New releases

Four whisky bars collaborate on new exclusive bottling

Four Australian whisky bars have partnered with Scotch Whisky independent bottler The Highlander Inn and its Australian distributors The Whisky List to launch an exclusive bottling of Royal Brackla 2008 14yo.

Bottled at 52.7% and fully matured in an ex-Bourbon cask, the participating bars in this collaboration include Hains & Co in Adelaide, Sydney based The Roosevelt, Melbourne based The Elysian Whisky Bar and Terrarium in Perth.

The whisky was hand-selected by The Highlander Inn’s Tatsuya Minagawa as the latest release of his legendary Maggie Collection, which features artwork of local Scottish artist Maggie Riegler.

This is the second bar collaboration the Highlander Inn and The Whisky List have released for Australia in recent years.

The Elysian Whisky Bar co-owner Kelvin Low said: “When The Whisky List came to us with this idea, we just couldn’t pass up on it. We had already done a bottling with the Highlander Inn and The Whisky List a few years ago. That was our Water of Life Aldunie 23yo, and that was such a great collaboration and huge success.

“This time around Tatsuya san had chosen a Royal Brackla! You don’t see Royal Brackla casks too often and we absolutely love the profile of Royal Brackla. Clear worts, long fermentations, slow distillation and high reflux producing an elegant and fruity spirit. A whisky for royalty. We can’t wait for people to try this. And this time the collaboration was going to be with some
friends from around the country. Can’t think of any better bars to share this label with!”

Hains & Co co-owner Marcus Motteram, who joins this year’s collaboration for the first time added: “If you are going to collaborate on a Scotch Whisky with an independent bottler you want to ensure they are amongst the best in Scotland, and there are many. If you have ever visited the Highlander Inn, eaten their Haggis Neeps and Tats, and looked around their bar, you will immediately think who better to collaborate with!

“They have a storied history of bottling arguably some of the best independently bottled whisky in the land. This paired with the bottling of the Royal Brackla with some of the best bars in the country was a no brainer. Aside from Royal Brackla making delicious whisky, the distillery was founded by Captain William Fraser, and if you know Hains & Co. (a nautical inspired bar) this also floats our boat.”

Terrarium co-owner David Stucken said: “Having the opportunity for a venue as young as ours to collaborate with these eastern counterparts has been awesome. It’s an honour to be counted worthy alongside the legends at Hains & Co, Elysian & Roosevelt as I’ve always felt them to be pioneers in their respective territories.

“Even better, the quality of the liquid chosen by the Highlander Inn with this cask of Royal Brackla has completely blown all of us away too.”

The Roosevelt General Manager Ben Hickey said: I’m very excited to be a part of this cask bottling. Over the last few years we have sourced several bottlings from The Highlander Inn though The Whisky List and have found them to be good value and delicious.

“Having tasted this Royal Brackla release, I’m happy to say it is both of those things and more! I’ve always believed the distillery deserves more recognition for its ability to produce bright and fresh whisky without being simplistic. There is plenty of complexity here both from the spirit and the excellent cask it has spent 14 years in.”

The Whisky List co-founder Chris Ross said working with Tatsuya of The Highlander Inn was an incredible experience.

“When he finds a cask he likes for us, he just says, ‘It’s a good cask’, and that’s pretty much it,” Ross said.

“He never tries to sell us on story or specs, and he often has to dig up records of the type of cask it is or the ABV. But with those magic words, we just know it’s going to be an amazing whisky.

“And that’s with this Royal Brackla is; a good cask which has produced amazing whisky for a bunch of great whisky bars. A project we’re all incredibly proud of to have collaborated on.”

According to The Elysian Whisky Bar co-owner Yao Wong the whisky has a bright runny honey nose accented by lemon custard, small amount of grassiness, orange blossom, vanilla pound cake, a hint of white pepper and stewed bosc pear.

It has a medium rich mouth feel, with a good amount of syrupy-ness, light caramel chews, heather, some hints of preserved lemon, apple crumble, honeycomb, buttered pastries and dried apricot.

The finish is medium long, the oiliness on the palate holds onto the tongue well, there is residual salted caramel, golden straw, light savoriness, again a bit of pepper and some citrus pith.

The whisky is now available to taste at the four participating bars and available online to purchase through The Whisky List here. RRP is $219.

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Categories: New releases