We returned to one of our favourite Sydney venues: The Oaks for an event called ‘whisky of the world. This event combined two of our favourite things, whisky and cheese. It was another well run event by Amy along with the staff of The Oaks and was hosted by Suntory, Beam, CCA Brand ambassador Michael Nouri. After attending this event I can see why Michael is a brand ambassador for the aforementioned brands. Michael is very passionate and showed great knowledge of the brands, families and products he represents.
This event was more than just a tasting, it was an education on whisky, its history, how it is made, and how this elixir reflects the regions in which it was produced. Michael also kept it interesting through first hand stories from knowing the families who produce the products being tasted.
The Oaks is one of Sydney’s great pubs, with the famous fairy lit oak tree in the heart of the beer garden. There are a number of sections that off shoot that area and it is great to enjoy a drink whilst exploring. It is a drinking spot to suit all. Whether it be a social drink with the masses in the beer garden or garden bar, a quiet beverage and game of pool or intimate sitting in one of the rooms upstairs, it is the perfect venue. There is also a bistro serving great food and the Garden Pavilion can be used for functions and events.
The whisky of the world tasting was held in the Garden Pavillion. It was perfect for this type of event, a beautiful space with colourful tiles, a private bar and some greenery. Although situated in the pub, this room feels as though it is anywhere but. The bottles that were to be sampled at the front of the room. The tables meticulously set with the cheese boards on display along with three pre poured whiskies, all waiting to be sampled.
With five differing whiskies from different regions of the world as well as five types of cheese, Muscatels and quince paste, our taste buds were in for a treat. We were educated on how to use our senses to help taste and appreciate the whisky by looking at the whisky and its colour, nosing it to associate smells, feeling it in the palm of your hand and most importantly tasting.
Starting with the Hakushu Distiller’s Reserve, a delicate whisky, from Japan that is a very popular whisky region, so much so, that it can be difficult to even find a bottle to purchase. This delicate light coloured fruity Whisky with a touch of smoke, matching with the contrast of rich creamy brie. Michael provided a brief history on the origins of whisky in Japan including a Japanese Scottish love story.
Next was one of the most surprising whiskies: a peated Irish whisky, in fact the only peated Irish Whisky, from Connemara. This golden coloured sweet, smokey whisky matched beautifully with a soft creamy blue cheese.
The Canadian Club 12 year age is a statement. A sweet whisky made from corn malt rye and malt barley. With rich a sweet caramel colour and taste, nicely paired with a mild Gouda. Fun fact – this whisky Started in Americain city of Detroit. Walker using foresight moving across the river to Canada and using American political insight to create this successful brand. The move to Canada helped during prohibition, with the brand producing 75% of whisky in America during this period.
Bourbon is the most regulated of all whisky. Makers Mark is named after the name stamped on the barrel. This whisky is truly a boutique, all processes being carried out by hand including the wax seal on the bottle. Makers is a corn based, wheated bourbon with a Low and slow ferment. They still use the original yeast strain, interestingly the recipe coming about from the baking of bread.
Finishing with a bang, on the Laphroiag Select cask. Laphroaig is a polarising whisky, with many either loving or hating it. A potent smokey whisky that uses a iodine style peat that is uniqie to the area and process it by using a wet smoke process. The Select Cask picked by friends of Laphroiag. A bit of history, the White walls of the distillery were a beacon to sailors on their way home.
Thanks to Amy for the invitation to the staff at The Oaks for their hospitality and to Michael for hosting a very enjoyable event. It is especially good value at $35 and highly recommended. Keep an eye out for future events through the below link.