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Johnnie Walker Celebrated at Exclusive Sydney Dinner Hosted by Matt Preston

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At an exclusive sold-out event last week at Sydney’s BLACK restaurant, award-winning food journalist, best-selling author, co-host and judge of MasterChef Australia Matt Preston hosted a Johnnie Walker whisky tasting and dinner, showcasing some of the best and rarest expressions from Johnnie Walker’s much-celebrated range of blended whiskies.

Preston, who was joined by Johnnie Walker’s Australian whisky ambassador Katie Nagar and Executive Chef at The Star’s BLACK Bar & Grill Dany Karam, talked guests through the flavour profiles of some of the Johnnie Walker Whisky portfolio served throughout the evening and their respectively paired dishes.

Whiskies served included Johnnie Walker 18-Year-Old, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost And Rare Brora, Johnnie Walker King George and The John Walker, paired with seasonal dishes from a specially curated menu including a Wagyu rump cap MBS 9+, served with white polenta, exotic mushrooms, charred onion and crispy sweetbreads, as well as a bold blue-cheese and chocolate creation served to finish.

First crafted in a humble grocer’s shop in 1865, Johnnie Walker is the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky, and has taken blended Scotch whisky from the four corners of Scotland to the four corners of the world.

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Events

Montblanc Fragrance ‘Explorer’ Launched at Wolgan Valley

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Montblanc Explorer, the latest men’s fragrance from the German luxury behemoth, was officially launched last week at an intimate event in a remote location three hours out of Sydney.

Wolgan Valley, a picturesque and serene place nearly 40 clicks north of Lithgow in NSW’s Blue Mountains, is a long drive for a bottle of perfume. But, when you consider the Emirates-owned and curiously named One&Only resort (curiously named for the fact the brand boasts about 15 of them in their portfolio) is located there, it starts to sound like not such a bad idea.

So, despite the bitter chill in the air, and the complete lack of phone reception (that was secretly welcome), we were happy to be in attendance–on World Environment Day, no less.

Comprising forty villas in a location filled with some of Australia’s most famous and naturally beautiful features (eucalypts, kangaroos and jagged red cliff faces comprise the vista at every turn), it seemed the logical choice of location to launch a perfume named ‘Explorer’. And the site proves a decent pedigree in terms of relevant history: Charles Darwin visited the very same valley during his world-trip aboard HMS Beagle in 1836.

He was 26 years old.

Now, 183 years later, Montblanc decided it would be the backdrop for their latest men’s fragrance launch. As a flurry of media and Instagrammers converged on the valley for a couple of days of wining, dining and relaxing in the bush, guests were introduced to each ingredient to the perfume individually, as nature intended.

Explorer’s bottle has been designed to echo the earth’s two hemispheres–a nod to the multiple destinations whence the perfume’s raw materials are sourced. This has been achieved via ‘Givaudan’s Sourcing for Shared Value’ program. The perfume house has identified several ingredients essential to perfumery which are often sourced from poorer communities.

With top notes of bergamot, French sage and pink pepper, an earthy, masculine scent is bolstered by a heart of vetiver, which leads to base notes of patchouli and cocoa.

“Montblanc Explorer adds the thrill of adventure to everyday life and we as humans have a duty of care in our everyday lives to build a sustainable future.”, says Renaud Boisson, CEO of Interparfums Asia-Pacific.

And on that duty of care, Interparfums claims to put their money where their mouth is.

Citing that: “Travel goes hand in hand with making the world a better place to create a brighter future.”, the support provided through this initiative to local communities is reflected in educative initiatives for future generations, such as the construction of three libraries for school children in the regions of Buton and Katoi, on the island of Sulawesi.

In fact, to date, Interparfums has contributed to the construction of three libraries and currently provides 489 school children and their 33 teachers easier access to culture and reading; 3,650 books have been bought to stock the shelves of these libraries.

Scroll through our selection of photos from the two-day event below.

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Drinks

Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer Bar/Bus Hits the Road

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Glenfiddich is hitting the road for a nationwide tour bringing its Whiskey Wanderer bar/bus along with celebrity chef Matt Moran to a town near you. One of the first stops along the 9,000km journey is Good Food and Wine in Melbourne, before hitting the event in Sydney and Brisbane over the coming months.

Sitting at over four metres tall and 10 metres long, the original 1972 vintage Leyland two-storey bus has been reconstructed with a high-class premium bar, hydraulic pop-up roof and glinting copper stag head.

Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer will host intimate tastings of several of the world’s most awarded single malt scotch whiskies, including the iconic Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old, the innovative Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Vat, and the Glenfiddich Experimental Series.

Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer drinks range

The spirits will be paired with delectable foods, and Whisky Wanderer will also offer guests the opportunity to create their very own personalised bottle of Glenfiddich. It’s the perfect experience for whisky enthusiasts or those beginning their journey into the world of premium spirits.

Matt Moran is even stepping beyond the kitchen to share his other great love – whisky. When explaining what drew him to Glenfiddich, Moran said: “We share a like-minded passion to push boundaries and continually strive to reach new heights.”

“I’m excited to see what comes next, and of course, the opportunity to learn more about their wonderful whisky doesn’t hurt either.”

Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer whisky range

Lovers of a dram can join the Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer on its journey around Australia by following along on Instagram via the link below, or visiting at the below events:

• Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show: 31 May – 02 June 2019
• Sydney Good Food and Wine Show: 21 June – 23 June 2019
• Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show: 25 October – 27 October 2019

FYI: The Glenfiddich Whisky Wanderer is operated by a designated driver.

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Drinks

Talisker Returns to Tasmania for Dark Mofo 2019

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As far as culturally immersive experiences go in Australia, none come quite so close to the absurd as Dark Mofo, a twelve-day celebration of music, art, culture, sex and death.

Held in Hobart over the winter solstice each year, Dark Mofo, which started as part of David Walsh’s MONA brand, is a festival unashamedly like no other, that celebrates the weird, makes the challenging of attendees a specific goal, and often asks more questions than it answers.

Given its remote and chilly island location, it’s the perfect place for Talisker to set up shop for the two weeks that Dark Mofo takes over the capital of the Apple Isle. For the past two years, the iconic Scotch whisky distillers from the Isle of Skye have served up hot toddies to revellers, relieved with warm respite from the near-freezing temperatures outside. Drinking a Talisker at Dark Mofo is more sensible ritual than it is anything else: it feels about as genuine as you could get to sipping on on the rocks outside the distillery without having to travel to Scotland.

Tasmania shares many geographical traits with the Isle of Skye, home of Talisker (the rugged coastline for one), and Talisker’s delicious drams are maritime in nature: slightly saline and slightly peated, with a lovely enduring minerality on the finish, a fact summed up by their famous tagline: Made by the sea.

Surrounded by open fires, guests will once again be able to relax in a cosy spot at the Talisker Wilderness Bar, which will be pouring the brand’s speciality: a twist on winter drinks. The Talisker Campfire Hot Chocolate and the Talisker Spiced Hot Toddy, made with Talisker 10 Year Old, honey, lemon, spices, and gum leaves are both on the radar for winter warmers, as is their Tasmanian blue cheese jaffle. Other drinks will include the festival favourite, Talisker Skye & ginger as well as Talisker boilermakers matched with local Tasmanian craft beer Moo Brew.

There’ll also be a Talisker bar at Dark Mofo’s renowned Winter Feast.

Talisker Whisky Ambassador Katie Nagar describes Talisker as a: “Single malt with flavour that has a sense of place, with sweet smoke and pepper and salt from an island battered by wind and waves.

“Australian winters really do provide the perfect backdrop to cosy up with a Talisker in hand, and the serves that we have created for Dark Mofo are perfect to showcase the unique flavours of Talisker while being accessible to those who may be starting their whisky adventure.”

Talisker is also encouraging festivalgoers to get off the beaten track and explore Hobart’s beautiful surrounds, curating a guide of five experiences designed to let participants ‘disconnect with the daily grind and reconnect with nature’s elements’.

The experiences include Satellite Island, a private sanctuary in the heart of the magnificent D’Entrecasteaux Channel, a short boat-ride from Hobart. Satellite Island is touted as a rugged wonderland of hidden coves and pebble beaches, completely unspoilt by civilisation, and is an excellent spot for a bit of seal-watching.

There’s also Bruny Island, with its sprawling green landscapes, jagged dolerite sea cliffs and untouched bays, perfect for freshly shucked oysters straight from the water, or a trip to Seven Mile Beach to take in the Aurora Australis (many remain blissfully unaware that Tasmania is one of the best places in the world to see the Southern Lights.)

Dark Mofo has historically been a huge shot in the arm for Tasmania’s up-until-recently diminutive tourism economy, but with brands like Talisker embracing the tiny city and the island as a whole, and encouraging visitors to see more of the place than the open-pit fires, performance art and late-nights that Dark Mofo offers, it’s great to see more and more people getting on board, embracing the weird, and making the trek to Tassie in the middle of winter.

The Talisker Wilderness Bar is located on the Dark Path and The Talisker Winter Feast Bar is located in the main hall. For more information about the Dark Mofo festival, click the link below.

Dark Mofo

The Talisker Wilderness Bar, Dark Path:

Friday 14–Sunday 16 June, 5–10pm
Wednesday 19–Sunday 23 June, 5–10pm

The Talisker Winter Feast Bar:

Friday 14 + Saturday 15 June, 4–11pm
Sunday 16 June, 4–10pm
Wednesday 19 June, 4–10pm
Thursday 20 June, 4–10pm
Friday 21 + Saturday 22 June, 4–11pm
Sunday 23 June, 4–10pm

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