Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Return to sender - Buntin Is Back (for wee bit)

Daniel and James at The Whisky Room
It is good to see old friends, especially those that are on an extended hiatus from our local whisky community to follow bigger dreams.

The past week has seen the legend James Buntin, now Brand Ambassador for The Balvenie UK, return to our shores for a dramming holiday. The evening of the 26th May 2015 saw James hustle up a small group or mates to hang out at The Clock Hotel’s Whisky Room to dram on with some tales and adventures, while tasting some extra special whiskies he dog dropped straight from 2 selected Balvenie barrels only a week or so before.

The Whisky Room, run by the ever suave Daniel Molnar, is one of those locations you look forward to visiting even if it is just for pint of craft brew. Located in the upper floor of The Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, The Whisky Room is an open bar with high ceilings, masses of natural light, green space, floor to ceiling windows and plenty of room to breath the clean air. One of the things I especially love about the bar is the rib high tables and comfortable stools. The height of the tables and stools deliver a well measured amount of social interaction and movement keeping noise levels to a minimum. Something missing from many of the dungeoned whisky bars around Sydney. If you have not been to The Whisky Room then I suggest getting over there at least once. Selections of whisky is ample and reasonably priced. Cold beers on tap, fantastic service matched to quality bar grub really makes it worth the trip each time. The hot tip for when visiting is order your food at The Whisky Room bar top and it will be delivered to your table.

The Balvenie 41yo Bourbon Cask and The Balvenie 33yo Sherry Cask
As we kicked backed to shoot the breeze James pulled a few tasty Balvenie samples from his bag for us to indulge in. Both drawn straight from the cask was a very exciting 33yo Sherry Cask and a 41yo Bourbon Cask. Always good be drinking something older than myself (only just) the Bourbon Cask had an ABV of was still a whopping 53.7% and offered malty creamy woody and coffee notes while still holding its own as a Balvenie expression. I was very impressed with this whisky especially for its age. The 33yo sherry cask was an exceptionally interesting whisky with some real balance still holding up against the intense sherry influence. With an ABV of 48.6% the colour was like syrup and though marginal getting over the hill (in my view) as the older woody mothballs start peaking in over those leather chairs, the raisins and rich dark cherries were sublime against the still retained grape sugars. A bit of chew meant this delivered a long mouth finish.

Always good to see El Buntin in our midst, it was also great to see so many of the Sydney whisky community turn out and I am certain it was not for the whisky.

I am sure one day the UK will be posting James back to us but until then a big thanks for the invite and hats off to Daniel for opening up The Whisky Room (again) to the Sydney rabble.

The Baron