Water of Life - Whisky Live
June 5, 2021
Now, this one has been for the longest time in the making. While we have covered quite an array of whisk(e)y tastings over the course of this series, one of the most pre-eminent ones has almost gotten away.
Over the years, Whisky Live has established itself to be quite the institution on the whisky event firmament on terra australis, with its incarnations across Australia exciting the uninitiated as well as the connoisseurs.
While expectations were high, it could have hardly been a better experience, starting with the friendly reception we got as we stepped entered the premises down to every distiller, sales person and ambassador we engaged with, with almost all of them not only sharing informative titbits but evoking some belly laughs with their hilarious anecdotes that let their passion for whisky and the craft behind it shine through.
Equipped with a customised WL event glass and a printed Whisky guide to assist with tasting notes for all expressions on offer, one was unleashed to freely roam the spacious, well-planned territory, which offered ample opportunity to manoeuvre between the tasting stations and sample from the more than forty stands, all of which had a variety of expressions on offer and some even offering tastings arranged in a vertical manner.
Being an Islay-head, I loved the fact that with Bruichladdich, Ardbeg, Finlaggan and Laphroaig peat, iodine and PPM was well-represented, with the welcome addition of Ailsa Bay’s sweet smoke.
Despite the heavy weights of the big houses being present with their top shelf offerings, it was nice to see not only love given to Australian distilleries but some up and coming locals got exposure with St Peters’ Otter Craft and Marrickville’s excellent Moreau, the latter of which is one that had not been on my radar before and having sampled their emissions, warrants a dedicated instalment of our series.
Quality, well-proportioned food to graze on of the calibre offered at WL is rare at other whiskey events and the Rare & Old bar was a nice touch, which enabled me to close a gap or two and the addition of other selected spirits helped to expand one’s horizon.
Multiple masterclasses to educate the curious mind specialising on special aspects of particular whiskies were offered free of charge for those interested to dig deeper into new discoveries or old favourites.
Summa summarum, WL lives up to its name in that it is clearly an event with a wide and impressive list of offerings that is being curated by connoisseurs and industry experts. The fact that one had the chance to purchase the offerings while exiting through the gift shop did not hurt either, except for the budget as they had event specific discount in place.