Australian Whisky Distillers Dinner


The Oak Barrel’s Sydney Whisky Fair would like to welcome you to an intimate dinner and whisky tasting with six Australian whisky distillers assembled from around the country.

The Australian Whisky Distillers Dinner is confirmed for Thursday 25 August – the night before day one of Sydney Whisky Fair 2016 – tickets are extremely limited to what is one of The Oak Barrel’s showpiece events of the year. It will be the final Whisky Fair Masterclass event before the event itself, which sold out in record time.

We’re not in uncharted territory here – a few years ago The Oak Barrel hosted an Australian Distiller’s dinner with the likes of Bill Lark (Lark), Patrick Maguire (Sullivan’s Cove), Casey Overeem (Overeem) and Cameron Syme (Limeburners). It was an intimate celebration of Australian whisky with the founding pillars of the industry we know today and people are still talking about it.

The returning 2016 edition will be slightly different, with some new names set to leave their mark on The Oak Barrel’s Hall Of Fame board (partially pictured above).

While tipping our hat to those now world-renowned trailblazers we’ll be breaking bread with the people behind some of Australia’s most exciting young distilleries.

Brian Hollingworth from Black Gate in country New South Wales is a favourite at The Oak Barrel and one of the most unlikely stories for a distillery with such an in-demand product. From South Australia Ian Schmidt has sold out of his first five Iniquity single cask releases from the Tin Shed Distillery in mere hours. From the other side of the country, Whipper Snapper distillers Jimmy McKeown and Tim Hosken can finally say they’ve a mature whisk(e)y on the market with the July launch of Upshot.

All three distilleries represent a new wave of Australian whisky, all three came to whisky from very different paths.

We wanted to go even further into the future though, so we’ve invited along two New South Wales distilleries that haven’t even released whisky to the market yet – although they’re quite close.

You may have heard of the Joadja Distillery, located in the historic mining town of the same name in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands. A site with an amazing wealth of history (mining and whisky – the stills at Melbourne’s New World Whisky Distillery once sat at Joadja…) Owner and Distiller Valero Jimenez has agreed to come to Sydney for the dinner and present a ‘progress report’ of their single malt. It will be the first time we’ve tried any spirit from this very exciting site.

Closer to (our) home and we’ve asked our very good friends at Archie Rose – Sydney’s own whisky distillery – to dig through their barrels to find us a cask sample. Arguably the most exciting development in Sydney whisky for 150-odd years, the small amount of semi-matured spirit we’ve sampled has been outstanding. With Distiller Joe Dinsamoor and Production Manager Dave Withers joining us for the dinner, we’ll be sampling a piece of Sydney whisky history-to-be.

Finally, we’re delighted to welcome Sullivan’s Cove’s Distiller Patrick Maguire and Sales Manager/industry identity Bertie Cason back to The Oak Barrel. Representing their distillery and also the Tasmanian whisky industry as a whole, it’s the first time we’ve had the duo back at The Oak Barrel in many years – particularly given the shortage of stocks following that award win.

The six whiskies will be matched with four courses of food, crafted around a loose ‘Australiana’ theme. Our ongoing partnership with Sydney’s best food truck – Nighthawk Diner – continues for this evening as they put together a menu for this sit-down, semi-formal event.

Whiskies will be shared, food will be eaten, old friends re-united and new friendships formed.

Tickets are very, very limited with just 20 spots so don’t miss out on your chance to sit down with some of the industry’s biggest names and most exciting newcomers.


Patrick Maguire and Bertie Cason from Tasmania Distillery (Sullivan’s Cove), Hobart, Tasmania
Ian Schmidt from Tin Shed Distillery (Iniquity), Adelaide, South Australia
Brian Hollingworth from Black Gate, Mendooran, New South Wales
Jimmy McKeown and Tim Hosken from Whipper Snapper, Perth, Western Australia
Joe Dinsamoor and Dave Withers from Archie Rose, Sydney, New South Wales
Valero Jimenez from Joadja Distillery, Joadja, New South Wales

WHAT: Australian Whisky Distillers Dinner
WHERE: The Oak Barrel, 152 Elizabeth St, Sydney 2000
WHEN: Thursday 25 August, 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start
PRICE: Members $175 / Non-Members $195



*Line-up may change due to unforeseen circumstances without notice