Thursday, 24 November 2011

World of Whisky: What is whisky? Tasting event

This post was originally published on the Distant Thunder Whisky Club site. For posterity (?) I thought I'd publish it here as well.

The six whiskies we tasted

On Sunday fellow club member The Dog and I went to the World of Whisky in Double Bay, Sydney, Australia for their What is whisky? tasting event.

I hadn't been to the World of Whisky shop before. It is bright and stylish with rows of back lit bottles arranged by region. The selection is pretty impressive with a range of familiar whiskies and several distilleries I haven't heard of before.

Speaking to the owner he's pretty open that he can't compete on price with the likes of Dan Murphy's and Vintage Cellars. World of Whisky is trying to carve out a niche for themselves by exclusively importing some Scotch whiskies that you can't get anywhere else in Australia.

They also have a large tasting shelf with around 50 open bottles. A polite request opened everything that we asked to try. You don't find that at one of the big chains.

Inside of the shop

The tasting event started with an overview of the process of making whisky. Although I've heard similar things before I'd say this was the most comprehensive and easiest to understand. Perfectly pitched for those new to whisky.

We tasted six whiskies during the event. We started in the Highlands with Tullibardine, moving through Speyside with the Glenfarclas 8yr old, onto the Lowlands with an Auchentoshan and our Scottish journey finishing in Isla with the Bowmore 12yr old.

After Scotland we jumped across the Irish sea to sample a Turk Beg and then finishing in India with the Amrut.

A MaCallan 50yr old. Sadly not on offer for testing. Yours for $25,000

I didn't think any of the whiskies we tried were particularly remarkable. However, as an event aimed at those who are new to whisky it is hardly surprising they didn't crack out the premium tastings. Also, tasting the peated Bowmore fourth ruined my palate for the un-peated Irish whisky which followed. A bit of a basic mistake I thought.

Overall if it was a good afternoon. After the official tasting had finished the 'shelf' was opened up. I tasted a cracking whisky that will be my choice the next time I host a whisky night....

The Converted


  1. This event was for me, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to whisky. Sad I missed it.

  2. It would be a good event it you wanted to learn about whisky for the first time. The lesson cost $50, but it appears on voucher sites at $25 if you keep and eye out!

  3. Re. title "World of Whisky: What is whisky? Tasting event".

    I felt I was mislead by you title as I thought you would discuss "What is whisky?", considering conceptually there's not much too it. So your audience is none the wiser as to "What is whisky?".

  4. EdF - sorry to disappoint. The event at World of Whisky is called "What is whisky?" so it was simply meant as a description of the event I attended.

    If you are new to whisky and would like to learn more I'd suggest the event. Otherwise check out my club site:

    Or perhaps subscribe to thw "Whisky Cast" podcast.