Smooth, smoky, oaky, peaty. Our tastebuds were treated to a waterfall of whisky flavours at the inaugural Independent’s Day whisky festival. For single malt lovers the event was a dream come true. Independent bottlers from Scotland, Australia, and beyond were on show with 35 different distilleries featured.
My plus one and I went on a public transit adventure to reach this peated haven in West Melbourne. Our efforts to journey past the Docklands were rewarded with a swag bag of essentials when we walked in the door. Stocked with a complimentary tasting glass, food voucher, tasting guide, pen, and Capi mineral water, we were ready to begin our tasting tour.
Wooden barrels circled the venue, displaying rich varieties of amber nectar. The event focused on ‘left-of-centre’ single malts. These bottlings were one-offs, so it was an amazing opportunity to sample unique whiskies from independent bottlers.
We quickly realised that a strategy was in order, as there was much more on display that we would have time to sample during the session. Also every barrel was bustling with bearded drinkers. We put ourselves in the hands of the whisky reps, which were happy to offer suggestions and tasting notes. My plus one gravitated towards the oaky flavours, while I have a weakness for sherry barrels. I also have a soft spot for New World Distillery. In addition to the Starward whisky, their beer garden gin offered a point of difference, as did their old fashioned bottled cocktail.
This event was well worth the price of admission, with free tastings from 35 distilleries plus burgers in the form of pulled pork, waygu beef, and quinoa included. I recommend any whisky lover add Independent’s Day to their calendar and prepare their palate to try something new.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
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