Readers of this blog may know that Steph and I are big fans of Sydney (and Melbourne) bars Eau de Vie and the impact that owner Sven Almenning has had on the Australian drinks industry. After years running Australia's largest Bar consultancy outfit, in addition to setting up "3.5" incredible bars (Eau de Vie Sydney, Eau de Vie Melbourne, The Roosevelt and the new Eau de Vie Apothecary), Sven branched out into the packaged drinks market with a range of bottle cocktails (which we featured here), available from Vintage Cellars (if you haven't tried the Cold Drip Negroni, based on the Cup o' Camilio from Eau de Vie's menu, I highly recommend it!)
Not one to stand still, Sven has now launched "The Experimental Spirits Company", with plans to release a range of...well, experimental spirits.
First up will be the "Smoked Bacon Bourbon", which "Dr" Phil Gandevia (the creation's "chef") gave us a little taste of on a recent visit to the Apothecary. Having made my own bacon Bourbon a few years ago (which was OK, nothing special) I was interested to hear they use a whole 350gm of bacon per bottle and an onerous filtration process to ensure the product is both unique and tasty, but also fit for sale. This is hand-made (right in Sydney), small-batch stuff, but it ain't no home kitchen job. These guys are pros.
The bars use it in a range of cocktails, and of course it's perfect for making your own "Benton's Old Fashioned" (if you've never tried one, Google PDT Benton's Old Fashioned recipe and thank me later), but how does it taste neat? Well, a little something like this...
The Experimental Spirits Company Smoked Bacon Bourbon (40% ABV, NAS, USA, $70-80AUD)
Nose: Sweet maple syrup. Salty, but with all the hallmarks of a good, smooth sipping bourbon. Big vanilla notes to complement the maple syrup notes, and no clash with the saltiness.
Palate: Very sweet, very dry. Chewy, meaty, and really very smooth. Not as much salt as the nose, but enough to distinguish this from a regular Bourbon, without a doubt. Phil wouldn't give up the name of the distillery producing the Bourbon, but it's clearly a quality base product.
Finish: Short, with a beautiful mix of sweet and salty.
Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100. Great neat, great on ice, and no doubt fantastic in a number of cocktails.
Sound good? You bloody bet. If you want one, you'll need to head over to Pozible where The Experimental Spirits Company are seeking funding to procure the equipment required to continue to produce this fine liquid, and ultimately achieve their goal of national distribution both on and off-premise:
A worthy investment in our opinion, and one we've already funded.