Since our early days of writing about whisky, a lot has changed. Specialist whisky bars have emerged all around the country, new and younger whisky consumers, including women are embracing the category, no age statement whiskies have gained popularity, and new world whiskies along with new expressions are making an impact on the world whisky scene. Consumers are becoming better educated in top shelf spirits, thanks to the level of knowledge and enthusiasm from our world class bartenders.
We have witnessed a whisky revival that has never been stronger.
It gives us great pleasure at Gourmantic to be invited to be part of the exclusive Diageo Whisky Club, bringing together a small family of people to learn and share whisky experiences.
Over 100 whiskies make up the portfolio at Diageo, and in the coming months, we will be bringing you the latest releases and experiences with exciting developments ahead.
Diageo Whisky Club
The Diageo Whisky Club launched in Sydney last week at Ayr House, a private mansion in Darling Point overlooking Sydney Harbour.
Ayr House, Darling Point
Club members were welcomed with a selection of cocktails featuring some of the new whiskies in the portfolio such as Skye’s The Limit, a delicious mix of the new Talisker Skye with Lillet Blanc and sage leaves.
The evening was an interactive and sensory experience. Guests moved amongst five whisky stations, each beautifully styled to excite the senses and reflect the flavour profiles of each spirit. Tastings of each of the expressions was led by Sean Baxter, National Brand Ambassador for Johnnie Walker Whisky and the Classic Malts and William Oxenham, Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Johnnie Walker Blue
At the Johnnie Walker Blue Label station, a flavour plinth with essences designed by a perfumist in France breaks down the flavours of the blended whisky into woody, fruity, fresh, malty, peaty and spicy notes.
The luxury blend is a representation of all of the different flavours from different regions of Scotland: smoke from the Islands, butters and soft caramels from the Highlands, fruitiness and sherry finishes from Speyside, and the sweet grassiness from the Lowlands.
The result is a complex whisky which imparts different flavours at different stages with sweetness upfront that carries through to the oak with an oiliness and peat towards the finish. A little water lifts the flavours, subduing the peat and highlighting the fruit, the caramels and softer notes.
For more information on Johnnie Walker Blue Label, refer to our article on Johnnie Walker Blue Label Room at The Stables.
Mortlach Rare Old
Mortlach Display with Copper Stills
Over at the stunning display of whisky and miniature copper stills stood the “The Beast of Dufftown, Mortlach Rare Old single malt. This new release is soon to hit Australia and unlike the usual soft, fruity and floral style of Speyside whiskies, this spirit imparts robust notes with a rich mouthfeel.
Mortlach Rare Old is distilled 2.81 times and it is the extra contact with copper that gives it its richness and bold character.
Read our review of Mortlach Rare Old.
Aromas of burning peat in the night sky set the tone for the tasting of Talisker Skye, taking guests on a sensory journey to the Isle of Skye from which the whisky originates.
Talisker’s newest release bears no age statement and is not as heavily peated as other Talisker expressions such as Talisker Storm or Talisker Dark Storm. This entry level expression makes a good introduction to smoky whiskies and lends itself well to cocktails.
Read our review of Talisker Skye.
The Singleton Spey Cascade
The Singleton Spey Cascade
From the Isle of Skye, it was a jaunt across to Speyside, the garden of Scotland, the region where two thirds of Scottish distilleries originate for a taste of The Singleton Spey Cascade.
This new expression comes from the Speyside distillery in Dufftown and is characterised by a long fermentation process which gives the whisky its lightness and fruity flavours.
Read our review of The Singleton Spey Cascade.
Dimple Golden Selection
Dimple Golden Selection
Over at the long table, it was an inviting display of honeycomb, spices, pomegranates, macadamia nuts, coffee beans and chocolate for a taste of the new Dimple Golden Selection.
While many may remember a bottle of Dimple in the family whisky cabinet, this new blended expression brings together a sweet dram that lends itself to an after dinner style of whisky accompanied by dark chocolate and cheese.
Read our review of Dimple Golden Selection.
L-R: William Oxenham, Andrew Morley (Marketing Manager), Shaun Baxter *
Over the next few days, we will be featuring each of the above whiskies in detail ahead of their Australian release. Stay tuned as we will be sharing our experiences of the new developments in the whisky portfolio.
The Diageo Whisky Club launch was held on Wednesday 29 April 2015.
Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.
* Photo Credit: Caroline McCredie. Used with permission.
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