The Singleton of Glen Ord: Single Malt Whisky Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar

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 Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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 Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 year old Single Malt

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
The lounge

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie BarThe Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie BarThe Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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”.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Guests

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Tasting in progress

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar

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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Blood and Sand Cocktail

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Hot and cold meat board

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Cheese 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.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Ben Shipley (L) and Simon McGoram (R)

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
Laura Hay and Chris Middleton

The Singleton of Glen Ord Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar
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.

Eau-de-Vie Bar
229 Darlinghurst Rd
Darlinghurst Sydney NSW
www.eaudevie.com.au

Photography by @MrGourmantic

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The Singleton of Glen Ord: Single Malt Whisky Tasting at Eau-de-Vie Bar was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

20 Comments:

  1. Hmmmmm, I can see how they’re aiming at the younger market. I’m not a whisky fan but even I know (from being brain-washed by the other half!) that a single malt should either be served as it is or with a dash of off-cold water. No ice! Oh dear. It appears we’re getting old and cantankerous. ;)
    Julia

    • Your other half, (like mine), would have started appreciating single malts from a relatively young (legal drinking) age therefore I see the appeal and with clever marketing. Not sure how easy it would be to convert young women but if the Blood and Sand cocktail on taste is a teaser, that’s a sure winner!

  2. Great review as always, Ms G. As a consumer of single malts, I’d be keen to try it when it’s on the market.

  3. Wow… what an amazing place to hold a tasting! I like the idea of marketing it to a new generation. I’m an occasional whiskey drinker now and it took a while to convert me :-)

    • Eau-de-Vie is a stunning bar with a stellar experience. If you’ve missed our previous reviews, feel free to click on the links in the article :)

      Like you, it took me a little while of coercion from Mr G. He’s a long term whisky drinker and after watching him for many years, I decided to join him. And haven’t looked back!

  4. How do you manage to get to all of these great events Corinne? Really, what a life! Love the old-world “feel” of this place – guess that mixes well with the whisky!

    • Tuula, it’s quite a privilege and I’m always humbled and appreciative of these fabulous invitations. As I said earlier, it’s a stunning place but it also leaves you with an experience you keep talking about. And I agree, a top spot for such tastings!

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