“I don’t drink whisky” is a sentence I often hear from friends whose experience with the spirit doesn’t really extend beyond one or two harsh drams downed much too quickly, or a poorly made cocktail with an overload of sugary ingredients. Each to their own I guess, but to write off such a wonderfully diverse and accessible beverage based on next to nothing seems a bit foolish to me. Aside from our palates changing over time, the vast world of whisky has been well documented with fans regularly in awe of how much it has to offer when compared to similar spirits.
This is the reason why whisky classes are the most common educational sessions focused on spirits, and why it’s important for fans of more refined drinking culture to delve deeper into the scene to find their favourites; there’s no better feeling for a discerning drinker than zoning in on what whiskies speak to them the loudest, and then discovering different expressions. It’s why many of these classes also double as intriguing history lessons, touting stories as diverse as the liquids themselves, because giving a flavour profile a backstory often leads to a deeper, well-rounded appreciation of the craftsmanship, dedication, and patience it takes to produce some of the world’s finest pours.
Throughout the next few months we’ll be speaking more on the best whisky classes around Sydney, but for now let’s take a look at one of our favourites and what they have to offer since they’ve refreshed their masterclass schedule.
The Roosevelt Bar & Diner
The classy but unpretentious atmosphere of The Roosevelt rightfully has the Potts Point bar mentioned amongst the best in Sydney. It’s certainly one of our finest and most important cocktail bars, but the bar’s versatility makes this a go-to for all types of drinkers. This reputation is largely due to a bar staff who stick to high standards and place a great deal of focus on knowledge, which comes in handy when they’re hosting small whisky classes whether that be for 2 people or a larger party (I hear bucks and hens nights are popular here).
It’d be rude for them not to put that knowledge to good use, so anyone looking for a good place to start exploring the world of whisky that’s not as obvious as the many whisky bars around the city should give this one a go.
Their sessions generally run for 1.5 hours each, and every class features at least five whiskies, whether that be selected from the huge range behind the bar or left up to the knowledgeable host. They customise any session towards groups as well, so be sure to have a good talk with them if you’re making that necessary booking.
The several classes to choose from include:
- Whisky 101
This one is a beginner’s best bet. It’s been designed to explore all the basics one would need to know to really gain an appreciation for each and every dram as well as the stories behind them – and they can get very detailed. They offer this one for $65 ($85 with canapes) and often pick the likes of Bulleit Bourbon, Knob Creek Rye, Cragganmore, Johnnie Walker and Jamesons.
- Whiskies of the World
When you hear about whisky there will be (or at least should be) an enormous emphasis placed on where it comes from, whether that be the Scotland, Ireland, Australia or even Japan. There’s a good reason for this, and anyone confused about why location matters so much and what it does for the character and profile of the whisky should be across this class. This one is their most popular pick for a reason, at $75 ($95 with canapes) with the likes of Talisker 10yo, Eagle Rare, Redbreast 12yo, Yamazaki Distillers Reserve, Caol Ila and Australia’s own Sullivans Cove.
- Classic Single Malts
If you’re still not understanding the big fuss over single malt versus blends then book your group into this one. It promises a journey “from the highlands to the islands” with a sharp focus on Scotch whisky and the regional differences that are responsible for said versatility in the whisky world. You’ll get into this one for $85pp ($105 with canapes) and taste some of the best, including Glenkinchie, Dalwhinnie, Ardbeg, Cragganmore, Oban, Talisker and Laphroaig.
- Customise Your Own
Customise your own class. The Roosevelt staff are pretty damn resourceful when it comes to whiskies from around the world. If you want to know more about why Japan whisky is so popular right now or how Australia is becoming quite the competitor, then just tell them when you book. They’ll even cater to those who want to try rare whiskies from closed distilleries. Some of their rarities including Yamazaki Sherry Cask, Bruichladdich Octomore, Talisker 25yo and 30yo, Chichibu Kavalan Solist, Porn Ellen, Rosebank, and Diageo’s Flora & Fauna range.
Address: Ground Floor, 32 Orwell St, Potts Point NSW 2011
Contact: 0423 203 119