Drinking our way through Italy

The Colosseum in Rome from our hotel

It was June 2018, and we had zigzagged our way around the cobble stone streets of Rome, the hilly Tuscan towns of Pienza and Montepulciano, the picturesque seaside village of Lacco Ameno in Ischia, the ruins of Pompeii, and, finally, the chaotic city of Naples. Continue reading

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Templeton Rye Signature Reserve

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Source: supplied

About one hundred years ago, shortly after the United States introduced prohibition, the residents of Templeton, a small town in Iowa, started bootlegging hooch made from molasses. It wasn’t long until this hooch found its way to the speakeasies of Chicago, where, the story goes, it was discovered by mobster Al Capone. Back in 1920s Templeton, stills remained hidden under pigeon pens and code (such as white horses being placed in front of farmhouses) was used to signal that new batches were ready for distribution. When prohibition ended in 1933, though, Templeton’s story fell silent and the brand was forgotten as whiskey makers eventually dominated the (now legal) market. But, in 2006, a brand of whiskey called “Templeton Rye” was created to pay tribute to Templeton’s bootlegging past, and now this (very much legal) whiskey is available in the United States, Canada and Australia.

 

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Templeton distillery. Source: supplied

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Jack Daniel’s No. 27 Gold Double Barreled Tennessee Whiskey

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The story of Jack Daniel’s started in 1864 when Jasper Newton (“Jack”) Daniel began making a charcoal filtered whiskey which was simply referred to as “Old No. 7”. It took about a century for Old No. 7 to start making its mark on the world stage from the 1960s, with ingenious marketing taking advantage of the global obsession with American rock n’ roll, blues and punk rock to create demand for authentically American Tennessee whiskey. In the late 1980s the distillery started to expand its range, introducing the twice filtered Gentleman Jack and then in the 1990s the first bottles of Single Barrel Select were drawn from their barrels, all under the watch of Master Distiller Jimmy Bedford. Jeff Arnett took the reigns as Master Distiller in 2007, and what followed was the introduction of several new Jack Daniel’s whiskies – Tennessee Honey in 2011 (my wife’s absolute favourite whiskey), Single Barrel Rye in 2015 (which was the distillery’s first new mash recipe since old No. 7), the cinnamon flavoured Tennessee Fire in 2015 and Tennessee Rye in 2017. Limited edition Jack Daniel’s whiskies are also released, from the Sinatra Select (one of my personal favourite whiskies) to the currently available No. 27 Gold which is being reviewed in this post. Continue reading

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Tasting a trio of show-stopping whiskies from Compass Box: The Circle, The No Name No. 2, and The Affinity

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A trio of whiskies from Compass Box

Compass Box are whiskymakers who craft whisky by blending whiskies from different distilleries and batches, thereby creating unique flavour profiles from what is essentially a concoction of “ingredient” whiskies. This is the art of whisky blending. Blending to create a whisky that matches the blue print in one’s mind is much harder than it sounds or looks (as I learned aboard the Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer!). Trying to unpack a whisky blender’s creation is even harder. To help unravel their complex whiskies, though, Compass Box provide a break down of the “ingredients” that go into each of their whiskies. Trying to piece together the puzzle of a Compass Box whisky by smell and taste is, in my experience, a lot of fun.

The newly released trio of limited edition Compass Box whiskies that sit before me ready to be tasted are Compass Box The Circle, Compass Box Affinity, and Compass Box No Name No. 2.

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Tasting an almighty trinity from Teeling whiskey: Teeling 24 year old single malt, 17 year old single malt and Stout Cask

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Three samples of Teeling whiskey arrive at Maltmileage headquarters

Three samples of the lastest limited release small batch Teeling whiskies from Ireland have made their way to maltmileage headquarters in Melbourne: Teeling 24 year old single malt, Teeling 17 year old single malt Jim Barry Shiraz Cask Collaboration, and Teeling whiskey stout cask collaboration with Galway Bay brewery. Now, with three whiskey glasses sitting ready, it is time to taste these whiskies from the Emerald Isle.  Continue reading

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All aboard the Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer!

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All aboard the Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer

On a particularly cold Friday evening I ventured into the Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show on Glenfiddich’s invitation to board the Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer, a 1972 vintage bus which has been converted into a whisky bar on wheels! Australian chef Matt Moran introduced us to what he loved about Glenfiddich and then the distillery’s brand ambassador, Luke Sanderson, took us on board for a very special evening of whisky tasting and blending, and to craft our very own Glenfiddich single malt from the three core ingredients used to create Glenfiddich’s 15 year old solera.

Ready to join me? All aboard!

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Hunter Laing & Co releases Scarabus Specially Selected at Feis Ile 2019

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Hunter Laing & Co, the family owned Scotch whisky independent bottler, is releasing Scarabus Specially Selected at Feis Ile 2019, the Islay Festival of Music and Whisky.  Continue reading

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