Everything You Need to Know About Melbourne’s First-Ever Whisky Week

If you’re a whisky nerd and you live in Melbourne, you’re in luck.

Melbourne Whisky Week — a spirit and whisky festival featuring more than 40 events across more than 20 venues in the city, surrounding suburbs and the Mornington Peninsula — is debuting in Melbourne, from Friday, November 19 to Sunday, December 5.

This 17-day celebration of local and international whisky and spirits promises to provide an explosion of taste, entertainment and experience, showcasing an outstanding range of traditional, diverse, new-world and award-winning brands.

Featuring bespoke behind-the-scenes distillery tours and tastings, masterclasses in whisky and spirits, elegant dinners and desserts paired with the best drops, the opportunity to bottle your own spirits to take home, a self-drive tour of award-winning distilleries on the Mornington Peninsula, and dozens of mouthwateringly unique tasting sessions… this year’s Melbourne Whisky Week is one for the books.

The Festival will bring to life Melbourne’s great venues including distilleries, underground bars, restaurants, and will feature some of the most knowledgeable whisky and spirit experts in Australia.

“I can’t wait to get into the spirit of things at Melbourne’s first-ever Whisky Week, which will see Melburnians descend on 20 venues across the city,” Lord Mayor, Sally Capp said.

“Distilleries, bars and restaurants will be singing the praises of the world’s best whiskies, including some standout drops made locally in Melbourne and Victoria.

“We’re proud to support events like Melbourne Whisky Week that bring back the buzz, boost our economy and support local jobs. I encourage all Melburnians to attend an event and raise a glass to great whisky and food in the cultural capital of Australia.”

Melbourne Whisky Week boasts an exciting lineup of venues and brands, including: Nick & Nora’s, Matilda, Whisky & Alement, The Emerald Peacock, Eau-de-Vie, Suntory, Suntory, Nikka Whisky, Laphroaig, Aultmore and the Mornington Peninsula’s acclaimed Chief’s Son and JimmyRum.

“After a few false starts due to lockdown it is so exciting to be able to move forward with Melbourne Whisky Week and showcase the incredible and diverse Australian and international whisky and spirit brands,” Co-Event Director, Tyson McGeoch said.

We’ve rounded up the highlights for Melbourne Whisky Week 2021.

Highlights of Melbourne Whisky Week 2021

Bottle your own with Whisky & Alement and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
When: November 21 & 22

The Never-Ending Cask has been quietly sitting on top of the bar, maturing some incredible, heavily peated single malts selected by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. It has been ageing by the solera method since 2012, so the Whisky & Alement team taste and assess the flavour profile of the cask quarterly, then top it up with what it needs. You can bottle your very own single malt whisky, straight from the Whisky & Alement living 20-litre cask.

Lexus of Brighton Distillery Driving Tour to the Mornington Peninsula
When: It runs from Saturday, November 20, to Sunday, December 5

A self-guided tour of distilleries offering special tastings and one-off MWW discounts. Venues include Saint Felix (Mordialloc), Chief’s Son (Somerville), JimmyRum (Dromana), Red Hill Estate and St Andrew’s Beach Brewery.

Whisk(e)y of the World at Seamstress
from Saturday, November 20, to Saturday, November 27

A masterclass hosted by the brand ambassadors of Chivas, Laphroaig, Nikka and Dewar’s, Aberfeldy and Aultmore.

Whisk(e)ys of the World Masterclasses and Tastings at The Emerald Peacock
When: November 20 – 27

The Emerald Peacock will be hosting Whisk(e)ys of the World masterclasses and tastings of some truly amazing drams from Saturday, November 20 to 27, featuring a whisky from a different world region each night. Brands include Chivas Regal, Laphroaig, Nikka, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Woodford Reserve, Jamesons and Redbreast.

78 Degrees and Mr West Bar & Bottle Shop Tasting
: November 19

78 Degrees and Mr West Bar & Bottle Shop invite you for a free tasting of the newly released 78 Degrees Australian whisky on Friday, November 19. 78 Degrees whisky expert Fred Siggins will be on hand to offer a free taste of this exciting new Australian line.

Then head upstairs to the bar for a special menu of 78 Degrees cocktails, as well as a boilermaker pairing 78 Degrees Australian whisky with one of Mr West’s rotating taps of Australian craft beer. Bottles of 78 Degrees will also be available for retail sale at special Melbourne Whisky Week pricing, and 78 Degrees cocktail specials will be running throughout the Festival.

Gospel x Rascal Brunswick Distillery Tour and Tasting
Sunday, November 28

Gospel x Rascal Brunswick will have a unique distillery tour and tasting afternoon and evening on Sunday, November 28. Hosted by Gospel Whisky distiller Andrew Fitzgerald, it will be followed by a four-course meal cooked right in the middle of the distillery, paired with cocktails, cooked by Rascal’s head chef Kyle Nicol.

Degustation Pairing Experience at Eureka 89
When: Monday, November 29

With a specially curated five-course chef’s tasting menu with whisky pairing, this event partners with Brown-Forman’s whisky ambassador to showcase some of the world’s best whiskies. Eureka 89 Executive Chef, Renee Martillano, has designed a menu to go perfectly with the flavour profiles of each whisky.

Make-Your-Own-Drop DIY Whisky-Making at Here’s Looking at You Kid’s distillery
When: Wednesday, December 1

Ever wanted to make your own drop? Head to award-winning Here’s Looking at You Kid’s distillery in North Melbourne. Learn the art of distillation and be involved in the creation of your own gin that’s yours to take home in a 200ml bottle on Wednesday, December 1. If bourbon-style whisky is more your taste, book the masterclass in the Whisky Barrel project on Friday, December 3, and Saturday, December 4, and take home your own barrel, 500ml of whisky to age. Head distiller Liz Beech learnt distilling at Moonshine University in Kentucky USA. In these masterclasses, you’ll learn the golden rules of gin and bourbon-style whisky making.

Cheese and Whisky Flights at Eureka 89
When: Friday, November 19 to Sunday, December 5

Indulge in a selection of premium cheeses matched with some of the world’s best whiskies. Curated in partnership with Brown-Forman’s Whisky Ambassador and the Harper and Bloom Speciality Cheese Shop.

Whisk(e)y X Cocktails: A masterclass at The Douglas Club at The Hilton Melbourne (Little Queen Street)
Saturday, November 27

A 90-minute journey capturing the golden age of travel with four whisk(e)y recipes from different eras, all with contemporary twists, presented by Bar Manager Gee Shanmugam. In the masterclass, Gee will guide and showcase the art of making cocktails, including The Douglas Club’s signature Cameron’s Kick, two highlighted handcrafted drinks and one new cocktail developed especially for MWW. This is a unique one-off event including four drinks, cheese, charcuterie platter and snacks.

Bourbon and Blues at the Catfish
Thursday, November 25

The venue has a reputation for live music and craft beer, and now it has branched into the world of spirits, particularly whisky. Join us for a night of corn-drams and crooners, showcasing some of Melbourne’s finest bawlers and drawlers. Your ticket entitles you to a cocktail on arrival, a carefully curated flight of bourbons and three hours of quality tunes.

Whisky Freaks X 78 Degrees
Friday, November 26

Join 78 Degrees whisky expert Fred Siggins for an in-depth online tasting of the 78 Degrees Whisky range in collaboration with Whisky Freaks. The tasting will include 3 x 50ml samples of 78 Degrees’ newly released Australian whisky lineup, including the limited-edition Muscat Finish and the very limited Native Grain Whisky – winner of World’s Best Grain Whisky at the 2021 World Whiskies Awards.

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