Waterslide Bar has one of Melbourne’s best boutique whisky selections. Boasting Whiskeys from across the world including Ireland, Japan, Scotland, America and Australia.
Once the thriving cradle of whisky production in Scotland, Campbeltown, on the Mull of Kintyre, is home to three of the nest malts in circulation, all made under the same roof: Springbank, Hazelburn and Longrow. Their distinctive style is full bodied and mildly peated, with a wonderfully oily mouthfeel.
These tend to be light in body with soft grassy notes, some sweet fruit and a lovely maltiness. They make nice aperitif whiskies; can be easy introductions to the novice malt drinker, or for those wanting a complex, soft but ethereal malt.
ISLAY AND THE ISLANDS
The most distinctive and complex whiskies of all are those that hail from Islay, an island located just o the west coast of the mainland. They are known for their strong peatiness, backed up by coastal in uences such as sea air, iodine and seaweed.
BLENDED SCOTTISH WHISKY
Blends are made exactly as the name suggests. They are a blend of lighter, grain whiskies and any number of different single malts to form a satisfying and individual whole that is more easily enjoyed by a wider demographic.
From just across the water comes a completely different dram all together. The Irish Pure Pot Still.
Made in just a handful of distilleries these days, the Irish were responsible for one
of the liquor industry’s greatest breakthroughs: Continuous Distillation.
Japan’s first distillery was actually founded in 1923. Originally crafted with an analytical
approach – mimicking the Scottish styles, Japanese malts nowadays have their own distinct,
clean, focused characteristics.
It is surprising to note that Australia has not been much of spirit distilling nation for all these years, especially given its history (think Rum Rebellion and the like) is founded on spirits. It is therefore heartening to find such distilleries as Bakery Hill, Sullivans Cove, Hellyers Road and Starward, some of the new wave of whisky distillers sweeping this country, producing fine, well-made and at times international award winning drams.
NORTH AMERICAN WHISKEY
Bourbon takes its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky once the major transhipment site for distilled spirits heading down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Barrels shipped from its ports were stamped with the county’s name, and Bourbon and whiskey soon became synonymous. A congressional proclamation issued in 1964 declared Bourbon an ‘All American product’, whereby strict laws governing its production came into force. 51 percent of the grain used in making
the whiskey must be corn, must be aged for a minimum of two years in new charred oak
barrels and nothing can be added at bottling except spring water.
In the United States, rye whiskey is by law made from a mash of at least 51% rye. The other ingredients of the mash are usually corn and malted barley. Rye whiskey was the prevalent whiskey of the North-Eastern States, especially Pennsylvania and Maryland, but largely disappeared after Prohibition. Modern times have seen a huge resurrection of this dryer and spicier version of an American Whiskey.
Canadian distillers make predominantly rye based whiskies also. Unlike their counterparts south of the border, the classic method of Canadian whisky production is to blend the rye (although they do not use rye exclusively) with a relatively neutral grain based spirit. The distillers can also use sherries or assorted fruit wines to bolster their particular flavour profile. The resultant spirit is smooth with a lighter body than the spicy, complex straight American rye style.
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