On Tuesday evening TVG and members of Diageo Whisky Club attended the JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection Launch at the Lake Eyre Penthouse at The Olsen Hotel in Melbourne. Leading international whisky expert Dave Broom was on hand to walk us through the tasting alongside National Johnnie Walker and Classic Malts Ambassador, Sean Baxter.
We were greeted with superb Johnnie Walker Blue Label cocktails on arrival before sitting down to a meal by Spoonbill. I was seated next to Stuart McCluskey, an award winning bar and restaurant owner from Edinburgh. Stuart’s famous bar The Bon Vivant is renowned for it’s exceptional food, cocktails and whisky selection which he also retails from The Bon Vivant Companion.
Following our first course Dave took us on an educational tasting of Master Blender Jim Beveridge’s JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection 2014 Edition followed by the 2015 Editions after our main course. The 2014 Edition is an exploration of the brand’s signature smoky character from three celebrated regions of Scotland. It was an interesting dram which changed character considerably as it opened up, beginning with that fiery spirit of Islay and getting smoother with every sip. Dave likened the 2014 to an ‘Agatha Christie mystery, sitting around a fire in an old English country home’. Quality chat.
The 2015 Edition was glorious. Only 250 of the 8,888 individually numbered decanters will hit Australian shores so it was a treat to be among the first in the world to taste it. The 2015 Edition reveals the fruit top notes of the JOHN WALKER & SONS house style blended from 29 bespoke and experimental casks into a whisky that has softness and allows the fruits to shine. The rich amber liquid is full-bodied with layers of complexity from both American oak and Brandy casks delivering notes of crisp apples and pears, dates and gooey caramel. A truly sensational whisky.
The two releases will be available exclusively from Dan Murphy’s Australia nationwide from May 18, RRP $888.00.