ,,

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~:7~â&#x20AC;˘ STARWA RD I

For those bourbon

-

barrels that don't make it to

- -

---=-~

Bonnie Scotland or the Emerald Isle, the cycle of re-purposing

will see them sent off to Mexico

for aging tequila or the Caribbean to be filled with rum. Many breweries have also jumped on board, requesting

ex-bourbon

barrels

to age their craft beer. A quick 'Google'

will

bring up the array of 'whisky barrel flavoured'

Now they say necessity is the mother

manufacturer

food products now available, from coffee,

of invention, but it's certainly true that

entirely made of whisky casks.

tea and vanilla, to maple syrup and even hot

sentimentality

sauce. When at one point a large player like

ingenuity. It's for the sake of sentimentality

Wild Turkey was sitting on 30,000 barrels they

we've seen 'dead' whisky barrels transformed

with Cut Throat Knives to create an extremely

couldn't

into some pretty quirky keepsakes.

limited edition knife carved from ex-barrel

give away, now an ex-bourbon

barrel

Renovo in 2017 to create a bike

has spawned its fair share of that

will cost about $60-$70 US and is in

Even on home soil, Starward whisky has worked

staves. Although

each knife was priced at

hot demand.

In 2016, New Zealand bartender Andrew

$730AUD and only five were made, that didn't

Brown and local timepiece

stop them from selling out in only four minutes.

However, just as all good things come to an

Watches, recycled old Glenfiddich

makers, Roys Road casks into

end, so the barrel eventually loses its ability

a rather elegant watch. In the same year,

What unites these seemingly eclectic uses for

to impart flavour. At this stage, it was once

Glenmorangie

the modest whisky barrel is the dedication

thought

spectacles maker, Finlay & Co., to make a set of

there was little left to do than ship the

teamed up with renowned

of

time and effort to creating some truly unique

barrel off to landfill, leaving it to age until its

sunglasses made from the same American oak

and beautiful. That reverence for the barrel

rusted metal hoops fell off and its staves turned

used to age the Scotch. This isn't the Highland

throughout

to dust; that or convert them into somewhat

distiller's only unorthodox

through our desire to fashion it in 'death' into

quaint garden features or kitsch bar tables.

with it also partnering

84 exploredrinks.com

reuse of its barrels,

with leading bicycle

something

its many stages of life is expressed

timeless and part of our every day.


Home to the brand since 2016, the 3,500 square metre Port Melbourne warehouse offers visitors an insight into Staward's distillation and unique maturation processes through its open-plan design. Guests can see first-hand the distillation equipment and the 2,500 barrels, mainly apera casks and wine casks, maturing some 120,000 litres of spirit. Upon entering, there is an unexpected warmth to the bar space, with a large, indoor tree acting as the focal point of the room. The raw and polished timber fixtures and couches are both welcoming and stylish, while the large open bar invites guests to sit down, relax and take a dram or two. As well as Starward's popular solera and wine cask aged whiskies, the bar serves limited edition expressions from the New World Projects experimental series, available only at the distillery. Iftaking your whisky neat doesn't tickle your fancy, there is also a range of cocktails on offer. There is a small menu of cheese and charcuterie boards for those feeling a

ADDRESS: 50 Bertie Street,

little peckish.

Port Melbourne VIC 3207 ::? T:03 9005 4420 . .' ..........

__,,,_,__

W: starward.com.au OPENING HOURS:

Thursda ys: 6pm-1 0pm Fridays and Saturdays: 12pm-10pm Sundays: 12pm-8pm 0

STJ\'R WARD 't#HISKT A-IAK{lt! ~ll,I Q L ~

OISllLL tR~

or AUSTIU •u ;

f'fN'.lt~OM.U,1.,.,r,,:,1

• ~IU

• ~~

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING: Starward Whisky Distillery Tour:

~ .• ,,

$1 Opp, 1hr. on line bookings. Friday-Sunday: Various times Starward Whisky Masterclasses:

$120pp, 2hr. Online bookings. Saturdays & Sundays: 11 :30am Private tours: Contact Nicola via

exploredrinks.com

85


''

THE FUTURE FOR -- --'

1''.'l,.i'•\

'~'

'

I,

I

t

.

'

The Scotch whisky industry is currently , ex p e·r ;encing a p: r;Jd of g ~~wth unprecedented in its entire history, founded upori anticipated glob al sale~ over the coming decades. But have the actuaries, and market forecasters :,•• got their sums right? In this article, I will co·nsider some of the fact 8 rs:~;c · ~ · which are likely to influence the fortunes of S~otch in·the coming years. ·.'

"7:..

...

. - __ --

J:_~ __

-:-,h·

In his annual Scotch Whisky Industry Review, leading analyst Alan S. Gra Y,::..<. -._. ~---~:-includes a lengthy section titled 'Problems Facing the Industry'. The mo s( ~ .-h recent edition (2016) lists over twenty such 'problems'. So what follows is .:--:~· · -· .,.:-~ ~-~~ -by no means exhaustive! ·,,... <~---:s~:c:f-~;::-=--_;~~;~ ,~~-~-0

~?:•;-.:~:=-•1o.~ .. ,·:·~...::=7 ?~~-

:r~:::~~i=:f~

As a historian, I will begin by looking at the past.

-~

..

-

'

--

.

-_:..-

---- ... --~- ...._---:-

-.;.-,,,,,. --=-_··:.-

WORDS CHARLES MACLEAN

LESSONS FROM HISTORY

1823. The Act made it possible for small

cholera and typhus and by a general recession

distillers to make good whisky and sell it at a

in many countries.

The market for Scotch whisky has

reasonable

dropped

always been cyclical. The industry has

of the modern whisky industry. Between 1824

litres of pure alcohol (LPA)], and there were

expanded

and 1834 no less than 260 distillers took out

many bankruptcies

licenses. Many had previously

But 20 distilleries

capacity to meet demand,

then contracted

as demand falters. There

have been three significant expansion,

each of which has resulted in

over-production, demand

eras of

price, which laid the foundations

been distilling

outside the law; all were small operations,

and

beyond the industry's control.

within the whisky trade. established

during the

The second period of dramatic expansion Then came 'The Hungry Forties', presaged

was during the 1890s when 40 new distilleries

by poor harvests in the late 1830s and

were commissioned,

compounded

blending

by the terrible

potato blight,

which caused the death of millions in Ireland

burgeoning

and Scotland, followed

operation.

by outbreaks

of

many of them built by

houses to supply malt for their

following

86 exploredrinks.com

of Scotch

decade are still in production.

The first boom period was the decade the passing of the Excise Act

Consumption

by nearly 20 per cent [2.6 million

most businesses failed after only a few years.

owing to a collapse in

mainly caused by factors

·

trade. 19 of these are still in There were 161 working distilleries


FEATURE in 1899, which saw the annual increase in

of whisky under bond had quadrupled

stock rise from just under 5.2 million LPA in

over 2.5 billion LPA.

to well

1891-2 to 35 million LPA 1897-98. By 1900,

bio-energy

stocks under bond were massively out of

In 1981 and 1986, 29 distilleries

proportion

out of production;

18 of them have remained

closed - although

three, Brora, Rosebank and

to demand,

and between

1906 a variety of factors combined confidence

in Scotch-

downturn,

including

goes without saying that ancillary facilities warehousing,

1900 and

to destroy

an economic

were taken

Port Ellen, are currently being revived.

changes in fashion, price-cutting

EXPANDING CAPACITY

and increased taxation.

bottling

plants, cooperages

or upgraded. In addition

to these new distilleries,

well-known

distilleries

expanded.

Several have doubled

1955 and

1975, during which 24 new distilleries commissioned modernised.

were

and many more expanded

and

All but six of these are still in

many

have been substantially

and three - The Glenlivet,

capacity,

Glenfiddich

The Macallan - are building The third boom era was between

and

plants - have also been increased

and

massive new

The current whisky boom eclipses these boom

distilleries

periods.

million, around 20 million (yet to be divulged)

Never has so much been invested

in expanding

production.

32 new distilleries

on site, capable of producing

32

and 17 million LPA per annum respectively.

opened between 2004 and 2017. At least five

production.

The reasons for the rapid growth

more will open in 2018, including

of distilling

in the 1960s lie in the relaxation

Lagg and Ardnahoe,

Macallan II,

Over the past ten years, malt whisky

capacity

production

capacity has increased by a

to produce slightly over 73 million LPA a year.

staggering

60 per cent, from 239 million LPA

States market, which had taken the bulk of

12 of these distilleries

in 2007 to 383 million LPA in 2017. Of course,

exports since the end of the war, showed

LPA), 11 are medium-sized

a phenomenal

but nine are capable of producing

of restrictions

American

on production.

The United

rate of expansion.

In 1960,

imports were 54 million LPA; by

with a combined

are small (under 200,000 (200-750,000 LPA), in excess of

not all distilleries

operate

year, as annual output

at capacity every

is based on anticipated

future requirements.

one million LPA per annum.

1968 they were 150 million LPA. I know of a further 25 distilleries

which are

It was not to last. The first oil crisis (1973) and

either proposed

the end of the Vietnam War (1975), which

plus the three which are being revived. It

had stimulated

or under construction,

The optimism

manifested

by this increase in

capacity is based upon the anticipated

global

demand for Scotch whisky over the coming

the US market, combined

with a general economic

recession in the

West and a move away from brown spirits in favour of vodka, white rum and wine to make trading

difficult for Scotch whisky. A further

severe global recession in the early 1980s exacerbated

the problem.

over-production

The spectre of

hovered over the industry:

between

1960 and 1980 output

doubled

(to 260 million LPA), and the amount

had more than

exploredrinks.com 87


decades - a remarkably tricky exercise, vulnerable control,

The smaller distilleries

to factors beyond the industry's

including

international

the global economy and

politics,

alcohol regulations,

not to mention sale of fiscal arrangements

and

fashion in over two hundred markets.

will rely on bottling

and selling their makes as single malts. On

malt whisky drinkers, like wine drinkers, are

the one hand, global sales of malt whisky

pluralist (they don't stick rigidly to one brand),

have steadily increased over the past ten

and they are keen to explore - but will they

years; on the other, the difficulties

buy a second bottle ... ? Furthermore,

bringing

of

their products to market cannot

be under-estimated. right and their crystal balls well

Many smaller distillers more significant

ROUTES TO MARKET

for building production

distilleries'

fall into two

and 'mainstream

as 'craft

distilleries',

by

and large based on size/capacity. The larger units - some built by leading whisky companies

a new distillery

and funding

Grant & Sons), some by well-funded controlled

by people with

long experience

in the whisky industry - will

mainly follow the traditional

Scotch whisky

industry practise of trading

the majority of

their spirit/whisky

for blending

purposes.

Parallels might be drawn with the current explosion

in gin brands.

Having said this, it is possible that nontraditional

routes to market via online (global)

sales will become increasingly

owner of Kilchoman

smaller producers.

Distillery on Islay with a

GLOBAL COMPETITION

day. But this is only the beginning

of the story.

Scotch is facing stiff competition non-Scotch

The problem

is finding

and distributors

reliable agents

whiskies/whiskeys,

increase in the years to come.

brand owner wants to operate keeping them supplied

in, and

with product

The vast increase in capacity mentioned if the

above is paralleled

statistics below relate to 'The Big Four' non-

perspective,

Scotch producers,

the cha Ilenge is to persuade

while the retailer protests,

for the first time.

it has been unsteady over the

past ten years.

88 exploredrinks.com

in many countries. The

brand does well. From the distributors'

global market for blended

the most recent figures are

from and this will

in every market the

countries

But although

for

staff of five, is around ÂŁ3,000 a

retailers to stock new and unknown brands

encouraging,

important

We shall see.

current capacity of 240,000 LPA, estimates that the cost of energy, raw materials, wood and

This route to market is useful, so long as the Scotch is buoyant.

range of brands

released to the market.

spirit can be named 'Scotch'. Anthony Wills,

(Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Edrington,

new enterprises

the

in the not-too-

than finding the investment

for at least three years before the

the production

William

haved mentioned

this as being the single greatest hurdle -

camps which might be described

will be compounded

and expressions

polished.

It's clear that the new distilleries

problem

distant future by the growing

Let's hope the marketers have their projections

The answer may well be 'yes' to start with -

"In order to stock

but there are many other

all over the world distilling

whisky

your new malt, I must remove an existing malt. Am I more likely to sell yours than a

In the USA, the number of Distilled Spirits

well-known

Permits (DSPs) - the federal permit required

brand?"


FEATURE

of which include whisky as part of their spirits portfolio

- maybe only a cask or two made

during the year. Over 90 per cent are small nano-distillers

(under 25,000 LPA

capacity). By my calculations,

nearly 80 per

cent of Australia's whisky is produced

by the

top seven distilleries." In addition

to 'The Big Four' non-Scotch

producers,

mention

the largest producer

must be made of India, and consumer in the

world: seven out of the top ten largest selling to operate

a distillery

lawfully-

has grown

8.7 million 9-litres cases in 2016) with sales

from below 100 in 2007, to 560 in 2010, to

projected

to exceed 12 million cases by 2020,

1,825 in 2016. In 2015 alone, almost 400 DSPs

and 24 million by 2030.

have been operating

in the United States - an

industry that was virtually non-existent

15

has gone

Canada's

leading whisky writer, tells me: "Canada's

But it should be remembered

eight major whisky distilleries

Scotch whisky industry cannot afford to be

have been

by over 100 micro-distilleries,

half of which are beginning The number of Japanese distilleries

at least

to make whisky.

Together, these new entrants produced

complacent,

that, while the

Scotch currently sells three times

more than its nearest rival.

less

from eight to 20 since 2010, while the total

than 0.1 per cent of the 22.5 million cases

export value of Japanese whisky has increased

of whisky bottled

nearly tenfold

slightly as new producers'

from 1.07 billion yen (about

'whisky'

cereal grains. My friend, Davin de Kergommeaux,

joined

years ago.

Indian whisky is not technically

since the base material is molasses, not

were issued, a rate of more than one per day. Since 2016, more than 1,000 craft distilleries

brands by volume are Indian. However, most

REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL

in 2016. This will increase stocks begin to

Whisky is now being made in significant

$10 million AUD) in 2006 to 10.378 billion yen

mature. Canada consumes just 15 per cent

quantities

(more than $100 million AUD) in 2015.

of its production

of the makes are high quality. They are also

Ireland grew from five to 18 distilleries

contributes

between 2013 and 2017, with a further 16

gross domestic

at home, exporting

rest to over 155 countries.

proposed.

Not all are small: William

the

Overall, distilling

$5.8 billion annually to Canada's product."

designed

all over the world, and the best to be different

to Scotch, and

are certainly not an imitation.

But are these

whiskies a serious threat to Scotch?

Grant's

Tullamore Distillery has a capacity of 3.6

And let us not forget Australia, where

million LPA and produces

another learned friend and whisky expert,

broader

grain spirits. Between 2008 and 2016, sales

Chris Middleton,

than non-Scotch

of Irish whiskey doubled

has also now passed 100 distilleries

both malt and (4.4 million cases to

informs me: "Australia too, some

Scotch, especially Scotch malt, offers a far range of ages, flavours and styles

legal definition,

and, because of the rigorous provides a more consistent

exploredrinks.com 89


product.

Simple in essence, it is also the most

complex spirit known to man, organoleptically. The provenance

and romantic

Scotch whisky are appealing:

history of Scotland -

'le pays Sauvage', 'the land of mist and mountains,

clans and castles' - is intriguing.

It is also perfect for the long maturation

of

whisky. Scotch whisky has cachet and a story to tell. A fellow whisky writer summed for me: "When you buy a bottle

it up

of Scotch,

you buy a hell of a lot more than 'liquor bottle'.

in a

You're buying history, craft, time and

tradition Although

- and the blood of one small nation." often now assisted by technology,

the craft skills developed years and generations process, maturation

over very many

concerning and blending

the are vital

to creating flavour, while the scientific bases of flavour continue to be investigated

- and,

happily, continue to be elusive. The industry is continually attractive

exploring

ways to develop

flavours while respecting

tight legal definition

the very

of 'Scotch', such as yeast

and barley varieties, longer fermentation, operation

and wood finishing.

90 exploredrinks.com

stills


Somewhat arrogantly

Brazil currently stand fourth and fifth in the

- but with justification

- the Scotch whisky industry's view is that

league of 'best-sellers

'all roads lead to Scotch'. They embrace

by volume'.

and support knowledge

non-Scotch

distillers,

The sheer geographical

that once consumers acquire and hopefully

Scotch

in the

to settle there

spread of the

markets for Scotch offers a degree of

a taste for whisky, they are sure to explore Scotch whisky-

of blended

I

SO, AS WE PEER INTO OUR CRYSTAL BALLS.

protection

if one market fails - the eggs are

distributed

in many baskets. Here are some

examples of by value export figures from 2017: USA +7.7 per cent,

South Africa

+20.7

per cent, France +2.1 per cent, Germany + 13.5 per cent, Spain +5.2 per cent ..

Will demand continue to grow to meet supply? Or are we filling a lake of whisky, surplus to requirements,

as happened

in the

The global whisky market is driven by the

early 1980s? And if we are creating a surplus

global economy, and individual

in the short term, will this increase its value

local economies.

in years to come? Those companies

which

markets by

In other words, consumers

must have sufficient

disposable

income to

still have stocks of whisky from the previous

afford it. Other factors include duty and other

'whisky loch' - now at 30-40 years old - can sell

fiscal imposts and regulations

them for eye-watering

prohibition

prices ..

fashion, changing Although

export figures have gone up and

down over the past ten years, the overall trend

lifestyles (including

concerns) and competition alcoholic

(not to mention

in certain markets), availability, health

from other

(and now non-alcoholic)

drinks.

is up, with 2017 being a record year for sales. With good reason, the Scotch whisky industry

There will be some casualties among the

has high hopes for China, where Diageo is

recently founded

running a major, education-based,

it better to hazard over-production

promotion

generic

of 'whisky'. Exports to Singapore

malt whisky distilleries,

than miss (global) opportunities

were up 29.4 per cent by value in 2017, from

highly-paid

where most whisky is shipped to China.

'yes' and this demonstrates

Exports to Latvia, an entrepot

in the future of Scotch.

for Russia, were

bean-counters

but is

now, rather later? The

and actuaries say great confidence

up 105 per cent by value last year. Mexico and

exploredrinks.com 91


'THE MALT WHISKY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD' "Rome was built on seven hills, Dufftown stands on seven stills."

92 exploredrinks.com


FEATURE

While Dufftown lays claim to be the 'Malt Whisky Capital of the World', distilling was not its original purpose - having once been the home of returning soldiers from the Napoleonic wars way back in the early 19th century. If its castles and historic symbols you're after, there is no shortage in and around Dufftown itself. Indeed, Mary Queen of Scots was a frequent

Mortlach, Dufftown and Glendullan complete

visitor to this region, inhabited by the Stewarts,

the impressive array of distilleries. It really is a

the Doug lasses and the Comyns noble families.

whisky buff's Mecca.

With castles are a plenty, in the town itself resides the Balvenie Castle, keeping a watchful

The town's four principal roads come

eye over the Glenfiddich

together

distillery.

at the central clock tower built in

1839, and originally the site of the local jail. However, when you're in the 'Malt Whisky

Dufftown's first distillery, Mortlach, had a

Capital of the World'

budding

the rich distilling

interest hastily turns to

heritage that Dufftown prides

itself on, and the six remaining distilleries

in

master distiller in a chap called

William Grant, who struck out on his own and built Glenfiddich

in 1886.

the town itself (from an original seven). The rhyme of, 'Rome was built on seven hills,

And why limit your gaze, when within a wee

Dufftown stands on seven stills' captures the

uber fare there are many of whisky's greatest

spirit (excuse the pun) of the town, which

names, tucked in glens around almost every

boasts an incredible

corner. Notably, just down the road is The

output of over 40 million

litres of whisky per year. That's over 20,000

Macallan's new stunning distillery, a 130 million

litres of whisky per person, with a population

pound investment and a truly breath-taking

of just over 2,000 people.

visitor experience.

Dufftown is 80 kilometres up the road from

Also highly recommended

Aberdeen

centres at The Glenlivet, Cardhu, Aberlour, Glen

(head north-west on the A96 sign

to visit are the visitors

posted to Huntly and Keith), nestled amid the

Grant, Longmorn and BenRiach - and the list

Speyside region and close to the rivers Fiddich

goes on and on. The regional map is an all-star

and Dul Ian, from which two of its distilling

cast of single malts, perhaps only rivalled by the

residents derive their names.

Islay peated malt brigade on the west coast.

The six distilleries in Dufftown are evenly split

Dufftown is also the home of the 'Spirit of

between William Grant & Sons and Diageo.

Speyside Whisky Festival', to be held next

The Balvenie, Glenfiddich

and Kininvie

represent from the WG&S portfolio,

while

between the 2nd and 6th of May, 2019. Timing your visit brings more of the good spirit to you.

exploredrinks.com 93


..6.

....

Aberlour

A

Allt-a-Bhainne

.4.

.

Ardmore

A, The Glen rot hes

4.

Auchroisk

.

Glen Spey

A.

Aultmore

Glentauchers

A

Ballindalloch

-A

A

Balmenach

A, Kininvie

Glenlossie Glen Moray

The Balvenie

..4,. Knockando

A

senRiach

,&.

.

Benromach

.

Braeval

A

cardhu

A.

Miltonduff

A

cragganmore

A

Mortlach

A.

speyburn

A

speyside

• □ailuaine • □allasDhu ,AGlenallachie A

Glenburgie

.

Glendullan

A.

Glen Elgin

A.

Glenfarclas

.

Strathmill

~

Tamdhu

A.

Tamnavulin

A,

Tomintoul

.

Tormore

A

soortmalt

,&.The Glenlivet

~~

'

I

NAIRN

I

\

I I I I I

I

V

KNOCKANDO (

(

BALLINDALLOCH

)

Maltings

.A.

4 Glen Keith

~~ ~~

J;,.. Strathisla

.,J;. Glen Grant ..

'

The Speyside Cooperage

Glenfiddich

,&.Glenglassaugh

ELGIN

\

.&.

,A.Dalmunach

• □ufftown

FINDHORN

Linkwood

,&.Long morn ~ The Macallan ,&.Mannochmore

.i,..Craigellachie

BURGHEA ~

LOSSIEMOUTH

1nchgower

A.

A . ....._ Benrinnes

/

Burghead Maltings

GRANTOWN ONSPEY"""

· ~

GLENLIVET

A ......

crisp Malting Group

.&,Roseisle Distillery and Maltings

\

TOMINTOUL

I

SPIRIT OF SPEYSIDE

DISTILLED

94 exploredrinks.com


CULLEN

I

PORTSOY

\ MEET THE LOCALS

FOCHABERS

I

"There are a few reasons why

CHARLIE METCALFE - BRAND

Dufftown is an amazing place

AMBASSADOR, THE BALVENIE

for malt whisky production.

One

of the main reasons is the huge

-"'"•=-- --

------'

- ~) ~~ --~,

"\,~

I

I

//HUNTLY

conditions for barley growing and

transition into the industry was

the cool weather conditions

a natural progression. Charlie

north of Scotland, this makes for

takes great pleasure in talking

lovely maturation conditions for

about whisky and its production

single malt whisky."

nothing more than sharing good

"If you are visiting the area and

drams with whisky lovers. He also

want a wee break from distilleries,

revels in guiding the 'uninitiated'

hill walking to take in Scotland's

into the malt whisky world.

natural beauty is a mustl

"For your trip to Speyside the

\

in Adelaide, South Australia.

within Dufftown itself. I think a

I I

"I loved my time in Oz. I travelled

I I \

across the country for a year, after

week in the area would be great,

'' '' '--..k ---

which it was time to come home to Bonnie Scotland."

----, __ ,

ADVICE FOR VISITING AUSTRALIANS?

though longer if you can."

VISIT CHARLIE AT THE BALVENIE "At The Balvenie we still have the five rare crafts of whisky making; from growing barley on our Balvenie farm and still

"When walking around the centre Band minor roads

I"

place to base yourself would be

Town/Village A roads

in the

time playing and coaching cricket

.......

Distillery/Malting Ina visitor centre!

Matched with the good farming

whisky and rich history. The

After leaving school, Charlie spent

I I I I

Distillery [with visitor centre/tours by appointment]

for the region steeped in

#

I

... ...

quantities of good quality spring water that we have in this area.

a love

with fellow enthusiasts, enjoying

I I I I I

I

Charlie grew up in Speyside, where he developed

floor malting at the distillery, to

of Dufftown, it's hard to not get

maintaining

an on site cooperage

• • • • • • ■

ScotRail line [Aberdeen-Elgin-Inverness)

captured by the surrounding

for all cask repairs and our own

• • • • • • ■

ScotRail line [lnverness-Aviemore-Perthl

distilleries. While Rome was built

coppersmith.

• • • • • • ■

Keith & Dufftown Railway Association

on seven hills, Dufftown was built

David C Stewart MBE with 55 years

on seven stills. The best way to

of experience in the industry."

IKeith-Drummuir-Dufflown)

Stagecoach 36 IForres-Elgin-Rothes-Aberlour-Dufflown)

Finally, we have

hear about the history and stories of the area is to go to a bar and

"Things to look out for this year is our

chat to the locals over a glass of

limited edition celebratory bottling

malt whisky."

of DoubleWood 25-Year-Old."

exploredrinks.com

95


THE SINGLETON DUFFTOWN

Distillery continues to produce one of the

The brand's success has come from a

smoothest,

combination

most approachable

whiskies in

of drawing on 420 years of

Scotland. This is achieved through a slow

collective distilling experience and over 120

Peter MacKenzie founded the Dufftown

distillation

years of Malt Master expertise to produce a

Distillery in 1896, at the height of the Scottish

whiskies in a secret blend of European oak

whisky boom. Unfortunately,

ex-sherry casks and American oak ex-bourbon

his beginner's

process and by maturing the

perfectly balanced single malt.

luck quickly ran out. Three years after joining

casks. Malts Master Craig Wilson, who has

Expertly crafted by some of the best talent in

the spirits business, the Scottish whisky

a PhD in brewing and years of blending

the industry, Master of Malts Maureen Robinson

market collapsed, forcing distillers to focus on

experience, curates the perfect combination

exporting

casks for a smooth, nutty and sweet liquid that

The Singleton has today become the fastest

has won awards across the world.

growing brand in the category.

their whisky. MacKenzie and his sons

quickly turned their efforts to supplying the

of

and Malt Masters Keith Law and Craig Wilson,

then dry American market. Their renown for distilling great quality Scotch whisky allowed

In 2006, The Singleton Dufftown 12-Year-Old

them to thrive throughout

launched, followed by The Singleton Dufftown

America's Prohibition

15-Year-Old in 2007 and The Singleton

era.

Dufftown 18-Year-Old in 2011. The distillery is, of course, named after the famous town, Dufftown. Dufftown sits at the

THE SINGLETON STORY

heart of the Speyside region - the most famous Scotch region in the world. As a credit to the

In 2006, The Singleton of Glen Ord was

location, characterised by rich soil and rivers,

launched in Taiwan (the world's second

Dufftown is home to many famous distilleries.

largest single malt market), where it quickly surpassed the competition

to become one

In the late 19th century, several distilleries were

of the world's most sought after single malt

competing for scarce water sources. Legend has

products. Spurred by this momentum,

it that the stream from an artesian spring called

Singleton set its sights on Europe and America but, as with all good things, exquisitely made

on multiple occasions diverted by rival distillery

whisky takes time. In order to uphold the

managers in the middle of the night to service

tradition

meet growing demands in new markets, the

draws water from that same source.

brand brought the famous Speyside distilleries,

Using the traditional

Singleton family.

namely Dufftown and Glendullan,

DUf TCWN

and

their productions. Today, Dufftown Distillery still

methods, centuries of

n.,ld!u1t.tlcoti:1t7!!uiiy

The

Jock's Well, situated high in the Conval Hills, was

of 'small batch' craftsmanship

ESINGLETQN .

into The

craft and the ancient water source, Dufftown

exploredrinks.com 97


a

4~ (I ..' I.'I~¡1~l11111 i

, ...

I;;;_I

-

Starting work at The Balvenie distillery at the age of just 17, David C. Stewart MBE remains one of the best-loved and most respected craftsmen in the business. David began a 10-year apprenticeship when he started at the distillery, and during this time he mastered the skills of nosing and creating quality single malt Scotch whisky. David was appointed The Balvenie Malt Master in 197 4 and has held that position ever since.

98 exploredrinks.com


MEET

It's been a busy last couple of years for David:

His spirit of experimentation also led him to create

in July 2016 he was awarded an MBE, Member

the ground-breaking IslayCask 17-Year-Oldin

DCS Compendium, a collection of 25 casks

of the Order of the British Empire, by Her

2001, which paved the way for a series of successful

from five different decades of Balvenie history.

Most recently, David has created The Balvenie

Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for services to the

expressions,such as The Balvenie PortWood

Each cask illustrates the distillery's character,

Scotch whisky industry and the following year,

21-Year-Old and The Balvenie Caribbean Cask

and how the characteristics of The Balvenie

in September 2017, he celebrated his 55th year

14-Year-Old.In this way, he has pushed the

develop over time.

with the company.

boundaries of The Balvenie'straditional place in the world of single malt Scotch whisky.

David's dedication to his craft, coupled with his modest, unassuming manner, has made

Over his career, David has developed an award-winning range of single malt whiskies,

David's unrivalled expertise has been displayed

him one of the best-loved and well-respected

which have earned him some of the industry's

in the Single Barrel Range, which includes three

figures in the Scotch whisky industry. He

top accolades. During his time, he's helped

expressions - Single Barrel First Fill 12-Year-

continues to work with the skilled teams of

independent, family-owned William Grant

Old, Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15-Year-Old and

craftsmen at The Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown,

& Sons become Distiller of the Year an

Single Barrel Traditional Oak 25-Year-Old.

Speyside, Scotland.

unprecedented five times at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC), four times at the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC)

~· 25THANNIVERSARY

and, for the first time, at the World Whiskies Awards in 2011.

f DITIO\

_

E T~ 1892

There are just a few Scotch whisky malt

SCOTC][WJJ

masters in the world and as The Balvenie

181(;

Malt Master, David requires specialist skills

YlJulll&dr,r-'

to ensure quality and consistency across

THEBALVENIE'

the range of whiskies. His passion for retaining tradition, as well as championing

ia:d /tl/c:f:_~:f/1/,ill

experimentation, makes The Balvenie a refined and distinguished single malt, that is as well-

COTL.m

loved among newer whisky enthusiasts as it is

D0UBLEWO0D

among seasoned aficionados.

MATURBDIN TWO DISTIN CT CASKS

Well-known in the industry for his desire to

AGED

avoid the limelight, David has been widely

12

YEARS

recognised by his peers. He was awarded the Grand Prix of Gastronomy by the British

Tu1

BALVBNIB

Academy of Gastronomes in 2005, as well as

tute from lr.sma1u.radonin m dijftrfflt ,yp,sof o,k wk.

conferred a lifetime achievement award by the International Wine & Spirit Competition

SHETR1O:\K

(2005). He was named Whisky Magazine's Malt Advocate in 2007, and an Icon of Scotch Whisky in 2009.

Balvenie Malt Master, aside from his MBE,

FuaTHI& ~ ill UfllPdl OUSIUU.T..., .,,,,,.,.,,,,,.

DOUBLEWOOD

--,.J•-•*

brlngingfi,,•lf, resultings1i«,LI IWl

MATUUO 1M TWO DtSTUfCT CA$U

AGE D

Another of David's key achievements as The

Dou•uWooo

,cqu,,.. ill tompln ~ rith .n,1,,...,i,

12

YEARS

C:AIK

""

au:OND

T~ ■ B.unN11 OouiL1Woooatquirudtt. ~ya nnHI/J cute (min iu n:uitvtMloG

rid,•"'

in,.,...,tliffmw, ,ypn of oak eatlL

includes the development of double cask

...... .......... ......................... .............

maturation in the 1980s, unheard of at the time.

, .le.~ ......,, ..... , ........ , .. , .... ..., I ............

These days, this is an established technique

-~-:~ ~t: ::::=::.~::;:;:." ..i 0.\Ut.& 91;,~,.,,..,,.,.~.g},'J/il/,,y ,C,

referred to as 'finishing', and widely enjoyed in The Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old

T .. , lo1.Lvaw1aM.1LT M,uT••

T111 l ...1.or•.it1'-l,bL'f M~,n• 1

~fllll"-PltH

:li70hl c

~-=~! .~~ :=.:; m~~fO\t

and The Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old, 14-Year-Old and the 17-Year-Old exploredrinks.com

99


Overlooking the field of Glenfiddich are the remains of a famous old Scottish fortress: Balvenie Castle. Originally constructed in the 12th century, the castle has played host to inhabitants such as Robert the Bruce and Mary Oueen of Scots. The ruins now keep watch over some of the finest distilleries in Speyside, for it was here that William Grant created the distillery that would become Balvenie. Every distillery will proudly trumpet what makes it different, or makes its whiskies superior to others. The Balvenie has the advantage of being able to identify a number of factors that, in combination,

only they offer.

They describe it as the 'Five Rare Crafts' of malt whisky. Others may offer some of these 'Crafts', but no other distillery can claim to offer all five. The barley for their whiskies comes from their own adjoining farm. It provides a means of maintaining throughout

quality

the process. They also add complexity to

the taste by malting their own barley in the traditional method. The Balvenie Distillery has the last active floor maltings to be found in the Scottish Highlands. Their own coppersmiths

maintain the stills, and they still have

their own team of coopers, working on the principle that casks are vital to ensuring every bottle of The Balvenie offers the traditional

honeyed flavours associated with

their whiskies. Having their own team is the best way to guarantee this. Finally, they look to the expertise and experience of their Malt Master, David Stewart. They have come a very long way from a crumbling

castle,

to be recognised as one of the great Speyside malt whisky distilleries.

ADDRESS:Balvenie Maltings, Dufftown, Scotland T: +44 (0) 1340 822 210


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

The Balvenie Distillery

WHEN YOUR 12YEAR OLD

25 The team at The Balvenie has been making their signature DoubleWood 12-Year-Old for a quarter of a century; a landmark that has instigated a yearlong celebration at The Balvenie. In honour of this handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky the Speyside distillery will highlight the pioneering work of Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE, while also paying tribute to the many distillery craftsmen and women who made DoubleWood the expression it is today. The Balvenie DoubleWood

Aged 12 Years traces its origins back to 1982, when David C. Stewart

MBE began experimenting

with double-cask

maturation,

or 'wood finishing', by transferring

Old Balvenie into oloroso sherry casks. Now commonplace

in whisky production,

12-Year-

wood finishing

involves taking mature liquid from one cask and finishing it for a number of months in another - a process that further develops its character, flavour and depth. The success of David's trials led to the release of The Balvenie Classic in 1983. Buoyed by the response this garnered, in 1993 The Balvenie released DoubleWood

Aged 12 Years, a whisky

that begins its journey in traditional

whisky

casks for 12 years, before being transferred into Spanish sherry oak for a further nine months for final maturation. This adds a layer of depth and fullness not to be obtained from other maturation

methods.

DOUBLEWOOD Commenting

MATUUD IN TWO DJSTINCT CASIS

on the anniversary, David

says, "DoubleWood's

creation and

AGE D

12

YEAR S

subsequent success is an achievement T11aBnvaNn Oouau'Wooo _,.,. ..,,.,,..rld,..,/ -

of major personal pride for me. It makes

u,u fromla maJundoftIll,_ tr/ff a( oakClll.

me very happy to know that a technique

"Jm-t

I helped pioneer all those years ago

Yl,;o/A#.:1::.,:

has now become a common practice in the whisky industry. But DoubleWood

DO BLEWOOD IUTl'ltD

wouldn't be the whisky it is today without the hard work and dedication to its development

over the

F\,1m1u _,_11lafll

hn...., ,_.,,....,._ .. ~1L'CUIW

12

Yl:A•S

T11~lun11 1• Oolln'w WoaD~-

~,_

of all the distillery craftsmen who have contributed

IN T• O DUTIWCI' CA.fU

A61ED

SHEi<!) O:\K CllitlHH.a Taab..,_,..;,,,

.... _,J_..,._..6-lno__... --~ ,p .,l ...........

• ~cc~ IM9M.n,oulh&•M-

years. The 25th anniversary celebrations give us all a perfect opportunity

to

come together and raise a dram to this wonderful

liquid."

explored rinks.com 101


Six years ago, Edrington¡¡r~~ealelit~ plans to build a new state ot:th~ 'art::rq~-~~~11 i &1i~ tillerY,ana visitor experience. The structure was designed to not only deliver the ico~1c¡sp e ysiae distil le~ . greater capacity, but to set the standard and vision that will guide the business t~rough the next centurY:of its history. There's a lot to live up to, but the senior team at The Macallan remain confident that the newly unveiled building will be a major part of The Macallan's expansion and enduring legacy. explore WHISKY was lucky enough to get the first ever tour of the new building. .

~

.'

.

.:,

.

The new distillery and visitor experience

underground structure with the rolling hills outside

Designs on this scale do not come cheap,

is located on the beautiful Easter Elchies

of Aberlour. This striking piece of contemporary

however, with Edrington investing $900 million

Estate, just outside Aberlour in the Speyside

design maximises the aesthetic beauty of the

in the brand of which the $250 million distillery

region of the Scottish Highlands. An easy hour

building while minimising the visual impact on the

is the centrepiece. This programme has been

drive north from Aberdeen, the fresh crisp air and

Speyside landscape, which has been classified as

implemented to increase investment in the whisky,

rolling hills signal the rural nature of the Scotch

an 'Area of Great Landscape Value'.

warehousing, and, particularly, in The Macallan's signature sherry-seasoned oak casks.

Whisky industry. The distillery and visitor experience was

The new distillery also signals a large investment

The Easter Elchies Estate has been home to the

designed by acclaimed architect, Rogers Stirk

leading luxury single malt since 1824, and the

Harbour+ Partners, who were selected to lead

in expanding production

main house on the label of every Macallan bottle

the project after an international competition.

tourism experience.

and improving the

sits at the entrance to the new distillery, as a

Elgin-based Robertson Construction has

reminder of the traditions past and expectations

delivered this sophisticated architectural design,

of a proud future.

working with 25 contractors to weave together

last year, and the updated infrastructure will

the vision for the new distillery and visitor

enable The Macallan to increase production by

Shaped like five grassy knolls, the distillery is

experience. During construction, up to 400 people

a third if required. The new stills were crafted by

unique and quite simply stunning. Despite its size,

specialising in more than 20 different trades were

Scottish coppersmiths Forsyths, who have been

at first glance, you could be forgiven for missing

employed on site.

making The Macallan's distinctive 'curiously small'

it, as the design seamlessly integrates the partially

102 explored rinks.com

The first whisky ran through the stills in December

since the 1950s.


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

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VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

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THE NEW DISTILLERY AND VISITOR EXPERIENCE IN NUMBERS • $250m was invested, and 60 new jobs

"As The Macallan has grown globally it has been

remained wholly committed. A key design

very important that we make sure we can sustain

feature is the massive floor to ceiling glass

demand for this wonderful amber liquid," said Ken

wall that separates the bar from the distillery.

Grier, Creative Director at The Macallan. "We've

It offered design and regulatory challenges

taken exceptional care in making sure that the spirit

and tested the business's commitment

to the

are set to be created • During construction,

up to 400 people

specialising in over 20 different trades were employed

on site

• The project has taken three years

that is produced in the new distillery is identical

high standards of the building. The local fire

and six months to complete

to the spirit that we produced in our previous

codes require the glass wall to protect the

(Dec 2014 - May 2018)

distillery. This is the beginning of a really exciting

public bar area for a minimum of 2 hours should

new chapter in the evolution of this wonderful

an accident happen in the distillery. Testing

timber structures in the world,

brand that is The Macallan."

and proving the design was robust required

comprising

a $540,000 mock-up of the glass wall to be

different roof elements, and 380,000

• The roof is one of the most complicated 1,800 single beams, 2,500

Ian Curle, Chief Executive of Edrington, echoes

installed and effectively burned down. Alongside

individual components,

this excitement. "The unsurpassed quality of The

this, the undulating timber roof structure proved

which are equal or the same

almost none of

• The new distillery will allow production

Macallan is in high demand, and we face the future

one of the most complicated timber roofs to

confidently with this new distillery," he said. "It's an

assemble in the world, comprising of 380,000

of The Macall an to increase by

authentic, abiding, ambitious investment that will

individual components.

approximately

a third

match consumer expectations for generations to

ADDRESS: Macallan Distillery, Easter Elchies,

come. When the doors open on the 2nd of June,

"The Macallan estate truly is a special place; a

we expect this new Macallan enterprise to deliver

place we have come to love and respect hugely,"

Charlestown of Aberlour,

significant benefits for the tourism industry, Scotch

said Graham Stirk, Senior Partner and Lead

T:+441340871471

whisky exports, and the economy." Indeed, it is

Architect for Rogers Stirk Harbour+

W: www.themacallan.com

expected that visitor numbers will double in the

"The vision was always ambitious, but this

first year and continue to rise after that.

enabled us to challenge our own thinking to

Monday-Saturday: 9:30am-6pm

create something so dramatic and awe-inspiring.

Sunday: 12pm-6pm

While there were times when amendments

It has been an honour to play our part in shaping

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING:

needed to be made to the project the business

the next chapter for The Macallan."

The Macallan 6 Pillars Tour £15.00

104 explored rinks.com

Partners.

Scotland

OPENING HOURS:


As Master Blender for over 23 years, Colin knows the characteristics of each and every whisky in Chivas' extensive aged inventory. A supreme craftsman with a lifelong passion for exceptional knowledge

whisky, he draws on his own

and inspiration from the Master

Blenders before him. He is the guardian of the renowned Chivas Regal signature style, and has recently created compelling the Chivas family-

new members of

Chivas Regal 18-Year-Old in

1997 and the luxurious Chivas Regal 25-YearOld in 2007. In recognition of Colin's contribution to the Scotch

MASTER BLENDER,

CHIVAS REGAL

whisky industry, he was appointed a Master of the Ouaich in 2008, having previously been inducted as a Keeper of the Ouaich - Scotland's most prestigious whisky society - in 1998. Colin also travels the world as a Global Ambassador of knowledge understanding

Colin Scott developed an early passion for Scotch whisky, growing up near Orkney distillery. Just as his Grandfather and Father dedicated their lives to the Scotch whisky industry, Colin followed this tradition and joined Chivas in 1973. Here he learned the art of blending under the previous Master Blender Jimmy Lang, and was appointed Master Blender in 1989 on Jimmy's retirement.

for Chivas, sharing his wealth and spreading a unique and appreciation

through his

exuberant passion for both Scotland, Scotch whisky and Chivas. Colin puts Chivas' international

success down

to its high quality and sublime consistency, stating, "Whisky drinkers all over the world really appreciate the supreme smoothness and generous richness of flavours that make Chivas a truly global icon today".

explored rinks.com 105


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

Located in the Speyside region of the Highlands, Strathisla is one of Scotland's most stunning and remote whisky distilleries. You will find the 'Heart of Chivas' surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges, waterfalls and the raging River Isla, which feeds from the nearby North Sea. Originally established in 1786, Strathisla is the oldest working distillery in the Highlands, having survived both a fire and an explosion in the malt mill during the 1870s to become the success it is today. Chivas Regal offer a number of different tour experiences at the distillery, from a traditional tour through to an intimate cellar tasting . .._ _On the ,Traditional Tour, guests are introduced

exclusively selected from the Chivas Brothers'

to the whisky making process, from distillation

Portfolio, along with a trip around the distillery

through to finished product, while visiting the

with one of Strathisla's most experienced guides.

production areas. They are shown the racks

Lastly, the Chivas Cellar Tasting offers those

of whisky casks left to age in the traditional

passionate about the golden liquid the chance to

dunnage warehouse, and are encouraged to join

taste drams drawn straight from the casks in the

a tutored tasting of four whiskies. The Chivas

Chivas Regal cellar, led by an experienced guide.

Regal Blending Experience sees guests taste

All drams are served at natural cask strength, and

a few of Chivas' special drams and create their

include expressions such as a bourbon barrel

own bespoke blend to take home. For the self-

aged Chivas Regal 12-Year-Old, a hogshead aged

professed whisky connoisseurs, the Straight from

Chivas Regal 18-Year-Old and a sherry butt aged

the Cask Tour offers an afternoon of sampling

Chivas Regal 25-Year-Old.

six limited-edition cask strength single malts,

explored rinks.com 107


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For those that don't have space in the itinerary to stop for a full tour, Chivas Regal invite you

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to stop by for a 'Fly Dram' with Strathisla's knowledgable bartenders. Inspired by the north east Scottish tradition of 'Fly Cup', or a quick tea served between meals, the 'Fly Dram' is a 10 minute experience where guests are shown three drams, the Strathclyde Single Grain, the Strathisla 12-Year-Old Single Malt and the Chivas Regal 18-Year-Old, and are talked through the shared histories between single malt and the Chivas blends. The tasting also includes a small sweet treat, used to showcase the intricacies of blending flavours.

ADDRESS: Strathisla Distillery, Seafield Avenue, Keith AB55 SBS, UK

T:+44 1542 783044 W: www.maltwhiskydistilleries.com/strathisla OPENING HOURS: Monday-Sunday: 9:30am-6pm from late spring until 9th November 2018

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING: Traditional Distillery Tour: £15pp, 1hr 30 mins, over 18's only, online booking. Max 14 people.

Chivas Regal Blending Experience: £60pp, 2hrs 15mins, over 18's only, online booking. Max 14 people.

Straight from the Cask Connoisseur Tour: £50pp, 2hrs 15mins, over 18's only. Max 12 people.

Chivas Cellar Tasting: £40pp, 45mins, over 18's only, online booking. Max 8 people.

A 'Fly Dram': £10pp, 10mins, over 18's only, online booking.

explored rinks.com 109


Alan Winchester is proof that hard-work and a humble attitude can see an individual achieve great things. Although he has been in the whisky trade J9 r.,. ... over 40 years, he has had to climb the ranks during ,that time, startin g out •a·s ; a tour guide for a summer job before working as a mashman, ~ bre w~ , a•still , f man and, finally, taking out the top job - master distiller .' . • ~

110 exp lo red rinks.com

.


Old single malt Scotch releases. Released over a number of years, each vintage in the collection is bottled at the peak of maturation under Alan's watchful eye. Very few whiskies are able to reach 50 years in cask and still be drinkable, alongside the fact 60- 80 per cent of the spirit is usually lost to the angel's share by this stage. This makes the whiskies in 'The Glenlivet Winchester Collection' incredibly unique, with each bottle sold at $25,000USD. Starting from the ground levels of production

It is this ingenuity that makes Alan well-respected

In his spare time, Alan is a great walker, often

and working his way up to being appointed The

amongst his peers in the industry, and he is

found roaming the Highland hills. Uniting his loves

Glenlivet Master Distiller in 2009, Alan has unique

regularly asked to speak on his experience and

of history and rambling, he created The Glenlivet

insight into the importance of the production

extensive knowledge of the category. He is the

Smugglers Trail in 2007. The trail invites visitors to

process at all stages. It was an old school teacher

past President of the Malt Distillers Association,

The Glenlivet distillery to walk in the footsteps of

that inspired him to, 'get a job that he would

past Chairman of the Institute of Brewing and

the whisky smugglers who transported their illicit

enjoy' and he's followed this advice to turn his

Distilling, Scotland and a fellow of the Institute

golden liquid out of the Livet valley in the 18th and

passions for whisky and history into a career.

since 2011. He was bestowed with the title of

early 19th century. During The Spirit of Speyside

Keeper of the Ouaich in 2004, before becoming

Festival each summer, you can often find Alan out

a Master in 2015, and he won Whisky Magazine's

on the trail educating guests about the distillery's

of The Glenlivet distillery, which are close to 200

Icons of Whisky Scotland Master Distiller of the

rich history and characters.

years old, but he is also ardent about constant

Year 2017.

Alan is dedicated to using the traditional methods

He has admitted before his favourite drink is a

innovation via new expressions and styles. During One of the greatest recognitions of Alan's career

small dram ofThe Glenlivet 18-Year-Old with a

the Nadurra, and a no-age-statement expression,

has been the attribution of his name to 'The

splash of water, but he would never pass up a

Founder's Reserve, to open up the brand to a

Glenlivet Winchester Collection' -the brand's

tipple from The Winchester Collection - as long

wider range of whisky enthusiasts.

series of extremely rare and highly valued SO-Year-

as someone else is footing the billl

his career, he has introduced peated styles, such as

exploredrinks.com 111


Founder George Smith established the first licensed distillery 1nthe r2ansh of Glenl1vet in an area notorious

foesmugglers and thieves

:You can read about how George successfully

.. .

and the Drams of D1st1nct1onifasting On tfie

-

-

defended his l1qu1dgold from these outlaws at ifhe Glenl1vet Exh1b1t1on1ns1dethe distillery, wh1di

Aftei a tour of the traditional dunnage warel-iouse

tells of the history of the whisky from its Sr:ieyside

where the casks are left to slowly mature, v1s1tors

beginnings to being enJoyed across the glol:ie Interested visito scan actually walk in the sl-ioes

Sr:i1ntoffers both an immersive tour and tl-ie Grab a ma

at the v1s1torcentre and trace tl-ie

Of?f20rtun1tyto taste the new make sp1nt and a


of the wood into the spirit creates Glenlivet's 'def init ive whisky' . Lastly, for the serio us whisky enthusiast, The G len livet offers t he Drams of Distinction Tasting. The hour-long tasting allows guests to sample a selection of rare whiskies paired with tasty b it es. This tasting does not include a tou r of the distille ry itself. Become a Gua rd ian of Th e Glen livet for free before travelling to t he distillery and you will also be invited to experience the hidden Library, an exclusive wh isky lounge w here you're encouraged to take a seat by the fire w it h your favour ite dram in hand.

ADDRESS: Ballindalloch, Banffshite, AB37 9DB

T: +44 (0) 1340 82120 W: www.ma ltw hiskydistilleri es.com/t heg len livet OPENING HOURS: Monday-Sunday: 9:30am-6pm (March -November)

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING : The Glenlivet Classic Tour: £1Opp, 1hr 15mins. Max 12 people. Daily tours from 1Oam, every half hour with the last tour at 4:30p m .

The Definitive Spirit: £65, 2hr 30mins. Max 10 people. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 2:00pm (subject to availability).

Drams of Distinction Tasting: £40, 1hr Tuesday and Thursday 11:OOam and 3:00pm, Saturday 11:OOam(subject to availability).

114 exp lo redrinks.com


W.ISIT- DISTILLERY FOCUS

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exploredrink s.co m 115


Through the woods, at the end of a short, scenic path in the idyllic Speyside town of Rothes you'll find the Glen Grant distillery.

Founded by the Grant brothers in 1840, the distillery is

The inexpensive admission fee includes both a

nowadays one of the leading producers of single malt

guided tour of the distillery and entry into the

in the world, with an annual capacity of close to 6.2

famous Victorian Gardens. When James Grant

million litres of pure alcohol.

established the distillery alongside his brother, he wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the area

Former illegal distillers and smugglers, the brothers

by building a stunning Victorian style garden in

were strategic in their choice of site for the distillery,

the grounds. Since fully restored, guests can now

choosing a spot that is close to the goods port of

stroll along the winding path through the garden,

Garmouth, the pristine waters of the River Spey and

past blooming

bountiful fields of barley. Glen Grant is proud of this

flowing waterfall and see the heather thatched

flowerbeds,

verdant lawns and a

heritage; evident as it is the only Scotch whisky whose

dram pavilion or the little cave where Major Grant,

distillery is still named after its original owners. It is

James' son and successor, kept his own private

unique in another way also, as it is the only distillery in

Glen Grant barrel.

Speyside where every drop is bottled on-site.

ADDRESS: Elgin Road, Rothes, Today, the distillery attracts around 16,000 visitors each

Banffshire AB38 ?BS

year and offers both guided tours and private tastings

T:+44 (0) 1340 832118

with the distillery staff. Guests can savour a dram in

W: www.glengrant.com/gb/en/distillery/visitor-centre

the refurbished, modern coachman's cottage, or enjoy

OPENING HOURS:

a coffee and a homemade cake at the Coffee Shop,

Monday-Saturday: 9:30am-5pm (April-October)

open April to October.

9:30am-4:30pm (November-March)

116 exploredrinks.com


VISIT- DISTILLERY FOCUS

Located in the heart of Speyside, in the north-east region of Morayshire, BenRiach displays all the traditional charm of a Speyside distillery. Built by John Duff in 1898, BenRiach draws its water from the Burnside springs located underground, deep below the distillery. the floor maltings at BenRiach, and it was

the particular

malt whisky back in 1898, the distillery was a

this alone that kept the distillery alive during

who craft the whisky, the ingredients

victim of unfortunate

those 'mothballed'

distinctive

Although

operational

BenRiach started producing timing.

BenRiach was

for just two years before the

years. Then, in 1965, the

Scotch whisky industry entered a golden era,

'Pattison Crash', in 1900, which resulted in a

and suddenly

period of hardship for the entire whisky

commissioned

industry and the closure of many distilleries.

re-opened,

new distilleries

BenRiach. Production

casks selected for maturation. a visit to BenRiach, the

you can book in for a personalised tour in one

So, after just a couple of years of distillation,

re-commenced

2004, and the beginning

remained so for 65 long years. Under normal

period in BenRiach's history. It was in April of

circumstances,

that year that BenRiach became independent,

Book and contact via website

having been purchased by The BenRiach

W: www.benriachdistillery.com

this would have spelled the would

Fast-forward to

If you are considering

distillery is not generally open to the public but

the stills at BenRiach fell silent, and

end for the distillery, as the buildings

immediately.

used, the

copper stills and the high quality

were being

and dormant distilleries

including

methods and skills of the men

of the most exciting

of just four slots each week.

Distillery Company Limited. This independent

OPENING HOURS:

to BenRiach lay its sister distillery Long morn,

ownership

You can visit (if you've pre-booked) on a Tuesday

which had enjoyed sporadic periods of

with several interesting

production

it continues to produce whisky from both

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING:

peated and non-peated

The 'Connoisseur's Tour' lasts around 1hr 30mins

surely have been demolished.

However, next

during BenRiach's lengthy hiatus.

The whisky makers at Longmorn

continued

to source some of their malted barley from

allows the distillery to experiment wood finishes, and malted barley. The

BenRiach portrays its own uniqueness through

or a Thursday at either 10am or 2pm.

and the cost is approximately

$55

exploredrinks.com

117


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

The breathtakingly scenic Ben Rinnes Mountain and the pure spring water of the River Spey that flows over its pink granite have long been shrouded in tales of Scottish folklore. Since ancient times this water has been believed to possess magical qualities, and its incredible softness makes it ideal for whisky making.

It is for this reason that James Fleming

the Past Tasting may be the experience for you.

established his quaint distillery in the little village

The one-hour tasting takes place in the luxurious

of Aberlour in 1879, in the heart of Speyside

Fleming Room and includes some of Aberlour's

where the Lour Burn meets the River Spey.

rare special drams. For those looking to fully

Although small, the distillery offers a number

the Chronicles of the Cask will take you on a

of specialist tours and tastings. The Aberlour

journey through the senses to experience how

immerse themselves in the world of Aberlour,

Experience Tour combines a tour of the distillery

each impact the tasting of whisky. A visit to the

with a tasting of six samples. On the tour,

still house precedes an opportunity

guests will learn about the history of Aberlour

special casks housed in Warehouse 1. Back in the

to nose

and the whisky making process, as well as have

Fleming Room, guests have a guided tasting of

the opportunity

three exclusive Aberlours, only available to try at

to purchase distillery exclusive

whiskies. If whisky is your specialty, the Cask from

this tasting.

exploredrinks.com

119


ADDRESS: Aberlour, Banffshire,

AB38 9PJ, UK

T: +44 (0) 1340 88 1249 W: www.ma ltwhiskydistilleries. com/ab ; rJoui-

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OPENING HOURS:

Mo nday-Sunday: 9:30am-5pm (12 Mar ch-9 No vember) Mo nda y-Frida y: 10am-4pm r(10•

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TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING: Aberlour Experience Tour:

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£1Spp, 1hr 30m ins-2hrs. Max 16 people. To urs at 10:00am and 2:00pm daily. •

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Pre-bo o king strongly recommended

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Casks from the Past:

£35pp, 1~r Max 10 peop le. Mo nda y, Tuesda y and Frid~f 11:30am . .. Advan ced b oo king essential. Chronicles of the Cask:

£45pp, 1hr 30m ins. Max 8 people. Wednesday

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MASTER BLENDER FOR DEWAR'S With a degree in food science and a background in sensory analysis, Stephanie Macleod applies deep passion and know-how to crafting John Dewar's & Sons much-loved blends and single malts

122 exploredrinks.com


MEET

Her love of whisky wasn't always so fervent,

methods when nosing and tasting the whisky.

regarding this issue. Most recently, she spoke

with her admitting

This requires the use of controlled

at the first Women of the Vine & Spirits

to once possessing a clear

conditions

preference for other drinks in her early 20s. It

to evaluate a blend and utilising statistical

International

wasn't until she studied whisky as a research

techniques to ensure partiality towards a

year awarded Whisky Magazine's Icons of

assistant in sensory analysis for her alma

particular blend is valid.

Whisky Master Blender of the Year.

Summit in London and was this

mater, the University of Strathclyde, that she developed investigating

a real appreciation

for the spirit. In

the influence of the maturation

The first blend she ever created was Dewar's

When home alone, with a dram in hand, she's

15-Year-Old, and she has continued

versatile on how she takes her whisky. For

in the

spirit of innovation through experimentation

Dewar's White Label and Dewar's 12-Year-Old,

with the diverse range of whiskies three simple

ever since. In 2014, she was instrumental

she likes to mix together

elements - water, malt or grain and wood casks

the expansion of Dewar's by launching the

of lime and ice; with Dewar's 25, she prefers to

- can produce.

'Last Great Malts' series - the never-before-

take it neat or sometimes with a block of ice;

released highlights of the single malt portfolio.

and with the malts, she thinks they're best neat

In 1998, she joined Dewar's in the spirit qaulity

Subsequently, she became Dewar's Malt Master

or with a splash of water.

Laboratories in Glasgow's head office, a division

in addition to Master Blender, as she oversees

she eventually came to run before becoming

every step of the production

Blender Designate in 2003 under the tutelage

of the single malts from the five malt distilleries

hours from the Aberfeldy

of then Master Blender, Tom Aiken.

-Aberfeldy,

twin girls, Emma and Rachel, and her husband,

process on a whisky, she became fascinated

Aultmore,

in

process for each

Craigellachie,

The

Deveron and Royal Brackla. Since assuming the role of Dewar's seventh

ginger ale, a wedge

Born in Glasgow, Stephanie now lives two distillery with her

Niall. In her spare time, she is a tennis and running enthusiast.

Master Blender in 2006, Stephanie has drawn

Stephanie is an advocate for women entering

on her science knowledge to apply sensory

the spirits industry and a regular speaker

exploredrinks.com 123


Set between rolling lush green hills and beside the waterfall of the beautiful Pitilie Burn, Aberfeldy Distillery was first planned by the sons of John Dewar in 1896. In a way it was a homecoming for the men, as their highly successful father, founder of Dewar's whisky John Dewar, was born just three miles away.

At the time the distillery was created, the Dewar's

warehouse; a Connoisseur Tour that affords visitors

brand was already a household name and the company

with an additional

was in desperate need of greater reserves of single

(15ml each); and a da_ily Blender's Tour, where guests

malt whisky to use in its blend. The brothers enlisted

create their own blend of Experimental

the help of the leading distillery architect of the time,

using cask strength single malt and grain whisky.

tasting mat of five Scotch whiskies Batch Scotch

Charles Doig, and the signature pagoda roof he installed is still one of the most prominent

architectural

features of the distillery today.

If you're looking for a truly unique experience, Dewar's also h~st a luxury Immersion Whisky Tour once

-r

a month. ,The full-day event begins with a welcome The distillery

offers a range of tours, including

Dewar's renowned

Whisky & Chocolate

Taking place once a day, the experience tour of the distillery

includes a

and a visit to the warehouse

learn about Dewar's double-aging

technique,

finishing with a whisky and chocolate Aberfeldy

coff e'eAe a and shortbread

experience. to

before

tray tasting of

12-Year-Old Single Malt, Dewar's 12-Year-

Old Blended

Scotch and the ultra-premium

Dewar's

18-Year-Old perfectly

paired with artisan single

origin dark chocolate

disks. The chocolate

made by a local chocolatier,

before visitors are escorted

on a tour of the Dewar's archive. Guests are then treated to a visit to the distillery's water source, the Pitilie Burn, followed by a full distillery tour including tasting a single cask Aberfeldy

whisky straight from

th~ cask , A freshly made buffet lunch is provided

• ~ e Iegant

w 11Is ·· kx Lounge, 10

iJi e Blen a ing Roo

in the .. . on to wit. h vIsItors t hen moving

for a guided tasting of old and rare

disks are

and each whisky and

chocolate

match was chosen by Master Blender

Stephanie

Macleod. Every tour i ncludes access to the interactive heritage

There is also a standard Distillery Tour; a Cask Tasting

exhibition,

Tour, where guests are invited to sample a rare and

Dewar's founders, John Dewar and his sons, John and

exclusively aged Aberfeldy single cask whisky in the

Tommy Dewar.

124 exploredrinks.com

where visitors gain insight into the lives of


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

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ADDRESS : Aberfeldy, Perth shire PH15 2EB, UK

T: +44 (0)1887 822010 W: www.de wars.c om/g l/en/aberfe ldydist ille ry

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OPENING HOURS :

Mo nday-Saturday:

10am-6pm (Closes 4pm November-Mar d i)__.

Sundays (April-Oct obe r): 12pm -4pm TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING : Aberfeldy

Distillery Tour: £10.S0pp, 1hr 30mins.

Cask Tasting Tour: £17pp, 1hr 45min s. Whisky & Chocolate Tasting Tour : £23pp, 2 hrs. Connoisseur Tour: £27pp, 2hrs.

i·, £99pp, 2h rs 30m ins B k. _rm,, e ve ry weekaay. . oo 1ngs e ss ent ia l. ·

Blender's Tour·. Take's pl ace on Iy at 3

, ,.

Dewar's Immersion Luxury Wh isky Tour: Starts at 10am ana

finishes at 3:30pm each month. £120t p. Max 10 people.

expl o red rinks.com 125


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The Long morn Distillery was founded

of 8 tuns, each stainless steel. The whisky is

back in 1893, and is still producing malts

matured in three types of casks: ex-Bourbon,

from the Speyside region. Today, it is part of

new American oak and ex-oloroso sherry

the Pernod Ricard Group. The distillery is located,

casks from Jerez in Spain. Barley comes from

not surprisingly, in the town of Long morn, which

the Moray region and peat from the nearby

is in the district of Moray, very close to the town's

Mannoch Hill. The distillery moved from direct

other distilleries. Longmorn was founded by John

coal firing of the stills to steam during the 1993

Duff in' 1873 ana is-one of the only distilleires to

modernisation.

avoid a lengthy period of inactivity.

on the property, and can be called into service

Duff had a long history with distilling before

which used to power the stills.

The old steam engine is still

if needed. There is even the old waterwheel, opening Longmorn and even played host to the Japanese Grandfather

of whisky, Masataka

The whiskies produced

here have proved

Taketsuru, who came to Scotland to learn to

extremely popular as blending components

distill. Duff foresight saw him construct railroads

and Longmorn malts, with their pronounced

direct to the distillery that allowed him to bring

aromatics, balance and sweet notes, well known

in the finest barley from all over the UK and to

for their significant contribution

use the same railraods to export his whisky to

Regal. Their 15-Year-Old was replaced by the

the rest of the world.

even more admired 16-Year-old, in 2007, and

to Chivas

a 23-Year-Old in 2017 This is a distillery which Longmorn sources its water from local springs,

attracts the attention of independent

the Burnside wells. It operates four wash

of single malts for good reason, knwon as every

stills and four spirit stills, providing

distillers' second favourite malt.

an annual

bottlers

capacity of 4.5 million litres per annum, up

_

from 3.5 million after the 2012 renovations. The

Longmorn Distillery does not have a visitors'

mash tun, also installed in 2012, has a capacity

centre and is not open to the public.

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exploredrinks.com 127


Jura, an island which is part of the Inner Hebrides archipelago off western Scotland, is not the most hospitable place on the planet. It is mostly barren, severely mountainous, sparsely populated (196, according to the latest census, though there are more than 5,000 deer) and mostly covered in what is known as blanket bog (a form of peatland where the wet climate allows peat to develop extensively). The local village of Craig house has a single pub, one church and the one distillery, Jura. And a single road. Its closest neighbour is the more famous Islay. Jura is 30,000 hectares of raw scenery, although nearly 10,000 of that is only exposed at low tide. George Orwell described Jura as "extremely unget-at-able" in 1946. The Island's first distillery was built in 1810 by the Campbell family, very close to the site of the current one (the same grounds), but, after being rebuilt in the 1880's, closed in 1901 and went to ruin. A new distillery, designed by the famous William Del me-Evans who was responsible

for a number of distilleries, was

constructed

in the 1950's and opened

in 1963,

The current owners are Whyte and Mackay Ltd.

This is a heavily peated

malt. It was named

'Prophecy' as in the early 1700's, the Campbell Water for the distillery comes from the nearby

family evicted a man from their property. As he

mountains, the Paps of Jura, which filters its way

trudged away, he yelled a curse at the family,

on Jura. It had the stated aim

down to the Market Loch. The stills are some of the

claiming that the last Campbell to leave the

of, despite the peat bogs and the proximity to

tallest to be found at any island distillery, the theory

island would be one-eyed and would have all

Islay, making a Highland-type

being that the taller the still, the purer the spirit.

his belongings

at which time, it employed male population

a quarter of the

malt. They were

in a cart, drawn by a single white

horse. In 1938, Charles Campbell, who'd lost an

keen to avoid the peaty notes common at the time. There have been some experimental

The original bottling for the new distillery was

eye in the earlier War and subsequently

bottlings of a much more peaty style from the

'Origin', a ten-year-old non-peated malt which was

on hard times, packed up his belongings

late 1990's, and these have been well received.

well known for its heather and honey character.

took them to the pier in a cart, pulled by his

There have also been Jura malts offered by

There are a number of other bottlings, but the

white horse.

independent

most fascinating might be the 'Prophecy'.

bottlers.

128 exploredrinks.com

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VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

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Any whisky appreciated by Luke Skywalker,

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Samuel L Jackson and a Kingsman must be a bit special. Fans of popular culture will recognise the references to the first Kingsman film, when an

\>;

attempted rescue by a Kingsman of the kidnapped

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professor, played by Hamill, goes wrong as Jackson

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and his henchwoman turn up. Everyone takes time to sip on a 1962 Dal more and, really, why wouldn't

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varying sizes with one twice the size of the others)

you? After all, the last time a bottle was sold was

and a capacity of 4,200,000 litres.'Water comes

2011, when it fetched a mere £125,000.

from the River Alness. Maturation taKes place in

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American white oak bourbon casKsana also aged The Dalmore Distillery, located atAlness, 30

sherry casks from Gonzalez Byass, nano-selected

kilometers north of Inverness, was constructed

by Master Distiller Richard Paterson. It is believed

back in 1839 by Alexander Matheson, and

that these sherry casks give tne whiskies their

immediately leased to the Sutherland family. Then

characteristic nutty, spicy, citrus ana ginger notes, 't' while the bourbon casks provide more vanilla,

from 1869, the Mackenzie brothers took up the lease-the

iconic 12-point stag crest of the family

honey and tropical fruit touches. 'The Mackenzie',

has been retained and is seen on every bottle of

one of their many prestige releases, sees time in

Dal more. The crest dates back to the 13th century

aged port pipes from Oporto.

when Colin, chief of the Mackenzie clan, saved King Alexander Ill of Scotland from a charging stag

Consider some of these releases and it

and was granted the right to the crest.

becomes obvious why they are so highly

The distillery was a success, though it hit some

'Trinitas' is a 64 -Year-Old single malt, blended

problems when, in 1917, the Royal Navy started

from some of the world's rarest whiskies from

desired and achieve such impressive prices. The.

using the next door firth for producing deep-

1868, 1878, 1926 and 1939. Only three bottles

sea mines. An incident in 1920, incident being a

were made, with each selling for between

euphemism for 'massive explosion and subsequent

£100,000 and £120,000. 'Eos' was a blend of

fire', destroyed most of the distillery. Lawyers

two sherry casks from 1951, as was the 'Selene'.

·

became involved, and the matter even went to the

'Sirius' is also from the 1951 vintage, but only

House of Lords. Production recommenced in 1922.

twelve decanters were made. The 'Oculus' is

In 1960, the Mackenzie family finally sold to one of

even rarer. A blend of malts from 1868, 1878,

ADDRESS:Dal ore Alness, Highlands and Islands,

their main customers, Whyte & Mackay.

1922, 1926, 1939 and 1951, only one single

Alness IV17 OUT,Scotland

bottle, as a Baccarat crystal decanter, was

T:+44 1349 882362

,.

Dal more produced a single, single malt for

produced. There are plenty more prestige

)' W: www.thedalmore.com

many years, their 12-Year-Old, but more recently,

whiskies in their portfolio.

OPENING HOURS:

the range has expanded to include 15, 18 and

\

Individual appointments

25-Year-Old malts, several no-age whiskies and

Dal more has more than earnt is reputation as one

Bookonline

some stunning prestige releases. These are highly

of the very great Scottish distilleries.

TOUR DETAILSAND PRICING:£8.00

exploredrinks.com 129


Muirhead's Scotch Whisky was first produced

whiskies were also produced under the Gold

including John Muirhead the laird of the

in 1824 by Charles Muirhead and Sons, wine

Label, Silver Label or Old Maturity brands,

clan, and 200 of the clansmen, after bravely

merchants from Edinburgh. That business later

becoming a household name in many countries

defending their king to the end. King James IV

expanded, becoming blenders and exporters

around the world.

of Scotch whisky under the flagship brand: Muirhead's Blue Seal.

became the last monarch from the British Isles to be killed in battle.

Since its sale, Muirhead's has maintained a close relationship with its founders, the

Continuing to stand strong, the Muirhead

The company experienced great success

Muirhead's Clan (name meaning "Head of

whiskies are proudly produced in the

and was eventually acquired in the 1920s by

the Moor" in Gaelic). The clan etched their

Tullibardine Distillery in Blackford,

Macdonald & Muir Distillers - better

name in history as the royal bodyguards of King

Perthshire, and remain fiercely independent

known today as the world-famous

James IV at the disastrous battle of Flodden

and family owned.

Glenmorangie Company.

Field in 1513. The battle pitted the Scots against the English and was one of the most

'Auxilio Dei' is the brand's slogan, translating,

In addition to the Muirhead's Blue Seal blended

devastating battles in Scottish History. The

rightfully so, to: "By the Help of God."

Scotch whisky, a number of premium blended

King, along with thousands of Scots perished,

130 exploredrinks.com


DISTILLERY FOCUS

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exploredrinks.com

131


The history of the TaliskerDistillery is complex

was fifty times more valuable than it was 35

and dramatic. It first began in 1818,when

years earlier. With its increase in success, the

ADDRESS : Talisker Disti llery (Diageo Pie),

Lauchlan Maclean purchased property on the

distillery could no longer function without a

Carbost, Isle of Skye, IV47 8SR, Isle of Skye,

Isle of Skyethat he planned to use for sheep

pier. Minister Macleod denied approval until

Scotl and, UK

farming. By 1829,the monetary potential of a

his death in 1899,which finally allowed for it to

distillery was too much to pass up, and he began

be built.

T: +44 014786 14308 W: www.ma lts.co m VISITOR'S CENTRE OPENING HOURS :

building the original distillery. The church, against the idea, proclaimed that it would be, "One of

In 1960, a valve on the No.1 spirit was not shut

the greatest curses that could befall it or any

properly and the liqu or poured ove r the fire

November-March:

other place." Despite the lack of support from

underneath. This fire destroyed the entirety of

Mo nday-Friday: 10am-4:30p m

the church, specifically the minister at that time

the still house and it didn't reopen until two

Tours: 10:30am, noon, 2pm and 3:30pm

Minister McLeod, the property thrived after the

years later.

April-May :

passed from person to person, but nearly all went

Of the seven distilleries that were once on Isle

Tours th ro ug ho ut day until 4pm

bankrupt during the whisky depression.

of Sky, Talisker is today' s lone survivor, which

June:

completion. For years after that, the property was

Once the economy stabilised in 1892, the

Monday -Saturday: 9:30am-5pm

has earned it 'cult status' and more than

Monday -Saturday: 9:30am-5pm;

50,000 visitors each year.

Sunday: 11am-5pm

Talsiker Distillery was booming once again and

Tours throughout day until 4pm July-August :

Mo nday- Friday: 9:30am-5:30p m; Saturday: 9:30am -5pm; Sunday: 11am-5pm Tours all day, last tou r 1 hour before closing September to October :

Monday-Saturday: 9:30am-5am Tours thr o ug ho ut day, last tour at 4pm CLOSED : Christm as Eve; Christmas Day;

Boxing Day; New Years Day and 2nd January ADULTS: $6.00 CHILDREN (8-17) : $300 TOURS : Talisker Classic Distillery Tour:

$10.00 - 45 Minutes Gu ided t our of the oldest wo rking d istill ery o n the Isle of Skye, See views of Cuillins Have opportunity to taste of Talisker Single Ma lt Scotch W hisky Talisker Flight :

$25.00 - 1 hou r 30 minute s Tour of d ist illery Info rmal t asting of several expr essio n ofT alisker Sing le Malt Talisker Tasting Tour:

$40.00 - 2 hours Tour of d istill ery Tast e 5 exp ressions of Talisker •

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exploredrink s.co m 133


It takes a special kind of person to work on a remote, rugged, island not all that far from the Arctic Circle. Even more so, when they love it so much. Brian Macauley is that sort of man, but it shou ld come as no surprise. It runs in the family, with both his father and his grandfather holding distillery roles before him. In addition, as they say in the classics, Brian grew up an Island man. Brian Macauley is the master distiller at the Scapa Distillery, near the town of Mainland on the Island of Orkney. Now part of the Chivas group, and hence subsequently Pernod Ricard this is one of the two distilleries on this bleak island. Macaulay has wo rked with the Scapa Distillery for more than two decades. He is also the senior bulk operat ions manager for the Chivas Brothers, but he is quick to confirm that it is with Scapa that his heart lies. That said, he does believe that the two roles complement each o ther. The revival of the distillery and the laun ching of its single malt are yet more reasons for Macauley's fondness for Scapa. His ro le obvious ly encompasses all matters Scapa, but also strategic decisions involving the group's future, bulk stocks, blending and more. Brian spends two to three days each week at Scapa, a three hour commute. When he is in residence, he has said that the requirements of the job often mean he works all night, but there is no suggestion that he finds this onerous in any way. Qu ite the contrary. One gets the impre ssion that Brian Macauley is one of those fortunate people whose wo rk is their passion. He has described the position at Scapa as "a real privilege because it's lovely to be really passionate about something you really truly believe in."


MEET

personally taken the pleasure in removing our 'No Visitors' sign and I know I speak on behalf of the team here in saying that we can't wait to see the Scapa Distillery form an interesting, educative and welcoming community."

part of the Orkney

Macauley has also noted that his

job is made so much easier by the support he, and the Distillery, have received from the This recent whisky, mentioned 40% no-age statement,

local community.

above, is a

peated single malt,

called 'Glansa', which was initially aged in

Working at a distillery on a remote Island has

first-fill American oak casks and subsequently

brought

transferred to casks that had previously seen

it is clear that Brian is one of those people who

peated whisky. 'Glansa' is Old Norse for

see problems as opportunities,

'shining storm-laden

least, something

appropriate

skies', which seems very

for whiskies from this windswept,

barren Island. Macauley has described

it as a

this island of contrasts."

or at the very

that life serves up and you

deal with it and move on to the next challenge. Chief among these issues can be the ferry, which has been known not to sail. It can mean

whisky with "fruity textures yet smoky finish" which "makes it the perfect representation

its own challenges and obstacles, but

of

Glansa has followed

that the distillery is close to reaching tipping point as far as storage and available vessels

their Skiren as a regular release from the

goes, with the tanker tied up on the mainland.

revamped distillery. There have also been one-

They were also within a day of stopping

offs and limited editions.

production

on one occasion when their barley

had not arrived and, on another, they had Something

else that is obviously close to

Macauley's heart is that the distillery now offers

an eight hour delay with spirits. Increasing the work force from three to five has helped

a visitors' centre, the first time it has done so

alleviate some of their problems but one

in more than 130 years. Macaulay has been

suspects that this remote and fascinating

quoted as saying, "It is a great honour to be

will always find some new challenge to throw at

able to open the doors to the history and craft

the team.

production

Island

processes here at Scapa distillery,

which have been the secret of precious few

One also suspects that Brian Macauley would

artisans over the last hundred years. I have

not have it any other way.

exploredrinks.com 135


The Orkney Islands, an archipelago off Scotland, would seem to be a bleak place - windswept, barren, cold, storms, isolated and rugged but humans have lived here for over 5,000 years. The islands may not have produced their iconic whiskies for that long, but no doubt the early inhabitants would have appreciated them.


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS Scapa is one of two distilleries on the largest

contact with peat and the malt is not dried over

of their islands, Mainland, located in the town

peat smoke. They believe that this allows for

of Kirkwall. It is the second most northerly

unique sweet, tropical notes to emerge. There

distillery in Scotland, pipped only by the nearby

are eight 44,000 litre fermenters and a mash tun

Highland Park. They are well worth the journey,

of four tonnes.

and this island should be on the bucketlist for every whisky lover. Technically, they are described as Highland whiskies.

After distillation, the new make spirit is racked into first fill American oak casks, sourced from Tennessee and Kentucky. These contribute to the

Scapa was founded back in 1885, by Madarlane &

vanillin nuances seen in Scapa malts. Production

Townsend, before eventually joining what would

capacity is one million litres per annum.

become part of the Chivas Regal/Pernod Ricard empire in the 1950s. John Townsend was General

One advantage of such an extreme climate is

Manager of the operation from opening through

that evaporation,

until just after World War One, in 1919, when

than that encountered

the angels' share, is lower at most distilleries.

it became the Scapa Distillery Company Ltd. There were some problems along the way, with

A small team of five, in addition

the operation going into voluntary liquidation

distiller, operate

to the master

Scapa on a 24-hour basis.

in 1934, but it was revived in 1936 by the Bloch

It is one of the last remaining

Brothers. Despite its valued contribution to

operated

blends, as well as its own distinctive malts, most

successive shifts. It is, for this team, far more

notably the popular 12-Year-Old, it was sidelined

than a job. The master distiller

in 1994. Eternal closure looked certain to be its

the island and both his father and grandfather

fate. A reprieve came in 1997, when production

worked at the distillery.

distilleries,

manually

with the crew working grew up on

recommenced, though slowly. There was a time when visiting Scapa meant Resurrection came in 2004 and the distillery was

knocking

on the door and hoping that

rebuilt and fully reopened. A year later, further

someone

had the time to show you around.

refurbishment

They usually did, but no guarantees.

took place and Chivas Brothers

they offer various organised

took over the site.

Tour' (ÂŁ10.00, duration:

Now,

tours. The 'Scapa

45 minutes) takes

The style of Scapa malts is described as being

guests through

from the subtle end of the spectrum, heather

to see one of the industry's last remaining

the process and allows them

and honey with sea spray. A 14-Year-Old

Lomond Stills in action. This barrel-shaped

replaced the 12 as the standard and, in 2009, a

wash still was installed

16-Year-Old, which sees an extra two years in

wider and taller neck than is usual, the sole

first fill American oak, was added to the range,

survivor of its style used for making whisky.

later becoming

The team use this still as they like the richer,

their 'standard'. There are

various vintage bottlings

and age statement

releases, up to 25 years, though bottlings come and go. Aficionados out for independent

can

know to keep an eye

releases, which are not

infrequent, of single malts from this distillery.

in 1959 and has a

fruitier spirit it delivers. Visitors will also see the famous Scapa Flow natural anchorage site. And, of course, finish with a glass of Scapa Skiren. There is the option to extend the tasting to include the Glansa.

Douglas Laing and Gordon & MacPhail have been especially active. There is a wide range of

The 'Scapa Experience' (ÂŁ20.00, duration: 1.5

ages made available by these releases, ranging

hours) is a more extensive tour and includes the

from 11-Year-Old to 25-Years.

bonded warehouses and maturing whisky casks.

The distillery uses one wash still and one spirit

and also a whisky dram drawn from one of the

It is followed by a tasting session of three spirits still. Scapa is distinctive as, despite using

casks in the warehouse. Pre-booking these

'peaty' water from the Orquil Springs and the

tours is recommended.

Lingro Burn, it has a much less distinctive peat accessed as well. Care is taken to transport the

ADDRESS:St. Ola, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1SE E: info@scapamalt.com

water through pipelines to avoid any further

W: www.scapamalt.com

character than most. Other water sources are

exploredrinks.com 137


FEATURE

Although

farmers in the interior also planted

Some of these factors harmed rye's reputation

familiar Old World grains, they continued to

more than they did bourbon's, but ultimately it

grow a lot of corn. The whiskey they made from

was changing tastes that caused rye's decline.

it, usually seasoned with a little rye, came to be

The earthy, spicy character of rye whiskey just

known as bourbon.

wasn't favoured anymore.

But rye whiskey persisted in Virginia, Maryland,

Distillers to the north, in Canada, also made

and Pennsylvania, and continued to be popular

rye whiskey, but in a very different style. They

throughout the east, even as bourbon took hold

softened rye's strong flavours the same way their

in the south and west. Nationally, sales of the two

cousins in Scotland and Ireland did with malt

types were about equal by the late 19th century.

whisky, by mixing it with nearly-neutral spirit.

Although

nationwide

Prohibition didn't begin

Beginning in the late 1960s, whiskey of all

until 1920, the idea had been knocking around

types took a steep tumble in the U.S. and the

for decades. Maine became the first state to

industry contracted

ban beverage alcohol way back in 1851. The

Kentucky and Tennessee. Kentucky distilleries

movement caused a lot of disruption,

as did the

sharply into its heartland of

had always made a little rye whiskey in addition

various troubles and scandals having to do with

to bourbon, and as rye declined, their rye

alcohol taxation. During the late 19th century

output became enough to satisfy nationwide

'Robber Baron' era, attempts were made to

demand. The last whiskey distillery in the

monopolise

east closed in 1990. Even Old Overholt, a

alcohol production.

exploredrinks.com 139


FEATURE Under U.S. rules, bourbon

and rye are

inevitably very similar because both must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. Wood provides all of the colour (other colouring is prohibited)

and most of the flavour. The

only difference

is in the mash itself. Bourbon

mashes must be at least 51 per cent corn, but usually are between 75 and 80 per cent corn, with a dash of rye or wheat for flavour. Rye mashes must be at least 51 per cent rye, and most are just that, the rest being corn. In between are the high-rye bourbons,

at about

30 per cent rye and 60 per cent corn. (Virtually all whiskey mash bills in the U.S. include about 10 per cent malted barley.) MGP, a distillery in Indiana, makes a very popular whiskey that is 95 rye, but it is an outlier. You may see references to American-style rye whiskey as 'straight

rye'. 'Straight'

means

Pennsylvania rye and once the country's #1

'Imbibe',

whiskey, moved to Kentucky.

wrote the first book of cocktail recipes in

the same thing for rye whiskey as it does

1862. The cocktail culture they were looking

for bourbon

Rye whiskey never went away, but it came close.

to revive had been centred on New York City

which is that it has been aged for at least two

For many years only four distilleries made it, all in

and American-style

years. The term 'straight

Kentucky, and they could make all they needed

whiskey of choice in most cocktails that called

to distinguish

for the year in two or three days of production.

for American whiskey.

Canadian version. 'Straight'

Rye was kept alive, in part, by bars, particularly

Because the quality of available spirits during

his tribute to Jerry Thomas, who

rye, not bourbon, was the

or any other American type,

them different,

rye' is often used

American-style

rye from the isn't what makes

it just indicates that they are.

What you have in American whiskey is a

in the east, that used it for a variety of classic

Prohibition

cocktails, such as the Manhattan and Sazerac.

always in short supply, cocktails became

continuum

Many barkeepers felt that a bar without rye whiskey

the norm. Somewhat ironically, it was in

between styles. At the mild end are wheated

simply wasn't a bar, even if it was rarely ordered.

speakeasies that public drinking by women

bourbons, such as Maker's Mark, which contain

became socially acceptable.

no rye. America's most popular whiskey, Jack

was often low, and they were

Not bound by

more than a sharp distinction

The 70s, 80s, and into the 90s was the era

machismo male drinking customs, they chose

Daniel's, contains a dollop of rye, only about

of pop wines, coolers, and shooters. Sweet

drinks that tasted good.

8 per cent. Several bourbons are in a similar

outsold many once popular whiskeys. Rye

As the 20th century gave way to the 21st, rye

top sellers, contain about 15 per cent rye. Four

came close to dying, and bourbon wasn't

seemed to be making a comeback. Bartenders,

Roses, Bulleit, and Old Grand-Dad

far behind. Some in the industry compared

rebranded as mixologists, championed

twice that much. After that, you're in straight

range. Jim Beam and Evan Williams, two other

liqueurs like DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps

it. It

bourbon and rye to vermouth, a spirit that was

made good copy. The only thing was, sales had

only hanging around as an ingredient

barely budged.

in certain

have about

rye territory.

Part of that was the inevitable

perennial cocktails. Sometimes it seemed as if

whiskey ageing cycle, which means you can

At the mild end, wood flavours dominate.

the Manhattan was single-handedly

only bottle so much, and you can't sell more

Corn provides sweetness and body but little

than you make.

character. At about the Jim Beam level, rye

But, in time, distilleries began to add a day or

spice and a certain ineffable '00mph'.

Much as the leaders of the Renaissance looked

two of rye whiskey production.

higher levels of rye, spice gives way to fruit.

to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration,

which has always made rye, typically made rye

bourbon,

keeping

rye, sweet vermouth, and Angostura

begins to cut through

bitters in production. Heaven Hill,

and give the spirit some At

For cocktails, rye is the American whiskey you want

so too did the pioneers of the craft cocktail

one day in the spring and another in the fall.

movement

That was enough until about 2005 when they

if you want to taste the whiskey through everything

David Wondrich started writing about cocktails

doubled

else. Bourbons, especially wheated bourbons, tend

for Esquire Magazine and often delved into

twelve times a year. Jim Beam makes the most

cocktail history. In 2004, Ted Haigh published

rye whiskey, while Jack Daniel's, America's

look to the glorious past. In 1999,

it to four times a year. By 2014 it was

to disappear in the mix. Ryes don't.

'Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails',

largest whiskey distillery, started making rye in

documenting

2012. Many of America's new craft distilleries

least so long as American whiskey, in general,

make rye instead of bourbon.

continues to prosper.

his search for vintage ingredients

as well as recipes. In 2007, Wondrich published

Rye whiskey seems to be back for good, at

exploredrinks.com 141


HISTORY

If you go to Lynchburg, you'll find the date 1850

Every year in September, folks in Lynchburg and

the tour as the" official" date of Jack's birth.

inscribed on his gravestone

and referred to on

elsewhere around the world gather to celebrate

And that it is - the" official" date. We know

the birthday of Mr Jasper Newton Daniel,

for a fact, it's not the "actual" date. By 1850,

commonly known as Jack. We think Mr Jack

we're pretty sure Jack's mother was dead, which

would be proud that people still pause to raise

would make his birth in that year somewhat

his whiskey in his honour. We think he might be

problematic.

equally amused that they do this not knowing

data, that Jack was actually born two years

the exact day in September

earlier in 1848.

that matter, what year.

142 exploredrinks.com

he was born or, for

It's more likely, based on census


SO WHY THE DISCREPANCY? Well, the 1850 date on the gravestone was the work of Jack's nephew, Lem Matlow, who laboured side by side with his uncle and eventually inherited his Distillery. Lem probably got this information

from his Uncle Jack. Now

Jack, because he ran away from home at an early age and both his parents had passed away by the time he was around 14 years old, might not have known the actual year of his birth. Or, because he was a lifelong bachelor and ladies' man who entertained female acquaintances,

a number of

he might have shaved

a couple of years off his age. Lant Wood, a man who knew Mr Jack, wrote in his memoirs, "[Jack] never mentioned

his age, since he was a

bachelor ... He called the young ladies 'damsels' or 'fair damsels'. He was extremely popular with the younger generation."

Whether he

was uncertain of the actual year or it was just a matter of pride, Jack died before revealing the truth about this mystery. Today, it's only one of the many unknowns that surround Mr Jack and his Distillery. "Here's to Mr Jack, more than 165 years old and still out in the bars every night."


,

VISIT JACK DANIEL'S

I

When in Tennessee, a trip to Lynchburg â&#x20AC;˘

is a must. There are multiple tour options to choose from depending on how much time you have and if you want to eat. The prices are very reasonable too, starting with a 1 hour 10 min tour for just $15 US and going up to a 3 hour tour and lunch at neighbouring

Miss Mary Bobo's restaurant

for $100 US. Learn all about the o rig inal square bott le, Jack's mystery birthday a nd the legend behind the Old No 7. To tour the distillery, book online www.jackdaniels.co m/en-au/visit-di sti llery


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

The answer really depends on who you ask. Is it the most obvious which, in our opinion, would be that the number 7 is just lucky, and maybe Mr. Jack Daniel felt like he had received some good fortune when he landed on the whiskey that would go on to bear his name. But ask about Jack Daniel, the man, and you'll get a view of a person who believed more in hard work than in luck. His whiskey making motto was simply, "Every day we make it, we'll make it the best we can". Doesn't sound like someone putting the recipe down to luck.

1

So was this to do with the b atc b, or recipe, that Jack was constantly working to

f

erfed ? Possi_~ ly landing on

his seventh batch or recipe and sticking with it? I

'.

If you were to have asked the late Jimmy Bedford, the Jack Daniel's sixth master distiller, how Old No. 7 got its name, he had a story he swore by. Jimmy said that one of Mr. Jack's shipments of whiskey was lost by the railroad. When the barrels were finally found the word 'Old' was written on the shipping ticket that happened to be the 'No. 7'. The shopkeeper that eventually received the whiskey liked it so much he ordered some more of that 'Old No. 7'. The mystery deepens, as some speculate it is to do with Mr. Jack's love life. He remained unmarried and had numerous girlfriends, in which case if the name is a reference to a lady friend, it could explain his continued single status. And if none of these stories work for you, well there are plenty more. Some say Mr. Jack had a friend with seven successful stories; others simpl y say

J h! _t~theJ in his signature ~

bled a 7. One old-timer

- con-fidently contends that Jack Daniel's was sold for a-. -

- '/ lohg ti lJ}e with -

.

'

the motto, "Whiskey made as our fathers -

made it for 7 generations". The government even gets ~~

redit, as a change

in tax districts had Mr. Jackre ~ inding his growing number of friends that his whiskey was made in the old ~

-~

No. 7 district. - The truth is, with so many stories, quite possibly Mr. Jack- didn't want any of us to really know, and was looking for a reason for folks to talk. As nothing goes better with whiskey than good conversation, perhaps Mr. Jack just wanted to give us something to talk ~bout. So there you have it ... 100 years later and folks are still

What's the number one question the staff at the Jack Daniel's distillery get? Universally, it has been, "What does the number seven mean in Old No. 7?"

talking.

Make sure, when you drop past the distillery,

that you ask the question. It'll be fascinating what response you get.

exploredrinks.com

145


BUFFA

DIS


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

Edmund H. Taylor, a descendant

of not one but

two former US presidents (Madison and Taylor), purchased the distillery in 1870 and named it the Old Fire Copper Distillery (affectionately known as the 'OFC'). He sold it, and another distillery, to George T. Stagg in 1878, though he continued to work with the distillery. Stagg installed steam heating in the storage areas, the first attempt at climate control for the maturation of whiskey in America. This steam heating is still used today. In 1904, the name was changed to the George T. Stagg Distillery. The distillery was purchased by the Sazerac Company in 1992. The name was changed, yet again, in 1999 to Buffalo Trace Distillery, which comes from an ancient buffalo crossing on the banks of the nearby Kentucky River. The famous Daniel Boone had passed through, following the trace, just a few years before the Lee brothers distilled their first whiskey. Current Master Distiller, Harlen Wheatley, was appointed

to his position in 2005, replacing

Gary Gayheart, who had held the role since 1972. Wheatley is just the sixth Master Distiller to hold the role since the Civil War.

exploredrinks.com 147


In 2016, a $200 million expansion commenced.

Enter Albert Bacon Blanton, Harrison's son,

During these renovations, what has become

who worked at the distillery for well over half a

known as 'Bourbon

century, joining as an office boy at 16 in 1897.

Pompeii' was discovered.

Slowly, the excavators unveiled the original

By 1921, he was President of the company.

distillery, including intact 11,000-gallon

Blanton was born on the next door farm and

fermenting

led the operation

tanks which were built by Taylor. His

through the perils of

distillery was first established in 1869, but was

Prohibition

demolished

one of only four producers allowed to do so), a

and rebuilt, bigger and better, in

(producing 'medicinal whisky' as

1873, for what was then a massive amount of

devastating flood in 1937, which was measured,

money - $70,000USD. This new distillery lasted

at its peak, as 17 feet above the power plant,

only until 1882 before it was consumed by fire,

and beyond.

initiated by a lightning strike, just four years after the sale to Stagg.

The Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon,

It seems not all of it was destroyed. Taylor,

bourbon produced

introduced

in 1984, was the first single barrel and came from a concept

In 2013, the distillery was named a 'National Historic Landmark'.

still working with the new operation,

that Blanton had used for his private stocks.

apparently rebuilt over the remains of the

Aged for six to eight years, it is matured in

earlier distillery and eventually what was left

Warehouse H, notable as their only metal-

more about this distillery than a roll call of the

behind was forgotten.

clad warehouse, which promotes

bourbons they produce, for themselves, in

Much of the rebuild

more rapid

Their illustrious history aside, nothing says

involved copper, as Taylor believed it provided

ageing due to quicker heat transference. This

joint ventures, and on contract for bottlers. The

a superior product. The cost of this new

warehouse was built before World War II, under

Buffalo Trace bourbons, Col. E. H. Taylor, Eagle

distillery was the full amount of the insurance,

the watch of Blanton. The concept of this single

Rare, George T. Stagg, McAfee's Benchmark,

plus a further $44,000. The new distillery was

barrel bourbon was introduced

O.F.C., Old Taylor, Sazerac, Thomas H. Handy,

by Elmer Lee,

W. L. Weller, the Wheatley vodka, Blanton's

used until the 50s when it was knocked down

the master distiller and a man hired by Blanton

and concreted over, to be used for storage

back in 1949. Most of the different Blanton's

single-barrel,

purposes. Historians and distillers alike are

expressions are exported and unavailable in the

famous Pappy van Winkle's Family Reserve.

fascinated by this site, which is now open to

USA- something that fails to engender a great

There are many others.

the public, not least because it seems many of

deal of sympathy with bourbon fans abroad, as

the processes of the day vary considerably from

they really are excellent spirits. Blanton passed

This distillery will always hold a special place in

current practices.

away in 1959.

the heart of bourbon

148 exploredrinks.com

Elmer T. Lee and, of course, the

lovers around the world.


-TASTING NOTES -

-THE STORYIn Kentucky, the only thing more important than bourbon is family. Honouring the long branches of their family trees reaching from the Bluegrass State to the Lone Star State, Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell present their rare, small-batch bourbon.

Nose

Balanced blend of vanilla and spices.

Palate

Flavours of caramel, pear and hints of citrus.

Finish

Subtle smoky finish is buttery smooth with notes of gentle pepper and toasted oak.

- THE BOURBON Longbranch is a rare small batch bourbon made with 8-year old Wild Turkey Bourbon and refined through a special filtration process, with Texas mesquite and oak charcoals - a unique method that deepens the flavour and complexity of the whiskey.

WILD TUR.KEY.

LONGBRANCH~ REALBOURBON. ND APOLOGIES.

IDRINKRESPONSIBLY I


Son of legendary master distiller Jimmy Russell and second generation

In his time as master distiller, Eddie has been

Russell to work for Wild Turkey,

when Eddie Russell chose to join the family business in

the driving force of Wild Turkey Longbranch, the

1981 he started at the lower end of the job spectrum,

brand's collaboration

as a humble relief operator. From there, he worked

McConaughey.

his way up the job ladder, eventually becoming a

production

with renowned actor Matthew

He has also been instrumental

in the

of Wild Turkey's Master's Keep Revival -

supervisor of new production and then a warehouse

the fourth expression of the acclaimed Master's Keep

supervisor. Aher two decades with Wild Turkey,

Series. Currently a duty free exclusive in Australia, this expression will be released on the domestic market in May 2019.

he moved into the position of manager of barrel maturation and warehousing, and it was in this role that he worked alongside his father to create Russell's Reserve 10-Year-Old award-winning bourbon

Now in his 37th year at the company, this year Eddie and Jimmy will celebrate a combined 101 years of

It was at this stage that Eddie pushed for the

service at the Wild Turkey distillery. This appropriately

introduction of Wild Turkey Bourbon, initially called

pays homage to Wild Turkey 101, the expression that launched Jimmy's career over 60 years ago.

Wild Turkey 81, to offer drinkers a premium bourbon that can be mixed in any cocktail and maintain its bold and spicy taste.

Keeping the business in the family, Eddie's son, Bruce, joined the company as a brand ambassador

In 2010, Eddie was inducted to the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame alongside his father and other greats of

in Austin,

Texas some year's ago, and has recently taken a role at the distillery to learn how to produce bourbon.

the bourbon industry. Following this accolade, Eddie was bestowed with the title of master distiller in 2015.

Eddie lives in Lawrenceburg,

He and his father are now the industry's only father and son master distiller duo that work together side-by-

he was born and raised, with his wife Judy. In his spare time, he likes to play golf or go training

KY,the town where

side. Both Eddie and Jimmy are now actively involved

and hunting with hunting dogs

in every step of the distillation and ageing process of Wild Turkey's whiskeys

Jimmy, he takes immense pleasure in travelling the United States and talking about his beloved Wild Turkey whiskey.

15 0 exp loredrinks.com

Just like his father


DISTILLERY FOCUS

Eddie with father Jimmy Russell

,

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When Wild Turkey began working with Hollywood A-List actor Matthew McConaughey, the idea was to form a genuine collaboration rather than have the star as merely a figure-head for an already well-known brand .

Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey's Master Distiller and industry legend, invited McConaughey to become the brand director in 2016, working behind the camera and in front of it in televisi on commercials to reintroduce the world to Wild Turkey.

and full finish. The first filtration process uses charcoa l made from American White Oak and the second uses charcoal made from Texas

-..... ..

The rare srl]all l:'iatch Kentucky bourbon is refined with/Texas mesquite and oak cha rcoals - a methoa tfiat deepens the flavour and I . ~ff~Jf h· k Th · inspire · . d comr:i ex1ty ~~w is ey. e name is by the frienas tfiat form the longest branches of ':~ 'Ulil our "'"" familyij ree.s.

....,,_

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""1 {

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"Longbr l,.. nch; its simplest form, is an extended i hand, inv\ting a friend into your family," I

"

McC:onaughey said . "So the branch that was extended to me from the Russells was a long o ne, one that reached from Kentucky to Texas and back again. I offered the mesquite from my great state to add to their legendary Kentucky whiskey and together we made Longbranch."

mesquite wood, giving the bourbon notes of smoky sweetness. Made with eight -year-old Wild Turkey Bourbon, Longbranch is an exceptional bourbon with a bright gold color and aroma that is a balanced blend of vanilla and spices. Flavours of caramel, pear, and hints of citrus roun~,.out t e palate. The subtle, smoky finish is bu tt ery smooth, with -~ notes of gentle pepper and i_ t oasted oak. -'lllo, Commenting on the release, Master Dist iller Eddie Russell said: "When we were creating Wild Turkey Longbran ch, we talked at length about how to make a product that represents elements of both Texas and Kentucky."

To create Longbranch's signature flavour, McConaughey and Russell spent co untless hours sharing notes, then perfected a unique process that combines two separate charcoal filtration methods to give Longbranch a smooth

152 ex pl o red rin ks.com

"O ur goal was to make a straight bourbon whiskey with a soft sweetness that was still unmistakably Wild Turkey. The result was a bourbon that we both truly enjoy drinking neat, and look forward to sharing with others."


TALKING TURKEY WITH MATTHEW MCCONAUGH explore WHISKY: How involved were you in

Master Distiller Eddie Russell, was a natural

the creation of Longbranch?

evolution of my work with Wild Turkey.

Matthew McConaughey: I was involved every

eW: Why did you initially decide to partner

step of the way, from concept to creation. We

with Wild Turkey?

started working on the project in the spring of 2016. Together, we wanted to make a product

MM: I visited the Wild Turkey distillery about

that represented both of our home states, Texas

four years ago and met Master Distillers Jimmy

and Kentucky. I obviously let Eddie do the

and Eddie Russell. When I was there, I learned

bourbon making, and he would constantly send

about the Russell family legacy and the distilling

me samples to taste for feedback. I handled the

process, but what stuck with me was the

bottle design.

incredible story behind the brand, a story that

eW: I know you're in the Wild Turkey

the passion, character and authenticity. It's a

commercials.

brand and a family that I truly admire.

I believe deserves to be told. I was inspired by

Is Longbranch part of your

advertising campaign for the brand? eW: Are you getting paid for creating this MM: I've been working with Wild Turkey

product?

for the past three years. I'm their Creative Director, which means I direct and star in the ad

MM: The creation of Longbranch is part of my

campaign and help them introduce Wild Turkey

partnership with Wild Turkey. I never discuss

Bourbon to new audiences. Longbranch

money, but can say that I have a personal

is a

natural extension to my partnership with the

interest in the success of this product

brand. I've always wanted to create a bourbon that I could call my favorite and with the help of

eW: Is Longbranch a limited edition to

Eddie Russell, we were able to do just that.

the Wild Turkey portfolio? How long will Longbranch be on the shelves?

eW: You serve as the Creative Director for the brand, were you involved in creating the

MM: Longbranch is not a limited edition and

creative campaign for the launch?

will be a permanent

expression in the Wild

Turkey portfolio.

MM: As a Creative Director for the brand, I help the team at Wild Turkey tell their story and bring my perspective to a variety of creative projects. The launch of Longbranch

is

no different. I worked with the team to bring Longbranch's story to life.

eW: Was it always the plan for you to create a bourbon for the brand? MM: Yes. I am a huge bourbon fan and have so much respect for the Russells and Wild Turkey. Since I joined the Wild Turkey family, I've really immersed myself in the world of bourbon, and creating Longbranch with one of the greats, exploredrinks.com

153


~J

'j t

Proudly the oldest operating bourbon distillery i.n the coJntry , whiskey has been made on the site of this-Nati~ . al Historic ,, Landmark since 1812.

,..: .

,. ~

'

Nestled amongst the picturesque hills of

1 Visitors can experience these techn ol ogi J~ by

bluegrass and thoroughbred

joining one of the distillery's

farms, along

variou f ou{s.T~ e

the banks of Glenn's Creek, lies the charming

standard Distillery Tour offers guests a guided

Woodford

journey through the distillery, observ ~ g th '

Reserve Distillery. The distillery

'

first began when Kentucky local Elijah Pepper

whiskey making processes and learning a,bout

moved to the site in search of fresh spring

the history of bourbon and Woodford

R~serve,

water for his whiskey. What began as a small

including how the brand's 'five sources ,of flavour' ,'.

batch crafting business behind the Woodford

model makes it unique. For those looking for

County Courthouse had grown in demand to

a more in-depth experience, the Cor ? to Cork /

such an extent that Elijah was forced to expand

Tour is a two-hour session showcasing the

his operation, and an abundance of water was

mechanical, chemical, technical and sensory

required to do so. The limestone waters of

stages to creating bourbon, together with a

Glenn's Creek proved the ideal source.

standard distillery tour. The tour finishes with a .. ¡

~ I

special tasting of Woodford

-!

Reserve bourbon. -~-liliil;;_

It was years later at this very site that Master Distiller James Christopher Crow perfected his

If you consider yourself a bit of a history buff,

whiskey production techniques, many of which

head along to the National Landmark Tour.

are still common practice today. The distillery

The two-hour experience takes guests through

continues to use the original copper-pot stills

the significant cultural and architectural

imported from Scotland and the 100-year-old

developments

cypress wood fermenters, alongside state-of-

Distillery over the course of its more than 200

the-art technologies

year history as a Kentucky landmark. A standard

such as the 500-foot-long

gravity-fed barrel run and the heat-cycled barrel houses, the only of their type in the world.

154 exploredrinks.com

of the Woodford

Reserve

distillery tour and a whiskey tasting follow this.


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

If your tour is on a Friday or a Saturday, you can add on a mixology presentation with the Woodford Reserve brand ambassador. In this session, you will learn how to make a Woodford Reserve signature serve cocktail. The experience lasts approximately 20 minutes and the choice of cocktail will change each week. The distillery also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including dinners and live music, and there is a gift shop and cafe on site.

ADDRESS: 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383

T:(859) 879 1812 W: www.woodfordreserve.com/distillery/our-distillery OPENING HOURS: Monday-Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 12pm-4:30pm

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING: Distillery Tour:

$14pp, 1hr, online booking and walk-ins Monday-Saturday: 10am-3pm Sunday: 1pm-3pm (March-December) Cork to Cork:

$30pp, 2hr, online booking. Max six people. Tuesdays-Thursdays: 2:30pm National Landmark:

$30pp, 2hr, phone reservations required. Wednesdays: 2:30pm exploredrinks.com

155


156 exploredrinks.com


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

LOT 40 & PIKE CREEK DISTILLERY Lot 40 Canadian Rye and Pike Creek Whisky were/are both part of the Hiram Walker, and subsequently Pernod Ricard, business which has, as they say in the classics, forgotten more about making good whisky than most will ever know. Hiram Walker, an American

businessman, was

high-speed

lines. There are 50 different bottle

Lot 40 won 'Canadian Whisky of the Year' in

born in 1816 and passed away, just before the

moulds which can be used. This is the home of

2015, a thrill that the master distiller described

turn of the century. He achieved great many

Lot 40 rye and so much more.

as akin to winning the Stanley Cup. There is

The name, 'Lot 40', comes from a plot of land

55 per cent.

things during his life, but is undoubtedly

also a cask strength rye edition, 12-Year-Old at

most

famous for his whisky legacy.

where ancestors of former master distiller, Mike In 1858, he purchased become Walkerville, established

Booth, first set up a still generations

land in what would

earlier.

a distillery. He had saved some

Pike Creek is a corn-based,

blended

whisky,

aged in Bourbon barrels and finished in port

Ontario, Canada, and Large HW might be, but that does not mean

controlled

warehouse to allow temperature

they cannot turn their hand to distilling

this to fund the distillery. The initial results

batches, which is the philosophy

were marketed as 'Hiram Walker's Club

40'. They use a single copper pot still, with

as the standard

a process of maturation

export version, they also offer a 21-Year-Old

Whisky', and it was so successful that his

small

casks. It is notable for ageing in a non-climate

$40,000 from his grocery business and used

behind 'Lot

that does leave a

competitors

in the United States lobbied

their

lovely vanillin note in the rye. Aficionados

government

to pass legislation

all

attribute

requiring

fluctuations

to influence maturation.

As well

10-Year-Old and a younger

Speyside Malt Cask Whisky.

this whisky to the '90s boom in

foreign whiskies clearly state their country of

high-end spirits. Canada was seen as lacking

For many years, the massive Hiram Walker

origin. In no time, Walker's 'Canadian

any candidates

enterprise was closed to the pub Iic, for

Club'

for the category and the

was that country's leading export whisky.

team at HW set about rectifying that. The

At the time, Walker's business became so

trio of whiskies created to fit this niche were

important

Pike Creek, Gooderham

to Walkerville

(note the name), a

& Worts and Lot

obvious reasons, but recently, the decision has been made to engage with interested devotees and to allow limited access, by way of a walking tour. Corby Spirits have entered

company town if ever there was one, that

40. One does not have to look far to find

Hiram had control over most aspects of life

Canadians who will rate Lot 40 as the finest

into an arrangement

there - "from public works to religious services

ever made in their country. While the quality

food tourism outfit, to allow groups of up to

to police and the fire brigade".

was never in question, there was a feeling

16 to tour the facility and to enjoy a tutored

that, paradoxically,

tasting of a range of the Walker whiskies -

they may have been even

with WindsorEats,

a local

& Worts

The Walker family sold the business in 1926,

more successful if priced amongst the whisky

Wiser's Deluxe, Lot 40, Gooderham

for the cost of the whisky alone, and it moved

stratosphere,

and Pike Creek, as well as a tasting direct from

through several sets of hands until it became

Strange world.

and not seen as value products.

a whisky barrel - in the visitor centre. This

part of Pernod Ricard (Canadian Club is

tour also includes a visit to the historic town

owned by Beam Suntory, but still made at

Lot 40 did disappear for quite some years,

established

the distillery), via their Canadian arm, Corby

and became the white whale for Canadian

receives a bottle of whisky at the conclusion.

Spirits. The distillery is still the largest in

whisky lovers, but is back in force now - the

North America, with 37 fermenters,

same story also applies to Pike Creek, which

producing

ADDRESS: 2072 Riverside Dr E, Windsor, ON

180,000 litres of alcohol every day, five days a

is named after an adjoining

week (as well as whisky, they also make other

to the distillery. These absences can be partly

T: +1 519-254-5171

spirits such as rum and vodka - 150 products

explained

W: hiramwalker.com

in all), 50 million bottles a year. Fourteen

material, but also to an initial lack of interest,

warehouses hold 1.6 million barrels of spirits.

very different to today.

Blending and bottling

take place on four

creek and suburb,

by Hiram Walker and everyone

by the need to build aged stocks of

N8Y 4S5, Canada

And if you can't make it in person, you can take a virtual tour here - tour.jpwisers.com.

exploredrinks.com 157


The Global Spirit Think whisky and one is automatically transported to the moors and hills of Scotland, its barren, rugged islands and ancient castles. And of course, the wonderful distilleries that have made this glorious spirit so famous. Or perhaps one might consider Ireland. Naturally, the bourbons from America will play a role. The younger amongst us might immediately look to the East, to Japan and the exciting whiskies that are now standard. Perhaps patriotism will come to the fore and the exciting, emerging whiskies from Tasmania will spring to mind. These days, that only scratches the surface

region of Belgium has made numerous award-

evaluated

of whisky-producing

winning whiskies.

also the New World Whisky of that year, as

nations, though these

judged

do take pride of place in terms of output and history. As well as these 'usual suspects',

Friends, who have become

devotees,

estimates suggest that at least 25 nations now

continually

make whisky.

seeing from the Kavalan Distillery

praise the whiskies that they are

in the World Whisky Awards and

by Jim Murray in his 2012 Whisky

Bible suggests my friends are not alone in their admiration.

(owned

by the King Car Group, because alcohol

Switzerland

For example, it turns out that not only can

and driving go so well together)

a veritable

Belgium play soccer, they can make cracking

County of Taiwan - and they guard them

distilling

whisky. The Belgian Owl Distillery in Hesbaye

jealously.

Norway has ten distilleries.

158 exploredrinks.com

in the Yilan

Best New World Whisky 2012,

has around two dozen distilleries, explosion

of production

given that

grain was illegal up until 1999. Even


FEATURE

IIIHMUIJIMi#IIP

0 IDEAOF THEEXTENTOR THE UALITYOFTHESPIRITS NDUSTRYIN INDIA'

much higher loss -10 to 12% rather than the usual 2%- to the Angel's share (evaporation). These conditions

also see whisky maturing

much faster than in countries like Scotland, a commercial advantage if ever there was one. The malt received a score of 94.5 from expert, Jim Murray. Do we consider Japan as the home of emerging whisky? Surely not as these days, their whiskies are world famous and well known by anyone with even a passing interest in good spirits. And they have been for many years. Perhaps we should consider an emerging producer. The Matsui Shuzou Distillery, which

R.AMPUR

was founded back in 1910, is located in Tottori,

INDIANSINGLE MALTWHISKY

which is a coastal prefecture found in southern

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Honshu region. This is the least populated

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prefecture in all Japan, although everything is

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relative, and the region is best known for its

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sand dunes. In time, it might become more famous for the Matsui Shuzou Breweries, which

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also produces shochu and traditional

sake. As

well, of course, as whisky, although the whisky

RAMP UR

did come well after the shochu and sake.

INOIAM SING LE MALTWHISK Y HOM-CHILL FI L.TEREO

.,,,..,SELECT CASI>

Sand dunes might be a focus but the distillery, near the Sea of Japan and to the northwest of the old capital, Kyoto, is also within spitting distance of Mount Daisen, a volcanic peak. It means that the water used at the distillery has been seeping through volcanic stone for centuries, providing the unique character and contributing

to the purity of the spirit produced.

The distillery has no visitors' centre and does not offer direct sales, all contributing

to the

Many in the West have no idea of the extent

whiskies of 2017 in the prestigious San Francisco

extremely low profile it has managed to keep

or the quality of the spirits industry in India,

competition,

for so long. It releases ten single malts which

picking up double gold.

appear under the Kurayoshi label and a further

not just with whiskies but across the board. almost 60% of the

Paul John is another highly regarded Indian

five grain whiskies under the Tottori label. The

spirits market in that country, which equates

producer of both single malt and single cask

first of the whiskies, Kurayoshi Pure Malt Whisky,

to around 175 million cases.

whiskies. They use Indian malted barley,

is a 100% malted barley Whisky, sourced from

imported

distilleries around Scotland, and forwarded

But whisky rules, occupying

Scottish peat, traditional

copper pot

Radico Khaitan is India's fourth largest spirits

stills crafted in India and charred American oak

to Japan, for blending with the local product.

company. Originally

casks (first fill ex-Bourbon

Their spirit is distilled in copper pot stills and

known as the Rampur

casks) for maturation.

Distillery, the name used for its premium whisky,

Headquarters

production

malt distillery is located in Goa. They have

has been going on for over half a

century. Malted barley, for blends, has been

is in Bangalore but the single

aged in ex-Bourbon

casks for at least three

years. It is then bottled at 46% ABV

offered blends since as far back as 1992 and

produced since 1990, but the first malt whisky

made the decision to add single malts to their

was only released to the world in 2016. It did not

production

take long for word to spread and for aficionados

and humidity in Goa give the whisky its own

coming years, and no doubt some will be from

to hear about this malt, ranked in the top five

inimitable characters, but this also means a

countries yet to produce a drop.

in 2008. The high temperatures

Whatever your definition

of 'emerging',

we can

look forward to many more great whiskies in the

exploredrinks.com 159


hisky industry ns to the Japanese hwId a cherished

No matter whatever ~kfae Whisky will a~w~~!th~r of Japanese ars to come, known as t e in the ye hanksto the man ka Taketsuru. position - t

Whisky', Masata

In 1918, sake maker Masataka Taketsuru, went

In 1934, after leaving the brewery, Masataka

to Scotland to learn how to make whisky.

began Nikka Whisky (originally

Arriving

Dainipponkaju

in war-torn Europe must have been

Co. - Dai Nippon

the culture shock to end them all, but he

'Ni' and the 'Ka' forming

apparently

enterprise),

loved it. Not only did he learn his

called Kaju, with the

the name of the new

and established

the first distillery

new trade, he married and even considered

at Yoichi, on the island of Hokkaido,

staying in Scotland on a permanent

north - making it one of the very northernmost

support provided followed

basis. The

by his new wife, Rita, who

him to Japan from Scotland and his

Japanese distilleries.

well to the

It was an 'interesting'

choice, especially back then, as the new

dream of making great whisky drew him back

distillery was a long way from everything

to his homeland

was convenient.

in 1920. His return was not

always plain sailing, with one entity closing and at one stage being shoehorned

into another as

a brewer (a position from which he resigned),

Masataka believed,

that

however,

that this site was the closest to his experiences in Scotland and would produce the best local whisky. Here was to be found agricultural

he persisted, and his dreams were realised.

land that suited his purpose, peat and a

He eventually

good quality water supply. His first whisky was

made the first Japanese whisky.

Masataka was determined the highest calibre.

160 exploredrinks.com

to make whisky of

released in October

1940.


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

Masataka was far from finished. In 1963, he had the first Coffey stills to be employed

in

Japan imported

to

from Scotland,

imported

improve Nikka's blends. A few years later, their Kashiwa plant was completed Miyagikyo

and then the

distillery, followed

by the Tochigi

plant. Nikka also have plants at Nishinomiya, Hirosaki and Moji. Masataka passed away in 1979, at the age of 85, and is buried in Yoichi next to his beloved wife, Rita, who was at his side until she passed some years earlier. After his death, Nikka remained

in family hands for

a period before being purchased

by Asahi

Breweries. The distillery focuses on various styles of malt and has even been referenced offering similar characters as Ardbeg. whiskies provide an appealing encountered

as These

oiliness not

elsewhere. The use of peat is

also noticeable

here (as one would expect

as soon as any comparisons

with Ardbeg

are

drawn). They still use Masataka's original strain of yeast, which some believe was more likely to have been brewers' yeast from the Sapporo brewery. The stills here are coal-fired,

some

exploredrinks.com 161


of the only stills in the world which can make this claim. Yoichi is all about tradition respecting

The distillery,

on the other hand, has taken

a much more modern approach. intended

and

the legacy of Masataka Taketsuru.

Originally

to be one and half times the size of

Yoichi, it is now three times as large and one of the very few in Japan to work with both malt and grain, but even with its approach malt, it has adapted what is offered warehouse

162 exploredrinks.com

to

as it best sees fit to utilise

at its location.

experiments

In addition,

with different

the

uses


ISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

I

IJ/1 ,,

I' .,. ' .;;

~

of barrels, and indeed, styles of barrel. The

This, in an age where such a statement

results are evident in the more fruity, elegant

relied on by many drinkers keen to go with the

a position

styles produced.

older-is-better

worked hard to incorporate

established

The grain distillery was

in 1999, at which time their Coffey

stills were transferred The Miyagikyo

to Miyagikyo.

distillery

is located in the north

is

approach to their whisky, might

is Tadashi Sakuma, Nikka's master blender, he has held since 2012. He has

Coffey stills to their full advantage

fact, frees them to bottle their product

the charge with new products to realise that

when it is at its absolute optimum,

- such as Coffey Malt and Coffey Grain. He is

surely a

and led

also the man who led the move to NAS - no

good thing.

of the island of Honshu, near Sendai, built in

age statements.

a valley that is in an area that fresh clean air

In 1989, the company ventured

and water.

Scotland, purchasing

back to

the Ben Nevis distillery.

Sakuma has successfully walked the tightrope, with his two distilleries,

of traditional

Nikka made the notable decision to withdraw

The man currently at the helm and responsible

modernity

almost all age statements

for maintaining

hands, looks very exciting

from the bottles.

the use of the

seem a risk, but the team believe that this, in

the Taketsuru philosophy

and

and the future for Nikka, in his indeed.

exploredrinks.com 163


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

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Just 45 minutes north-west of Dublin and from under the shadows of the legendary Slane Castle sits the recently opened Slane Irish Whiskey Distillery and Visitor Centre.

The buildings date back to the

Slane Castle is also famously the

1750's and required significant

venue for an annual music festival

renovation to bring them up to

that dates back to the early S0's,

standard required for a working

hosting acts such as The Red Hot

distillery. Initially the brainchild of

Chilli Peppers, Robbie Williams,

Lord Henry Mount Charles and

The Rolling Stones and, of course,

his son, Alex Conynham, it was all

Ireland's very own U2.

made possible by the purchase in 2015 of Slane Whiskey by US

ADDRESS: N51, Slane Castle

company Brown Forman, makers

Demesne, Co. Meath, Ireland

of Jack Daniels. An investment of

T: +353 46 903 0600

approximately 71 million dollars

W: www.slaneirishwhiskey.com

(Australian) and Slane Irish Whiskey

OPENING HOURS:

Distillery was up and running

Monday-Sunday: 10am-5pm

followed by a launch across Ireland

TOUR DETAILS AND PRICING:

and now here in Australia.

One hour tour Adult €18.00 Seniors €16.20

164 exploredrinks.com

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A gregarious character at the heart of the Jameson Midleton Distillery, Brian Nation's enthusiasm for his job comes from meeting like-minded individuals who share his passion for the craft and skill that goes into creating an iconic range of whiskeys. "I love travelling around the world to promote and educate people about Jameson. I love getting the opportunity to bring the Jameson message to the people".

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Just as whiskey benefits from its chosen casks,

for achieving the highest IBD (Institute of

Distillery in Midleton.

Brian Nation was matured for 10 years under

Brewing and Distilling) exam results in the

me as Head Distiller - to ensure the quality of

the tutelage

world. As head distiller, Brian is responsible

the product from grain to glass." When asked

for maintaining

the quality of all new pot and

what he enjoys most about his role, Brian is

his mentor's shoes, Brian emerged as a highly-

grain distillates

produced

quick to mention, "it's the strong team ethic,

regarded distiller in his own right. Brian joined

monumental

Irish Distillers in 1997 after graduating

process from brewing to distillation

Crockett.

of former master distiller, Barry

Despite the daunting

an engineering

task of filling

with

degree. He oversaw various

in Midleton.

The

task of overseeing the production comes

That is very important

for

everyone is heading in the one direction."

As

a team player, Brian has been instrumental

in

with the fringe benefit of tasting the whiskey

expanding

the Midleton

Distillery in recent

on a daily basis, to ensure the correct balance

years, always bringing

until 2002, when he began to work on some

of flavours and unique pot still spiciness.

fore. He is a man grounded

of Jameson's most storied blends. In 2006,

"Jameson

driven by a passion to ensure that the whiskeys

projects in the environmental

department,

is a single distillery whiskey; it's a

he became the first Irish Distiller to receive

blend of a pot still whiskey and then a grain

of Midleton

the Worshipful

whiskey, both produced

in the world.

Company of Distillers award,

at the Jameson

fresh new ideas to the in tradition,

and

continue to be amongst the best

exploredrinks.com

- )'

165

I


-----------------There was a time when Irish whiskey,,,ruled th'e!Y"o rla. It has bJen t firougfi its ups and downs over the last cerft:uryor two) b ut if n9_ti 6} tne Mia letor.i Distilleries, who knows where ,if would be. These are th e '~~ tilleries wP.i icfi have carried Irish whiskey,6n their shoulders for a v~ry 1 ~99 t.im'e .'Tn ~re .,i? 1 support from newcom~rs, or relative newcomers, toda y;-but t hey wo~lc: nt, all, no doubt, acknowledge the debt they owe to the Old and the New .'···:y Midleton distilleries. We refer to Old and New but in reality, one followed the other in chronological terms. ' Located in Midleton, County Cork, the New is still Ireland's

The 1960ssaw a time of declining sales as well. In an

largest distillery and is responsible for a great many of the

attempt to stem the tide, in 1966,Irish Distillers Ltd, was

country's most famous whiskeys. Names like Jameson (the

founded by merging several separate distilleries, also

world's largest selling Irish whiskey), Redbreast, Yellow Spot,

including John Jameson & Son, John Powers & Son and the

Midleton itself, Writers Tears,Green Spot, Powers,The

Cork Distilleries Company. The decision was taken to close

lrish-maR;:.a·n·d-·even:glJJ,:"V :i..Q o9. dkt3a!Ja:n~d!.!b~e~e;.!:: r ======:::= ~ ;-;-;::-

:ex '.::::.mu:i g distilleries in Dublin and Cork and to consolidate proauct ioo This-woaldbe -deneat -a new,.speQilllf DLlilt

The Old Distillery (it is important to distinguish be\ween

distillery. The site chosen~ as next to the existing-~idleton

the Old and the New Midleton distilleries) was founded

Distillery (hence, 'Old' and 'New'). Dublin had been ruled

as far back as 1825, by James, Daniel and Jeremiah

out as there was simply not room to expand next to the

Murphy. The building was in use before that, as a woollen

existing distilleries.

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mill. The brothers paid thirty thousand pounds - a huge sum in those days - for the building and converted it to use as a distillery. It quickly increased in importance and

Further expansion took place in 1972when Bushmills, which ~

was the only other distillery operating in Ireland at that time, _,,-less than a decade later, it was employing more than 200----------joined the fold. It meant that, at that time, Irish Distillers was people and was producing 400,000 gallons. By_the late

in sole control of all whiskey production. A far cry from the

19th century, Irish whiskeys were in the _doldrums and

days of several hundred distilleries and 60 per cent of the

sales plummeted. The reasons, as they almost always

world market, enjoyed over a century earlier.

--------

are in such situationc3,we~

any and varied but most

notably, the_rise-in popularity of blended whiskies and

In July 1975,the Old Midleton Distillery produced its last

the Anglo-Irish trade wars hurt Irish production (scary

whiskey.A few days later, production began at the new

---

to think that more than a century later, lessons have not

operation. The Old Distillery had the world's largest pot still,

been learnt). While the Midleton Distillery was swept

with a capacity of31,618 gallons, as well as two more 10,000

along with the tide, they managed to do so much better !i.than most and remained in production at all times.

----------

gallon spirit stills and a Coffey still. The New Distillery had, at that time, three 75,000-litre pot stills and three column stills.


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The old distilleries? Old Midleton and Jameson's Bow Street Distillery have both reopened, not as working distilleries but as visitor centres. Powers John's Lane Distillery was not so fortunate, much of it demolished, though a small part of it avoided the bulldozers and now forms part of the National College of Art and Design. A number of multinational corporations showed

Irish single pot still whiskey from pot stills. Water, so

with a capacity of 80,000 litres. After running

strong interest in Irish Distillers Ltd and in 1988,

vital in production, has always been sourced from

through three pot stills, the spirit has a strength of

by way of a friendly takeover, Pernod Ricard took

the Dungourney River, once also its power supply

83 - 85% ABV But of course, this distillery produces

control. In 2005, Bushmills was sold to Diageo and

-the giant waterwheel is still on site. Midleton

a number of different whiskeys, each with their own

a decade later, Paddy went to Sazerac, although

uses brewer's yeast for fermentation, which takes

character. Hence, procedures are not all uniform,

production still takes place at the Midleton

approximately 60 hours, giving a wash with an

especially, in relation to cuts from head to tails. For

Distillery. In 2010, a further 200 million was tipped

alcohol content of 10% - 12% ABV Fermentation

grain's continuous distillation, Midleton has five old

in to update operations, allowing for an increase in

for grain whiskey distillation takes 90 - 100 hours,

column stills and six newer, larger column stills.

production to 64 million litres per annum.

with an alcohol content of 13% - 15%.

The Distillery works in two ways. Grain whiskey is

As mentioned, the Distillery uses triple pot still

and European oak casks. The team at the distillery

made in column stills and there is also traditional

distillation. There are now seven pot stills, each

believe that the casks should not be allowed to

Their whiskey is matured in a mix of American oak

168 exploredrinks.com


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS Every year, a new bottling is blended by the master

There followed a period of a decade where

distiller, who has his pick of the whiskeys in the

Redbreast was simply unavailable.

distillery's warehouses. The aim is "to produce the best whiskey possible". It means that every year,

Finally, in 1991, Redbreast was given the

the release will be different, and this makes them

proverbial make-over and it was relaunched as

irresistible to both aficionados and collectors.

a 12-Year-Old, matured in a mix of sherry and

Quantities are almost always less than 2,500 cases

bourbon casks. The new Redbreast was met with

per annum. Every bottle is numbered and signed

critical and popular acclaim.

by the master distiller and comes in a wooden presentation box. More recently, Midleton

In 2005, 'Redbreast 15' was released. Originally for

have also released a number of single pot still

the 50th Anniversary celebrations of their French

whiskeys. Examples include a 30-year old Pure Pot

distributor, 'La Maison du Whiskey', this non chill-

Still, distilled in 1969 and released in 1999 and a

filtered whiskey was an immediate hit and was

26-year-old Pure Pot Still, distilled in 1974, matured

named by Jim Murray as the Whisky Bible's 'Irish

in oloroso butts, and finished for one year in a

Whiskey of the Year'.

port pipe. It was released to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Old Midleton Distillery.

2012 and another Redbreast hit the shelves, 'Redbreast 12 Cask Strength'. It is bottled direct

dry and so, even when transported from their various locations to the distillery, they travel as fully

As well as such famous whiskeys as Jameson's and

from the cask with no water added. This means

made, and not disassembled, casks. On arrival, the

many others, Midleton's Distillery also produces

that even though the Redbreast DNA is evident

sherry and port casks are filled immediately. The

another local favourite - Redbreast. Originally, it

in each bottle, as each cask will differ ever so

distillery can fill 70 to 80 casks simultaneously, while

was part of the Gilbeys' wine and spirits operation,

slightly in terms of alcohol strength, each release is

bourbon casks will be filled within one to three

with the first record of it appearing in 1912. It is

marginally different.

months. At this stage, everything is computer-

thought that this was actually a reference to the

controlled and monitored. On site, there are now

Gilbeys 'JJ Liqueur' Whiskey 12-Years-Old and that

forty warehouses, recently completed to expand

'redbreast' was a nickname for it, the Chairman of

oldest whiskey in the Redbreast range, 'Redbreast

the storage capacity.

Gilbeys a well-known ornithologist.

21 '. Named '21 ', it actually contains whiskeys up

Needless to say, an operation this size making

Redbreast gained some notoriety in the 1920's,

Leighton, sees the style as the epitome of the

so many different whiskeys, and the numerous

earning its own nickname of 'the priest's bottle'.

Redbreast sherry style and it is their flagship.

variations within them, make it impossible to fully

The 1920s were tough times in Ireland, political

cover all. If one had to pick just one, it is hard to go

and economic turmoil abounding. Few had the

A limited release in 2015 of just 2,000 bottles,

past the Midleton Very Rare.

means to enjoy a fine whiskey yet the Irish clergy

the Redbreast 'Mano a Lamh' is the only one of

The following year, 2013, saw the launch of the

to 25 years of age. Redbreast master blender, Billy

seemed to always have a bottle of Redbreast

their whiskeys to be matured exclusively in sherry

Before his retirement in 2013, master distiller Barry

available. The distributors liked to think of it as a

butts. It is now seen as very much a collectors'

Crocker, had worked at the distillery for 47 years,

case of 'spiritual and gastronomic enlightenment'.

item. But they continued the theme in 2016 with

37 of them as master distiller, after arriving as an

The average Irishman may not have been so

the 'Redbreast Lustau Sherry Finish' edition.

apprentice to his father. Much of the success of

charitable in his thoughts.

This bottling is initially matured in a mix of both

Irish Distillers Ltd, at the time of its creation by the

twelve years and then sees a final year in selected

and the Single Pot Still Whiskeys of Midleton,

merger, decided to implement some changes in

oloroso sherry butts from Bodega Lustau in Jerez,

beginning in 2011. Crocker was succeeded by

production and sales. Importantly, they decided

Spain. It has become a permanent addition to the

Brian Nation. To celebrate Cracker's career, and the

that the day of selling bulk whiskey, 'by the cask',

Redbreast range.

30th anniversary of Midleton Very Rare, a limited

to wholesalers and retailers, who would then

Jameson's can be attributed to his efforts and releases such as the Midleton Very Rare in 1984

bourbon and sherry casks for a period of nine to

release of just 177 bottles of Midleton Very Rare

bottle and sell it themselves, would be phased

30th Anniversary Pearl Edition was issued, with a

out. They were looking to increase exports

more exciting and innovative releases in the

higher strength, 53.1% ABV

and also to increase the number of brands in

years to come.

No doubt, lovers of Irish whiskey are anticipating

their portfolio and so required the whiskey for Midleton Very Rare is a non-age statement whiskey,

their own plans. Gilbeys however, managed to

blending pot still and grain whiskeys, and matured

persuade them to continue supplying their pure

in the grounds of the distillery. It offers a range

for between 12 and 20 years in American Oak

pot still whiskey for Redbreast until the closure

of Irish whiskey appreciation courses, over one

In 2013, an Irish Whiskey Academy was opened

barrels, previously used to house bourbon. The

of Bow Street Distillery in the summer of 1971.

to three days, and also training for aficionados,

early examples incorporated whiskey from the

The last bottling of Redbreast, under the Gilbey's

journalists and members of the trade. The

Old Distillery, as time was needed to mature the

banner, took place in 1985, and the following year,

distillery also houses the official historical archives

requisite whiskey from the New Distillery.

Gilbeys sold the brand name to Irish Distillers.

for the Irish Distillers.

exploredrinks.com 169


Jameson's Visitor Centre is one of the most popular attractions in Ireland, not only with tourists, but doubling as one of the coolest bars in a city - that's literally bursting with cool bars. You've just touched

down in Dublin. You've

of their premium whiskeys, get some guidance

never been there before and you know no

in blending

one. What do you do? Well, a drink seems

with you, learn the dark arts of cocktail mixing

a whiskey you can then take home

an obvious start but go one further. Why not

and even taste whiskey straight from a cask in

visit the source? Both Jameson's and Teeling

the warehouse.

distilleries

have visitors' centres for anyone

interested

in good Irish whiskey and they are

most definitely

must visits for any trip to the

Old Country.

An imposing

presence in Dublin for almost 240

years, what hasn't this distillery seen? History buffs could hardly wish for a more entrancing

series of their premium blends and explain

experience.

"ingredients,

The blending

masterclass, which

craft and different flavour notes"

is available seven days a week, takes 90

and deconstruct

doors to the Jameson Distillery Bow St back

minutes and is fully hosted with a tasting of

opportunity

in 1780. Today, the experience

premium whiskeys as well as the blending

John Jameson is famous for opening

the

is better than

ever. You can tour the distillery, enjoy a tasting

170 exploredrinks.com

exercise. Experts will take you through a

them. Then there is the

to blend your own.

ADDRESS: Bow St, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7


The next generation of Teeling family distillers are making their mark in the Liberties area of Dublin with the opening of the new Teeling Whiskey Distillery and Visitor Centre set to release its very own whiskey to the world this year The Tee ling Wh iskey Distillery was the first new d istill ery in Dublin for ove r a century, exhibiting the heritage of pot still whiskey. However, this is hardly the first Teeling family connection with the whiskey indu stry as Walter Teeling established a craft distillery in the Libertie s way back in 1782. And the Liberties is to where Teeling has returned. Tours are in English but private tours in various other languages can be arranged . For bookings, reservations@teelingwhiskey.com. The Tee ling Irish Wh iskey g ift store is the perfect place to conclude the tour . Exclusive Teeling Whiskey merchandise is available and there is the oppo rtunity for patrons t o fill their own bottles of whiskey from select ed casks. Then drop by The Bang Bang Bar, ope n seven days a week, or the Phoenix Cafe for a snack, a coffee or a whiskey. The Bang Bang Bar is named after an infamous Liberties character "Bang Bang", and offers the complete Teeling portfolio of whiskeys. They also offer spec ially created seasonal coc ktail s that wo rk perfect ly with th e po rtfo lio of w hiskeys.

ADDRESS: 13-17 Newmarket, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8 T: + 353-1-5310888


Tullamore D.E.W's origins date back to 1829 when the Tullamore distillery was founded in Tullamore, County Offaly, both the emotional and geographic heart of Ireland as it's claimed, founded by famed distiller, Michael Molloy. The location was well chosen because it was a rich agricultural and grain growing region, providing both the new barley and pure water essential to the creation of good whiskey. In 1887, following Molloy's death, the distillery passed into the hands of the Daly family with Captain Bernard Daly in charge of the business. Captain Daly left the routine running of the distillery to one of his colleagues, Daniel E. Williams, who would become the major influence on the expansion and development of the distillery. The 'D.E.W' in Tullamore D.E.W represents the initials of Daniel E. Williams. Williams brought electricity to Tullamore in 1893, had the town's first telephones installed and introduced motorised transport. He also ran a commercial empire throughout the Midlands including drinks businesses, importing tea, selling seed and grain, and a network of 26 general stores. But there were tough times for Irish whiskey - Prohibition in America and an economic war with Britain in the1930s didn't help the industry. After World War II, Desmond Williams, grandson of Daniel E. Williams, used modern marketing techniques and re-established Irish whiskey as a world leader. Tullamore D.E.W has in more recent times undergone something of a revitalisation with sophisticated packaging, a fresh new look and feel and a major refurbishment and build of

172 exploredrinks.com


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

the new distillery, bringing the whiskey home to Tullamore after more than 60 years. The new distillery opened in September 2014 and was the first distillery built on a 'greenfields' site in Ireland for over 100 years. The visitors centre had reopened to the public two years prior, situated in Tullamore town and attracting around 40,000 visitors per year. Today the Tullamore D.E.W product

range

includes Tullamore D.E.W original, a 10-yearold reserve and a 12-year-old special reserve (both triple distilled,

and matured in bourbon

and oloroso sherry casks), a unique 10-yearold single malt (matured in bourbon,

oloroso

sherry, port and Madeira casks) and the heritage blend. Tullamore

D.E.W is a unique blend of all three

types of Irish whiskey - pot still, malt and grain whiskey - as distinct from other Irish whiskeys which mostly contain just two of these components. More people are drinking Irish whiskey around the world with current consumption

growing at

a rate of 10 per cent a year. There is little doubt that with its rich history and distinctive character Tullamore D.E.W is well placed to continue as one of Ireland's most famous exports.

exploredrinks.com 173


For a whisky-fuelled adventure of epic proportions, follow the dots to these and many other thriving distilleries around the Apple Isle. WORDS FRED SIGGINS

'

.


I

'

"'

i

' ., ... Jr --,

FEATURE

~F !'lf',,, --

"ONYOUR IDIYOUT_ rEMPTON,YOU CANALSO SWINGBY OLDI(EMP_. T,ON I : JI ISTILLERY(FORMERLYtf :-EDLANDS) ERE YOU CANINVESTIN YOUR ~ _ VERYO TWENTY-LITRE ~RREL OF TASMANIAN,. SINGLEMALT ISI(Y. JUST ,~, E PREPAREDFORA TWOYEAR IDIITBEFOREYOU CANDRINI( IT.'

------

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to make a pilgrimage

to the best whisky distilleries

in the world, you were in for a very long flight. But now you can tour the places where Australia's craft whisky movement

was born

and continues to thrive and innovate, for the

One of the first distilleries to use Australian

world, meaning every part of the process from

cost of a ticket to Tasmania.

Pinot Noir barrels to age single malt, Hellyer's

growing the grains to hand-labelling

Road takes a uniquely Aussie approach to

happens here.

With pristine air and water, as well as some of

whisky making. The single malts produced

the best grain-growing

are also some of most widely available and

land in the world, it's no

surprise that Tasmanian whisky is recognised

best value, with a scale of production

for its quality around the globe. Couple that

prominent

with a booming

operations.

hospitality and tourism industry,

and all around the island you'll find the tastiest things to eat or drink anywhere in Australia.

HELLYERS ROAD

the bottles

here

far more

than most of the state's small craft Here, you can take a guided tour to

The idea for a distillery came when Peter's rye crop produced

more than he needed to

feed the sheep. The solution was the first ever Tasmanian rye whisky, and it's some of

learn about the whisky making process and the

the best in the world. Belg rove is known for

history of the area, and even have the chance

sustainability, with the stills running on bio-

to dip your own bottle in wax-

diesel (made of leftover fryer oil from the

a truly special

Tasmanian souvenir.

local greasy spoon), and also for experimentation,

using Tasmanian peat to

BELGROVE

smoke the grains, or making spirits from ginger

Heading south from Burnie through the

terms like "artisanal"

beautiful town of Burnie. Situated on the north

central highlands (stop off for a hike up Cradle

Belgrave is the real deal.

coast, this small community sports a stunning

Mountain for breath-taking

beachfront,

through the middle of the state towards Hobart,

On your way out of Kempton, you can also

you'll go right past Belgrave Distillery near

swing by Old Kempton Distillery (formerly

Beginning in the north of the state (you can fly

beer. And while a lot of distilleries throw around

into Launceston or take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne),

head west towards the

and grassland so lush it'd keep the

hungriest of cows happy. Which brings us to

and "small batch",

views), and on down

Hellyers Road Distillery. Founded by a group of

Kempton. The brainchild of farmer, engineer,

Redlands) where you can invest in your very

dairy farmers in 1997, Hellyers Road is one of

and sculptor and all around good bloke

own twenty-litre

Australia's longest running whisky distilleries,

Peter Bignell, Belgrave is one of the only

whisky. Just be prepared for a two-year wait

and a founding

genuinely grain-to-glass

before you can drink it.

member of the Tassie scene.

distilleries in the

barrel of Tasmanian single malt

exploredrinks.com 175


SHENE ESTATE South of Kempton on the road to Hobart stands Shene Estate & Distillery. This collection of gorgeous sandstone buildings is 199 years old and was built as the ostentatious

country

residence of early colonialist Gamaliel Butler. Painstakingly restored by custodians and owners the Kernke family, the estate has only been opened to outside visitors within the last few years, and now includes a craft distillery within the grounds. As well as a lovely gin, Shene produces a malt whisky that has been triple-distilled

on

Tasmania's largest copper pot still. These production

methods are inspired by the Irish

style and result in a lighter, more refined spirit. Swing by for a tour of the stunning grounds while sipping on one of these award-winning spirits, and you might even see a polo game in action. It's the closest thing you'll get to the grand distilleries of Scotland here in Australia.

LARK Once you hit Hobart, leave the car and nip

archaic law that had banned the distillation

down to the Lark Cellar Door for a nip of

spirits in Tasmania all the way back in 1838.

of

won, paving the way for Lark Distillery to open

Many people don't realise there was a thriving

Australian style of single malt that's widely

Tasmania's liquid gold. This cosy spot right on the docks offers a staggering

array of

Lucky for us, Bill fought the law, and whisky in 1992. He also came up with a uniquely

Tasmanian whiskies to try, as well as local beers

distilling industry in Hobart in the 1830s, as the

imitated by other distillers; using small barrels

and bottles of Lark for sale. Afterwards, you

colonists made use of the excellent barley and

to impart intense flavours in a short period of

can continue exploring the culinary and cultural

clean mountain water to produce local hooch.

time and making use of casks from Australia's

delights of Tasmania's capital.

But in 1838 Governor Franklin decided he didn't

longstanding

fortified wine industry.

like the effects these local spirits were having Founder of Lark Distillery, Bill Lark is the man

on the colony, so he banned their production

The distillery itself, located close to Hobart in

who, back in the early 1990s, had a vision for

outright.

the Coal River Valley, is currently closed for tours

Tasmanian single malt. But to get his product

over 150 years.

off the ground, he had to contend with an

176 exploredrinks.com

It's a prohibition

that would last for

due to construction for the re-opening

work, but keep an eye out soon.


SULLIVANS COVE Finally, on your way to fly home, stop in at Sullivans Cove Distillery. Located in an industrial park near Hobart airport, this tin shed surrounded

by chain-link fence isn't much to

look at. But inside, the crew here are making the whisky that put Tassie on the map. Established in 1994, Sullivans Cove has had plenty of time to perfect their single malts. Their spirits are matured for plenty of time too, producing

on average the oldest whiskies in

Australia by far. Being allowed to age slowly in full-sized casks for up to eighteen years (and counting), might be one of the reasons Sullivans Cove is so well-regarded home and internationally,

both at

consistently beating

out whiskies from Scotland, Japan and the rest of the world at international

competitions.

The

big one came in 2014 when their French Oak Single Cask won "World's Best Single Malt" at the World Whiskies Awards. This year, they've backed it up with their American Oak Single

SPRING BAY

To get a tour, you'll have to give them a

Cask winning "World's Best Single Cask Single

bell ahead of time, but with a bit of warning,

Malt". Not bad for a tin shed near the airport.

If your trip includes the spectacular East Coast

they'd love to show you around. While Tassie

of Tasmania, near Orford, you'll find Spring Bay

whisky has become big business in recent

Sullivans Cove is open seven days for tastings

Distillery. One of newest distilleries in Tassie,

years, tiny, family-run operations

and tours, and the passionate staff are full

Spring Bay is run by a husband and wife team

Bay are still an essential part of the industry's

of great facts and stories. This is also one of

producing

character. And considering

the only places you're able to leave with a

lovely malt whiskies on a single

like Spring

how small they

1,200-litre copper pot still. Located only 500

are, you're unlikely to get a taste of this whisky

metres off the beach, this is a genuinely coastal

anywhere else.

distillery and the epitome of local craft.

bottle of one of the world's most sought-after single malts, produced

right here in Tasmania,

Australia's home for world-class whisky.

exploredrinks.com 177


FEATURE

,__,,...

Tasmania - the _vv,hit k/ '.islahd ofA ~stralia! We are so incredibly lucky to be a part of such fast-growin·g arid exciti~g industry where the people are .. - passionate, and .the products are of exceptional quality. .~-: .,_ ...~~:,_f~~-- ,-:~r-·: ~~\-~~,-

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WORDS JA~E SAWFO~D, NEE OVEREEM

I've been involved in the Tasmanian whisky

The pu r.e :rasmani~ ~ water, higli- quality, rich

the Tasmanian Whisky Producers Association

industry for over 10_y,:,ar~f;,ly¼ ·t l-ier, Casey -,

oily barley, rye, wheat, oats and corn, and ths=

(TWPA). This group now boasts members from

Overeem, founde ·r cif Overeem DTstill.ery,

cool climate are the perfect recipe for -worJd-

over 20 distilleries, whom all value and thrive on

_was friends with whisky pioneer BilLLark,

class spirits. The success of the original four

the camaraderie from which the association was

who had the laws changed in 1992 so that

distilleries cannot be ignored either, as it has

initially built. Knowledge

small distilleries could produce whisky in lovt ·

inspired and instilled confidence

distillery doors are always open.

volumes. My Dad founded Overeem in 2007,

that 10 years ago didn't exist. Recently at

which was the 'fourth' operating

.-.-· .,

-:~-,s....,~-~--

.

in an industry

is freely shared, and

the Spring Bay distillery launch, I witnessed

The last few years especially have also seen

Tasmania - those before us were Lark, Sullivan's

Cameron Brett proclaim he was merely,

an enormous resurgence in the consumption

Cove and Hellyers Road.

"standing

of whisky, with a particular appreciation

distillery in

on the shoulders of giants" - an

indication of the level of respect held for the ,Tasmania today has Australia's largest

dedication

c~

and Dad.

entration of whisky distilleries, boasting

and vision of the likes of Bill

quality, hand-crafted

of

whiskies and the stories

behind them. We have additionally shift in the demographic

seen a

buying and drinking

leries across the state. It's this ~, concentration, as well as the quality now being

Another significant influence is the producers

generation,

produced ;f h\ t's seeing the island state be

themselves. The strong relationships formed

excited about.

compared to th ~>~ med Isle of Islay in the

between my father, Bill Lark (Lark Distillery),

spiritual home cif s,. ingle malt, Scotland. To

Patrick Macguire (Sullivan's Cove) and Mark

Couple all of this with a state that's lauded

many, Tasmania is now being labelled as the

Littler (Hellyers Road) during the birth of the

for its fresh produce, artisan products, clean,

'Whisky Isle of Australia'.

Tasmanian whisky industry has had a lasting

green, picturesque surrounds and the following

effect. What began as a few cleansing ales

booming tourism industry, and Tasmania really

"Why Tasmania?" You may ask. There are many

at the pub each month to discuss distilling

is the perfect place to produce this delicious

reasons why this small island state has become

techniques,

liquid gold.

the epicentre of whisky production

future of the industry, led to the creation of

37 d~

"'··,

in Australia.

the spirit, with a significant rise in the younger

results, ideas and the overall

particularly women, which I'm very

exploredrinks.com 179


AWARDS & DEMAND Tasmanian whisky has won many highlyacclaimed national and international

awards

within its brief history, affording the state world recognition.

It was in 2014 when Sullivan's Cove

Single Malt won 'Best Whisky in the World' in the World Whiskies Awards, that first made the world take notice of what we are producing

here

in Tasmania. Subsequently, one of the most significant challenges for the Tasmanian distilleries at present is meeting the increasing demand. Whisky takes time to mature and, unfortunately,

Sullivan's Cove, McHenry's, Nant, and Old

you can't wake up one day and decide, "Let's

Kempton all have product available, and are

double production

suitable for larger groups. However, if you're

tomorrow."

today and meet the demand

If onlyl

organised and prefer a more intimate and informal experience, I'd recommend

Belgrave,

I'm excited to see how the industry will

Spring Bay or Fanny's Bay, who also have stock

evolve over the coming years, as many new

available. But be sure to book ahead, as these

distilleries are opening up around the country,

are only accessible by appointment.

including my own I Together with my husband Mark, we founded Sawford Distillery Pty. Ltd.

However, I'd definitely recommend

in 2016, commenced

any of the other new distilleries if you have the

production

in 2017 and

visiting

are due to release our small-cask range of S&O

chancel Many are producing

Single Malt Whisky in early 2020. Exciting times

spirits while they patiently wait for their single

ahead indeedl

malt to mature.

VISITATION

fantastic white

If you're flying into Hobart International Airport, you'll need at least 3-4 days to visit the

The beauty of the industry in Tasmania is the

distilleries in the south. Allocate more time if

accessibility to the public that the majority of

you can, as a dram is often accompanied

the distilleries offer. From the whisky enthusiast

story, and a story is usually followed by another

to the entry level novice, getting up-close

dram I A similar time allowance is required in the

by a

and personal with the makers themselves in

north of the state as although there are fewer

the distilleries and bond rooms and sampling

distilleries, there is more ground to cover.

product direct from the cask, is a reality. Considering

the unique story, personalities

and

the warm welcome that each distillery offers, I'd recommend

visiting as many as you can if you're

exploring the island

I

If, like many visitors, you assume you can drive around our beautiful state in only a weekend, and you find yourself short on time, there are some fantastic bars and retailers where you'll find most, if not all, of these prized

If you're mainly planning to visit with the

Tasmanian products. Here is the list of my

intention to taste and purchase some delicious

favourite supporters:

single malt, then Lark, Overeem, Shene Estate,

180 exploredrinks.com


I am so incredibly fortunate to inherit an opportunity

such as this - the chance to

produce a product that is ideally suited to the island to which I belong, alongside a group of people that share similar values and passions. All of it originating

from the founders before

us. The industry is still in its infancy, and it is said that the Scots spill more than we make each year. I remember an analogy from Craig Johnstone (Scottish ex-Head Distiller at Lark Hobart Bars: The Glass House, Society

Tasmanian 'Independent

Bottlers' are also

Salamanca, Story Bar, IXL Long Bar, Lark Bar,

kicking some big goals for the industry

Gold Bar, Salamanca Whisky Bar, Ettie's Piano

Heartwood,

Bar, Mona Void Bar, The Den and a bar my

the leading independent

husband and I recently opened, Robbie Browns.

Tim Duckett, from Heartwood

1

Dark Valley and Spirit Thief are bottlers in Tasmania. Malt Whisky, has

Distillery) stating the privilege he felt to be attending

a dinner that sat the four founders of

the Tasmanian Whisky industry, and comparing that evening to how it would have looked in Scotland, many centuries ago, seated with the

been known to invite people into his private

equivalent company. Imagine the generations

Launceston Bars: Saint Johns, Kingsway, Spirit

office and bond store and welcome them with a

to come that hear of tall stories of grandparents

Bar and Henry's Bar.

taste of his award-winning,

that visited distilleries and met figures such as

Best Retailers: Destination

Cellars, 9/11,

cask strength, heart-

starters. Be sure to snap up one of his elusive

Bill Lark, Patrick Maguire, Casey Overeem and

bottles if you get the chance. Or swing by Gold

those that carry their legacies .. it's an exciting time to be in whisky.

Drink Co., Cool Wines, Lark Cellar Door, Hop

Bar and visit Ian, co-founder

Vine and Still, Tasmanian House of Whisky,

sure he might have a bottle, or two stashed

of Spirit Thief, I'm

Robbie Browns.

behind the bar for that particular guest.

In good spirits, Jane Sawford.

exploredrinks.com 181


TASMANIAN DISTILLERIES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

7K Distillery Adam's Distillery Bakehouse Distillery Belgrove Distillery Corra Linn Distillery Cradle Mountain Distillery Darby Norris Distillery Deviant Distillery Devils Distillery Fanny's Bay Distillery Flinders Island Distillery Hartshorn Distillery Hellfire Bluff Distillery Hellyers Road Distillery Iron House Brewery & Distillery Killara Distillery Knock Lofty Lark Distillery Launceston Distillery Lawrenny Estate Distillery McHenry Distillery Nant Distillery Nonesuch Distillery Old Kempton Distillery Overeem Distillery Sawford Distillery Shene Estate Distillery Southern Wild Distillery Spring Bay Distillery Sullivans Cove Distillery Taylor & Smith Distilling Co. White Label Distillery Willie Smith & Sons

Brighton Perth Dover Kempton Relbia Tamar Valley Tamar Valley Sandy Bay Moonah Fanny's Bay Flinders Island Birchs Bay Boomer Bay Burnie lronhouse Point Goodwood West Hobart Hobart Launceston Duse Port Arthur Bothwell Dodges Ferry Kempton Hobart Kingston Pontville Devonport Spring Beach Cambridge Moonah Huntingfield Grove

lkdistillery.com adamsdistillery. com.au farsouthtasmania.comlfood-serviceslbakehouse-distillery belgrovedistillery.com.au corralinndistillery.com.au tasmanianwhisky.com.au darbynorrisdistillery.com.au deviantdistillery.com devilsdistillery.com.au fannysbaydistillery.com.au flindersislanddistillery.com.au grandvewe.com.aulhartshorn-distillery hellfirebluff.com.au hellyersroaddistillery.com.au ironhouse.com.au killaradistillery. com knocklofty. com.au larkdistillery.com.au launcestondistillery.com.au lawrenny.com mchenrydistillery.com.au nant.com.au nonesuchdistillery.com.au oldkemptondistillery.com.au overeemwhisky.com sawforddistillery@gmail.com shene.com.au southernwilddistillery. com springbaydistillery.com.au sullivanscove.com ben@taylorandsmith.com. au whitelabeldistillery.com.au williesmiths.com.au


FEATURE

• Flinders Island FlindersIsland

@ 1

Bass Strait Fannys Bay Fanny'sBay

Hellyers Road Southern Wild

@

Burnie

Devonport

@ Darby Norris , Tamar Valley Cradle Mountain 6 19 ~~c~ceSt on TamarValley 5 C orra L"mn Adam's 2 Relbia Perth

@ @ @

0

Lark Hobart

Killara Goodwood

Devils Moonah

@) Taylor & Smith @ Knock Lofty Moonah

©

@

TASMAN

Overeem Hobart

Nant @ Brothwe/1

22

~

Belgrove ~

Lawrenny (:;:\

Kempton

24

Duse ~

Old Kempton '29' Sprin2 Bay

Kempton

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Spr,ngBeac'fi"

Shene Estate 7K GJ~t ontviSullivans Cove

WestHobart

Deviant SandyBay

White Label Huntingfield

HOBA-;T ~@@ f,;;;;\ ~

- sm1t • h & sons W I-11 le

SOUTHERN

Bluff L:!J - ~nesuch!;!;!}!!,re ~

~·@2

Bakehouse Dover

13'

DodgesFerry

@

\5/ Kingston Sawford 21 McHenry Hartshor PortArthur Birch'sBay

kV

OCEAN © 2018 Tasmanian Whisky Producers Association. All rights reserved.

S EA


LAWRENNY ESTATE DISTILLERY Lawrenny Estate is a 400-acre property located in Tasmania's Central Highlands, just over an hour's picturesque

drive through the Derwent

Valley, northwest of Hobart. Lawrenny Estate Distilling has been established as one of only a very few 'paddock to bottle' estate single malt whiskies in the world. The barley grains are grown and harvested from the Lawrenny fields, then malted on site before being mashed, fermented

and distilled using the pure waters

that flow through the estate. The first release of Lawrenny Whisky is expected A range of award-winning

in 2020.

Lawrenny Gin

and Vodka products are available now across Australia.

6485 Lyell Highway, Ouse, TAS 7140 T: +61 438 966 020 W: www.lawrenny.com Open to Visitors: Mon-Sun: 1 0am-3pm, Cellar Door Sales - Everyday: 11 am-3pm MUST TRY WHISKY: Lawrenny Van Diemen's Gin

184 exploredrinks.com

"Distilling to me is an amazing platform on which to tell a story and in the product itself, there is the power to create more stories as it reaches people. I want the products I make to be a reflection of not only the environment in which they're made, but the people who are a part of making it. It should invoke a feeling or an experience and make you treat it like something special and not just another liquid in a glass." Joe Dinsmoor, Head Distiller


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

BELGROVE DISTILLERY

"I enjoy being aeative and travelling the world, carving sand and ice sculptures. I carry that creatiz'if:y into lf'hisky ,naking by prodnring unique flavoztrs. I do things a little differently. " __,,,

In January 2010, Peter Bignell found he had a surplus of rye grain he had ju st harvested . Over the next 12 month s, he hand-built a small w hisky dist illery in the o ld horse stables o n his farm, Belgr ave . The vario us w hiskies are made w ith grain s, rye, oats, wheat, spelt and barley, that are grown at Belgrave, making them 'paddock to bottle' or 'estate whi skies'. Every process, from malting t o barrel ageing is aimed at maximi sing the be st flavo urs, not alcohol yield. Wo rld-ren ow ned Jim Murray's Whi sky Bible has awarded four Liqu id Gold award s t o Belgr ave w hiskies in the last three years.

3121 Midland Hwy Kempton TAS 7030 T: +61 409 144 560 W : belgrovedistillery.com.au Open to Visitors: By Appointment MUST TRY WHISKY: Rye Whi sky 100% Rye

DRINKS TASMANIA TOURS "After taking thousands of visitors myself t o Tasmanian distilleries over the past few years and watching the g rowth and expansion of the indu stry, I realised we would need t o bu ild a team of sto ryteller s who co uld tell the tale of Tasmanian whisky fr om the inside out . By wo rking closely w ith the indu str y every week, we now have a team of six passionate indi vidual s who have bec ome industr y spe cialist to ur gu id es, ready t o share their wealth of knowledge about Tasmanian whi sky with our guests. Come t o ur with us." Brett Steel, CEO/ Direct o r and Guide.

TASMANIAN TASMANIAN WHISKY TOURS www.drinktasmania.com.au Public and private tours every week from Hobart . Check the website for details. M : 0475000120.

"Brett has a passion and an in-depth understanding of our spirits and the distilleries like no other. His tours are as much a part of the industry as the distilleries themselves." Bill Lark , Godfather of Tasmanian whisky . exploredrink s.com 185


HOBART --i.-----WHISKY

ZÂľ.,.-.~

/~

.-.,-.

c1Ka.lt

DEVIL'S DISTILLERY

Putting down the first whisky casks in 2015, initially filling small barre ls fro m the famous

Devil' s Distillery is an unobtrusiv e, mode rn

Hill rock Estate Distillery in An cram, New York

craft distillery housed in a 1951 building, wh ich

State, Devil's Distillery is prepa ring to launch

houses a gra in grist mill, steeping tanks, a 1,200

their first release in Au gust 2018.

litr e mash-tun and doub le-skinned tem pe rature regulated fermenters.

1 Gormanston Road, Moonah, TAS 7009 T: (03) 61651116

W hisky disti llati on is handled with an 1,800 litre

W : www.devilsdistillery .com.au

locally made copp er pot still, and a 380 litre

Open to Visitors: By Appointment

co lumn reflux still creates our neutral , or vapo ur infused botan ically flavoured sp irits.

186 exp lo redrinks.com

MUST TRY WHISKY: Hoba rt Whisky

"Our grain growing climat e and water gives us the means, our motive is to excel and the alcohol excise offers us the opportunity to work for the Government!"


HELLYERS ROAD DISTILLERY

\' 1â&#x20AC;˘. ,

The concept of Hellyers Road Distillery was formed in a modest Burnie boardroom back in 1994. The

\

\

..., ..

distillery founders, a weathered but wily bunch of local dairy farmers charged with steering local milk cooperative - Betta Milk, decided single malt whisky production might be a worthy adjunct to their flourishing milk operation. With the blessing of their fellow shareholders, they duly built the southern hemisphere's largest boutique distillery, nestled snugly between the turbulent waters of Bass Strait and the rugged wilderness of the world acclaimed Cradle Mountain region. Armed with some of the purest water, freshest air and best ingredients found anywhere, they began crafting award-winning whiskies that are now enjoyed on every continent in the world.

153 Old Surrey Road, Burnie TAS T: +61 3 6433 0439 W: hellyersroaddistillery.com.au Open to Visitors: Mon-Sun: 10:30am-4:30pm (Except public holidays) MUST TRY WHISKY: Slightly Peated after

"We aim to not only create worldclass whiskies but crea tea world-class ,, whisky business Mark Littler

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10 Year ADD Champion Single Malt -2018

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Australian Distilled Spirits Awards exploredrinks.com

187


CORRA LINN DISTILLERY

whisky is then stored in oak barrels sourced

Corra Linn Distillery is a progressive enterprise

during the ageing process.

internationally,

that reinforces the flavours

that produces unique whiskies. The distillery has a hybrid pot still, and the still house has all the equipment

for brewing including a grist-

93 Correa Drive, Relbia TAS 7258 Phone: +61 418135150

mill, mash tuns and fermenters. A separate

W: www.corralinndistillery.com.au

bond store with a bottling

Open to Visitors: By Appointment

room is also housed

on-site. The whisky produced

is a result of

the finest Tasmanian ingredients,

delicately

MUST TRY WHISKY: Projected October

distilled using locally grown barley, pristine

release. Currently in port and

water and yeast. These are only some of the

sherry casks.

elements combined

in the process of particular

methods to produce a distinctive taste. The

188 exploredrinks.com

Corra Linn Distillery presents a spirit that embodies Tasmania's clean air, unspoilt environment and gastronomic excellence, in a whisky that is sure to provide a memorable experience.


"This is, by far, the best representation of the Tasmanian single malt whisky industry I have seen anywhere." Bill Lark , November 2014

BRUNY ISLAND HOUSE OF WHISKY Bruny Island House of Whisky holds a spectacular collection of purely Tasmanian

360 Lennon Rd Bruny Island TAS 7150

single malt whiskies, all for tasting - a true

T: +61 3 6260 6344

whisky experience. With currently 80 different

W: tasmanianhouseofwhisky.com.au

expressions of Tasmanian single malts to

Open to Visitors:

taste, and specialising in Tasmania's limited,

Mon-Sun: 9:45am-5:45 pm (summer)

rare and collectors releases, this is the whisky

11 am-5:30 pm (winter)

connoisseurs dream

I

MUST TRY WHISKY: Trappers Hut Single Cask Home to Trappers Hut Single Cask release

LD 601

KILLARA DISTILLERY Kil Iara Distillery is the first Australian distillery to be owned and operated by a second generation Australian distiller and a female

I

Started in 2016 by Kristy Booth-Lark, who has over 20 years' experience in the industry, the

"It's great to be a second generation distiller carrying on the traditions of my parents. Like them, I'm really passionate about being hands-on, crafting my whisky."

distillery is in Hobart and will be launching single malt whisky in late 2018. Celebrating the differences between each barrel, Kil Iara Distillery will be bottling each cask individually and each bottle will be numbered. Other spirits produced by Kil Iara include brandy, Apothecary Gin, Apothecary Gin - Triple Juniper, Tasmanian Vodka and Eau de Vie.

40 Negara Cres. Goodwood TAS 7010 T: +61 405 090 203 W: killaradistillery.com Open to Visitors: By appointment MUST TRY WHISKY: Kil Iara Distillery Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky exploredrinks.com

189


"Whisky has a particular way of warming you from the inside... that makes it unique. I think that's why it's so easy to connect with." Alex Rowles, Overeem Head Distiller

OVEREEM DISTILLERY From the moment founder Casey Overeem made a promise to his Scottish counterparts to never compromise

in the creation of a

Tasmanian world class whisky, he dedicated himself to the pursuit of excellence. Eleven years later, Overeem emerged: a refined whisky of grace and style. A New World whisky crafted to rival the Old World. Every expression is single cask and handcrafted, ensuring that every bottling

is unique. Every

time you enjoy a glass of Overeem Single Malt Whisky you are not only savouring one of a kind; you are experiencing

a one of a

kind piece of Tasmania.

14 Davey St, TAS 7000 T: +61 3 6231 9088 W: overeemwhisky.com Open to Visitors: By Appointment MUST TRY WHISKY: Overeem Port Cask 43%

190 exploredrinks.com

â&#x20AC;˘ "JEliis'R YJaoesn't r .ally become iyliisliy_U]Jtil ~\: th<J:f .~Qili:i~p_gpp. ~ and someone pours -it-i!JctO a glass and.enj6js it. It's an e~p<} J;ience, .and I think that underpins why we do wha(we -do." Chris Thomson, Lark Head Distiller

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"Our u:hisliy is produced and matured on the historic Nant Estate. l ltilising locally sourced barley and water, our unique climate and location, we produce a truly special Ta.snwnian highland whisky." Jack Sellers, Nant Head Distiller

NANT DISTILLING COMPANY The Nant Distillery, loc ated in Both well in the Central High lands of Tasmania, produ ces a dis cret e range of fine single malt whiski es. The distillery is ho used o n the historic Nant Estate, and its fine single malt whiskies are made using water fr om the River Clyde, w hich find s its source in snowme lt fro m Tasmania 's High land lakes. Th e Nant 1992 beca me a histo ry-de finin g mo me nt. Bill's

Distiller y embod ies the rich histo ry and the

heart, passion, and adven t urous spirit sparked

romance of the histo ric estate and coup les

not on ly a d ist illery, but an entir e indus t ry,

it with a modern and comfo rtable distillery

and it's thi s spirit that continu es t o d rive Lark

experien ce, provid ing the perfect backdr op

Distill e ry t o this day.

to create except io nal single malt whiskie s.

14 Davey Street, Hobart, TAS 7000

254 Nant Lane, Bothwell, TAS 7000

T: +61 3 6231 9088

T: +6136111

6110

,

W : larkdistillery.com Open to Visitors:

Open to Visitors:

Sun-Thu: 10 :30am-7:00pm

Mon-Sun : 1 0am-3pm

Fri & Sat: 10:30am-11 :00pm

Wed : Closed

MUST TRY WHISKY: Lark Classic Cask 43 pe r

MUST TRY WHISKY: Nant Single Malt

ce nt

Whi sky Po rt Cask 43 per cent

exploredrink s.co m 191


NONESUCH DISTILLERY Nonesuch is a family owned and operated distillery where Rex and his son (and co-distiller) Chris are committed

to creating a whisky that

is unique and memorable.

Their Single Malts

"Making g reat .whisky on this amazin g is'land is what makes •us want to jum b ut of 6" <;1 ; each day_." ·~·._-:-·.__.,.

~~~

are due for release in late 2018 as single cask expressions.

But as they believe flavours

from grains including wheat, rye and corn are overlooked, Whisky.

they have created Nonesuch Grain

Rex started out as a Gin distiller so

balancing flavours is his passion and working with different grains to produce this whisky appealed greatly. Chris brings it all together with "tweaks"

in distillation

and insightful cask

selection.

491 Arthur Highway, Forcett, TAS 7173 T: +61 408 616 442 W: nonesuchdistillery.com.au Open to Visitors: By Appointment

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192 exploredrinks.com

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OLD KEMPTON DISTILLERY

releases include Small Batch Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky (matured in 20 and 100 litre Pinot

Old Kempton Distillery is located in historic

noir, sherry or port casks) and Cask Strength

Dysart House, Kempton, 45 minutes from

Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky'. Upcoming

Hobart on the road to Launceston. The

special releases include a stringy bark barrel,

magnificent 32-room Georgian coaching inn,

red gum barrel, and botrytis cask maturation.

with a 22 horse convict brick stable, was built in the 1840s by William Henry Ellis. Ellis, a freed

In addition to distillery tours and a cafe, Old

convict, was sentenced to transportation to

Kempton Distillery offers three-day distillery

Tasmania for embezzlement. While found guilty

schools and 20 litre private barrel sales.

of embezzling six shillings, Ellis was alleged to have embezzled the far greater sum of 7000

26 Main St, Kempton TAS 7030

pounds. The money was never recovered;

T: +61 3 62 593 058

some wonder whether it was used to build

W: www.oldkemptondistillery.com.au

Dysart House ..

Open to Visitors: Mon-Sun: 10am-4pm (Closed on public holidays)

The Distillery's 93rd barrel won best Australian small cask single malt whisky at the World

MUST TRY WHISKY: Old Kempton Distillery-

Whisky Awards in London in 2018. Regular

Small Cask Release (Port cask)

¡¡~ "Altho~ h I have lived in Scotland for most of my life, it was only once I visited Tasmania that I discovered my passion for whisky. The quality being produced here really excites me." Robbie Gilligan exploredrinks.com

193


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LAUNCESTON DISTILLERY Launceston Distillery launched its first whisky in July 2018. Located in the heart of Tasmania at Launceston Airport's historic Hangar 17, we produce hand-crafted

single malt whisky. From grain to bottle

everything happens under the one roof. Major equipment made; the brewing equipment

is Tasmanian

was inspired by the old Boags

brewhouse, but our beautiful copper pot stills are the centrepiece. 1950s, Hangar 17 was home to Ansett-ANA

In the

when there was adventure

associated with flying and nostalgia around a fine glass of whisky. Today,

leaving Launceston February 1954

the Hangar provides the perfect home for a boutique whisky distillery.

CREDIT: State Archives Tasma Hangar 17, 287 Evandale Road, Western Junction TAS 7212 T: (03) 6391 9140 W: launcestondistillery.com.au Open to Visitors: By Appointment MUST TRY WHISKY: Single Malt, Apera cask matured (French Oak, Australian style sherry

Oar fl~}

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194 exploredrinks.com

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We ~n1oysharing a whisky and w~' proudof the distillery we've built in the Hangar. After years of effort and plenty of local support, we're excited to release whisky under the ..~ aunceston label" Chris Condon


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

SULLIVANS COVE DISTILLERY Located an easy 20-minute drive from Hobart city (or 10min from Hobart Airport), Sullivans Cove Distillery produces Australia's most awarded Single Malt Whisky. Having twice won "World's Best" titles for their whiskies, Sullivans Cove is the distillery that put Tasmania, and Australia on the world whisky map. Sullivans Cove makes rustic, full-flavoured single malt whiskies from 100% Tasmanian barley, which are on average the oldest whiskies being produced in Australia. 1/10 Lamb Place, Cambridge TAS 7170

T: +61 (03) 6248 5399 W: sullivanscove.com Open to Visitors: Mon-Sun: 1 0am-3pm MUST TRY WHISKY: American Oak Single Cask Single Malt Whisky


MCHENRY DISTILLERY Australia's southern-most

whisky distillery sits at

the base of Mount Arthur. Five natural springs provide all the water for the Distillery and this water becomes the heart of the developing

SINGLE MALT WH IS KY

spirit. The

cool moist maritime climate is ideal for ageing and

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this highly sought after Australian Single

Malt Whisky.

229 Radnor Road, Port Arthur 7182 T: +61 3 6250 2533 W: mchenrydistillery.com.au MUST TRY WHISKY: McHenry Single Malt Whisky

SAWFORD DISTILLERY Located in the picturesque seaside suburb of Kingston, Sawford Distillery was born from union and a family legacy producing

exceptional

Single Malt Whisky

in the Island State. Focusing on a balanced, consistent and rich single malt spirit, Sawford commenced production

in 2017 maturing in both French

Oak ex - Australian fortified wine casks and American Oak ex - bourbon casks. Founders, Mark and Jane Sawford (nee Overeem) share a passion and knowledge for a spirit that's captured the fascination of their family for decades, resulting in the anticipation surrounding

their first release - predicted to be

available sometime

in 2022.

Patriarch Drive, Kingston T: +61 418 399 077 W: www.sawforddistillery.com Open to Visitors: By Appointment MUST TRY WHISKY: to be released in 2022

196 exploredrinks.com

"Whisky is a paradox. Beautifully simple, yet incredibly complex. My motivation to create such a spirit comes simply from my love of drinking it" Mark Sawford, Head Distiller


ll ¡ '.

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WHITE LABEL DISTILLERY

tuns. The distillery houses 1800L wash stills and S00L spirit stills. The locally hand-crafted

White Label Distillery is a game-changer

all-copper pot stills were selected in this

in the Tasmanian whisky industry

capacity as this size has proven to produce the

1

Built in

2018, White Label is a contract brewing and

premium whisky Tasmania is renowned

distilling company located in Huntingfield,

for. The secured, concrete bond stores can

Tasmania. The company contract brews malt

house thousands of barrels in an environment

whisky wash and distils new-make spirit for

where the seasonal temperature

clients, while also offering the opportunity

consistent maturation.

is ideal for

Opportunities

to hand-select premium casks for storage and maturation of their very own Single Malt

tailored to suit various

businesses With a highly-skilled

team behind them,

White Label provides a huge opportunity

Whisky brand.

White Label provides a range of Client

for

Patriarch Drive, Huntingfield TAS

customers to access Tasmanian Whisky and

T: +61 418 399 077

The brewery houses 16 x 4,000L stainless

create their own brand, without setting up their

W: whitelabeldistillery.com.au

steel fermenters and state-of-the-art

own distillery.

Open to Visitors: By Appointment

mash

SPRING BAY DISTILLERY Spring Bay's cool temperate environment

coastal

produces some of Australia's

finest seafood and cool climate wines.

The

location of the distillery is less than 500 metres from Spring Bay, also a perfect place to mature whisky, and for that whisky to take on the briny

"Our single malts are unique as they reflect the spirit of this place, the

characteristics of its home. The influence of Spring Bay's 'terroir' occurs mainly through the water used in the distillery combined with a copper pot still that produces a sweet malty spirit. This combination

is what makes

Spring Bay single malt uniquely Tasmanian.

6 Hoods Rd Spring Beach TAS 7190 T: +61 417 351 663 W: springbaydistillery.com.au Open to Visitors: By Appointment MUST TRY WHISKY: The Rheban Cask Strength Port Cask

)

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197


~ CRADLE MOUNTAIN www.tasmanianwhisky.com.au

joe@cradlemountainwhisky.co Phone: +613 90105090

Enhancing your whisky experience The Cradle Glass forces the undesirable alcohol vapour out and retains the aroma in the center of the glass, precisely where your nose enters. This allows you to nose the full aroma while drinking.

EMOTES: The precise dimensions allows you to nose a high alcohol spirit without the alcohol burn going up your nose. Emotes the full flavour and back notes from all the beautiful products you drink in this glass.

MOVES: Rocking bottom extends the Movement to continue the release of the aroma

EXPELS: Wide pouting glass mouth pushes vapour up and Expels it outwards

ACCELERATES: Designed based on the Bernoulli Principle the narrow

neck concentrates the Aroma and Accelerates the movement of the vapour up

RADIATES:

AERATES:

Round bottom allows the Radiant heat from the hand to agitate the phenols and release the flavour

U The Cradle GlassÂŽ

www.cradleglass.com

E:rocking@cradleglass.com

â&#x20AC;˘

Alcohol Vapour

Large bulbous base swirls the whisky.

~

Aroma & Organic Compounds


VISIT - DISTILLERY FOCUS

SHENE ESTATE & DISTILLERY

their passion for heritage conservation by

Shene Estate, located 15 minutes from Mona,

of our whisky, you are helping to conserve an

is an iconic 1819 colonial property with links

iconic Australian Estate

making fine whisky. When you raise a glass

to the British Royal family and Vice-Regal representative

Lachlan Macquarie. Shene Estate

played an important

role in the development

76 Shene Road, Pontville. TAS 7030 Phone: +61 432 480 250

of the colony as an agricultural and pastoral

Website: www.shene.com.au

holding and continues to remain relevant to

Open to Visitors: By appointment

this day.

MUST TRY WHISKY: Mackey Single Malt, Established in 2014, Shene Distillery introduces

Tawny cask matured (French Oak, Australian

a new exciting chapter to the property.

style port).

Shene

Estate is home of the Kernke family who melds

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199


Most whiskies can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a splash of water, just as the creators had perhaps intended.

HOW TO MAKE AN OLD FASHIONED The Old-Fashioned

whiskey cocktail started

it's life in the 19th century as a way to enjoy a

Sometimes though, the occasion calls for something a little more fancy, and that's where a classic whisky cocktail is what's needed.

whiskey throughout

the day at a lower ABV than

the straight whiskey itself. By combining,

sugar,

water and aromatic bitters with a good rye or

WORDS AND RECIPES BEN DAVIDSON PHOTOGRAPHS RYAN STUART

Bourbon whiskey, the Old Fashioned cocktail is a pure delight for the senses. It has undergone a recent renaissance in popularity

helped by the

Many classic cocktails from before and during the 'Golden Age' of the cocktail, used American

classic cocktail revival trend as well as through

whiskies like Rye or Bourbon to soften and sweeten the punch of a big cask-strength whiskey - in

the hugely popular Mad Men television series.

drinks like the Mint Julep, Whiskey Sour or Old Fashioned. A little later on, bartenders also started using Irish and Scotch whiskies in cocktails, which bring their own set of soothing flavours to the mix.

STEP 1 Add a sugar cube to an Old-fashioned

These Classic Whisky cocktails have stood the test of time because of their elegant simplicity and

glass

and hit it with 2 dashes of Angostura bitters.

allowing the whisky to be the hero of the cocktail.

STEP 2 When deciding to make cocktails at home there are a few important things to consider:

Add a bar spoon of cold water and break down the sugar cube with a flat

• Always use good quality whiskey or

• Always use a beautiful glass to serve it in, like

whisky in the cocktail like some of the

glassware from the Spiegelau Perfect Serve

one's shown here.

collection seen here.

ended bar spoon.

STEP 3 Add a healthy measure of your choice of

• Always use fresh squeezed lemon juice when called for in the recipe, anything less will ruin the taste.

• Get yourself some good quality bar tools like those from Ober Bar Tools or Bar Geek.

whiskey and a large ice cube or smaller cubes of ice. Stir very well for at least a minute, to get the required dilution, chilled temperature, well as integrating

• Always use good quality ice. We used ice from the Bare Bones Ice Company, based in

STEP 4

Sydney. They can supply crystal clear ice that

Garnish with an orange peel twist and a

takes the cocktail to a higher level.

Maraschino cherry and serve immediately.

200 exploredrinks.com

as

all the ingredients together.


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...

STRA IGHT AYI WNISKl!Y

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OLD FASHIONED WHISKE! COCKTAI L! GLASS: Old FashionecJ INGREDIENTS : 60ml x Woodford Reserve Rye Whiske y 2 Dashes A romat ic bitter s

1 x Suga r cube 1 x Orange peel twist 1 x Maraschino cherry

,-

METHOD: Add th esugar .~ ~ c • b d aromat ic b1'tters · • to• a k ·u e an coc tail stirrin g glas ~ • n press with a fl at-end db spoon. Add w h'1skey and· e ar for at least . ice and stir well O ne minute St · · Fashio ned I . rain into an Old g ass ove r a large cube of ice.

d

GARNISH ·. An or ange I · Maraschino h pee twist and a c erry

exploredrink

s.co m 201


SAZERAC GLASS: O ld Fashio ned g lass INGREDIENTS:

45ml Southern Comfort Black Whiskey 15ml Cogna c 5ml French absinth e 2 x Dashes Peychaud's bitters 2 x Dashes Angostura bitters METHOD: Add all ingred ients t o a coc ktail

mixing g lass and stir gen tl y with ice. Strain into an O ld Fashioned glass. GARNISH: Lemon peel t wist

202 exp lo rearink:s.com

111T H taM FO . BU ( I,


DRINKS

NEW YORK SOUR GLASS: Dou bl e Old Fashioned INGREDIENTS:

45ml Michter's Rye Whi skey 30ml Fresh lemon jui ce 20m l Red wine


HONEY & GINGER TODDY GLASS: Old Fashioned INGREDIENTS:

50ml Johnnie Walker Double Black Scotch Whisky 75ml Hot water 10ml Fresh lemon juice 10ml Honey 1 x Cinnamon stick 1 x Slice of ginger METHOD : Add ginger to an Old Fashioned

glass and press with a flat ended bar spoo n. Add remaining ingred ients and stir gent ly. GARNISH : Cinnamon stick


DRINKS

BLOOD & SAND GLASS: Coupette INGREDIENTS :

45ml Chivas 18YO Scot ch Whisky 15ml Sweet verm o uth 15ml Cherr y Heering liqueur 30ml Fresh o range jui ce METHOD: Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker

and shake with a large scoop of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass over a large cube of ice. GARNISH: Orange peel twist

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205


MINT JULEP GLASS·C . oppe r cup INGREDIENTS : 60ml Woodf or d Reserve D m l Suga r syrup ouble Oak Bourbo 10

1x L

arge bun ch o f fre sh mint ·

. cMETHOD : Add ingredients tO a metal julep up and stir gently · h until fr ost ap wit a larg e cube of· pears on th e cup. ice · spr igs GARNISH·. Large bunch of mint

n


DRINKS

WHISKY COLLINS GLASS: Highball INGREDIENTS:

60ml The Singleton of Dufftown Scotch Whisky 30ml Fresh lemon juice 15ml Sugar syrup 90ml Fever Tree Soda Water METHOD: Add ingredients to a highball

g lass. Add an ice spear and stir gently. GARNISH : Lemon wheel

exploredrink s.com 207


DRINKS

WHISKY SOUR GLASS: Do uble O ld Fashioned INGREDIENTS :

60ml The Macallan 12YO Double Cask Scotch Whisky 30ml Fresh lem on jui ce 15ml Sugar syrup 15ml Egg white METHOD : Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a

large scoop of ice. Shake vigo ro usly until fully mixed toge ther. Strain into a Do uble O ld Fashio ned g lass and add a large cube of ice. GARNISH: An orange peel twi st and a

Maraschino cherry

explocedrinks.com 20 ~


IRISH COFFEE GLASS: Old Fashioned INGREDIENTS :

_

50ml Jameson Black Barrel Irish Whiskey 75ml Hot black coffee 10ml Sugar syrup 30ml Lightly whipped cream METHOD : Add the first thr ee

ingredients to an Old Fashioned and stir gently. Carefully layer the lightly whipped cream onto the surface over the back of a bar spoo n. GARNISH: Coffee beans

l~MEso11


DRINKS

GLASS: Martini glass INGREDIENTS: 15ml Sweet vermouth 5ml French absinthe 2 x Dashes Aromatic bitters .

METHOD : Add ing red ients to a cocl<tail

'

mixing glass and stir gently witli ice. Strain

......,r

int o a coc ktail glass.

•· ~

. t, ·.

GARNISH : Maraschino cherry

exploredrink s.com 211

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MORNING GLORY FIZZ GLASS: Highball INGREDIENTS:

60ml Dewar's 15YO Scotch Whisky 20ml Fresh lemon juice 5m l French absinthe 10m l Sugar syrup 10m l Egg wh ite 60ml Fever Tree Soda Water METHOD : Add the first five

ingredient s to a coc ktail shaker with a large scoop of ice. Shake vigorous ly until fully mixed. Strain into a highball

shaker and shake w ith a large scoop of ice. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over a large cube of ice. GARNISH: Cube with crystalli sed g inger .

212 exp lo redrinks.com


DRINKS

'-

BOUDLEVARDIER GLASS: O ld Fashio ned INGREDIENTS : 30ml W ild Turkey Bo urb o n 20 ml Ca mp ari 20ml Sweet verm o uth

METHOD· . . . Add .ing red ients t o a cockt ·1 mixing gl . . ass an d stir ge ntly with ice ai Strain int o an O ld Fash.1o ned gl . large cube of ice. ass over a

GARNISH·. A n o range peel twis t

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A highball is an old fashioned name of a refreshing long drink that is back on trend. They are often lengthened with soda water, tonic water or dry ginger ale . A highball provides a refreshing and less intense whiskey drink when combined with other ingredients as well as adding subtle flavours, balance and a little complexity. There is no limit to what can be used to make a Highball, so you can be as inventive as you like! Here's a few to get the creative juices flowing .

...

INGREDIENTS:

1

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30m l Buffalo Trace bourbon 30m l pink grapefruit juice 90m l Fever Tree dry ginger ale

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METHOD : Add ingredients to a highball g lass and gent ly stir with ice. GARNISH : Garnish wi th slice of grapefruit


DRINKS NEW ORLEANS HIGHBALL

STARWARD SONIC

INGREDIENTS:

30ml Starward whisky Wine Cask finish

30ml Southern Comfort Black

10ml creme de cassis

INGREDIENTS:

10ml fresh lemon juice

10ml verjuice

10ml peach liqueur

45ml Fever Tree soda water

5ml French Absinthe

45ml Fever tree tonic water

90ml Fever Tree soda water

METHOD: Add ingredients to a METHOD: Add ingredients to a

highball glass and gently stir with ice.

highball glass and gently stir with ice.

GARNISH: Garnish with green grapes GARNISH: Garnish with star anise

TEELING'S SPRITZ INGREDIENTS: 30ml Teeling Small Batch Irish whiskey 20ml Lillet Blanc 90ml Fever Tree dry ginger ale

METHOD: Add ingredients to a highball glass and gently stir with ice.

GARNISH: Garnish with slice of orange


Welcome to our Whisky Cabinet where we share with you our thoughts and evaluations on the excellent whiskies we have access to, through our brand and trade partners. Our drinks curator, Ben Davidson of Bespoke Drinks assembled some of the finest and most loved whiskies from around the world that are available in Australia, and asked respected independent

whisky exp erts to taste and

evaluate the wh iskies und er a b lind tast ing conditions. The tast ing notes submitt ed by the Wh isky Cabinet expert tast ers gives us an excellent insight int o the flavours and aromas as well as the overall perceived quality, based on the style and substance of each whisky or whiskey.

WHISKY CABINET TASTING EXPERTS: ASH PINI I Edit OJ; BEN DAVIDSON I D rinks Curator JAMES BUNTIN I The W hisky Ambassador MATT WOOLER I Dram Nati o n MATT BAILEY I SMWS KEN GARGETT I Spirits Wr iter YAO WONG I The Elysian, Melbourne GEOFF FEWELL I Speakeasy Group, Melbourne D IMITRI RTSHILADZE I Mechan ic's Institute, Perth STUART MORROW I The Baxte r Inn, Sydney Slaintel

ASH .

216 exp lo re drinks.com


DRINKS

SCOTCH WHISKYBENRIACH SINGLE MALT WHISKY

10YO 'CURIOSITAS' PEATED SINGLE MALT Region: Speyside, Scotland

GLENFIDDICH

ABV 46.0% I RRP $95

21YO RESERVA RUM CASK FINISH

Very pale in colour, think paw-paw yellow.

Region: Speyside, Scotland

complex rugged style. Reminds one of wild

This single malt has real character. An exciting

ABV 43.2% I RRP $260

heather and barren rock. Intense. Nuts and

Deep gold colour. Aromas of

smoke. A no-prisoners, serious malt. Some

Demerara sugar, tropical fruits,

spice and even some teak. A finely balanced

molasses. Rich and complex

and spirited dram with a long

palate, filled with brown sugar,

and nicely balanced finish. KG 96

banana, toffee. A generous mouthfeel. As it develops I'm

Pale straw colour with aromas of

getting a coffee flavour. A

earthy sooty smoke, clean and

whisky to be savoured, take

light apple sweetness, followed

your time and enjoy. AP 94

by a palate of smoky white oak with a grassy floral sweetness and

THE GLENLIVET

hints of straw. The Finish long

'NADURRA' FIRST FILL SELECTION CASK STRENGTH

and refined with vanilla caramels

Region: Speyside, Scotland

to have this with a selection of

ABV 63.1% I RRP $125

cheeses like a creamy light blue

Heavy sweet vanilla oak and carbon paper

or a mild washed rind. JB 94

and malty brioche. I would love

aromas. Typical bourbon cask style fruity love yet mildly nutty. A good level of proof gives a

ABERLOUR

high spirit effect Spicy and wax driven with malt,

12YO

apple flesh and vanilla sweetness overall before

Region: Speyside, Scotland

a sharp metallic tang hammers home. Long,

ABV 40.0% I RRP $89

drying and fresh with one mighty spicy punch

Dark golden colour. Aromas

to the throat. While sharpening your favourite

of red apples, tinged with

Scottish Claymore great sword.

ginger spice and oloroso sherry

MW90

sweetness. On the palate the aromas translate into a

Finally some cask strength

1

full bodied mouthfeel, with

Very light and un-peated on the

orchard fruit sweetness, hints

nose. No burn at all however

of dark chocolate and raisins,

so perfect integration

robust malty character and a

of cask

and spirit regardless of age.

nice smattering

Clearly an ex-bourbon

notes all the way to a deliciously

cask. Hot

sponge cake on the palate with

of sweet sherry

long finish. BD 88

notes of macadamia nut, white sugar dusting, red apple skins.

LONGMORN

Finish is long and huge. Love

DISTILLER'S CHOICE

it. Neat, drop of water, and in a

Region: Speyside, Scotland

proper capita. MB 90

ABV 40.0% I RRP $120 Light Yellow gold colour with aromas of Fresh banana, tropical fruit, green mango pineapple skin and tarragon. On the Palate - Werthers originals, light pine or balsa wood, sweet liquorice and redcurrant marshmallows. The Finish is delicate light buttery to the end I would smash this with a pavlova or a fruit salad and cream. JB 87 exploredrinks.com

217


THE GLENLIVET FOUNDER'S

RESERVE,

SINGLE

MALT.

A fitting tribute to our founder George Smith's original vision. Paying homage to the unique fruity style he first envisioned back in 1824 and for which we're still renowned today.

ITALL COMES BACK TOTHE ORIGINAL THE

GLENLIVEI

~

THE

Gb~~1JY ~T FOUNDER'S RESE RVE


DRINKS Old gold, though at the paler

GLENFIDDICH

warm earth notes, minerally.

end of the range. A little like

18YO

But the real character here

lemon blossom. Some florals

Region: Speyside, Scotland

is the richness, the fruitcake

and a hint of a smoky note.

ABV 40.0% I RRP $125

notes and hints of chocolate.

Old furniture. It is still just a

Deep Golden in colour. Aromas

This is a Christmas whisky if

little muted and opens with

of Christmas cake, butter and

ever there was one. Supple and

time in the glass. Mustard

caramel sweets. Flavours of

creamy. Good spirit but nicely

seed spices. Pleasant but is

ginger and vanilla, dried fruits

balanced. The impression is of

a little broad - could do with

and almonds. Deliciously

notes not dissimilar to an aged

more focus. Enjoyable but not

elegant across the palate, the

Rutherglen muscat or PX sherry.

the most complex of malts.

whisky slides across the taste

The intense plum pudding

Lots to like if one is not being

buds and delivers rich and full

are maintained

super-critical.

flavours. Medium to long finish.

Love it. excellent length. KG 95

A mid-length

finish. KG 88

notes

for the long haul.

Everything you'd expect in a classic Speyside single malt.

GLENFIDDICH

Shows signs of plenty of age. Delicious

Mahogany coloured with aromas I

AP 89

21YO 'WINTER STORM'

of Chocolate

Oloroso sherry and french polish.

On the Palate there is Stewed fruit chutney,rich

Region: Speyside, Scotland ABV 43.0% I RRP $350 Light caramel, copper and

THE GLENLIVET

fruit cake and salty chocolate truffles. The finish

'NADURRA' OLOROSO CASK STRENGTH

deep. Best enjoyed At the end of the evening

is Amazingly

long multi layered and refreshingly

hues. The aromas are rich

Region: Speyside, Scotland

with special friends or to toast that special

and complex on the nose,

ABV 60.7% I RRP $110

occasion JB 97

an orchestra full of vanilla,

Pale Bronze in colour. Aromas of

honey and tropical fruits. On

hazelnuts, walnut shells, leather

GLENFIDDICH

the palate it has a complex

books. Signature sherry. ABV is

IPA EXPERIMENT

mouthfeel that delivers a rich

done well, and doesn't stand out.

Region: Speyside, Scotland

and balanced experience.

On the palate there are notes of

ABV 43.0% I RRP $135

Bose pears, ripe apricots, lychee,

Pale gold colour. Aromas of

Touches of cinnamon and peppery spices complete a very

rm

STO RM

pleasurable dram. The finish is complex with a slight orange

dried mango, redcurrant jelly,

Fruitcake, raisins and stewed

burnt caramel, violet crumble,

apple, quite rich and exotic.

giving waves of flavours and

Spiced mid-palate,

peel bitterness that balances

texture. Apricot

sugar - rich and complex -

the rich finish. A superb whiskyl

toffee apple, wine gums, Airy to oily across

delicious and generous. Faint

AP95

the palate as the high ABV dries the mouth

hints of chocolate

and begins to take over. The finish needs cask

hopiness on the medium to long

LAGAVULIN

sweetness to carry this here, not more time, just

finish. AP 92

16YO SINGLE ISLAY MALT

better oak. Very nice cask strength dram

21

brandy, treacle,

I

Demerara

and faint

GF 88

BENRIACH

Region: Speyside, Scotland

10YO

ABV 43.0% I RRP $110

Deep Golden in colour with a faint whiff of

Golden colour. Aromas of

highland peat up front gives way to creme

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Iodine

brulee, honey and cereal notes. Given time

ABV 43.0% I RRP $70

I

Peat reek and salt that

opens up to a creamy vanilla

orchard fruit, namely pear, notes appear. At

Pale lemon/orange.

note. A slight greenness like raw

bottling

colour to an old cricket bat. This

strength it is all poached pear and

Similar

asparagus or seaweed. Iodine

vanilla leading to some signature sherry dryness.

is a little muted and closed at this

carries through to the palate.

A drop of water reveals more depth, with

stage. Open it up with a drop

A pleasant sweetness, with

rockmelon and muscovado coming to the front.

or two of water. There is a little

a salted butter note coming

A hint of smoke and salt. Would go great with

treacle and even warm earth with

through.

cured meats and cheese platter. SM 90

a hint of pine forest freshness. A

finisher to the night. Campfire

GLENDRONACH

pleasing malty note, but certainly

type whisky that will keep you

21YO PARLIAMENT

not overwhelming

warm on a winter night. Would

Region: Speyside, Scotland

citrus and floral touches. All very

go great with a dark chocolate

ABV 48.0% I RRP $250

attractive Medium length and

torte. SM 88

Dark, dark mahogany colour. There is obvious

it lingers with a very soft finish.

aged material here. Mature and complex. Some

KG 90

Plenty of maritime

character. This would be a great

lovely creamy texture. There is a

at all. Some

exploredrinks.com219


Distilled and bottled by Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY, USA. Imported and distributed by SouthTrade International www.southtradeint.com.at1


In Kentucky, buffalo carved a pathway followed b~ earl)i.American pioneers. On the spot where the buffalo migration route crossed the Kentucky River, this National Histor k Landmark lias been making ""'-

legendary bourbon whiskey for over 200 ri;ears. Today, Buffalo Trace crafts the best collection of bourbons and whiskies in the world by

~--â&#x20AC;˘

honouring tradition and embracing change.

BUf f-DISTILLERY " ilO. lltAC!


DRINKS

TAMNAVULIN

THE BALVENIE

AILSABAY

DOUBLE CASK

14YO CARIBBEAN CASK

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Region: Speyside, Scotland

SWEET SMOKE SINGLE MALT

ABV 40.0% I RRP $65

ABV 43.0% I RRP $145

Region: Lowlands, Scotland

Very full bodied with lots of

Rich golden in colour. Spicy,

ABV 48.9% I RRP $100

freshly picked casks, rich and

full and sweet dried fruits,

Pale golden colour with aromas

sweet spirit with both bourbon

hints of rum and raisins. On

of distant peat and heather

and sherry influence shining

the palate there's a powerful

moss with sweet notes of

through. Ever-so-slight hint of

mouthfeel with a combination

stonefruit and citrus and faint

sulphur and driftwood,

of tropical fruits, vanilla and

vanilla coming through. On the

mango and dessert cream.

then

honey. There's a long finish

palate, a fine balance of subtle

Brown sugars on the palate and

with plenty of complex spice

brine and distant campfire

nicely oaky on the finish. As

and fruits. AP 88

with the sweetness of orange

an intro to classic single malts.

.... -

and creme anglaise. The lifted

BRUICHLADDICH

MB 85

GLENFARCLAS

alcohol is nicely balanced with the flavours to

THE CLASSIC LADDIE UN-PEATED

give a very satisfying dram. Best enjoyed neat or

Region: Islay, Scotland

with a little ice. BD 89

105 CASK STRENGTH SPANISH OLOROSO SHERRY CASK

ABV 43.0% I RRP $99 Pale Golden colour. Creamy

THE BALVENIE

Region: Speyside, Scotland

aromas, bold, soft smoke,

12YO DOUBLE WOOD

ABV 60.0% I RRP $140

medicinal, cashew nuts,

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Dried fruit and a big hit of

button mushrooms, forest

ABV 40.0% I RRP $85

alcohol, followed by lovely

floor. Rich palate, oily, a bit

Yellow gold in colour. Aromas

dried fruits, dates, and

young, grassy, oxidised citrus,

of vanilla, honey and light oak

sweetness. With water it is

sour fruits on the finish. Mild

sweetness. On the palate there

more of a sherry and fruit affair.

sharpness on the finish,

are notes of raisins, dried fruit

Still a hint of higher alcohol

pomelo, hints of bitter citrus

and gentle spice. Lovely notes

burn which carries the sherry

pith .... A light metallic touch

of nutmeg and cinnamon

flavours for a long time. When

on the finish? Straight or with

come through on mid-palate,

it disappears you are left with

water. YW75

with a spicy, sweetness that

an oily dark fruit finish. Straight,

rueBALVl!NIE .l"-~

..

llo~DU!\\tl(JIJ

--â&#x20AC;˘12¡ ""'

still allows the whisky to have a

and then a dab of water to

THE BALVENIE

slightly dry and medium length

reduce the burn. Definitely one

17YO DOUBLE WOOD

finish. AP 86

to enjoy straight for the more

Region: Speyside, Scotland

seasoned drinkers DR 93

ABV 43.0% I RRP $180

ABERLOUR

Rich gold in colour. Sherry

A'BUNADH

GLENFIDDICH

sweetness on the nose, with

Region: Speyside, Scotland

15YO SOLERA RESERVE

dried fruits. Forceful yet

ABV 59.8% I RRP $140

Region: Speyside, Scotland

elegant. Plenty of spices and

Dark mahogany in appearance. The aromas are

ABV 40.0% I RRP $120

dried fruit, a warmth carries

Christmas cake in a glass. Dates combined with

Deep gold colour. Aromas of

the flavour from front to back

spices, cloves nutmeg, star anise and cinnamon

dried fruit and spice, vanilla and

effortlessly. Chocolate and

with burnt orange peel oils in

a rich oakiness. A nice viscous

creamy texture. Rich and

the background.

and slightly oily mouthfeel and a

generous, the sweetness is

there are notes plums, black

lovely opulent palate of fruitcake

delivered in balance AP 88

cherries with dark chocolate, which coat the mouth with

and sherry sweetness with raisins

full bodied sweet sherry and

and dried apricot. Finish is long and complex with a slightly

On the palate

15

balanced oak woven together.

drying oaky and rich sweetness.

A cask strength flavour tour de

AP 90

force that finishes full of exotic spices and oak that leaves the mouth salivating for more. Perfect in a tasting glass with 5ml of cold water. BD 94

222 exploredrinks.com


ASPIRIT°F OBSESSION

100% Rye Whisky.

Unapologetically

Canadianâ&#x2122;Ś Lot No. 40 is the personal obsession of our Master Blender, Don Livermore . He ensures it's made the way rye whisky should be- one batch at a time in a single copper pot still, aged in virgin oak casks to perfectly balance the rye flavour. It's details like these that reflect Don's ongoing obsession to craft the world's

finest rye whisky. To find out more visit lot40rye.com


Let our WHISKY do the TALKING Our founder, James Fleming, lived by his family's motto of 'let the deed show' or 'actions speak louder than words'. Today, this philosophy still ripples through everything we do. But don't just take our word for it, try a dram yourself and let our whisky do the talking.

Let the DEED show

lhle


DRINKS

CRAIGELLACHIE

GLENFIDDICH

17YO SINGLE MALT

PROJECT XX

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Region: Speyside, Scotland

ABV 46.0% I RRP $175

ABV 47.0% I RRP $150

THE GLENLIVET 15YO THE FRENCH OAK RESERVE

Light, straw-like appearance. A tantalizing

Bright gold in colour. Fresh

Region: Speyside, Scotland

nose; apple juice, black tea

and lively, lots of fruit, ripe

ABV 40.0% I RRP $120

and cinnamon. A honey

apples apricots and pear.

Peach iced tea coloured.

sweetness, beautifully balanced

Delicate spices with nutmeg,

Aromas of lovely stone fruits,

and powerful mouthfeel.

vanilla and subtle cinnamon.

tropical, red grapes, soft

Develops into more cinnamon

On the palate the flavours

caramel, starburst candy,

with butterscotch

darken to include stewed

vibrant fruit profile overall. Very

and oaky

sweetness and buttery texture. Medium-length

and

fruit, roasted nuts and dark

pleasant on the palate, medium

chocolate, with some black

weight, more tropical fruit

complex. Honeysuckle and

pepper spice and oak leading

moving into a toasty malt finish

herbs - again well balanced. A

to a delicious medium to long

with a lovely tannin. Straight or

cracking Speyside single malt

finish. AP 89

over ice. YW 85

with plenty to offer that is not

TALISKER

GLENDRONACH

describe this whisky is: balance.

STORM SINGLE MALT

12YO ORIGINAL SINGLE MALT

AP 90

Region: Skye, Scotland

Region: Highlands, Scotland

ABV 45.8% I RRP $85

ABV 43.0% I RRP $100

overpowering.

The word to

THEDALMORE

Pale golden colour. Aromas

Medium golden amber in

15YO HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT

of soft smoke, old oak and

colour. Aromas of fortified

a touch of almond. On the

wine cask influence, grapefruit

Region: Highlands, Scotland

palate upfront malt, then

peel, earthy spices, raisins,

ABV 43.0% I RRP $150

with a salty fizz on the side of

richer stewed fruit, touch of

Dark and sexy amber colour

the tongue with a dried fruit

sulphur, dusty cupboards.

with big aromas of dried

like sweetness, building.

On the palate is marmalade,

fruits, a bit of funk but in a

the finish there is lingering

orange blossom honey, some

good way, hidden alcohol.

wood smoke, only light, then

stewed stone fruits, meaty,

You pick up what you would

sweetness returns to round it

cloves, semi dried prunes and

assume is a different cask

out. A very nice sipper with just

hints of blueberry, followed by

type rather than American

a dash of water. DR 93

a medium long finish. Straight

On

or over ice. YW 86

oak, I'd guess at potentially sherry wood. Sweet upfront, transforming

GLENFARCLAS

THE SINGLETON

comes back with a date like sweetness. The

15YO SPANISH OLOROSO CASK MATURED

finish is long, sweet and dry. Left wanting more.

Region: Speyside, Scotland

In a glass, into your mouth. DR 94

ABV 45.8% I RRP $145

Region: Dufftown, Scotland

Deep golden with touches of mahogany in

ABV 40.0% I RRP $75

colour. Aromas of dried fruit and nuts, as the

Dark Straw colour. Aromas are

to malt and a treacle, dries out for a bit then

SCAPA 'THE ORCANDIAN' SINGLE MALT

12YO SINGLE MALT OF DUFFTOWN

intense and powerful oloroso

light and fruity, lots of orchard

sherry cask aging is revealed.

fruits, red apples, fresh

Region: Orkney, Scotland

Notes of old varnish, leather

citrus peel, cut grass, hints

ABV 40.0% I RRP $120

and old book shop signals the

of pineapple.

Pale Gold colour with soft

aged characters and heavily

palate, oiliness that lightly

aromas, hints of wood tannin,

oxidised aromas leaning

coats the mouth, caramel,

hint of citrus, a little bit of spice.

toward rancio. The palate is

good vanilla kick with a lovely

On the palate, signs of lifted

all raisins, more sherry, orange

floral finish and medium

It has a malty

alcohol, malty driven with a hint

marmalade, walnuts and sticky

length. Best enjoyed Straight

of esters and dry cacao. The finish

dates pudding. The finish is

or over ice. YW 88

is surprising long, dry and leaves

incredibly long, complex, with

you wanting more. I'd enjoy this

a garnish of walnuts, Christmas

mixed in something

cake. This is a superb whisky

highball. DR 85

like a whisky

I

BD94 exploredrinks.com

225


HIGHLAND PARK 12YO 'VIKING HONOUR'

LAPHROAIG

MUIRHEAD'S

25YO CASK STRENGTH 2013 EDITION

16YO SILVER SEAL

Region: Islay, Scotland

ABV 40.0% I RRP $69

Region: Highland, Scotland

Region: Orkney, Scotland

ABV 45.1 % I RRP $700

A rich and full aromas, with

ABV 40.0% I RRP $85

Light Gold colour. Aromas of

a bold character, there are

Very Pale, Light Straw in

iodine, with hay mulch and

notes of dried fruit, chocolate,

colour. Aromas of lightly

honey. Some floral notes with

highland heather and herbs.

peated

macadamia

The palate is sweet and

malt, toffee and

oil and ginger.

light oak. On the palate

Some slight sherried sweetness,

exceptionally

there is a light fizz on the

on the palate with faint iodine

Notes of toffee and barley

side of the tongue,

light

well rounded.

and sea spray gives way to

sugar with a hint of smoke and

wood tannin but surprisingly

ginger snap. Macadamia

peat coming through, with a

good mouth feel. The finish is short and crisp,

almond nuts. Some baked apple

with a lightly peated

and vanilla. Superb and deep

malty sweetness

lingers for a little bit. Depends jam is, acceptable

that

on what your

as a sipper, I'd be throwing

and

smoky finish. Would go well with Battenberg

DR 87

THE MACALLAN

SHACKLETON BLENDED MALT

cake. SM 93

Region: Scotland

some sugar and bitters in there to make it more of a crowd pleasing Old Fashioned.

medium to long finish. AP 84

BRUICHLADDICH

ABV 40.0% I RRP $65

OCTOMORE MASTERCLASS 08.1 SUPER-HEAVILY PEATED

grain character, lightly toasted

Pale Straw colour. Prominent

Region: Islay, Scotland

resin, mild grassiness,

12 YO DOUBLE CASK

ABV 59.3% I RRP $180

peels, light violet flowers.

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Smashes right up the nostrils and into the brain.

Peppery front palate given

ABV 43.0% I RRP $115

Sweet barley, pencil shavings and herbal soot.

for 40% Abv, very soft, no oiliness in the mid palates light

lemon

Dark Straw colour. Aromas

Red bloody meats and bags

of ginger spice, some dried

ash. I think a steam locomotive just ran into

biscuits in the finish then a

apples and floral. Not a lot

my throat

sharp end to the finish. Enjoy

of sweetness,

quite dry and

savoury, hint of nutmeg.

12

of flint, soot and

Lumbering coal train long. Best

enjoyed while watching Julie Andrews giving

with a mixer, soda probably

Dick Van Dyke a sponge

preferred. YW 75

bath after his scene as

Good length, finishes with

a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins. Lather upl

that continued

MW93

spice, slightly

NAKED GROUSE 12YO BLENDED MALT

resinous. Best enjoyed Neat, dash of water really

Boom I The peat is evident.

Region: Highlands, Scotland

opens it up. DR 93

Quite heavily peated,

ABV 40.0% I RRP $65

not what really stands out. The

Aromas of dark chocolate

BRUICHLADDICH

'funk' and barnyard smell is

cherry liqueurs, almonds

PORT CHARLOTTE HEAVILY PEATED

there, which lends itself quite

and old salty leather. All the

Region: Islay, Scotland

closely to Bruichladdich from

makings of a carnies carpet

ABV 50.0% I RRP $99

experience.

bag. Sweet, comfortable

Light golden straw colour.

manure, organic barley and local

rich. Tends to drop off a bit

Aromas of peat and of lifted

peat. Menthol and brine on the

towards the back. Controlled

alcohol, but not unpleasant.

palate for a big whack on the

and even. Looking for that

Lots of malt and a hint of

finish. It's tasty, it's peated,

stewed fruits and coffee,

it's uncomplicated

very malt forward, pretty

one-dimensional.

delicious and oily. Slight

as the last whisky of the night.

hint of smoke. The finish is

MB 88

long, carried through by the high alcohol. A touch of water helps to open it up. Definitely a good sipper and a good way to end the evening. DR 95

226 exploredrinks.com

but that's

Hay bales, horse

but

and a tad Best enjoyed

and

anchor to dull the sweetness. While watching The Famous Five. MW 87


DRINKS rind. A little peaty note emerged as a gentle

CHIVAS REGAL

smokiness, balanced with some sherry

12 YO MIZUNARA

SCOTCH WHISKY BLENDED WHISKY

richness. Great texture here, lovely creaminess.

Region: Scotland

A hint of a nutty and biscuity note comes

ABV 40.0% I RRP $125

JOHNNIE WALKER

through. Complex and supple, with good spirit.

Light Amber in colour. Aromas

A very fine blended whisky. Has impressive

of creamy grain character,

DOUBLE BLACK LABEL

length. KG 93

medium toasted bread crust,

ABV 40.0% I RRP $65

CHIVAS REGAL

earthy and woody spices. On

Deep copper with brightness.

12YO

the palate, the oak is more

Lifted nose, struck match,

Region: Scotland

pronounced, with signs of a

honey and oak. Full bodied,

ABV 40.0% I RRP $60

decent age, good mouthfeel,

rich and complex. Dried

Light Gold colour. Aromas

soft salinity, accented with

Region: Scotland

light honey, orange peels, faint

raisins, apples and pear -

of stone fruit, also apples

Christmas cake with a light

peat smokiness and balance

and pears with Demerara

muted honey character

of sweetness and spice. A

sugar and kitchen spice.

medium-short finish. Can enjoy

lingering smokiness elegantly

Fudge and caramel notes on

straight or over ice. YW 82

combine with black pepper

second inspection.

and charred oak. AP 91

palate there is a slight waxy

On the

note, accented with peach

CHIVAS REGAL

pits, vanilla and honeydew

IRISH WHISKEY

melon. A sweet demerara

18YO

finish makes this a very easy

MIDLETON

Region: Scotland

intro introduction

VERY RARE

ABV 40.0% I RRP $85

Would make an excellent

Region: Ireland

Dark vibrant gold in colour.

highball. SM 80

ABV 40.0% I RRP $250

chocolate and a faint whiff

DEWARS

candied lemon, sweet porridge

of smoke, with prominent

15YO 'THE MONARCH'

and freshly milled malt. Tropical

malty sweetness with a

Region: Scotland

fruity notes of ripe banana,

touch of spice. The palate

ABV 40.0% I RRP $70

mango and pineapple sweetness

is in line with the nose yet

Golden amber colour. Malt shows up

develop. The palate is soft and

the spicy notes become

straightaway along with some nice oak,

creamy with lemon drizzle cakes

more pronounced.

probably both American

with vanilla cream with hints of

to whisky.

Aromas of vanilla, dark

Burnished gold colour. Aromas of

Malty

sweetness and hazelnuts.

and Spanish oak, with some

barley spice. The mouthfeel

A bold and rich finish lingers as the spices

sherry. On the palate, sweet

initial softness, along with some

really come through and then tails off into dark

Malteasers, sweet sawdust,

of the sweet grainy notes and

chocolate and well integrated

light entry, fresh and citric,

subtle tartness, barrel char bitterness and sweet

oak. A touch of

has

water brought out an orange zest and opened

totally unexpected. All light

cream giving a harmonious taste. A unique

up an oakiness. A beautifully smooth blended

fruits, citrus, wax apples and

whiskey to be sipped and savoured. BD 96

whisky. BD 90

pear eau de vie. It has an

JOHNNIE WALKER

unusual contrast to the nose,

TYRCONNELL

good texture, but not much

SINGLE MALT IRISH

weight. Oak kicks in with a bit

Region: Ireland

BLACK LABEL SHERRY EDITION

of air. Light, short length &

ABV 40.0% I RRP $80

juicy. Mouth-watering.

Bright Straw colour. Has a forward

Region: Scotland

for a 40% blend with a decent

ABV 40.0% I RRP $65

malt component

Dark brown with hints of gold

together. GF 81

Solid

and well put

nose with pear and vanilla. A moreish mouthfeel as the velvety whiskey slides to the back of the

in colour. Imagine the embers

throat, there's a cleanness and

of a fire on the horizon.

freshness about this whisky, I get

Exciting nose. Showing some

lemon zest and caramel. A clean

appealing

and crisp finish. Feels youthful and

complexity. Spice,

cinnamon, even the merest

would make a delicious sprtizl

hint of mint and orange

AP85 exploredrinks.com

227


Famous since 1824

ONLY GRANDERWHEN RAISEDIN HONOUR AND SHAREDBYALL


DRINKS

REDBREAST

JAMESON

12YO SINGLE POT STILL

BLACK BARREL SELECT RESERVE

AMERICAN WHISKEY

Region: Cork, Ireland

Region: Cork, Ireland

ABV 40.0% I RRP $100

ABV 40.0% I RRP $79

JACK DANIEL'S

A golden copper hue. Honeyed nose, almost

Dark golden mahogany in

SINGLE BARREL SELECT

golden syrup, developing

colour. Lovely aromas of

Region: Tennessee, USA

sweet vanilla and dark fruits

ABV 45.0% I RRP $99

into

stewed fruit like cooked apples and pear drops. Deliciously

like plums and berries, carried

Brassy reddish hue. That sour mash is at the

smooth roundness, dried

by rich charred American oaky

front, oakvanillins, lemondrop,

apricot and soft spices bursting

tannins. Some evidence of

tight and direct. Nice sweet

on the tongue. Distinctly Irish

sherry cask maturation from

entry, driedstrawberries,

in the velvety mouthfeel and

the signature dried fruit and

luxardo maraschino,

developing

dryish astringency. On the

varinish(good

the barley grain and pot-still

palate comes a bold flavour

sweet spice kicks in late.

characters on show The finish

of well-aged pot still whisky,

Fills the mouth well. Pepper

develops into gentle spiciness,

notes of dried apricot, dates

starts the finish, then more of

and honeyed sweetness right

that cherry, sarsaparilla style,

toffee notes, with

good length and perfectly soothing.

BD 92

age), great

through to the drying tannins

long tannin on the sides, no

on the finish. An excellent

banana's which is weird. Still

WEST CORK

Irish I Would go well in a

really tasty, though. GF 88

SINGLE MALT SHERRY CASK

Whiskey Sour or Irish Coffee.

Region: Cork, Ireland

BD 89

WILD TURKEY 101 KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON

ABV 40.0% I RRP $120 Golden hay and rose gold colour.

GREENORE

Region: Kentucky, USA

Aromas of toasted malt, Wonka

SINGLE GRAIN SMALL BATCH SYO

ABV 50.5% I RRP $65

toffee apple bars with a faint whiff

Region: Ireland

Dark Amber in colour. Opens

of peat On the palate, Monte

ABV 40.0% I RRP $100

up with aromas of roasted

Carlo jam, sweet honeysuckle,

Very pale straw colour. The

coconut husks up front. A

nose is rather subtle, perhaps

second inspection offers notes

peat shows up more here, drying the middle of the palate, with hints 111--.1-~-

'I

i

a smidge too muted. Open

of creamy panacotta. With

of gardenias. The finish is malty,

it up for the full effect. There

time some butterscotch

with dry oak tannins revealing a

are florals and a hint of nuts.

appear. On the palate, sweet

sherry cask influence. Aside from

An alluring texture. There is

being a bit thin on the palate, this

a slight wheaty note on first

is delicious, delicate and peated

tasting, but it does not linger.

perfectly for a light spirit GF 84

Rather, some honey emerges.

taste. Lots of toasted oak.

Good spirit. Has reasonable

Would make a very nice old

length. KG 90

fashioned. SM 85

SLANE

-

notes

toffee character transfers into some intense spice. A menthol note appears on the second

TRIPLE CASKED BLENDED Region: Ireland

TULLAMORE DEW

ELIJAH CRAIG

ABV 40.0% I RRP $60

TRIPLE DISTILLED

SMALL BATCH BOURBON

Light golden colour. Aromas

Region: Kentucky, USA

gentle aromas. Old leather. A

of green and red apples, leafy

ABV 47.0% I RRP $80 A meld of bronze/lemon/

Orange/gold

and honey. Soft,

little mustard seed. Old teak and

astringency and evidence of

some vanilla. There is noticeable

ex-bourbon

oak, but it is nicely integrated and

vanilla notes. The palate

with a very slight peppery note.

soft. Underneath, a character like

is crisp and smooth with

Some cumin and a lovely vanilla

a dying campfire. In the very nicest

balanced pot-still and grain

pod character. There is also a

way. Impressive texture. Good

whisky adding to a spicy and

freshly sawn wood note, mixed

spirit, if a smidge fiery. More of

subtle creamy mouthfeel. A

with some lovely varnished teak

those appealing vanillin nuances

delicious and approachable

and orange rind. On the palate

emerge on the palate. Moderate

Irish whiskey that makes for

there is a really appealing

length. Would appeal even more if

a good aperitif style drink,

texture. There is also a touch

it could maintain its intensity for a

mixed with soda or ginger

of a floral note emerging.

little longer. KG 89

ale. BD 87

is nicely balanced and there

American oak

golden colour. Aromas of spices

It

exploredrinks.com

229


DRINKS

WOODFORD RESERVE

SOUTHERN COMFORT

the impression of being a complete spirit. Has

DOUBLE CAKED BOURBON

BLACK

good length on the finish. KG 91

Region: Kentucky, USA

Region: USA

ABV 43.2% I RRP $76

ABV 40.0% I RRP $50

is noticeable but well integrated

spirit. Gives

WILD TURKEY

A dark mahogany colour Va nil Iin oak notes

Light mahogany colour. Fruity

LONG BRANCH

here. Orange blossoms. Some old teak. Richly

and peachy aromas with sweet

Region: Kentucky, USA

flavoured. There are notes here that give it the

stone fruits, sappy and even

ABV 43.0% I RRP $65

appearance of having a lot in common with a

bubble gum hints. The palate

Burnt gold mahogany coloured. Aromas are

very fine

concurs with nose, sweet, soft

well balanced with a blend of classic vanilla and

rum, from the drier end of the spectrum

macerated fruits, peach iced

oak spices. Lovely notes of charred oak. The

Creamy Texture which really impresses.

tea, blossom honey, golden

palate reveals flavours of

There is an appealing

syrup, viscous and clingy. Drink

caramel, pear, and hints of

bourbon. A little sweetness but everything

over ice with lemon twist or

citrus round out the smooth

is nicely balanced. That said, the impression

with a mixer, would be nice with

and subtle, smoky finish

of links to a fine rum is even stronger on the

tonic. YW 80

with a full bodied buttery

palate. There might be links to good rum

creaminess with a finish of gentle pepper and toasted

LONGB~~_!!ÂŁH ~

~~

I

exuberance about this

but this finish, with excellent length, is all bourbon.

KG 93

oak that lasts a good long

MICHTER'S SINGLE BARREL KENTUCKY STRAIGHT RYE

while. Perfect for sipping on

Bright rusty amber colour with aromas of a

Region: Kentucky, USA

the back porch as the sun

new leather jacket with

ABV 424% I RRP $125

goes down. BD 91

maple syrup, charred oak,

Whoa there horsy, let's back it up a little

I

cherries, nutmeg and Nail

Aromas of mint jelly, cherry pie and pine

WOODFORD RESERVE

polish. The palate has dark

forest. A palate of White oak shavings and a

STRAIGHT RYE

chocolate orange and

bitter herbal astringency tend to balance with

Region: Kentucky, USA

cherry apple crumble with

vanilla and sugar. Long, herbal and a prickling

ABV 45.2% I RRP $89

vanilla spice finish that's

spiciness on a very satisfying finish. I'd enjoy

Red Gold, bright colour. Aromas of oak char,

long lasting, deep dark

this playing a harmonica on the

spicy rye & cherry cola. The

and complex. Best enjoyed

front porch in the late summer

palate has sweet vanilla,

after dinner in an old

afternoon.

pepper, sugared almonds,

fashioned and a mellow

sawdust, clove, long & juicy.

cigar. JB 90

The higher alcohol helps here and done very well

MW 90

A rye, but a very balanced one compared to what we

MICHTER'S

usually see with rye of late.

Maybe a little simple, but

SMALL BATCH KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON

sometimes it's the simple

Region: Kentucky, USA

a hot day. Almost a barley in

things that work the best.

ABV 45.7% I RRP $125

the mix somewhere. Almonds,

with integrated

spirit & oak.

GF 87

BUFFALO TRACE

This is oaky, honeyed, and very balanced. Banana split on

Dark, amber colour. Aromas of leather and

dark chocolate, orange oil, and

tobacco, a bit earthy aromas, one of the more

turmeric spice. In a rocks glass,

complex noses. Hints of floor varnish but in a

maybe a cube of ice, on a warm

nice way. Sweetness up front,

afternoon.

KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON

then a lovely, slatey dry oak

Region: Kentucky, USA

flavour, the alcohol is hidden

ABV 40.0% I RRP $65

amongst the balance of oak,

MB 85

WOODFORD RESERVE CHERRY WOOD SMOKED BARLEY STRAIGHT BOURBON

Deep golden colour. Lovely

vanilla and fruit It lasts for a

slate kind of aroma, big

while, changes from sweet,

sweetness, lots of vanilla.

to tannin and then back to

Delicious palate, vanilla and

sweet. Very pleasant This

Region: Kentucky, USA

oak, little bit of spice with

would be my choice for an

ABV 45.2% I RRP $225

the sweetness of candied

everyday drinker, that would

Dusty aromas of sawdust,

apples. Can enjoy this with

still impress most people.

burnt flour and sugar crusted short crust apple pie. Very dry

Soda, cocktails, neat, staff

I think straight, in a glass

shots. Seems very versatile.

would be the best way to

on the first sip. Take another.

DR 92

enjoy. DR 96

The palate builds to sweet

230 exploredrinks.com


PAUL JOHN

steak proteins. The winds picking up that dry

giving their own twist on a classic style Scottish

sawdust again. Country roads, lumber mills and

malt. Reminds me of sitting in your great uncles

pickup trucks. Be sure to pack a red and white

darkened living room while an old shellacked

flannelette

steamer trunk used as a coffee table stares

Region: Goa, India

hauntingly back at you. MW 85

ABV 46.0% I RRP $90

check shirt and tell the missus you

won't be home for supper. MW 91

'BRILLIANCE' INDIAN SINGLE MALT

Faint Gold. Peanut Brittle

MELLOW CORN KENTUCKY STRAIGHT CORN WHISKY

1

Golden straw, dried hay, dried

CANADIAN WHISKY

mangoes, apricot, funky ..

almost overripe sour fruits

Region: USA

in the background.

Solid

ABV 50.0% I RRP $70

LOT40

mouthfeel,

BBQ charred corn cobs in

RYE WHISKY

the tongue, more salty peanut

the husks. Love this edible

Region: Ontario, Canada

brittle, savoury finish, touch of

nose. Seriously viscous, rich

ABV 43.0% I RRP $85

white pepper. Straight or with a

and thick. Gets a little sharp

Copper mahogany in colour.

touch of water. YW 86

in the palate as a hidden

Earthy aromas and up front rye

spice appears extending

out

oily, malty, heavy on

J.P. WISER'S PIKE CREEK WHISKY

spice balanced with citrus peel

for some time. Get me some

and oak gives a sign that this is

ground pork, chilli spice,

serious rye whisky. Lovely notes

Region: Ontario, Canada

onion, tomatoes, coriander

caramel flan, fig jam and burnt

ABV 40% I RRP 72.00

and corn. We have a Chilli Con

orange peel oils. The palate

Reddish amber in colour, with subtle aromas of

is soft and floral as it opens,

grapes, raisins, dried apricots and fleshy plums,

leading into a world of spices,

with some decent underlying rye peppery spice,

Carne to stew

I

MW 89

JAPANESE

cardamom pod and peppery

hints of toffee and burnt

coriander leaf. Crunchy brown

sugar. On the palate there

sugar and fresh vanilla pod

is nice dried fruit medley,

sweetness. On the finish the

vanilla and subtle oak and a

NIKKA

classic rye spiciness lingers.

faint red wine characters in

COFFEY GRAIN

Makes a banging whisky sour.

the background

Region: Japan

BD90

bodied sweetness overall.

with a full

ABV 45.0% I RRP $130

Nice length on the finish,

A light golden colour with

accentuated

slightly sweet aromas, with traces of caramel and vanilla.

INDIAN WHISKY RAMPUR

chuck of ice. BD. 84

A grain whisky that presents

INDIAN SINGLE MALT WHISKY NON-CHILL FILTERED VINTAGE SELECT CASKS

some oakiness and earthy

Region: India

notes alongside a subtle gentle

ABV 43.0% I RRP $100

presented across the palate - gentle spice and nuttiness.

backbone. A little short, but the

Rich amber colour. Nutty,

extra punch of the 45% lingers

aromas with trail mix, dried

on the finish. AP 87

oaky tones lingering. Makes a decent sipper, with a big

An elegant, creamy palate with grainy flavours smoothly

by the port

barrel finish leaves sweet

AUSTRALIAN WHISKY SULLIVANS COVE AMERICAN OAK SINGLE CASK

apricots, vibrant peach, woody straw. Interesting

NIKKA WHISKY

palate with a lot going

PURE MALT TAKETSURU

on searching for balance,

Region: Japan

Chinese herbal medicine, old

ABV 43.0% I RRP $130

cupboards, sweet fruit, citrus,

-~

RAMPUR

Region: Cambridge, Tasmania

ABV 47.5% I RRP $330 Deep Golden yellow colour

SELECT -

with aromas of golden

Heavy malt displaying notes

bitter earthiness empty mid

of coffee and pine turpentine.

palate. Could enjoy straight or

and fruit toast on a malting

Heavily weighted towards

mixed. YW 80

floor. The palate is lavender

syrup over hot crumpets

those sharp yet dark rustic

floral, creamy goats cheese

notes. Long, dry and tannic. A

on crisp-breads or a pepper

fusion enjoyed by Japanese,

lavosh cracker with red

232

exploredrinks.com


DRINKS onion and ripe stone-fruit, with a finish that's

note emerged on the palate. Nicely balanced, if

notes. Spices, plums, cherries, cassia bark.

very complex with notes of buttery shortbread,

a little oaky. Soft finish with reasonable length,

Classic Tasmanian single cask richness and

malty and yeasty and very long lasting. I

though the overall impression is that it is a little

could drink this outside on a summers day in

solid/chunky.

KG 89

the country with a big plate of buttery bread getting in tune with nature. Loved this

II

character in abundance. Rich long finish, fading to a dryness of attractive tannins which come from the small cask maturation.

JB 97

Each Small Cask

release is released as a single cask, variance in

TASMANIAN WHISKY

the flavour of whisky between releases should

STARWARD

be expected.

DISTILLERS TASTING NOTES

WINE CASK SINGLE MALT

SULLIVANS COVE

Region: Melbourne, Victoria Bananas and cinnamon and

NONESUCH RYE WHISKY

spice, a bit of lifted alcohol.

100% RYE

Location: Tasmania

Bit more obvious alcohol on

Location: Tasmania

ABV 47.5% I RRP $330

the palate, still sweet with

ABV 46.5% I RRP $155

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Malt,

spice: Sweetness turns into a

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Creamy and

vanilla, white flowers and

dry pepper finish, quite short.

buttery, ripe tropical fruits like

wood shop. Caramel,

Either neat, bold enough

passion fruit and durian, grainy,

pound cake and apricots.

to hold up in a bunch of

fresh dough, sultanas, soft Xmas

Lingering malt texture and

cocktails. DR 90

spices, jelly beans and icing for

powerful oak finish.

ABV 41.0% I RRP $90

AMERICAN OAK SINGLE CASK

cakes, a little bit floral grainy and

SULLIVANS COVE

TRAPPERS HUT

malty, slightly peppery, green wood, milk chocolate and vanilla,

FRENCH OAK SINGLE CASK

spicy with a creamy texture, almonds, green

Region: Cambridge,

texture, salivating, quite long

Location: Tasmania

Tasmania

and intense with grainy attitudes.

ABV 45.0% I RRP $295

walnuts and wet hay warming, spicy, creamy

SINGLE MALT CASK LD 601

ABV 47.5% I RRP $450

Different from your classic

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Delicate

Golden Hue. Aromas of

American Ryes.

floral notes with a hint of vanilla. Soft & warming, rolls

white peach, peach cobbler, vanilla. On the palate, sweet

HELLYERS ROAD

honey on the front opens up

10YO - SLIGHTLY PEATED

to some underlying spice.

Location: Tasmania

Candied orange comes through on the mid

ABV 46.2% I RRP $120

Brioche, light honey and

beautifully across the palate, a smooth well balanced

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Subtly smoky plumes form fading

this would be a great place to start. An early

campfire. Citrus tones of lemon

and melon. SM 90

HELLYERS ROAD

and orange transcending

Limited Release American Oak cask 280 Bottle Release.

opening whisky. If you were to have a few then night whisky. Would go well with

single malt. Long & smooth

,,£,';.';!. }lf1 .,,..,.. .,.

palate. Finishes with a little peppery spice. Nice

prosciutto

I

OVEREEM SINGLE MALT PORT CASK MATURED

to a

vanilla sweetness. Creamy with a

Location: Tasmania

lingering smokiness. Champion

ABV 43.0% I RRP $210

Australian Single Malt - 2018

DISTILLER'S NOTE:

Distilled Spirit Awards.

Chocolate covered raisins,

OLD KEMPTON

Turkish delight, creme

PINOT NOIR FINISH

caramel, butterscotch,

Region: Burnie, Tasmania

SMALL CASK RELEASE (PORT CASK)

brulee and plum pudding.

Bronze/orange/mahogany colour. Nutty nose. Some

Location: Tasmania

spiced plum pudding,

obvious oak. Quite heavy oak-

ABV 46.0% I RRP $220

orange rind, wood smoke,

this will be a little off-putting

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Rich

ABV 46.2% I RRP $100

for

Creamy, chocolate, mocha,

Christmas cake, caramel,

some, but others will appreciate

leather and coffee/mocha.

the style. There are also some

and raisins with orange, fruit

hay and almond notes. And a

pudding

little biscotti An orange/biscuity

bold and robust dark chocolate

liquorice and malted barley,

Rum

and pantry spices. Big

__ _,...,~-·~

Vanilla bean and spiced raisins. Complex and Intriguing. exploredrinks.com

233


DRINKS

LARK

SHENE ESTATE MACKEY

CLASSIC CASK SINGLE MALT

SINGLE MALT, TAWNY CASK MATURED (FRENCH OAK)

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

ABV 43.0% I RRP $145

MCHENRY SINGLE MALT WHISKY Location: Tasmania

ABV 46.2% I RRP $280

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Golden syrup and vanilla

Location: Tasmania

DISTILLER'S NOTE: A

with hints of oranges and grapefruit.

ABV 49.0% I RRP $280

youthful nose of citrus and

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Malty, rich, toffee, spice

vanilla. Soft on the palate,

cake, cinnamon sticks,

and raisin notes - Christmas plum pudding. The

hints sweetness and rich,

nutmeg and a wisp

palate is rich and full-bodied.

multi-layered

of Tasmanian peat

Sweet, malty, brown sugar,

pudding,

Plum

Christmas

smoke. Sweet vanilla

it gives way to spices (anise,

transforms into a heady

pepper, coffee), then finishes

combination

with dark stone fruit, apple

of orange

flavours.

SPRING BAY 'THE RHEBAN' PORT CASK

peel, butterscotch,

and raisins. Good balance,

Location: Spring Bay, Tasmania

cloves, nutmeg and

smooth clean finish, with

ABV 58.0% I RRP $225

grapefruit.

spicy dried fruit and vanilla

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Sweet

aftertaste lingering. Making

and complex aromas suggest

Butterscotch

and citrus notes with a long, satisfying

our own Shene Estate whisky

butterscotch

smoky finish.

wash on site allows us to

muscatels. Sweet caramel

enhancetheflavourofour

syrup and plum pudding

NANT

single malt whisky

spices join a clean, bright

SINGLE MALT (FRENCH OAK AND SHERRY CASK)

LAUNCESTON

spreads across the palate to

and Christmas

alcohol explosion which

DISTILLERY SINGLE MALT WHISKY APERA CASK MATURED

settle in and glow with some

ABV 43.0% I RRP $165 DISTILLER'S NOTE: Rich

Location: Launceston,

cherry cordial and some

and inviting. Hints of raisins,

Tasmania

nutty undertones that

cinnamon, syrup and

ABV 46.0% I RRP $156

clearly displays.

Location: Tasmania

soft oaky tannins. Hints of

liquorice. Complex flavours

DISTILLER'S NOTE: An

of sultanas and ginger nut

engaging fragrant aroma, with

biscuits. Buttery caramel

Apera influenced notes of

BELGROVE RYE WHISKY

tones develop in the glass

dried fruit, spice and a hint

100% RYE

giving you an inviting

of oak. Displays a soft

Location: Kempton, Tasmania

Christmas-like feeling. A

mouthfeel and subtle dry

ABV 46.5% I RRP $155

strong spice flavour, oak

Fino style flavours of fruit

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Bright

and hints of butterscotch.

and gentle spice. A pleasant

gold appearance. Immediately

lingering finish.

appealing and distinctive with

17 YEAR SINGLE MALT

KILLARA

Second pass offers chamomile tea, hints of boiled lolly, cedary

CRADLE MOUNTAIN

its dill/

pickle opening scents.

Location: Cradle Mountain,

SINGLE MALT WHISKY

Tasmania

Location: Tasmania

oak and peppermint.

ABV 43%

ABV Varies I RRP $220

silky entry follows through to a super smooth and quite delicate

A light,

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Citrus

DISTILLER'S NOTE: Sweet with

fruit, lemon-grass, and hay

notes of caramel smooth, rich,

profile featuring medium dry

aromas. Soft body with citrus

hints of warming spice, dried

flavours of chamomile tea, sour

fruit skins and lemongrass.

fruits and malt. Long with full

dough bread and unusual notes

Smooth clean palate. Surge

bodied mouthfeel.

of mustard and pepper. This

cask release will be slightly

tannic finish. Aftertaste

rare whisky is only available

different and released at the

but shows good length

from time to time on line by

strength that allows the whisky

special request.

to shine.

234

exploredrinks.com

Each single

of dill and caraway. Dry, mildly is subtle

SIHGLtMA LT ~~SKY-

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SINGLE

MALTS

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101IPAEXPERIMENT 102PROJECT XX

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CRAFTED.

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