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Closing Off – Bar Gustave Fireside Session

Author: Matt Wooler - Friday, August 25, 2017

Thanks for attending

2017 saw Dramnation establish the first of our premium spirits tastings. Titled Bar Gustave, these tastings are aimed at a smaller then average audience with the spirits served in premium glassware complimented by a wholesome meal. To leave contented is the aim.

For the launch of Bar Gustave we held this event in the mid winter season at The Fiddler, Rouse Hill. Initially our booking was in The Cricketers Room of the heritage listed Irish Bar, but due to repairs to the wood fire we moved to The sandstone walled dungeon in the same location. "Intimate and cozy" is the short description for it with a seated audience of only 12 individuals.

Through the 3 courses of whisky and food we invited our local brand ambassadors to also sit in on the event to share their experiences and chat to the audience. Mitch from Pierre Ferrand with 1840 Cognac, Stewart from Woodford Reserve with Woodford Reserve Brandy Cask, and Matt from Scotch Malt Whisky Society with c2.1 Single Cask Cognac, all presented their spirits in a casual informative manner. As an addition to the evening and the launch of Bar Gustave, Dramnation's curator Matt Wooler, also selected his go to premium whisky The Balvenie 21yo PortWood.

Dramnation always works towards an experience that remains memorable to our guests for a long time to come. We curate our spirits to always compliment the experience while working side by side with fellow brands. This session saw Whisky and Brandy as our theme which are spirits of similar distillation to maturation methods. Premium finishes, textures and flavours was the goal to bare the character of the evening.

Notably in our execution of this event our spirits were served exclusively in Denver & Liely Whisky Glasses. An Australian designed spirits glass it is without a doubt a local success story. There are many nosing glasses now available but few live up to the hype. Wide at the base and narrow at the neck the design allows for a concentrated injection of sensory flavours. This is the Concord of nosing glassware.

The food compliment by The Fiddler was a perfect combination for the cold winter night outside where only days before we were seeing arctic winds and heavy rain. With a choice selection of main meals our guests could choose from the mist popular on the night was the Pork Knuckle and The Fiddler House Made Guiness Pie. Such a brilliantly executed meal.

To get the full visual experience of the evening we have an album over on our facebook page.

See you at our next Bar Gustave event.

Whiskies Tasted

Following are Dramnation's personal notes we supply at our tastings. We want to emphasis that we have listed, in many cases, ages for these whiskies even though they do not carry an age statement. This indication is an average only as a means to show how youthful whiskies display strengths and characteristics longer aged whiskies cannot. It is to be expected that these average ages will vary from batch to batch and year to year.

Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac Original FOrmula

Distillery: Pierre Ferrand.
Region: Cognac, Grande Champagne, France.
 ABV: 45%.
Age: VS.
Wood: Limousin French Oak.
Nose: A big blossom of a nose with hints if vanilla custard and fresh flowers.
Taste: Expanding on the vanilla sees hints of dried stone fruits, citrus peel and spice.
Finish: Long and enjoyable as it slowly dries to fruity chracteristics.
Other: Also know as Three Star Congac due to the three stars on the paper seal. It is and attempt to replicate (using the original recipe) the styles of Cognac that existed and would have been used in the 19th century cocktails.

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Brandy Cask Fisnish

Distillery: Woodford Reserve.
Region: Kentucky, USA.
ABV: 45.2%.
Age: NA.
Wood: New white American Oak. Finished in American ex-brandy casks.
Nose: Big rich bourbon body of cooked oranges and ample wood. Then comes the brandy effect of wine and dark fruits.
Taste: Vanilla, subtle spiced oak, rounded warm oranges, nuts and dark sweet fruits.
Finish: Typically warm and spicy of a Woodford Reserve. Caramels, vanilla, spice.
Other: Though it was claimed the use of the brandy barrels did not impart any physical flavour to the bourbon (the official line), we found side by side there is a richer grapier characteristic noticeably present. Limited in release it is long gone now form the shelves.

The Balvenie PortWood Aged 21 Years

Distillery: The Balvenie Distillery
Region: Dufftown, Speyside
ABV: 40%
Age: 21 years
Wood: Ex-bourbon finished in ex-port casks 
Nose: Old fruits, barn floors, nuts, old oaks and leather arm chairs. 
Taste: Full bodied yet refined. Big elements of soaked oak are predominant with veils of texture only found in old well managed casks.
Finish: Long and leathery with aspects of moth balls, nuts and tweed coats. 
Other: The PortWood finish is as it describes. Often thought to spend the full 21 years in ex-port casks the fact is it is only sees a small margin of time in these oak casks to develop such flavours.

C2.1 Exquisitely Polished

Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
Domaine du Menis.
Region: Cognac, Petite Champagne, France.
ABV: 67%.
Age: XO / Napoleon (minimum 6y years).
Wood: Limousin French Oak.
Nose: Big and spirity with ample perfumed apple, pears and musk sticks.
Taste: Rounded and high in the palate. A sugary grape element appears as typical of brandy that is mildy oaky. Again the fruits appear.
Finish: A healthy heat  builds and is retained for an extended period of time with a musky dryness.
Other: As of 2018 the XO category will be amended to a minimum age of 10 years and the title of Napoleon will be officially recognised. Cask strength is not common in Cognacs nor is single casks. A dash of water opens up this release though very comfortable drinking at cask stregth. 1 of only 492 bottles world world.

Denver & Liely Whisky Glass

Manfuacture: Denver & Liely

A unique Australian crafted spirits glass specifically designed to enhance spirits appreciation. Partnering with Denver & Liely we utilise these glasses exclusively for our premium spirits tastings to enhance and focus the audiences experience.

With a wide bulb at the base and a neck tapering to a flute delivers both surface volume to the spirit and concentration to the nose. One of the few whisky glasses that have delivered the true expectations of such a products claim. Now available through both small and large retails for $50 per glass.

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