By Clyde Mooney
Whisky aficionados and lovers of the ‘water of life’ will compete blindfolded in this year’s prestigious Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship.
The biennial event is sponsored by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) and will take place in Sydney’s Australian Museum Dinosaur Gallery Friday, June 15.
Eight malts will be served to blindfolded competitors, who will be asked to identify them from a list of nine well-known producers.
First prize in the competition is two places on the SMWS’ four day long weekend in Tasmania, the Ultimate Single Malt Whisky & Wine Autumn Tour in August/September, including flights and accommodation.
Speaking to TheShout, SMWS director and cellarmaster Andrew Derbridge said the championship is about bringing real Scotch whiskies to those that will appreciate them.
“The Society might be the leading and most active authority on malt whisky in the country, but on-premise and retail is the ‘front line’ where 99 per cent of our members are introduced to single malt.
“We’re thrilled at the way more and more retailers are taking their whisky portfolios seriously and have set about trying to educate their customers about malt, and give them more information about their favourite tipple.
“The Society runs whisky tasting nights all through the year in every city, and we love it that so many publicans, bar operators, bottle shop owners, sales reps and the like come along to our events and join in the fun. And we’re also chuffed that so many corners of the industry support what we’re doing and get involved.”
The SMWS began in Scotland in 1983 and now enjoys over 26,000 members worldwide with branches in 14 countries.
It has been active in Australia since 2002 and has hosted the Australian Malt Whisky Tasting Championship since 2008.