AU ABROAD

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DRINK

On the Shelf: Bombay Sapphire "Star of Bombay" London Dry Gin

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After a very successful preview at recent Sydney pop-up Project Botanicals, Bombay Sapphire's new super-premium Star of Bombay has been released to the public, showcasing a new evolution for the brand as they attempt to "redefine" high-end Gin and elevate what is already considered to be the world's fastest growing premium Gin and number one premium Gin by value.

On the Shelf: Bird In Hand D&B ‘Pour Les Amour’ Sparkling 2015

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Award-winning Adelaide winery Bird in Hand have re-teamed with fashion personalities Dan Single and Bambi Northwood-Blyth following some massive success from their limited edition collaboration wines earlier this year and last year. Such bottles as the Bird in Hand D&B 'Pour les Amour' Rosé 2015 have been well-received as part of the winery's limited release signature range, so they have decided to go ahead with another collaborative bottle, the Bird In Hand D&B ‘Pour Les Amour’ Sparkling 2015.

On the Shelf: Mr Black teams up with Campos for a limited edition coffee liqueur

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Sydney premium roasters Campos has been a big part of the city's cafe culture for a long time now, so them teaming up with award-winning cold drip coffee spirit Mr Black comes as some very exciting news, especially for those who like their coffee-based cocktails.

On the Shelf: Hardys The Chronicles 'The Sage' Grenache Rosé 2015

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The Hardys brand continue their 'The Chronicles' series with this newly released Grenache Rosé, designing it towards the vision and determination instilled in the brand by founder Thomas Hardy. As part of the fabric of Australian wine making, Thomas Hardy is enjoys a long-lasting legacy from this current series, which aims to capture the apparent vibrancy with which he lives his life. The latest from that series is the Hardys The Chronicles 'The Sage' Grenache Rosé and, in it's price category ($18), it's one of the best we've had this year.

On the Shelf: Bundaberg Rum MDC Blenders Edition 2015

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Instantly recognisable Australian brand Bundaberg have continued their well-received The Master Distillers' Collective series this year with the release of the very shiny, very luscious looking MDC Blenders Edition 2015, sticking to a commitment for experimenting with some of the distillery's richest and rarest rum reserves to see how far they can take the classic Dark Rum.

On the Shelf: Chivas Regal 18 Ultimate Cask Collection - First Fill American Oak Finish

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The instantly recognisable Chivas Regal have just launched their 'Ultimate Cask Collection' series, pushing it to travel retail and teaming up with a renowned experimental Chef to explore the affects of our environment on our Whisky experience. It gives us more than enough reason to re-visit the celebrated expression of Chivas 18, kick starting a close look at the range of ultra-premium Scotch Whiskies that make up this newly launched series, all of which take the classic Chivas 18 and finish it in a variety of first fill wooden casks, with each limited edition bottle released exclusively for Global Travel Retail.

Sydney Pop-Up: Grey Goose's Salon at Vine - Double Bay

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Double Bay's Vine paints a pretty picture on most days with an Eastern suburban feel against a soothing evening backdrop, but when paired with a French inspired pop-up bar, the vibe is taken to the next level just as the sun begins to set. I scored an early invite to the Grey Goose's Salon at Vine pop-up, featuring the ultimate canapés and Grey Goose cocktails set against a French Riviera-inspired décor, previewing the temporary bar that will be at the restaurant until January 31st 2016.

On the Shelf: Mortlach Rare Old, Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Single Malt Scotch Whisky Mortlach launched a new expression in Australia earlier this year, offering an entry level to add a bit of elasticity to their reputation as "The Beast of Dufftown". Mortlach has always had that rich, powerful body that has made the Whisky ideal for use in blends, but this new expression, the Mortlach Rare Old, seeks to reshape and re-imagine the brand's position in the world of Whisky, with the first in what will be a new range from the valued Dufftown distillery.

On the Shelf: Jansz Tasmania Premium Cuvee NV + Vintage Rose 2011

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Tasmanian sparkling is an MVP every time NYE comes around, due to the region's famously cool climate, offering an alternative to French sparkling that is now widely known to be just as good - if not better - for big occasions. Two varietals have remained the brand's most acclaimed, the classic Premium Cuvée NV, and the Vintage Rosé 2011, both of which dominate their price category year in and year out.

On the Shelf: Stockade Brew Co.'s new range of brews

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Relatively new craft brewery Stockade Brew Co. in South West Sydney stayed true to their promise of continual forward movement this year by introducing an entirely new line-up of beers earlier this year. Their commitment to using only high quality ingredients, no sugars for high speed fermentation, and no compromises on purity has, in previous years, seen them take out numerous awards for craft lagers and ales, and their new range looks to be carrying on that reputation. In this 'On the Shelf' we take a look at three of those new brews: The Duel Hoppy Lager, the Chop Shop Pale Ale, and The Sesh Golden Session Ale.

On the Shelf: Il Colle 46 Parallelo Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG

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Few things are as summer-appropriate as a nice, crispy Italian Prosecco, and as the weather heats up in Australia we take a look at some very fine, straight forward Prosecco from northern Italy, specifically: Veneto. The Il Colle 46 Parallelo Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG has been spread throughout the nation by Euro Concepts/The Wog with the Grog as part of their carefully curated range in response to fears of a 'Prosecco shortage', which Director Robert Dessanti claims have been exaggarated.

Little Creatures Original Pilsner (New Recipe)

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Renowned bringers of quality beer Little Creatures have recently re-released their underrated Original Pilsner, re-thinking it with a new recipe designed towards a Northern German (Friesland) style. Up until now, the pilsner has never quite reached the same inescapable popularity as The Pale, Single Batches, and LC's awesome seasonal series, so re-visiting their the pilsner continues the breweries reputation for constant, forward-thinking, "how can we make that better?" movement.

Bar Crawl: The Star's Signature Bars - Pyrmont (Sydney)

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A bar hop isn't necessarily the first thing to come to mind when planning a night out at The Star. But seriously, I can't recommend it enough. Sure, dining is world class, practicing your poker face is on the cards, and accommodation is all luxury and harbour views. But what's often forgotten is that within the stellar restaurants at The Star, there's a collection of excellent cocktails calling your name.

Drinking with the AU: Battle of the Brews - The Crafty Squire (Melbourne)

While this city has long had a formidable reputation for producing craft beers, it may come as a bit of a surprise that nestled in Melbourne CBD amongst tall, nondescript buildings is one of Victoria’s best breweries. Previously the Portland Hotel, The Crafty Squire is Melbourne CBD’s only working microbrewery, producing none other than the distinguished James Squire brand. Its namesake pays homage to the life of Squire, a story that is told in snippets throughout the historic pub. Transported to Australia as a convict on the first fleet in 1788, Squire became the first successful cultivator of hops in Australia and also founded the nation’s first commercial brewery.

Drinking with the AU: Chatting with Saké Restaurant's Bar Manager John Ross Jones about their new cocktail list - Southbank (Melbourne)

On the surface, Saké Restaurant & Bar is an ode to contemporary Japanese dining. It has the quintessential dark mahogany timber highlights and dim lighting that make it the perfect place to enjoy fresh sushi and sashimi whilst overlooking the breathtaking Yarra River and CBD. While Saké fits the classic description of a Japanese restaurant, it goes one step further than the rest: its specialty is in Japanese cocktails, whiskies and beverages that you would be hard-pressed to find in any other one place in Australia.