The Elysian

Time Out (Melbourne) - - FOOD & DRINK - Jo Stew­art

AT THEIR NEW ded­i­cated whisky bar, Yao Wong and Kelvin Low are mak­ing it their life’s mission to hunt down the world’s rarest drams. Got a spare $600? A bot­tle of 32-year-old sin­gle cask Scotch from world-lead­ing bot­tlers Adel­phi can be yours. All the big names of whisky are present and ac­counted for but the real ac­tion and in­trigue here comes from the in­de­pen­dent bot­tlers. If you’re new to whisky, in­de­pen­dent bot­tling is like clean­skin wine but way more pres­ti­gious. They buy bar­rels of whisky di­rectly from dis­til­leries and then bot­tle (and some­times blend) the whisky them­selves un­der their own la­bel. Some dis­til­leries pre­fer to re­main anony­mous, so their Scotch is re­leased with­out iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Sit­ting up at the bar, we set­tle on a sin­gle malt aged for 18 years, dis­tilled in the Scot­tish High­lands and bot­tled by the Ger­man brand Liq­uid Sun. It has sub­tle flo­ral tones and a touch of smoke, and its mel­low flavour makes it a great gate­way whisky to try be­fore mov­ing onto some­thing bolder. Next up, we try one that has been aged for 24 years in a sherry cask. The cock­tail list is a mod­est mix of time­less tip­ples, like whisky high­balls, along­side green-hued cock­tails in­fused with matcha. We aren’t eas­ily swayed by gim­micks but the ‘Es­presslo’ Mar­tini is a tri­umph. They make it with 12-yearold Glen­fid­dich and pantry sta­ples con­densed milk, in­stant cof­fee and Milo. It’s a mi­nor mir­a­cle that it works, with the Milo and cof­fee pro­vid­ing a strong, sweet start, but the smooth whisky fin­ish leaves you in no doubt you’re drink­ing a whisky cock­tail, and a good one.

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