University of Melbourne 

Whisky Classified at the University of Melbourne, December 2002

University of Melbourne We were delighted to be invited to present Whisky Classified at the University of Melbourne on Thursday 12th December 2002.  The venue was the University's Victorian "1888 Building", formerly  Melbourne Teachers' College until 1989 when it was converted to the Graduate Centre.  This was rather apposite, because the building was finished in 1892 at about the same time that Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Australia (pictured below at the Oxford Hotel, Sydney, 1893).  In the historical section of his talk, David recalled Stevenson's Robert Louis Stevenson, pictured at the Oxford Hotel Sydney, 1893wistful poem about Scotch whisky in 'The Scotsman's Return from Abroad' …

"The King o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay or Glenlivit"

…. and, fortunately, we were able to illustrate it with samples of all three to taste – spicy Talisker from Skye, phenolic Ardbeg from Islay, and George IV's favourite malt, Glenlivet from Speyside.

David's talk covered many other aspects of the distiller's art, including the process, the ways in which production techniques influence the character of the spirit, and much historical information which can also be found in his book.  He concluded with a description of how the flavour profile of Whisky Classified was developed and applied it to each of the malts supplied for the tasting, which usefully illustrated the fDavid Wishart, presenting Whisky Classified in Melbournelavours of 8 different clusters – A, B, C, D, F, G, H and J.  He was also able to show how the flavour of Glenmorangie can be transformed by a Madeira drum finish, and similarly contrast Balvenie Founders Reserve with Balvenie DoubleWood, the latter having a sherry wood finish.

The other malts at the tasting each have their distinctive character and attributes – multiple award-winning Aberlour "as sweet as your first love"; Glenfarclas, another sweetie from the Grants dynasty spanning 5 generations; Glenfiddich's Special Reserve, the international best-seller; Glengoyne's "unpeated" malt; Glenrothes '89 vintage, the "Heart of Cutty Sark"; and Macallan, which is uniquely matured in first-fill dry oloroso sherry casks.

Guests enjoying the fine selection of malts provided for the tasting after David Wishart's talkDavid's PowerPoint talk lasted for about an hour and the tasting for about an hour and a half.  In total there were 13 malts to sample – Aberlour 10YO, Ardbeg 10YO, Balvenie Founders Reserve 10YO, Balvenie DoubleWood 12YO, Glenfarclas 10YO, Glenfiddich 12YO, Glengoyne 10YO, Glenlivet 10YO, Glenmorangie 10YO, Glenmorangie Madeira Wood finish, Glenrothes 1989, Macallan 12YO and Talisker 10YO.  Many thanks indeed to the producers and their Australian agents who kindly supplied the tasting malts.