Get ready for a whole new world for your taste buds.
If you’ve never attended a whiskey tasting before, World of Whiskey, Australia’s first specialist concept whisky store, is the perfect place to start. To begin with, the whiskey industry takes itself far less seriously than the wine industry, according to host David Ligoff. Pulling his nose out from deep within the glass he happily admits ‘there’s none of this “with a hint of berries and picked by people only using their left hands” business’. The relaxed atmosphere and David’s easy humor make the What is Whiskey tasting events perfect for complete novices to fully-fledged whisky lovers.
David gives a brief history of the ‘water of life’, speaking to its Irish origins, American influences and current abundance in Scotland. One of the beautiful things about whiskey is how each cask is entirely unique. ‘Barrels are like fingerprints and no two behave the same,’ David explains. Whilst up to 80% of whiskey spends some time in American oak barrels, the style of the wood and its previous inhabitant (bourbon, sherry or wine) is where the flavors come from.
The tasting includes a selection of six whiskies, from fruity to smoky flavours and everything in between, from a range of distilleries in Scotland to Taiwan. There’s plenty of bread, cheese, biscuits and chocolate at hand to clear your palate as you go. It’s worth noting that organising a taxi for the ride home is not a bad idea, because if you finish all six tastings you will be over the limit.
As with all tastings, what you like and what you don’t is very personal. While you will be encouraged to share your opinions (which get far easier to articulate around the fourth or fifth whisky) you won’t be expected to like everything and no offence will be taken if you don’t. With some whiskies at 50% proof alcohol, don’t be shy to add water.
After a very enjoyable hour and a half, you will leave the charming boutique with a rosy glow in your cheeks, a fire in your belly and very likely a bottle of your favourite tipple under your arm – with a 15% discount available*.
David’s knowledge of whisky was truly exceptional, but perhaps his best words of wisdom were to ‘pop it in your porridge in the morning’. For those brave enough to give it a try – I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
*To receive 10% off you must sign up as a member, joining is free. An additional 5% off is given to those who attend the tasting events. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book. Tastings start at $60.
World of Whisky
t: (02) 9363 4212
a: Shop G12, Cosmopolitan Centre 2 – 22 Knox Street, Double Bay, NSW