The calendar of every whisky nerd has a big red X on the third Saturday in May: World Whisky Day. Falling on May 19 this year, a range of bars and bartenders are gearing up to offer a celebration of all things golden, peaty, smoky and sweet.
It’s not just May 19 itself Scotch fans can look forward to – there’s a range of special tastings, pairings, workshops and masterclasses happening all through the city, both on the day itself and throughout the month.
We pulled out six to keep your eye on.
The Balvenie Rare and Unseen at Boilermaker House Wednesday May 23
It wouldn’t be a World Whisky Day celebration without the opportunity to try a range of rare expressions. Venerable whisky institution Boilermaker House will host a special event led by Balvenie ambassador Ross Blainey who will offer attendees the chance to sample drams otherwise only found in The Balvenie archives in Dufftown, Scotland.
Ms Collins and Glenfiddich Outside the Box Tuesday May 1 to Thursday May 31
The bartenders behind CBD hideaway Ms Collins are offering a range of special cocktails featuring Glenfiddich’s new Experimental Series all through May.
The Experimental Series is a bold new move for Glenfiddich. It includes the #1 Experiment IPA, aged in oak barrels used to brew Indian Pale Ale beer for a distinctive zesty and hoppy note, and the #2 Experiment, Project XX (pronounced “twenty”), a whisky workshopped by 20 of Glenfiddich’s finest whisky experts and specially blended by Brian Kinsman, Glenfiddich’s master distiller. It carries tasting notes such as summer fruits and candy floss.
High rollers at Ms Collins can also sample Glenfiddich in style, with full-bottle service in a plush private booth, a flight of rare whiskies that includes the Glenfiddich Experiment #3 Winter Storm, which is yet to be launched in Australia, and a curated cheese board to boot.
The Dufftown Highball at Mjølner, Boilermaker House and Eau De Vie Tuesday May 1 to Thursday May 31
Some of Melbourne’s finest bars – Mjølner, Boilermaker House and Eau de Vie, all part of The Speakeasy Group – are serving a special Balvenie cocktail all month.
Called the Dufftown Highball, the new cocktail was created by the Speakeasy Group's head mixologist Andy Griffiths. It features The Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood Scotch whisky, which derives its distinctive honey sweetness from years in traditional whisky casks before a run in a sherry barrel, along with Amontillado sherry and lemon juice, topped with house heather-and-honey soda, served tall over ice garnished with a lemon twist.
Glenfiddich Masterclass at The Everleigh Saturday May 19
The Everleigh is one of Australia’s authorities on golden-era cocktails. Together with the help of Glenfiddich ambassador Luke Sanderson and champion bartender Dave Molyneux, whisky fans at this event on World Whisky Day will learn how to balance the flavour of contemporary whiskies with classic ingredients in their cocktails. They’ll also get the chance to sample some rare drops from Sanderson’s own private whisky library.
Thor’s Balvenie Hammer Feast at Mjølner Saturday May 19
Norse newcomer Mjølner is offering a decadent pairing of Scotch whisky, Nordic food and the opportunity to drink out of Thor’s hammer on World Whisky Day. For one night only the kitchen’s menu will pair up a five-course meal with Speyside single malt The Balvenie – poured from Thor’s hammer itself.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Balvenie’s “DoubleWood” process. Perfected by The Balvenie’s malt master, David Stewart MBE, the process sees the whisky acquire a rich and smooth taste from maturation in two distinct types of wood.
Glenfiddich Experimental Dinner at IDES Friday May 18
On WWD Eve, Glenfiddich is pairing with visionary chef Peter Gunn for a five-course experimental dinner at IDES. Think white chocolate with coconut charcoal powder, mandarin segments, fresh honeycomb and a clove custard paired with a Glenfiddich 15.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Glenfiddich and The Balvenie. See the full range of recipes and events celebrating World Whisky Day.