Wednesday 27 July 2016

This week in whisk(e)y #33 - Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship 2016, Jack Daniel's 150th Anniversary & A Time Travelling Drinking Experience

As you might know if you read this blog regularly, we get a fair few interesting press releases and news articles here at TimeforWhisky, and usually try to feature them with our own spin, experiences or comments. Sometimes though, they come thick and fast, and we just don't have time to do them all justice.

So we've decided to take a leaf out of some other excellent whisky blogs, and feature a "PR roundup" every now and then - basically a wrap-up of relevant press releases we've received in the previous week or so (including other interesting whisk(e)y news Steph, Hendy & or I think you might enjoy). So on with it then...

Winner of the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship Announced
The Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship was held last week at the fun-filled Madame Tussauds in Sydney. We joined in on the fun where eight whiskies were laid bare for a blind tasting followed by a riotous, celebratory night. 

We'll post our coverage on the event shortly, though in the meantime, the following press release highlighted the three winners of this year's Championship. All we can say is that it was tough.
1st Place: Adrian Callus
2nd Place: Bill Bannear
3rd Place: Graham London
On Saturday 23rd July 2016, whisky enthusiasts from all over Australia gathered in Sydney to compete in (or spectate at) the nation’s biggest whisky competition at the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship, hosted by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. This year saw twice as many competitors than ever before, all vying for a place on the podium where only one can take home

1st Prize: Being crowned the Malt Whisky Champion of Australia!

With everyone seated, competitors had 30 minutes to assess eight whiskies in a blind-tasting format. Each competitor was provided with a list of nine possible whiskies – the eight on the table, plus one red herring. The task was to correctly identify which whisky was which.

This year’s line up of whiskies featured an incredibly difficult lineup of Speyside malts that were similar in style, and it took some pretty experienced and knowledgeable palates to discern them apart. Three competitors tied for first place and it took no less than two rounds of taste-offs to determine the placegetters, with Adrian Callus clinching the win.

As a reward for his efforts and claiming first place, Adrian was crowned the Malt Whisky Champion of Australia and won a trip for two to Tokyo, which includes two night’s accommodation at the Park

Hotel, and an incredible whisky tasting experience at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’ bar, located in the Park Hotel.

With the competition part of the evening over, the party began! Four varied and unique single cask bottlings from the SMWS were featured at the Society Bar on the night, including the yet-to-be-released Feis Ile Cask 127.44. Glenfiddich, a long-time generous supporter of the SMWS, again set up their Glenfiddich cocktail bar where competitors and spectators could indulge in their incredible cocktails, as well as Glenfiddich’s premium offerings of their 15yo, 18yo, and 21yo Gran

Reserva expressions. In the rotunda was Sydney Cocktail Club’s Sensory Bar, an adventure through the tastes and sensory aspects of great spirits, and then of course the incredible beers straight from the tap of Gage Roads Brewing Co. Thanks are also due to The Oak Barrel in Sydney for their generous support of 3rd prize, and Vintec for their support of the event."
Congrats to all winners, and everyone who took part!

Jack Daniel's Presents: Australia's First Time Travelling Whiskey Experience & A Worldwide Barrel Scavenger Hunt
We've shared a number of special Jack Daniel moments in the past, including the various Jacktember celebrations and being part of The Bar That Jack Built
This time, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery, Assistant Master Distiller, Chris Fletcher is visiting Australia and will host a number of events an masterclass.

150 years of cocktails
Quoting the press release:
"Jack Daniel’s is set to make an impact in Australia as part of the global celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Assistant Master Distiller Chris Fletcher will be visiting Australia for the first time to share his incredible knowledge of whiskey making as he hosts time travelling whiskey experiences across the country.

Throughout July and August, connoisseurs in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth will be taken on ‘A Journey through 150 Years of Craft & Cocktail Culture’, enabling them to sample the sights, sounds and signature cocktails from iconic eras in Jack’s history at secret locations in each city.

For this one-of-a-kind tour like no other, prepare to step back in time to 1920s prohibition, encounter the suave style of Frank Sinatra before embracing the thrilling times of 70s, 80s and 90s rock ‘n’ roll. Culturally so much has changed all the while Jack has been making his famous whiskey in one way, in one place for 150 years.

The milestone certainly calls for a celebration and at each event guests will also be able to raise a toast to the 150th anniversary with a celebratory cocktail designed by Chris Fletcher. The evening’s complimentary entertainment will further include a whiskey tasting masterclass led by Chris, where attendees will be able to put their sensory skills to the test to discover what it takes to be a Jack Daniel’s Master Taster, one of the most important and respected jobs at the distillery.

As Assistant Master Distiller, Chris Fletcher uses his extensive knowledge of the whiskey making process to lovingly craft the world’s best-loved whiskey according to Jack’s time honoured recipe.  Since 1866, Jack Daniel’s has been made in Lynchburg, Tennessee and it’s Fletcher’s job to ensure that the dedication to making great whiskey remains true to Mr. Jack’s motto of “Every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.”

Chris Fletcher, Assistant Master Distiller, Jack Daniel’s comments:
“I’m excited to be heading to Australia to bring an authentic taste of Southern hospitality Down Under as I tell a few stories about the place I call home. My knowledge of whiskey was passed down first-hand by my grandfather, retired fifth Master Distiller Frank Bobo, I’m honoured to now be following in his footsteps under the guidance of Jeff Arnett, the seventh Master Distiller since 1866, and thrilled to be a part of the global 150th anniversary celebrations.”

Chris is not the only Lynchburg original coming to our fair shores, as the festivities continue throughout Australia with a global scavenger hunt featuring real barrels from the distillery. Uniting friends of Jack across the world, the Barrel Hunt will visit more than 50 countries in 90 days giving whiskey fans the chance to win money-can’t-buy prizes to commemorate the 150th anniversary. Select barrels will also include VIP tickets, travel and accommodation to the worldwide celebration taking place at the Lynchburg distillery this October. Clues as to the whereabouts of the 10 whiskey barrels hidden across the country will be revealed on the Jack Daniel’s Australia Facebook page.

“The barrel is key to crafting Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey as it accounts for 100 percent of its colour and 70 to 80 percent of its flavour,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. “It’s an important part of our process that’s remained unchanged for 150 years, and that tradition will continue to live on in every barrel we make and each drop of our whiskey. As the only major distilling company that makes our own barrels, the Barrel Hunt celebrates the distillery’s history and gives fans a chance to own a barrel and be forever tied to Jack Daniel’s.”

To find out more about Jack Daniel’s and the Jack Daniel Distillery’s 150th anniversary visit"
We will post our coverage of the celebration shortly.

Until next time...

Martin & Hendy. 

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