Melbourne has a new festival, and it’s all about whisky.
Launching later this month, from Friday August 20 to Sunday, August 29, Melbourne Whisky Week will feature 40 different events across over 30 venues and sites in the city, suburbs and the Mornington Peninsula.
Melbourne is often celebrated for it’s food and cocktail culture, but whisky is another thing that Victorians love and do well, and sometimes flies under the radar.
Not only do we have some of the best whisky bars in the country, we also have some of the biggest whisky collections that Australia has to offer, not to mention that we have our very own homegrown whisky brand Starward, constantly churning out new delights in Port Melbourne.
The Melbourne Whisky Festival will feature bespoke behind-the-scenes distillery tours, masterclasses in whisky, spirits and cocktails, elegant dinners and desserts paired with the best drops, a two-day pop-up event at Federation Square, a trivia night for whisky and spirit buffs, the opportunity to barrel/bottle your own whiskey and gin to take home, a self-drive tour of award-winning Mornington Peninsula distilleries and dozens of mouth-wateringly unique tasting sessions.
PHEW. It’s a lot, we know, but what a fabulous excuse to get out and do something adventurous and delicious.
We’ve put a round-up of all the key events together.
The Melbourne Whisky, Spirit and Barrel Pop-Up Launch
Where: The Atrium, Federation Square When: Friday, August 20 and Saturday, August 21. What: A two-day showcase of whisky, spirits, cocktails, barrel beer and wine featuring tasting stalls, pop-up bars and masterclasses.
When: Wednesday, August 25 Where: Speakeasy venue tour What: Join Speakeasy Group Owner, Whisky Freaks Founder and bonafide whisky obsessive Greg Sanderson on a Dram Fine adventure to his three favourite Melbourne whisky haunts, Eau-de-Vie, Nick & Nora’s and Boilermaker House, supported by The Exchange. Starting at Eau-de-Vie, you will be treated to two whiskies and snacks at each venue, finishing the evening with a nightcap (or two) at Boilermaker House. This roving and interactive dram adventure is the perfect antidote to the “at home” nips of the past year.
Festival Masterclass Hub
Where: Whisky & Alement When: Running from Tuesday, August 24 through to Sunday, August 29 What: An assortment of speciality masterclasses. A highlight will be the Japanese Whisky Masterclass on Saturday, August 21. With this tasting, you’ll learn about Japan’s emergence as a global whisky player. You’ll taste the country’s most renowned whiskies, learn about where they’re from, how they are made and why some bottle batches fetch jaw-dropping prices.
78 Degrees World’s Best Grain Whisky Tasting
Where: Whisky & Alement When: Thursday, August 26. What: Exclusive access to the 2021 World’s Best Grain Whisky. One of the very last bottles of the award-winning batch of 78 Degrees Native Grain Project will be opened on the night and available to purchase by the nip or half nip. This whisky will be available on a first come, first served basis until sold out, so make sure you get in early. 78 Degrees whisky expert Fred Siggins will be on hand to chat about this incredible liquid and offer attendees a free sample of the newly released 78 Degrees Australian Whiskey. Whisky & Alement will also have a boilermaker special and cocktails featuring 78 Degrees available for purchase throughout the evening.
Lexus of Brighton Distillery Driving Tour
Where: to the Mornington Peninsula. When: August 21 to Sunday, August 29 What: A self-guided tour of distilleries offering special tastings and one-off MWW discounts. It runs from Saturday. Venues include Saint Felix (Mordialloc), Chief’s Son (Somerville), JimmyRum (Dromana), Red Hill Estate and St Andrew’s Beach Brewery.
Gospel x Rascal Brunswick Distillery Tour
Where: Gospel x Rascal Brunswick Distillery When: Sunday, August 22 What: Hosted by Gospel Whisky distiller Andrew Fitzgerald, it will be followed by a four-course meal paired with cocktails in the distillery, cooked by Rascal’s head chef Kyle Nicol.
Whiskeys of the World Masterclasses
Where: Emerald Peacock When: August 21 What: Taste whiskies from different regions of the world, complete with canapes. Brands include Chivas Regal, Laphroaig, Nikka, Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, Woodford Reserve, Jamesons, and Redbreast.
Suntory Whisky Dinner
Where: Bincho Boss When: Thursday, August 26. What: It promises to be an incredible culinary experience, taking you through Japanese food and whisky culture in five delicious courses paired with Suntory Whisky.
Degustation Pairing Experience
Where: Eureka 89 When: August 23 What: Celebrate Melbourne Whisky Week with a specially curated, five-course chef’s tasting menu with whisky pairing. This event is partnered 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.
Whisky Paedia Trivia
Where: Campari House When: Thursday, August 26 What: Think you know everything about whisky and spirits? Come test your knowledge against others in the know. The night promises to offer amazing whisky and plenty of fiery competition.
Sherry and Whisky – A Match Made in Heaven
Where: Bomba When: Friday, August 20 to Sunday, August 29 What: Bomba has rounded up a selection of lesser-used, sherry-matured whiskies including Kilchoman aged in Fino casks, and an independent bottling of Glen Moray aged in Manzanilla casks, which will be served alongside sherries of the same style, allowing you to experience the influence of the casks..
Whisky & Cigar – Reinvented
Where: Chancery Lane When: Friday, August 20 to Sunday, August 29 What: is taking the distinguished whisky and cigar duo to the next level. Sample a duck-fat, old-fashioned cocktail paired with Chef Rob’s Chancery chocolate cigar.
Australian Whisky Tasting Flight
Where: Matilda When: from Friday, August 20 to Sunday, August 29 What: Cosy up in Matilda’s underground Oscar’s Bar and enjoy a tasting flight of four local whiskies selected by Matilda beverage manager, Clint Fox. The tasting will be a nod to Matilda’s emphasis on native Australian ingredients. Featured drops are Old Kempton The Old Stables, Hellyers Road Pinot Noir whisky, The Gospel Solera Rye and Starward Solera. If the tasting flight leaves you wanting more, Matilda has created a smoking whisky cocktail with native saltbush, available for Melbourne Whisky Week only.
Whisky, Cocktails and Snacks
Where: Longrain and Longsong Bar When: from Friday, August 20 to Sunday, August 29 What: Longsong’s wine and cocktail masters have created three amazing Thai-inspired whisky cocktails for Melbourne Whisky Week with specially matched snacks.
Whisky, Cheese or Chocolate
Where: Eau-de-Vie When: Tuesday, August 24. What: A night to remember, with five whiskies paired with either Koko Black chocolates or Artisan cheeses.
Whisk(e)y Cocktails Masterclass
Where: The Douglas Club at The Hilton Melbourne (Little Queen Street) When: Saturday, August 21 What: 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 snack pairings.
Bourbon and Blues
Where: The Catfish When: Thursday, August 26 What: 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.
Some say sandwiches are really having their moment, but did they ever go out of style?
A sandwich is one of the world’s most simple culinary pleasures. Whoever first decided that putting stuff between bread means a yum time is a gosh darn genius. Although sandwiches can seem simple to make, there are people out there that have been studying the art of the sandwich and it shows.
The difference between a good sandwich and a shit sandwich is huge. We don’t want you to suffer, so we’ve put a list together of our favourite sandwiches in Melbourne.
Here are the best sandwiches in Melbourne right now.
The Drip Drop Banh Mi is Hanoi Hannah’s new lunch sandwich that is messy in all the right ways. Think white bread roll with a crispy crust and soft centre, laced with pâté and lemongrass satay sauce and a nice juicy hunk of lemongrass chargrilled chicken.
Most importantly, a warm pho-inspired gravy is served on the side to dip, drizzle or drown the sandwich. This mouth-watering sandwich is available from today, July 8, at Hanoi Hannah’s Windsor and Elsternwick locations. It’s crunchy, it’s messy, it’s fragrant and an all round multisensory, hands-on journey. Roll your sleeves up and get to it.
Get your hands around this combo: smoked pork belly, grandma ham, original salad creme, picks, American mustard and cheese. Recommended to be eaten with pickled chilli and hot sauce, this Cubano is downright juicy in the best way. Nico’s Sandwich Deli has a rotating menu that heroes classic flavour combinations with a little twist. You can’t really go wrong, especially if you pair your sandwich of choice with one of their Malted Caramel Shakes. It’s a whole lotta yes.
Every weekend, Stan’s Sandwich Deli put up incredible sandwich specials and honestly, we can’t pick a favourite. One week you might be dazzled by a veal schnitzel bun with tomato and fennel slaw, and the next you’ll get a Jerusalem artichoke toastie with aged parmesan, horseradish mayo and Guindilla peppers. Located in the lush streets of Malvern, Stan’s has a real diner-on-an-American-highway feel to it, but slightly more aesthetically refined, refill filter coffee and all.
This sando pulls rank on the Colonel. From a hole-in-the-wall sandwich deli in Melbourne CBD’s Flinders Lane, comes a soft white roll filled with roast free-range chicken, crispy chicken skin, traybake stuffing, zucchini slaw and their infamous secret gravy. It’s the chicken rolls of all chicken rolls. You’ve never had a chicken sandwich until you’ve had King William’s Brigadier. It’s the perfect combination of juicy chicken breast and crispy chicken skin. Should I keep going? I can.
The Italian stallion of sandwiches. Saul’s Sandwiches do some bangin’ bites – pretty much every sandwich they do, they do right. But the Muffuletta is a fan favourite and it’s off the charts. Think stacks of mortadella, artichokes, provolone cheese, salami, pesto, spinach and chilli. It’s an antipasto board in a sandwich and it’s goddamn good.
Palette in North Melbourne is inspired by Korean aesthetics and lifestyle, and they aim to bring different cultures together. Everything about this place is beautiful and delicious (especially the coffee), but we can’t get past their Candied Bacon & Cheese sando. Imagine: scrambled eggs with corn, candied bacon, sliced cheese and chilli jam in toasted brioche. Uhhh. Name a better breakfast sandwich, we’ll wait.