The Annual Australian Distillers Dinner


Confirming one of the most anticipated whisky events of the year – the 2017 Australian Distillers Dinner will take place Thursday 24 August at The Oak Barrel. Probably our quickest selling event each year, we invite you to join us for an evening of whisky, stories and dinner with an assemblage of inspirational Australian distillers.

We’ll be spanning the full scope of whisky distillers from across the Australian landscape for the 2017 iteration as we host one of the country’s formative and most awarded whisky producers, a handful of established – but small – distillers and the odd up-and-comer.

Western Australia’s Great Southern Distilling Co. was founded by Cameron Syme and he was part of the original ‘front’ of Australian distillers trying to introduce Australian drinkers to local whisky. Driven largely by the single malt brand Limeburners, their expressions have been awarded numerous times locally and around the world and the operation is currently expanding to its third distillery site. We’ll be joined by owner Syme and distiller Ben Kagi, who was recently recognised at the 2018 Icons Of Whisky Australia Awards.

It’s been too long between drinks between The Oak Barrel and Bill McHenry of the McHenry & Sons distillery in Port Arthur, Tasmania, and he’ll be joining us with whisky and stories from Australia’s southernmost whisky distillery. Having seemingly found the only part of Australia that resembles Scotland’s climate at his high altitude, rainforest site, McHenry’s whiskies have enjoyed a patient maturation and, unusually for Australia, lost more alcohol than water to the angels’ share. Very Scottish.

Also making the trek from Tasmania is Rob Polmear, the new distiller of the famed Overeem distillery. Originally a hobby project in the back shed for Casey Overeem, Polmear has played an integral hand in restarting the distillery’s operations with the backing of Lark. We’re welcoming Overeem back to the Fair for the first time in a number of years (a milestone we marked by bottling a single cask for the occasion) and are delighted that Polmear will be able to make his way up to Sydney. Particularly given he’s meant to be installing a new still down in Tassie…

A relatively new name in Australian single malt to the wider audience of Australia, Timboon Railway Shed Distillery actually have a fair bit of experience up their sleeve. A successful operation located on the local tourist rail trail, the distillery – which has the best looking gift boxes in the game, in our opinion – finally have enough whisky for a meaningful expansion beyond the cellar door. Distiller Josh Walker will join us to tell their story and showcase what’s next for the distillery in a train shed.

The final name for our initial announcement is Kristy Booth, of the Killara Distillery out of Tasmania. A new set-up, they’re in the process of filling barrels and patiently watching their barrels mature. Booth is not just any start-up distiller though, as the daughter of Bill an Lyn Lark, arguably the first couple of Australian single malt, she has spent a lot of her time in the past 15 years in and around distilleries, often operating something. One of the country’s top female distillers – of which there are too few – Kristy will be explaining her journey so far and showcasing the DNA of Killara.

We can’t have a Distillers Dinner without a New South Wales representative though, so we’re delighted to welcome Beau Schilg and Neil Druce from the Corowa Distillery to the table. Located on the New South Wales side of the Murray River, Corowa is shaping up as one of the country’s most promising regional whisky distillers. They’re not far off ready to bring their whisky to market and head distiller Schilg and founder Neil Druce will take us through the next phase of their journey in whisky.

Held in The Oak Barrel’s Cellar Room, the dinner will be a relaxed, conversational event with friends new and old. With each distiller presenting something special to taste, food will be provided by our friends at the Nighthawk Diner – who did a smashing job last year.

Tickets are strictly limited, so get in quick. Once they’re sold, we can’t fit in any more!

The annual Australian Distillers Dinner is the final Fair Masterclass in the lead up to Sydney Whisky Fair 2017, Australia’s favourite celebration of whisky.

Distillers For Distillers Dinner 2017:

Cameron Syme (Limeburners)
Rob Polmear (Overeem)
Bill McHenry (McHenry)
Josh Walker (Timboon)
Kristy Booth (Killara)
Beau Schilg/Neil Druce (Corowa)

Menu By Nighthawk Diner

Drunken Sydney Rock Oyster Whisky Sloop

Jamon Iberico, Strathdon Blue, Bourbon Jalapenos Pickle, Toasted Oakcake

Seared Scallop, Fried Blood Sausage, Creamed Jerusalem Artichokes, Beurre Noisette, Dehydrated Seaweed, Crushed Smoked Sesame Seed

Duck Leg Confit a l’Orange, Whisky Glazed Baby Veg, Crispy Duck Skin

Creamy Buttery Potato Mash

Date Puddings, Whisky Butterscotch, Whisky Custard

Whisky Wine Gums

WHAT: The Annual Australian Distillers Dinner
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
WHEN: Thursday 24 August, 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $199 / Non-Members $225


New Whiskies In Store

Whisky Fair Masterclasses

Photos From 2016’s Whisky Fair