Monday, September 29, 2014

Bar Week At Parkside - Dram Club

Dram Club presenters 
Yesterday afternoon, 28th September 2014, I attended the Bar Week At Psrkside Dram Club special tasting. As I am yet to attend a regular Dram Club sitting (this post is not one about one of those), I will keep this short-ish. Sydney Bar week has started. With many events registered to be taking part in the annual Sydney phenomenon, this tasting I attended was one of them.

So what is Dram Club? Currently hosted at the Bat and Ball Hotel in Surry Hills and founded by Yvette Myhill and Scott Fitzsimons, Dram Club is a chilled out, relaxed, highly informal method of tasting and chatting about whisky. As Scott says “I want to run these (tastings) the way I would like whisky tastings to be”. I have to say add me to the list as this is also how I always wanted them to be too. What always makes a good whisky tasting to me is being able to have a drink and a bite prior, take in the tasting to its fullest, then not be shuffled out the door as it locks behind you but instead continue on and kick back with another beer or dram as you see fit talking' the whisky talk with new found mates.

Accompanied by Jonathan from the (was he the wingman or was I…?) we caught a pub lunch and a dram of Heartwood Malt Whisky before heading out back to settle in for proceedings. Having meet the charming Scott earlier at lunch we were then greeted at the door by the lovely Yvette to check us in, while an ice cold Suntory Hakushu Highball was to magically appear in my hand. From that point on is was all whisky.

Hakushu Highballs, The Macallan, The Glenlivet
Rather than just Yvette and Scott presenting the tastings (as they usually do from my understanding), through the afternoon brand ambassadors of the respective whiskies on show were invited along instead. Moving form table to table in 15 min intervals (the new whisky speed dating) the ambassadors guided, nosed, and tasted with us while inviting discussion about the whisky represented at that moment. Not all whiskies were to everyones liking but that is what these tastings are all about. On tasting we experienced 1 + 5 + 1 whisky products: Suntory Hakushu Distillers Edition Highball (Jonathan and I had been just having extended discussions about this over lunch); Auchentoshan Three Wood; The Glenlivet Nadurra 16yo; Starward (standard release) + Starward Red Wine barrel trial blend; Macallan 12yo Fine Oak; Blackadder Raw Cask Smoking Islay (freaking unreal).

Auchentoshan, Starward, Blackadder
To say the least it was an awesome experience and something I had been looking forward to for sometime. Location was a hike for myself but for many living closer to the city you have to do this at least once. I will certainly be returning to find out more about the regular Dram Club tastings. If you want to check it out yourself find them either on their facebook page or

Cheers Yvette and Scott it was great to meet you (though I know we have crossed paths many times prior). See you soon.

The Baron