Whisky bars team up with Scotch whisky independent bottler

Four renowned Australian bars have teamed up with Scotch Whisky independent bottler, The Highlander Inn and its Australian distributor, The Whisky List, to launch an exclusive bottling in Australia.

The 14-Year-Old Royal Brackla 2008 was fully matured in an ex-Bourbon cask and bottled at 52.7 per cent and it will be available at Hains & Co in Adelaide, Melbourne’s The Elysian Whisky Bar, Sydney-based The Roosevelt and Terrarium in Perth.

The whisky was hand-selected by The Highlander Inn’s Tatsuya Minagawa as the latest release of his renowned Maggie Collection, which features artwork of local Scottish artist Maggie Riegler.

This is the second bar collaboration the Highlander Inn and The Whisky List have released for Australia in recent years and Kelvin Low, Co-Owner of The Elysian Whisky Bar said: “When The Whisky List came to us with this idea, we just couldn’t pass up on it.

“We had already done a bottling with the Highlander Inn and The Whisky List a few years ago, that was our ‘Water of Life’ Aldunie 23yo, and that was such a great collaboration and huge success. This time around Tatsuya san had chosen a Royal Brackla.

“You don’t see Royal Brackla casks too often and we absolutely love the profile of Royal Brackla. Clear worts, long fermentations, slow distillation and high reflux producing an elegant and fruity spirit. A whisky for royalty.

“We can’t wait for people to try this. And this time the collaboration was going to be with some friends from around the country. Can’t think of any better bars to share this label with.”

Chris Ross, Co-Founder of The Whisky List said described with Tatsuya on the cask selection process as “such an experience”.

Ross added: “When he finds a cask he likes for us, he just says, ‘It’s a good cask’, and that’s pretty much it. He never tries to sell us on story or specs, and he often has to dig up records of the type of cask it is or the ABV. But with those magic words, we just know it’s going to be an amazing whisky.

“And that’s with this Royal Brackla is; a good cask which has produced amazing whisky for a bunch of great whisky bars. A project we’re all incredibly proud of to have collaborated on.”

Marcus Motteram, Co-Owner of Hains & Co who joins this year’s collaboration for the first time added: “If you are going to collaborate on a Scotch Whisky with an independent bottler you want to ensure they are amongst the best in Scotland, and there are many. If you have ever visited the Highlander Inn, eaten their Haggis Neeps and Tats, and looked around their bar, you will immediately think ‘who better to collaborate with?’

“They have a storied history of bottling arguably some of the best independently bottled whisky in the land. This paired with the bottling of the Royal Brackla with some of the best bars in the country was a no brainer. Aside from Royal Brackla making delicious whisky, the distillery was founded by Captain William Fraser, and if you know Hains & Co. (a nautical inspired bar) this also floats our boat.”

Yao Wong, Co-Owner of The Elysian Whisky Bar, described the palate of the whisky as having “medium rich mouth feel but still a good amount of syrupy-ness, light caramel chews, heather, some hints of preserved lemon, apple crumble, honeycomb, buttered pastries, dried apricot”.

Ben Hickey, General Manager of The Roosevelt agreed that it is a great tasting whisky, saying: “I’m very excited to be a part of this cask bottling. Over the last few years we have sourced several bottlings from The Highlander Inn though The Whisky List and have found them to be good value and delicious.

“Having tasted this Royal Brackla release, I’m happy to say it is both of those things and more. I’ve always believed the distillery deserves more complexity here both from the spirit and the excellent cask it has spent 14 years in.”

Terrarium is a fairly recent addition to Perth’s bar scene and Co-Owner David Strucken said it was an honour to be one of the bars in this partnership.

“Having the opportunity for a venue as young as ours to collaborate with these eastern counterparts has been awesome,” David said.

“It’s an honour to be counted worthy alongside the legends at Hains & Co, Elysian & Roosevelt as I’ve always felt them to be pioneers in their respective territories. Even better, the quality of the liquid chosen by the Highlander Inn with this cask of Royal Brackla has completely blown all of us away too.”

The whisky is now available to taste at each of the participating bars and available online to purchase through The Whisky List, RRP is $219.

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