08 March 2012

Grant's 12 Year Old Whisky Launch: IVY Penthouse, CBD Sydney (6 Mar 2012)

Level 6, 330 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Hints of vanilla, honey & spice

Thanks to Emma Barnitt from Weber Shandwick for inviting me to the launch of Grant's 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky at the IVY Penthouse which reminds me of The Party movie with Peter Sellers. I'm still on the journey of acquiring the appreciation for Scotch whisky compared to most seasoned whisky drinkers who don't think it's like drinking rocket fuel by itself but having it used in a cocktail certainly makes it more palatable for my novice taste buds. Guest were treated to three cocktails during the night. At first I preferred the lighter tasting Grant's Smash of Grant's 12 Year Old, Peychauds Bitters, Gomme and Nectarine Puree but ended up having more of the Grant's Morning Fizz of Grant's 12 Year Old, Absinthe, Lemon Juice, Honey Water, Gomme and Egg White although I wasn't too sure what the brown frothy bits on top were which didn't look the most appealing. After 9 pm the third cocktail of Grant's and Sand was made which was quite strong but I found it quite easy to drink by then too.

I'd be lying if I said I could easily taste the finer points of vanilla, honey and spice in Grant's whisky without first knowing what I'm supposed to be tasting but it's like that for me with wine as well or any other spirit unless it's very noticeable. I guess I'm a late starter in drinking scotch but I believe my palate is slowly learning. I do tend to prefer mixed drinks over drinking a spirit straight up so I think a bit of water or ice in my straight sampler would have helped for me to appreciate the taste characteristics better. I thought the canapes on offer were very good and filling enough to line the stomach for the numerous cocktails on offer. The Chicken Skewers were surprisingly tender with a tasty spiced coating. It's the first time I've seen a Stuffed zucchini flower taco which was good although two hands were required to eat which can cut into valuable drinking time for some. The Crumbed lamb cutlets were another favourite of mine cooked to perfection with a flavoursome coating.

Other events at the IVY Penthouse:
6 Mar 2012 - Grant's 12 Year Old Whisky Launch
22 Oct 2009 - Skalli-Paris Australian Launch Event

PROS: Discovering there's more to Scotch whisky than just drinking straight or with Coca-Cola, Very nice venue, Nice canapés
CONS: Would cost a lot to have your own event here, Needing two hands to eat means you can't drink at the same time, Not much room to move in front of bar area when crowded
MUST TRY: Finding am easy to make cocktail using Scotch Whisky

Grant's 12 Year Old — I probably needed some water or ice to appreciate better by taking the edge off the alcohol

Care for a cocktail — one of each please!

Grant's Smash (left), Morning Fizz (right)

Grant's and Sand: Grant's 12 Year Old, Cherry Liqueur, Sweet Vermouth, Blood Orange

Fresh ingredients of mint and nectarine for the cocktails

Cocktail menu

Chicken skewer - tender and nice flavours

Stuffed zucchini flower taco - very interesting, flavours were good but needed two hands to eat so had to put my drink down

Arancini - always a crowd pleaser

Vegetarian spring rolls - crispy pastry and decently sized with plenty of filling

Crumbed lamb cutlets - tender and tasty

Beef cheek and cauliflower puree - two handed job to eat but nice flavours and very tender meat

Prawn and pasta - probably a good one to fill the stomach after all these cocktails

Chocolate truffle - rich smooth flavours which I could have sworn had alcohol in it but apparently didn't

Pool view


Balcony seating

Bar area

Speech time

Nathan Fisher Marketing Manager (left), Blended Whiskies, William Grant & Sons Australia and Ludo Ducrocq (right) Grant's Global Ambassador

Photographic exhibition showcasing 12 bars from Sydney and Melbourne. Check out the pretty cool video (password: grants)

There used to be a bed here last time I was here

A bit of fun in the shower room for two — thanks ladies!

Guests enjoying the cocktails

Goodie box of Grant's appreciation

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Richard Elliot said...

It was great to see you on Tuesday night Simon!

It was a great event which really changed my perception of Grants. I (personally) think that the 12yo is too good a whisky for cocktails, some of the other Grants range might have been better. However, as it was the 12yo launch party they were pushing the boat out!

The IVY was a great venue. Although I resisted the canapes they did look very good.

Enjoy making your own cocktails!

Distant Thunder Whisky Club said...

I would have to say also it was great to see the whisky being served in some fine clean glassware for a change. It really makes a difference to the experience.

Food was great and it flowed continuously with plenty of napkins to clean up on, while trash and empty glasses were swept up in a jiffy. There was clearly a major effort being made by staff and venue. A big thanks from me to them for all the work.

Simon Leong said...

hi richard, such a fantastic venue indeed. you did well to resist the canapes. i can't help myself.

hi distant thunder whisky club, the service was quite speedy cleaning up the place. i guess it comes with the territory of such a nice venue.

Miss Kimbers said...

The bar girl's frilled collar in the first photo. I want it :)
I cannot say much about the drinks except for the fact they look pretty...I have never even tasted scotch whisky although I once worked in a bar!

Simon Leong said...

hi Miss Kimbers, you have an eye for fashion it seems :-)

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