|This dude was setting the scene heading on into the Shirt Bar|
|Shirt Bar in all its glory|
Shirt Bar is all about the things we love – beautifully tailored shirts, freshly roasted coffee and great whisky.Scotch Club, like sister event Shirt Club, is an character extension of Shirt Bar being held around the middle of each month on a Wednesday evening. Seating 40 people in a very comfortable environment the store is closed off to all but the Scotch Club attendees. What makes it so much more special is it is not one of those formally set rooms lacking character and life. On entering your greeted by sweet tunes, high ceilings, and active coffee bar, couches, chairs and stools with a backdrop of cloth colours, pressed shirts, nick nacks and other paraphernalia. The joint feels lived in and that makes it a real treat to chillax in.
|The character and life of Shirt Bar|
On speaking and conversing with Adam Hofbauer, Shirt Bar Director, and over email I hit him up with a few questions and he had this to say about Shirt Bar and Scotch Club:
Q. What inspired the creation of Scotch Club?
Scotch Club was inspired by a time when I lived in Melbourne and every Friday night after work a bunch of guys would come round to our place and each week someone would bring a nice bottle of Whisky and we would drink it, recap the week and pretend we knew about Scotch. Was a fantastic wind down after the week and we wanted to bring that to Shirt Bar in a slightly more formal setting.
Q. How long has it been running?
Scotch Club has been running for nearly 3 years (since we opened) and from memory we have only missed 2-3 due to being closed.
Q. How do you decide what whiskies should be on show?
We try to work through whiskies that we range on the back bar. If any of the distilleries we support are bringing out a new expression it's a great forum to show off these new drams. Occasionally if the opportunity arises, we run a night with whiskies that we do not range as we did with Bruichladdich.
Q. Do you have a set price for each event or does the cost vary depending on the circumstances from one event to another?
Sometimes we source our own whiskies as we did with a couple of Japanese tastings that we did and we may look at doing this more in the future. This format does bump up the price though as there is no support from the distilleries, our preference is to work with the brands and the brand ambassadors.
Q. Is there always food pairing with the whiskies at each event?
There is always food however Talisker was the first time we actually ran a pairing with the tasting.
Q. Where do you source you food from?
Our food comes from several of Sydney's Providores, Luxe Bakery, Micks Bakehouse. Last time we had Sydney Rock Oysters, Messina Gelato and an Italian Gorgonzola Dulce.
Q. As The Shirt Bar has its own wall of whisky what kinds of whiskies do you like to keep in stock?
We like to range whiskies that we love. Tats basically the only criteria. To keep the punters happy, we try to range an eclectic mix of top shelf spirits from all regions where finery can be sourced, that may be different regions of Scotland, India, Japan, USA, Venezuala, Guatemala and of course Australia amongst others.
Q. Can people be fitted/tailored for on the nights of the Scotch Club?
If Shirt Bar is open we can fit you for a Shirt.
|The Talisker family on show|
A real quick review of the Port Ruighe is a fresh nose with toffee smokes, medicinal but lacking the Talisker salts. To taste smooth on the pallet with fruits, ginger root, oaks and pepper spices in the back of the pallet. Virtually no salts of note. It was great and I would love to try it again.
|Simon McGorman doing his thang.|
|A fine selection of foods through the night leaving a contented tummy.|
The crowd was a strong mix of young professionals with but a few senior folks scattered into the mix. Yeah there was those youngsters new to the game, feeling like a duck out of water, and poking fun at the use of the descriptors but hey we all have to start somewhere.
For me what made the night a winner is:
1. A quality presenter that is professional, knowledgable, educational.
2. Comfortable location.
3. Continuous supply of water all night long.
4. Ample food to level the pallet and fill the belly.
Overall if I was to give a dram a fine 6.5 out of 7 for the event. Really spot on and I would honestly prefer spending $55 on an event like this than the $60 to $100 on a whisky forum like Whisky Show or Whisky Live. You can only ever enjoy 4 to 6 drams at most in a sitting and still appreciate it so why not relax and kick back at the Shirt Bar and do it in style. Shirt Bar it is for me and I would hope to return again at some stage in the future.
Shirt Bar is located at 7 Sussex lane, Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia. They are open Monday to Friday and available for functions on Saturdays.