By Sacha Delfosse

Suntory Australia held an on-premise tasting session for Bowmore and Auchentoshan whiskies at The Bellevue Hotel on November 24 hosted by Mike Keiller, CEO of Morrison Bowmore Distilleries.

The event was a small and intimate gathering of close to two dozen Sydney bartenders and bar managers, including Riversdale Group's  Dan Woolley and Eau-de-Vie's Luke Redington (pictured).

They were given an opportunity to taste four different single malt whiskies – Auchentoshan 12 Year Old, Auchentoshan Three Woods, Bowmore 12 Year Old and Bowmore 18 Year Old.

Prior to the tastings, Keiller gave guests a brief presentation on the company, which employs 200 people across three distilleries (Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch) and sells its single malt range across 65 countries.

Morrison Bowmore Distilleries sales and marketing director, David Wilson, then led everyone through the tasting session for the Auchentoshan whiskies and highlighted that the distillery’s use of three stills was unique in the world of Scotch whisky.

“Auchentoshan is the only distillery in Scotland to triple distil, that third still is really important because it underpins our flavour profile. [It] allows us to get rid of almost all the spicier elements and just be left with the light fruity ones,” Wilson said.

“Auchentoshan is a really beautiful liquid, really accessible, really smooth almost like a good white wine and a great place for people to find their way into single malt whisky.”

Wilson said the distillery invested a substantial amount of resources into sourcing casks for the maturation of its whiskies, in particular using bourbon, olosoro sherry and Pedro Ximénez casks to attain its smoother taste.

Keiller took over the next part of the afternoon session, talking the guests through the two Bowmore whisky tastings while presenting a visual slide show tour of the distillery.

He said the Bowmore 12-Year-Old was his personal favourite of the whiskies the company produced, and recommended drinking it with ice which makes the “smoke explode out".

The final single malt to be tasted, the Bowmore 18 Year Old, is available only “on allocation” since only a limited amount was produced, Keiller said, but he added that its rarity made it a great addition to any bar.

“Consumers like age statements, they will pay a very substantial premium for this, and it is about three times the price of the 12 year old. It’s a great thing to have in the bar, you can charge a good price for it and it’s a way of up trading your patrons.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *