Friday, September 11, 2009

What I learnt at Whiskey live.

What I learnt at Whisky Live.
There are four or six whisky distilling areas in Scotland (depending on who you ask).
After it has been Distilled, all whisky has to be matured for at least three years in Oak Barrels, some will be matured for much longer.
If a blended whisky has an age statement on it, that is the age of the youngest whisky in that blend.
A Blend Whisky will usually have a mixture of Grain (Distilled in a continuous "patent" or "Coffey" still) and Malt Whisky (distilled in an onion-shaped "pot" still).
A Pure Malt Whisky will only use Malted Whiskey.
Blend and pure Malt whisky will mix whiskies from several different Distilleries until the blender achieves the taste and smell they want.
A Single Malt Whisky will mix a number of different whiskies, that have been produced from the one distillery, until the blender achieves the taste and smell they want.
Most of these whiskies will add colouring (usually Caramel) so every bottle produced is identical. If the bottle says nothing about colouring not being added, then it has been artificially coloured.
As the whisky is matured in oak casks, the whisky will sometimes have fats and or oils from the wood in it. When ice is added to the whisky, these fats can go cloudy, so they are removed from mass produced whiskies (usually by a cold filtering process). The problem is fats contain flavour.
A single cask whiskey that has not been cold filtered or had colouring added, is the best to aim for. The problem is quality costs and you will be lucky if you can find a bottle of this whisky for under $100 a bottle.
But they taste divine.

Whiskey Live - Day Two

The Whiskey Live-Whiskey show was not due to begin until 4pm in the Afternoon. This left me a day to kill in Sydney. With so many options, and such little time, i decided to visit Paddys Market, and Darling Harbour. While in Darling Harbour, I stopped and drooled a little in the Lindt chocolate shop.

took a Ferry around to Circular Quay.

and jumped on a Manly Ferry. I had first lunch at Manly.

I did not eat at the bald mans chocolate shop, but i wish i had seen it earlier. I was so tempted to pick up the dish of chocolate and see how much i could drink before they caught me. It was sitting righ there, on the bench, and it was so tempting
Took the Ferry back to Circular Quay, And wandered up into town, for second lunch at Harrys Cafe.
I only remembered to take the photo of the pie at this stage of eating it, and i did not think that i could eat a second pie, so i could not stage that photo either.

The Whiskey show was at the Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, and i got there to discover tables and tables of whiskys and whiskeys.

My pick of the evening would have to be the Limeburners from Western Australia.

Although the Amrut from India

and Edradour from Scotland were also worth noting.

We ran into some other whiskey lovers from Canberra.

Yes that is right, Brendan Smyth loves a wee drop of the Dram too

And had a wonderful time. If Whiskey live in on again next year, I will be going.

Whiskey Live - Day One.

The international whiskey show (Whiskey Live) was in Sydney in the First week of September. Wild horses were not able to keep me away so on Thursday morning, Rocky and myself packed our bags and headed up to Sydney.

We arrived at our motel with 30 minutes to spare before our first masterclass was due to begin. Luckily our digs were only 10 minutes walk for where the masterclasses were being held, so we were able to get there on time.

Our First masterclass was about the Whiskies of Islay. It was presented by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and was well worth the trip. Six whiskies were presented in the masterclass, five were single case bottlings, and the sixth was a commercial whiskey from the same distillery as whiskey number four (the Laphroaig 10 year old).

The evening session was a Journey Around Scotland and was presented by a Brand Ambassador from Diageo Brands. This meant we spent the night being shown only brands from the Diageo stable.

But it was not that bad. We had eight whiskies. The first six was one whisky from each of the whisky areas in Scotland, and then we did a vertical tasting of the Talisker, as we tasted the 10, 18 and 25 year olds. He also produced a bottle of pure grain whisky, and i had a sample of it, but as i had spent the day drinking heavy peaty scotches, the pure grain had no taste whatsoever.