Monday, 28 November 2011

Glenmorangie Masterclass @ Oak Barrel

Last Wednesday I went to a Glenmorangie masterclass at Oak Barrel. The bottle shop is firmly cementing itself as my favourite in Sydney.

What made the evening was my conversation with manager Simon at the end of the night. Simon had read the tweets I sent to Oak Barrel and was genuinely seeking feedback to help them improve. He was remarkably open to our probing questions (including on pricing). I think it's quite rare to find someone prepared to be as transparent about their business.

During the night we got to try eight Glenmorangie whiskies, which is more or less the entire range. We also got to try some of their chocolate malted barley which is integral part of the flavour profile of their Signet whisky.

In my eyes, the event wasn't as good as the Laphroaig night I attended last month. The host was an LVMH representative. He dropped in a few interesting facts during the evening, but didn't have a true passion for the subject. He also wasn't a natural presenter, rather quiet and failed to hold the audience during the evening. The young crowd was very talkative which made it difficult to hear what was being said. Disrespectful of the audience, but I can't help feeling a more experienced presenter would have got the room under control.

My favourite whisky was the first one we tasted, the Glenmorangie Orignal. I decided to score the whiskies during the night for a bit of fun. I started with an arbitrary five, thinking this would give me room to move up and down during the evening. It turned out to get quite crowded in the sub-five category as I started with what turned out to be my favourite!

Original - 5
Lasanta - 4
Qunita Ruban - 3
Nector D'Or - 2.5
18yr Old - 3
25yr Old - 3.5
Signet - 5
Astar - 4.5

I gave the Original and the Signet the same score. They are two very different whiskies, both in style and price, so it is hard to directly compare.  At $75, contrasted with $200, if I was going to buy one. It would have to be the Original.

Friend, 'The Baron', has reviewed the evening over on DTWC.

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