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Whisky myths

You can’t Add Water To Whisky

One of the most controversial topics in the world of whisky, adding water to whisky is fiercely debated but honestly there is nothing wrong with adding water if that is your preference, in fact for cask strength offerings adding a little water is sometimes necessary to unlock the aromas and flavours. Sometimes known as ‘releasing the serpent’ adding water to whisky results in an exothermic reaction raising the temperature by approximately 2°C/3.5°F unlocking the flavour-bearing congeners in the whisky. This results in legs appearing in the whisky, releases volatile aromas and makes our palate more receptive to salty and fruity tastes, rather than sweet and spicy.

 

Whisky Events & Shows

I try to attend as many whisky shows as possible as they are a great place to try new whiskies, meet new whisky enthusiasts and catch up with friends.
2 weeks ago it was the Whisky show in Sydney that I attended and was pouring the brands that were under Alba whisky and sold at the Wine Providore.

 

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The brands that I was pouring in particular were Benromach, Gordon & Macphail and also Amrut.

Benromach –

Established in 1898, the Benromach distillery is independently owned by a family with proud, enduring roots in Speyside. Admired the world over for our whisky expertise, today we pour our passion and knowledge into making our gorgeous single malt. A lost taste of Speyside we wanted to bring back and share. (Owned by Gordon & Macphail)

Gordon & Macphail –

James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail began their business in Elgin in 1895 with John Urquhart joining the workforce at that time, to become a partner in 1915 when MacPhail retired. When Gordon died in 1817 the Urquhart family took over the business. This independent family business prospered and built up a stock of good quality casks from a wide range of distilleries over the years. In 1993 they purchased Benromach Distillery. Brands include Connoisseurs Choice, Cask Strength, Rare Old and Speymalt.

Amrut – 

Amrut Distillery markets its Indian single malt whisky under its own name. The word amrut is from the Sanskrit language and means “nectar of the gods”. The distillery itself often uses it as a synonym for “water of life”.
There’s a huge variety of cheap no-name whiskies in India, and Amrut purposely sets itself apart from that mainstream with their high-quality premium products. Amrut mainly uses American white oak casks, but since the distillery has garnered in international reputation and the demand has risen, they have also started to use sherry casks and other types of casks.

I will go into more detail on these drams when I review some bottling’s from each distillery.

Flying out in 2 weeks time for whisky freedom in Perth which should be a amazing show with lots of great whisky!!

Salute

Solera Cask

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Solera cask? What is it and how does it work with whisky? Solera is a method that has been used in winemaking for a very long time, particulary sherry.

How does the process work you ask?

Barrels in a solera are arranged in different groups or tiers, called criaderas. Each scale (the rows) contains whisky of the same age. The oldest scale, confusingly called solera (bottom row) holds the whisky ready to be bottled. When a fraction of this whisky is extracted from the solera (this process is called the saca), it will be replaced with the same amount of whisky from the first criadera, the one that is slightly younger and typically less complex. This, in turn, will be filled up with whisky from the second criadera and so on.

Method in steps –

Take a row of barrels on the ground (solera – means on the ground), Fill them all up with your whisky. Let it age for a while.

Stack another row of barrels on top of that first one. Fill them up. Row 2 now consists of whisky a bit younger than that of Row 1.

Add another row of barrels on top of that. Fill them with younger whisky. This can be usually up to around 8 – 10 criadera

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How does this process help the distillery?

You can get a more consistent product by blending older whiskys into your newer batches, ensuring that customers are always get the character they’re expecting from your distillery.

You can also experiment with adding layers of flavour by changing the type of barrels you use on different rows. Think of starting out in ex sherry, then moving down to a row of port barrels, then back to sherry, then to a row of port barrels again!!!

Hope this has helped you all understand the Solera process

“Salute”

 

Limeburners P.X Sherry Cask Review

Thankyou to the guys at www.thewhiskyclub.com.au for always organising fantastic bottles for club members. If you haven’t checked out the whisky club sign up today you wont regret it. As whisky club members we have had the privilege of tasting Limeburners first P.X cask expression. (Bottled Exclusively)

Little bit of info on Limeburners (Great Southern Distilling Company) –www.distillery.com.au

In 2004 after 14 years of research, the Great Southern Distilling Company was founded and commenced commercial production in 2005. Located on the edge of Princess Royal Harbour, the distillery takes advantage of Albany’s pristine water, clean air, abundance of local produce and cool marine climate.

In May 2008, the first flagship ‘Limeburners’ Single Malt Whisky was released.  Not only was this recorded as an historic event because it was the first Single Malt Whisky ever distilled in Western Australia, but it also picked up a Bronze Medal at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition in London.  After selling out within the month, the distillery knew it was getting things right.

Now, with the distillery celebrating its 12th year, production has more than doubled and demand is outstripping productivity. Winning the Business of the Year at the 2013 Regional Small Business Awards was a huge success and in 2015 taking out the Telstra Western Australian Business Awards for the WA Regional Business category shows that the team is leading business in the region.

 The whisky has proven itself time and again with such achievements as Australian’s Champion Whisky in 2015 and 2016 for its Heavily Peated Single Malt Whisky and being named Champion Australian Distiller at the Australian Distilled Spirits Awards this year.

The Whisky –

This double matured whisky was initially matured in American Oak casks for six years before a second 12 month maturation in PX sherry casks specially selected from family reserve stocks in old third generation Swan Valley wineries. The Swan Valley has long been famous for producing stellar fortified wines from old vine stock bought in by early European settlers and Limeburners were very quick to establish relationships with their distinguished viniferous neighbours that would grant access to increasingly rare fortified barrel stocks.

My Review – 

Bottle: 43% ABV – 700ml

Colour: Golden

Nose: lots of Fruit, Floral, Nutty, honey

Palate: sweet, quite dry, chocolate, caramel, complex flavours, malted barley is present

Finish: Quite short, sweet, honeyed

Very smooth and easy to drink whisky i did find it quite dry through the palate so would be very interested to try the normal sherry cask finish also and compare the two side by side. I also found a drop of water did open it up a lot and give it more floral notes, vanilla and caramel.

Another great expression of Aussie whisky it just keeps getting better and better!! I will be doing a lot more reviews and blogging next week as I will be flying to Tasmania to do the whisky trail.

“Salute”

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Buffalo Trace

The big question I always get asked is whats the best bourbon for a Old Fashioned cocktail?

The answer for me is Buffalo Trace.buffalo trace

Why? Well the Old Fashioned cocktail is a simple recipe of whiskey, bitters, sugar and a little water from dilution which means the whiskey will shine through as the hero of the drink and in my opinion needs to be a perfect well balanced bourbon and something that is also great neat or on the rocks.

Buffalo Trace has been making legendary bourbon whiskey for over 220 years through prohibition and two world wars. The Buffalo Trace distillery has been awarded ‘Distillery of the Year’ 7 times and Buffalo Trace has been awarded over 22 national and international awards.

Buffalo Trace has a complex aroma of vanilla, mint and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste with notes of brown sugar and spice that give way to oak,  toffee, dark fruit and anise. This whiskey finishes long and smooth with serious depth.

Now lets take my favourite Bourbon and make up the cocktail –

INGREDIENTS

1 x sugar cube or Bar spoon of sugar

2 x dashes of angostura bitters

2 x dashes of orange bitters

60 ml of Buffalo Trace Bourbon

METHOD

Add all ingredients to mixing glass and crush the cube with muddler.

Add bitters, bar spoon of water on cube and muddle or stir till dissolved.

Add cubed ice to the mixing glass.

Stir down until chilled or desired taste is achieved.

Put fresh large ice cube in rocks glass, Strain over liquid from mixing glass to rocks glass

Twist a large piece of orange zest over the drink and drop into the glass.

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There are many ways to slightly change this recipe for personal preference so if you wanted to try something out just send me a question and I will be happy to help!

‘Salute’