On July 20 & 21, The Tattersalls Club plays host to the inaugural Whisky Show, featuring more than 150 whiskies from around the world. Neat Eats sat down with David Ligoff of Double Bay’s World of Whisky to chat about his favourite drink, and what people can expect from the weekend.
In more recent times wine consumption has increased over beer consumption, in your opinion where does whisky fit into the equation?
Whisky, and spirits in general, have recorded double digit growth in Australia over the past year. We see a growing number of 25 to 40 year olds, both men and women, enjoying whisky and keen to try new brands and experiences. The boutique bars are also stocking a greater range of single malts and developing interesting whisky liqueurs, which is adding to the interest in whisky.
What prompted you to open a store dedicated to the celebration of whisky?
My teenage son asked me a question a few years ago: “Dad, if you could have any job in the world, what would it be?”. For most people this isn’t an easy question to answer, so after a bit of thought I said “a whisky shop.” I had never seen one myself, but I had been frustrated trying to replace whiskies purchased at duty free or overseas, and receiving blank looks in bottle shops. I told this story to an old friend a few months later, and started thinking more seriously about it. I discovered there had never been a specialist whisky shop in Australia, and I found two in New Zealand. This, coupled with market trends worldwide towards a greater interest in whisky convinced me to go for it. September will mark our second anniversary, and we remain the only specialist whisky concept store in the country.
This month, World of Whisky is holding its inaugural whisky show, what can people expect?
Visitors to the Whisky Show can expect to see 18 exhibitors with 55 brands and around 150 different whiskies to sample. Brand ambassadors and local distillers will be on hand to talk about whisky, and there is also the Glenmorangie whisky cocktail competition, with the winner mixing the top cocktail at the show for people to sample, the Australasian Whisky Awards, celebrating the Australian and New Zealand whisky industries, and a retail store where visitors can purchase the whiskies they have been sampling. Anyone who buys a Tasmanian whisky goes into the draw to win a 3-day whisky tour of Tasmania.
There will also be a charity auction of rare and unique whiskies to raise money for the Paralympics, and a Whisky and Cheese Masterclass on the Saturday.
Is the Whisky Show aimed just at aficionados, or will the general public get something out of it too?
The Show is definitely not aimed solely at the aficionados. The aim of the show is to provide a forum where people can sample whiskies they may not have had the opportunity to do before, and discuss any whisky topic with other lovers of whisky.
Typically, whisky has been made in places such as Ireland, Scotland and the United States, however there are a few boutique distilleries popping up in Australia. What’s their tipple like?
This year is a celebration of 20 years of whisky production is Australia, which started with the Lark Distillery in Tasmania. Now there are over a dozen whisky producers in the country, and their whiskies are winning international awards, and are being exported not only to countries like USA and France, but to Scotland as well. The Australian whiskies cover a variety of styles and flavours, and visitors to the show will be able to sample many of those and decide for themselves.
Can we expect to see a few home-grown spirits in your inaugural whisky judging?
The inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards are only open to whiskies produced in either Australia or New Zealand. We have had a total of 24 different whiskies entered, and the standard and quality is very high. The six judges sample the whiskies blind, and independently, and we will be collating the results before the start of the Show.