It’s not every day that you find yourself in an intimate room of a prestigious bar, surrounded by locked glass cabinets with some of the finest spirits, about to take part in a single malt whisky tasting.
The Singleton of Glen Ord Whisky Tasting
This is Eau-de-Vie Bar, the recently awarded World’s Best New Cocktail Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, where “key opinion leaders” have been invited to a tasting of The Singleton of Glen Ord to mark its launch in the Australian market.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 year old Single Malt
Singleton with apple juice or soda at the bar
The Singleton 12 year old with soda or apple juice is served on arrival at the bar to prepare the palate, and after introductions and salutations, we retreat into a private world of single malts.
Robb Sloan, Reserve Brands Ambassador
Robb Sloan, Reserve Brands Ambassador of the Luxury Division of Diageo introduces the session and hands over to the host, Sven Almenning, owner of Eau-de-Vie Bar and Behind Bars.
Sven Almenning, owner Eau-de-Vie Bar
“We aim to be disruptive,” Sven Almenning explains the strategy behind the launch of The Singleton 12 year old. The aim is to be rid of old perceptions that define single malt and bring in a new generation of drinkers into it. “What is exciting,” Sven adds, “is what it’s meant to do for single malts in Australia”.
Robb Sloan and Sven Almenning
Glen Ord Distillery was established in 1838 in the highland region of Scotland, in the Black Isle area north of Inverness. Out of the nine distilleries that once existed there, Glen Ord is the remaining one and uses traditional techniques of long fermentation and slow distillation. They malt their own barley at the distillery and have an adjacent malting house to produce for a few other of Diageo’s distilleries.
Single malts on tasting
Interestingly, The Singleton range has three different single malts for three different markets, each is named after the distilleries where they are made: “The Singleton of Glendullan” for the USA, “The Singleton of Dufftown” for Europe and “The Singleton of Glen Ord” for Asia and Australia.
The Singleton’s flask-shaped bottle is designed to stand out on the shelf. Modelled on a late 19th century quart bottle, the glass has a bluish tint which is also the style of glass used in that century.
Laura Hay, Whisky Ambassador
Laura Hay, Whisky Ambassador, guides us through the tastings. She introduces The Singleton 12 year old, a slightly different style of single malt which is attributed to the use of sherry casks. It has nutty characters and honey notes, with a dried fruit and dark chocolate influence. The whisky is light and fragrant yet has some complexity. The longer finish is one that you would not come to expect from a 12 year old whisky.
The Singleton 12 year old is pitched at $50-$60 a bottle, making it great value for an entry level single malt whisky.
12, 15 and 18 year old Singleton
Laura guides us through the tasting of The Singleton 15 year old. Compared to the 12 year old whisky, it is much more closed on the nose with citrus notes. Dry with a little spice, the absence of honey notes is noted and it has a clean and longer finish – an easily quaffable single malt.
Tasting in progress
We are treated to The Singleton 18 year old. Nutty on the nose, with honey hazelnut and dried apple notes, this is a heavy bodied whisky with a very long finish.
The Singleton 15 and 18 year old are not currently available in Australia and not due for release any time soon.
Sven with Blood and Sand cocktails – Simon Clarke of the Oak Barrel
The tasting session ends with a classic 1930s cocktail, the Blood and Sand. Made with equal parts of 12 year old Singleton single malt, sweet vermouth such as Rosso Antico, Heering cherry brandy, freshly squeezed orange juice, shaken, strained and served with an orange peel, this is a well-balanced and easy to drink cocktail set to convert anyone into the world of whisky.
Blood and Sand Cocktail
Hot and cold meat board
Delectable platters of prawns with avocado, smoked salmon, charcuterie board with spicy chorizo and pork belly, a selection of cheeses and petits fours are served from the Eau-de-Vie Bar kitchen, and as the formal testing part concludes, there is an opportunity to mingle, share thoughts and top up on the cocktail.
Ben Shipley (L) and Simon McGoram (R)
Laura Hay and Chris Middleton
The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
The Singleton 12 year old is primed to break free from the traditional image and rules that define single malts. The advertising will be young and energetic, taking the whisky into places where it’s not expected to be. Whether it is at a festival or an expo for a tasting, through unpretentious marketing, the aim is to attract a new generation of drinkers into the world of single malt whisky.
The Singleton 12 year old will be available to bars from September 1 and to consumers from mid September.
Gourmantic attended Singleton of Glen Ord Single Malt Whisky Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar on Monday 15 August 2011 courtesy of Diageo Reserve as organised by Behind Bars.
229 Darlinghurst Rd
Darlinghurst Sydney NSW
Photography by @MrGourmantic
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