The Whisky Show 2013 in Review

The Whisky Show returned to Sydney for the second year, an annual event run by World of Whisky, the specialist whisky store in Double Bay. Three four-hour sessions were held over two consecutive days at the Sir Stamford Hotel in Circular Quay, with exhibitors spread over two levels.

Whisky Show 2013
Whisky Show 2013 with Laura Hay, Chivas & The Glenlivet

The show saw the return of the Australasian Whisky Awards as well as the Glenmorangie Cocktail Competition which was won by Joe Ryan of Pocket Bar. His cocktail, No Money No Honey, was a mix of Glenmorangie Original with Amaro Montenegro, Lillet Blanc and a dash Angostura bitters.

Below are some of the highlights of the show:

Whisky Show 2013
Kavalan Solist

Kavalan Whisky, the only whisky produced in Taiwan was formally launched at the Whisky Show with World of Whisky as the Australian distributor for the range. Four expressions were on taste, the Kavalan Classic, the Concertmaster Port, Solist Bourbon, King Car Conductor and the outstanding Solist Sherry. Dr Jim Swan, world class specialist and consultant to Kavalan attended the show and held a masterclass with a tasting of more expressions.

Starward whisky from Victoria was the winner of the first prize in the 2013 Australasian Whisky Awards single malt category. The whisky is aged in 100% Apera (Australian sherry) casks, and the interaction with the wood gives the young whisky (2.5 yo) its deep colour and flavour. The flavour profile is fruity with banana, apples, pears and toffee with a creamy mouthfeel.

Talisker Storm took the show by storm with people gathered to taste the first variation of Talisker in ten years, a delicious expression with a salty maritime character.

Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey 46% ABV is a single grain bourbon made from 100% New York corn and aged in small American oak barrels. Each bottle is hand waxed and numbered. It has a marked sweetness with a hint of spice on the finish.

Hudson Manhattan Rye 46% ABV, is made using 100% rye and employs sonic maturation to hasten the ageing process. Instead of physically rolling each barrel, a distillery worker began agitating the barrels with sound waves from bass speakers.  Made in limited quantities, it has a drier and more spicy finish then the Baby Bourbon.

Whisky Show 2013

Yamazaki 12 yo, Japan’s first whisky distillery was established in 1923 and is made in the style of Scotch using double distilled malted barley. The distillery has six different shaped stills and they use Rikkyo water which is used in tea ceremonies. The whisky is aged in six different types of barrels including Japanese casks (Mizunara) but still qualifies as a single malt from one distillery. Subtle delicate layers of complexity and Japanese oak gives it an oriental spice with aromas of maple syrup.

Also from Japan, the Nikka Yoichi 15 yo is made in small coal-fired stills which give it a mild peated note with a balance of sweetness and saltiness.

Glenfiddich Malt Master’s Edition (no age statement) 43% ABV is a limited release made by Master Distiller Brian Kinsman, aged in American oak then re-aged in sherry casks results in a whisky with layers of complexity, rich spicy flavours with plum and cherry.

From the Benriach range, Benriach Curiositas Peated Malt 10 yo is a peated Speyside whisky made from inland peat which gives it a bonfire rather than a maritime salty character.

Whisky Show 2013
Dan Woolley, World of Whisky Ambassador with Old Malt Cask Mortlach

Old Malt Cask Mortlach Distillery 15 yo is a limited release with only 350 bottles made. The sherry-aged whisky forms the backbone of Johnnie Walker Black.

From independent distillery Arran, the Arran Amarone Cask Finish has a little bite at 50% ABV with a nose that opens up with water to become more floral and herbaceous with hints of lavender and rosemary. Also at 50% ABV, the Arran Sauternes Cask Finish has a honeyed sweetness on the palate and a viscous mouthfeel. Simply delicious.

Triple distilled Woodford Aged Cask Rye, New Cask Rye 46% ABV made an interesting side by side tasting. The aged expression imparted more vanilla tones and sweetness while the new cask rye was spicier with a dry finish.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society had two stunning expressions for peated whisky lovers, the 53.178 20 yo Caol Ila and Laphroaig 16 yo 29.112.

Glengrant teased with their only bottle of Glengrant Five Decades, to be released later this year in Australia. The Glengrant 10 yo was the star of the range, with fruity notes and a style that gets drier with age.

From Bruichladdich comes Octomore Comus, aged for four years in Allier oak, double toasted and finished with Chateau d’Yquem casks gives the bold and peated whisky finesse and fruitiness. There is very little peat on the nose but it explodes on the palate with a delicious hit of smoke.

Other drams previously reviewed include Australian whiskies with Overeem, Lark Whisky, Sullivans Cove and Hellyers Road which drew a constant crowd. Also on taste was the Chivas Range, Glenlivet, Ardbeg, Ardbog, Glenmorangie Ealanta, Jura range, Jack Daniels range including Jack Daniels Unaged Rye, Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, Highland Park and Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and many more.

The Whisky Show was held at the Sir Stamford Hotel in Sydney on 28 and 29 June, 2013.

Still to come… Kavalan Whisky with Dr Jim Swan

For a photo gallery of the event, visit Gourmantic on Facebook and “Like” the page.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.


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About the author

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 since 2013, 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.