Sydney Whisky Week created the ultimate playground for whisky lovers from 10-20 May 2023 and Drinks Digest sipped some delicious drams during the festival.
The festival brought together some of the city’s best bars and distillers for a festival of tastings and events in a partnership between The Whisky List and Man of Many.
Here are some of our favourite moments.
Scotch Whisky Masterclass with Glen Moray
Glen Moray’s Global Ambassador Iain Allan joined with award-winning bartender Millie Tang to host a masterclass at Alfy’s Bar.
The masterclass featured six expressions of Glen Moray Single Malt Scotch Whisky, alongside different cocktail creations to experience the taste of Speyside, neat, shaken and stirred!
Located inside Assembly Bar in Regent Place, Alfy’s is a new whisky-centric bar above Assembly Bar. It’s only been open a few months and has already attracted a dedicated following.
Allan grew up near the Glen Moray distillery in Elgin, Speyside, and has been spreading word about its whiskies since 2005. He is a passionate and knowledgeable host, who revealed his favourite food pairing for whisky is oysters.
Our favourite whisky of the evening was the Glen Moray Chardonnay Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky. It’s been finished for eight months in French Chardonnay wine casks, which adds a bold sweetness and spice to the original flavours of sweet vanilla oak and caramelised fruits.
The Sound of Bonded
University of Oxford’s Professor Charles Spence has collaborated with award-winning String Musicians Australia to create the music track – The Sound of Bonded – for Jack Daniel’s Bonded whiskey.
The Australia-first tasting experience includes melodic piano, low-pitched cello and high tempo violin to enhance the whiskey’s caramel, oak and spice flavour notes.
Professor Spence’s research examines the connection between taste and sound with studies showing certain musical accompaniments can enhance different food and drink flavour notes by up to 10%. Spence applied his research to whiskey tasting, working with musicians to produce The Sound of Bonded track.
The Sound of Bonded was performed live at Sydney’s Hickson House during Sydney Whiskey Week, to celebrate the launch of this new innovation, with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Master Distiller Chris Fletcher on hand to run guests through the experience.
Drinks Digest put the soundtrack to the test at the event and can confirm it does alter the flavour of the whiskey!
Learn more here.
Maker’s Mark partners with Beechworth Honey
Maker’s Mark chose stunning Hinchcliff House at Circular Quay to launch its collaboration with Beechworth Honey, which it describes as a “partnership of two liquid golds”.
Sharing deep family histories, an appreciation for all things handmade and a drive towards sustainable practices, Maker’s Mark and Beechworth Honey served Gold Rush cocktails at the event, which deliciously mix whiskey with honey and lemon.
The cocktails were served alongside a whisky and honey-centric menu that included dishes such as Burrata with Rhubarb and Beechworth Honey Glazed Radicchio and Torched Maker’s Mark Glazed Salmon Crudo with Cucumber, Buttermilk and Sorrel Dressing.
Gold Rush is available in Apollonia bar for the month of May and June.
Learn more about the partnership between Maker’s Mark and Beechworth Honey here:
The Whisky Show
The week culminated with The Whisky Show Sydney on 20 May. Celebrating its 12th year, The Whisky Show was founded by David Ligoff on a simple idea to share with people new, boutique and exceptional whiskies.
The Whisky Show Sydney was held at Overseas Passenger Terminal in The Rocks. It included 100+ different whiskies from all over the world including Scotland, United States, Australia and world whiskies.
Established in 2012, Tel Aviv-based M&H (formally known as Milk & Honey Distillery) was the first whisky distillery in Israel and has since gained a global reputation for its high-quality spirits, alongside dozens of awards including category Gold winning single malt whiskies at the recent World Whisky Awards 2023. M&H Distillery was also awarded the prestigious titles of Master Distiller, Craft Producer, and Brand Innovator of the Year at the 2023 Icons of Whisky awards – Rest of the World category.
Among the whiskies M&H offered for tasting was Apex Pomegranate cask – the first and only single malt in the world to be fully matured in pomegranate wine casks.
When you think of American whiskey, it’s probably bourbon that comes to mind, not single malt. But Westward Whiskey is one of a growing band of ‘new world’ distillers to settle in the traditional craft brewing hub of Portland in Oregon. Everything from Westward’s water source — which consists of snowmelt and rain from Mount Hood — to its inclusion of locally malted barley, are all sourced from the region. And the results are delicious!
And Waubs Harbour is based in a former Tassie oyster hatchery with stunning ocean views. Their whiskies are equally impressive, embodying the essence of their coastal surrounds.