Spirits News with Visiting International Guests

Spirit News with visiting international guests: Rusty Cerven of Bols Genever, Sean Muldoon & Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in New York, Guillermo Erickson Sauza of Tequila Fortaleza, Harlen Wheatley of Buffalo Trace, Otis Florence and Sam Ross of Encanto Pisco and Florence Boucheron of Domaine du Tariquet.

Rusty Cerven & Bols Genever

Rusty Cerven, Senior Mixologist of the Connaught Bar in London and winner of Bols Around The World competition in 2013 visited Sydney during January. Rusty presented a masterclass on Bols Genever and spoke of his experiences as current Bols world champion.

Bols Genever with Rusty Cerven
Rusty Cerven

Lucas Bols is one of the world’s oldest distilled spirits brand, crafting liqueurs and Genevers in Amsterdam since 1575. Genever is one of the oldest distilled spirits with a base of maltwine balanced with distilled botanicals and bottled at 42% alcohol. Much like a malt whisky, the flavour of Bols Genever is malty, fresh and very smooth on the palate.

Bols Genever with Rusty Cerven
Bols Genever

The masterclass was held at The Barber Shop in Sydney on 23 January 2014.

Dead Rabbit NYC & Jameson Irish Whiskey

Pernod Ricard Australia hosted a Jameson Reserve Range Tasting and welcome drinks for Sean Muldoon & Jack McGarry of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog in New York City. The visiting stars of the bar industry presented gripping insights into the making of their 72 page historically-researched cocktail list with a focus on drinks form the 17th century onwards.

Dead Rabbit NYC
L-R: Sean Muldoon & Jack McGarry (Dead Rabbit, NYC), Ben Davidson & Ailbhe Garrihy (Pernod Ricard)

Their highly acclaimed bar has recently turned one year old, and they relaunched a new cocktail list on the anniversary based on “low-spirited”, “ambitious”, cultivated”, “bitter” and other flavour profiles.

Jameson Irish Whiskey
Jameson Irish Whiskey

The whiskey tasting included Jameson Select Reserve, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Redbreast, Jameson Gold Reserve and concluded with the highly coveted Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, voted as the world’s best Irish Blended Whiskey at the 2009 World Whiskies Awards.

The tasting was held at The Barber Shop in Sydney on 7 February 2014.

Guillermo Erickson Sauza & Tequila Fortaleza

The Sydney Agave Cartel hosted special guest, Guillermo Erickson Sauza of Tequila Fortaleza in an engaging and informative session held at Vasco Bar.

Guillermo Erickson Sauza
Guillermo Erickson Sauza  (right) with Max Greco of Vasco

Tequila Fortaleza is known as Los Abuelos Tequila in Mexico. The spirit is made in the town of Tequila in Jalisco using stone-crushed Blue Agave Tequilana Weber.

Tequila Fortleza
Tequila Fortaleza

Three expressions were on taste starting with Tequila Fortaleza Blanco, which is described as the essence of the distillery followed by the Reposado and the Anejo. The bottle is hand-blown by artisan glassmakers and topped with a handmade cap that resembles the piña, or the heart of the agave plant.

The Sydney Agave Cartel session was held at Vasco bar in Sydney on 12 February 2014.

Harlen Wheatley & Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace Master Distiller, Harlen Wheatley visited Sydney and held a series of trade sessions and a consumer masterclass at the Oak Barrel tasting room. During his visit, SouthTrade hosted a drinks night with key customers and industry representatives. The evening offered an opportunity to mingle in an informal session and sip on some Buffalo Trace Mahnattan cocktails in view of Sydney Harbour.

Harlen Wheatley
Harlen Wheatley

Drinks with Harlen Wheatley were held at Southtrade offices on 12 February 2014.

Otis Florence and Sam Ross for Campo de Encanto Pisco

Otis Florence, Brand Ambassador and Assistant Blender for Campo de Encanto Pisco hosted an informal lunch at The Rook along with Sam Ross of the renowned New York bar, Attaboy and formerly of Milk & Honey, New York.

Encanto Pisco
L-R: Sam Ross, Otis Florence

Pisco is a grape distillate, much like an unaged brandy made from eight major grape varietals that fall into aromatic and non-aromatic categories. Most of these varietals are part of renowned parent grapes.

Encanto Pisco
Encanto Pisco

Encanto Pisco hails from Peru where the Peruvians have preserved the original distillation process. Pisco is distilled only once to around 41% ABV, nothing can be added including water or yeast and it cannot be aged. The spirit gets its distinct flavour from the grapes.

The Acholado White Label (good and noble) is a blend of four old vine grape varieties. The spirit has a sweet and aromatic style with floral notes and elderflower and a hint of spice. The Quebranta Distiller’s Reserve Brown Label is made of 100% Quebranta grapes from different lots and vintages and has aromas of green bananas and a viscous and rounded mouthfeel. The Moscatel Pink Label is highly aromatic with peaches, pears, and orange blossom on the nose. The 100% Moscatel grapes single vineyard spirit is very mellow on the palate with an oilier and viscous mouthfeel.

Read our interview with Otis Florence of Campo de Encato Pisco here.

The Encanto Pisco tasting was held at The Rook on Wednesday 19 February 2014.

Florence Boucheron from Domaine du Tariquet Armagnac

A trade and media tasting was held at The Oak Barrel in Sydney hosted with Florence Boucheron, of Domaine du Tariquet.

Domaine du Tariquet
Florence Boucheron, Domaine du Tariquet

Domaine du Tariquet is a family-owned Armagnac-producing business in the Bas-Armagnac region that recently celebrated its centenary.

Domaine du Tariquet
Armagnac on Taste

Several expressions were on taste, starting with the fresh and fruity XO, a blend of 60% ugni blanc with 40% baco grapes aged between 12 and 15 years in barrels. Le Legendaire, a blend of 40% folle blanche, 30% ugni blanc and 30% baco has good complexity and roundness on the palate. The unaged Armagnac, Folle Blanche with strong pear notes and a floral aroma is best served chilled and makes a good “trou gascon” in between meals. The Folle Blanche 15 ans with its complex character, spiciness and oak with dried fruit flavours was the highlight of the range on taste.

The tasting was held at the Oak Barrel Sydney on Wednesday 19 February 2014.


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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.