|Sam Simons - Global Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie|
Sam was out in Aus promoting The Balvenie as one would do when carrying the title Global Brand Ambassador and as I understand it this was Sam's first trip out to Australia. Though his main goal of the trip was to launch The Balvenie Craft Bar in Melbourne the following week, it was great Sam had the time to mingle with the whisky community here in Sydney also. If Sam's name sounds familiar to you on this blog, you may remember Sam's name from an event review made in December 2012: The Balvenie – Celebrating David Stuart's 50 Years. Being one of the very lucky few in attendance, I had first meet Sam and Master Distiller David Stuart appearing as 2 whopping bobbing heads on a screen the size of living room wall during a live web hookup. Big smile, mischievous eyes, and flamboyant character makes Sam a man hard to forget.
Tackling the Royal Automotive Club tasting first saw us arrive to a broad open bar with an array of tables set brandishing capped tasting glasses, crackers, cheese, cured meats and spiced pickles. A great choice of nibbles and a perfect setting for what was going to be a great afternoons tasting. Set at the table was very healthy drams of The Balvenie: 12 Year Old DoubleWood; 15 Year Old Single Barrel; 17 Year Old DoubleWood; 21 Year Old PortWood; Thirty Aged 30 Years.
|The spread at the Royal Automotive Club Of Australia|
Greeted at the door was a the familiar face of James Buntin AKA The Whisky Ambassador who would go on to start the afternoons tasting and introduce Sam to the floor.
Sam made for an excellent afternoon as he really took control of the floor and led us on a little education adventure into not just the world of The Balvenie but also the world of whisky. He had no qualms about discussing other distilleries and distilling methods. At no time did any of this feel like a sales pitch preaching to the converted but rather a group of good mates enjoying a dram or four. Sam's character was comical, energetic, and excitable which allowed for the whole room to interact in some way. This is how tastings need to be run.
As this afternoons event was an open call on Facebook via The Balvenie Facebook page there was a mixture of guests from whisky store sales staff, mixologists, bar staff, bloggers and general public. Even so the turn out was not impressive and I pity those that did not turn up or those unable to take advantage of the opportunity as there was many an empty seat to be seen. No worries though as we all shared a good few extra drams between us all as we kicked on after for a chat.
|Getting setup as guests arrived at Chiswick|
|An extensive menu somewhat overtaking the whiskies themselves|
|Just some of the extensive share plates hitting the tables|
|The Balvenie 40yo 1973 Cask 8556|
|Food never stopped the whole night|
Thanks to all involved for making a great day and extra thanks to The Balvenie, William Grant and Son's, Sam Simons, James Buntin, and Weber Shandwick. Now when are we seeing The Balvenie Craft Bar pop up here in Sydney?