Tag Archives: FREE tasting

Mezcal Tasting at The Oak Barrel, Sydney

Free in-store Mezcal tasting – Thursday 12th July from 5.30pm

Mezcal may be a term that you have recently encountered at some of the coolest bars in Sydney. Or it may be a term that means very little to you. But if you have a penchant for tequila, rhum agricole, cachaca or any other white spirit then ‘Mezcal’ is worth a very serious look into. And when it comes to mezcal, tequila’s lesser known brother, there are few distillers as dedicated to artisanal production as Pierde Alamas.

We will be sampling the Espadin, Dobadaan and Tobala expressions on Thursday the 12th of July. So join us for a FREE tasting of some of the best white spirit going around.

Mezcal like tequila is made from the heart or ‘pina’ of agave plants. It is important to note that Tequila may only be made only from the blue agave in government-specified areas of Jalisco, Mexico, while mezcal may be made from any variety of agave in a number of other regions.

Pierde Almas produce their Mezcal with an artisanal regard to traditional practices. Harvested agave hearts are cooked in traditional earthen pit-ovens with hot rocks for up to ten days. Once removed and allowed to cool, the piñas are crushed under a horse-drawn millstone and placed in wooden vats for an unhurried, 100% natural fermentation. Distillation takes place in a wood-fired, serpentine copper alembic still whose design hasn’t changed appreciably since the Moors occupied the Spanish Peninsula.

The Pierde Almos or “lost souls” range is a series of high quality, small batch Mezcals produced in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
 The recipe for this exceptional mezcal has been passed down through generations of the Sanchez Altamirano family. Although this brand is not certified organic, Pierde Almas follows local organic practices combined with unique respect for the environment driven by tradition rather than fad. The plantations are pesticide and fertilizer free, and the agave is fermented naturally without the use of chemicals. Pierde Almas, pride themselves not on consistency, not on uniformity, but on the uniqueness of each lot of handmade mezcal produced.

Pierde Almas Espadin Mezcal 51.4%
This release of Pierde Almas Mezcal Espadin is handcrafted from 100% Espadin agave (Agave angustifolia), which lends a smooth, velvety texture to the mezcal. The nose offers pungent smoked vegetable notes, old leather and subtle floral anise notes. The palate displays meaty elements with lightly smoky bold agave notes accented by fresh apple, banana and lemon flavors. Earthy minerals appear on the finish where they merge with hints of quince, anise and coal dust.

Pierde Almas Dobadaan Mezcal 51.3%
This release of Pierde Almas Mezcal Dobadaan is handcrafted from 100% Dobadaan Agave, a rare agave grown only in the Ocotlan Valley. A complex, unique mezcal, it opens with notes of sweet agave, ripe fruit and herbal undertones. Aromas of acetone, pine cone, smoking embers and earth are also evident. A full bodied palate explodes in the mouth (even when diluted back to approx. 42%) with woody stewed spinach, chicory smoke, clove spice and agave. The finish offers bold notes of clove, wood smoke, earthy spice, black pepper with smoky bacon flavours lingering.

Pierde Almas Tobala Mezcal 47.8%
This release of Pierde Almas Mezcal Tobala is handcrafted from 100% Tobala Agave, a wild variety than can only be harvested and processed during the spring. Although it opens with a light, floral sweetness, the pure, clean flavor of the agave soon emerges and is followed by hints of butterscotch and anise. This is a fantastically powerful mezcal with an elegance that only the world’s best agave spirits demonstrate.

Pussers Rum & Pyrat Rum – FREE tasting

When: Thursday 14th June @ 5.30pm

The Pusser’s Rum range is a special series of rums coined with the term Navy, Admiralty, or Pussers rum (Pussers being a corruption of the word pirser, after the officer in charge of the ship’s supplies). Pussers Navy Rum today is identical to the rum issued by the Royal Navy to its sailors, a custom that terminated in 1970. This rum was not publically available until 1979.

We will be tasting the Pusser’s Navy rum, Pusser’s 15 Year Old and the Pyrat XO in a free tasting on Thursday the 14th of June. This is an exciting tasting of some the most interesting classic rums on the market today. Experience rum the way it was drunk 300 years ago…

Pussers Navy Rum 
The Pusser’s Navy rum is a blend of rums from the British Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Guyana. The Guyanese rum contribution was created on the traditional wooden pot stills. The initial nose of the Pusser’s navy rum is firm with almost sharp citrus zest (think lemons and tangerines), ginger, vinegar, clove and powerful oak spices with a slight toast. After a moment in the glass the assertive citrus aromas yield  layered brown sugar, toffee, faint vanilla and almost tobacco nuances. The palate is set against a backdrop of dried fruits with caramel and spice elements creating depth and complexity. The finish is long with lingering tannic wood and light pepper.

Pyrat Rum
The Pyrat XO rum is a blend of nine select pot still rums sourced from throughout the carribean. Many of these rums exceed 15 years of age and some have been distilled on one of only a few still operational wooden pot stills. When these rums are blended they are further matured in French limosin and American oak casks until the flavours marry. Each bottle of Pyrat XO is hand filled and labeled with a hand written serial number for batch identification. This rum offers on the nose

Swirling in the glass this rum developed thick legs around the side of the glass. Opening on the nose with dominant notes of citrus zest and marmalade, mollases and vanilla tinged caramel. Given time, the citrus notes make way for grilled nuts and assertive brown spices. The palate has an almost liqueur like character with spicy orange drowned in burnt sugar. The finish shows warming alcohol and lingering flavours of buttery toasted oak and spiced nuts.

Pusser’s 15 Year Old
At the end of 15 years of aging in barrel, only approximately 7% of the original wash remains in the barrel, the balance having evaporated through the cask. It is worth noting that the Pussers 15 year old is one of only a handful of rums distilled in a traditional wooden pot stills (the other of note being El Dorado).

This rum opens on the nose with great spicy richness and complex weight, each scent vying for recognition but with no single character claiming victory. A deeper analysis yields a balanced, round and very enticing nose with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, caramel and faint wood sap ( possibly from the wooden still). In a word: gorgeous. The palate is a full assault of flavours dominated by deep sticky brown sugar and sherried baking spices. An oily viscosity coats the mouth with flavours of roasted nuts (think brazil and hazelnut), mineral accents, thick toffee and woody elements of cedar and beechwood. The finish offers whole peppercorn, wood spice and a hint of wood sap. An absolutely convincing, enticing and essential rum for any drinker.


The Angry Rabbit

SALE PRICE: $180 a dozen (RRP $22.95)

The Angry Rabbit is the entry wine for Heathvale using fruit mainly from the younger blocks.  No less care has gone into the wine however with handpicking, open fermenters and a mix of wild and cultivated ferment. The wine is medium bodied with juicy berry fruit flavours supported by cherry ripe and violet notes. This is a smooth wine with lots of flavour and is perfect for early drinking.

FEEL THE SPIRIT: Flor de Cana FREE tasting

FREE TASTING: Thursday May 17, 2012 – 6pm

From a humble beginning at the Chichigalpa San Antonio Sugar Mill in 1890, this Nicaraguan company has grown to be one of the leading lights of central South American Rum. It has grown on the back of fantastically crafted rum which has been overseen by five generations of the Pellas family. The only distillery in Nicaragua, Flor de Cana still operates from Chichigalpa on the Pacific side of the country. This means it is not a Caribbean Rum; the heat is drier, the climate less humid and maturation rates are slower.

Flor de Caña is the most-awarded rum in the world, and is recognized for fusing the advanced distillation technology with traditional craftsmanship. The traditions upheld can be seen in the selection of natural ingredients, true-aging process, and the single-blending of rums. It is the only rum on the market that is 100% aged, meaning the age statement on the bottle accounts for 100% of the rum in the bottle. The Flor de Cana rums are distilled 5 times on continuous stills. The rum is ‘slow aged’ at sea level in traditional barrelhouses without air conditioning, electrical ventilation, fast maturing additives or humidifiers. Flor de Cana has come to be reknowned for producing some of the most balanced, clean and elegant rums on the market.

Flor de Cana 4 year old
At only 4 years of age, the Flor de Cana 4 year old Gold is not only complex for its age but at only a few dollars more than regular house pours, it represents outstanding value. This rum is fantastic on the rocks, in fruit cocktails or mixed with coke. 

On the nose the Flor de Cana 4 year old Gold is immediately clean and pure offering very refined and precise flavours. The nose opens with top notes of apple peel, pear drops that make way for caramel, slight smoky oak, vanilla, roasted nuts and background spice notes. The addition of water yields baked cinnamon apple, nutmeg and sweeter tones in what is principally a dry rum. The palate mirrors the nose with a clean and surefooted lightness. The finish leaves lingering notes of baked apple smoky demarera sugar. A beautifully balanced rum of great value to any personal bar.

Flor de cana 7 year old
The Flor de Cana 7 year old Grande Reserve is a clean and precise style of rum. The nose opens on notes of vanilla tinged red apple which seem to pick up toffee and honey accents deeper in the nose. Flavours of roasted nuts (almonds and hazelnuts), marmalade, dried fruits and caramel dominate the fine boned nose. The palate has real weight and richness with smooth textures that highlight toasted nuts, burnt sugar and medicinal spices. The finish shows tannic cinnamon and a buttery coconut fade. A fantastically clean and balanced rum.

Flor de Cana 12 year old
90-95 points from Wine Enthusiast and winner of over 13 International Awards including San Francisco and International Wine and Spirits Competition.

The Flor de Cana 12 year old is a fantastically complex rum which showcases the elegance, poise and power that this great distillery is renowned for. On the nose this rum shows clean and precise scents, which are neither heavy nor cloying. The opening nose yields an almost dizzying myriad of aromas including roasted nuts, toffee, crème brulee, mild spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice) and hints of chocolate. The aromas carry through to the palate with a semi sweet element that adds rounded weight and supple personality. Flavours of dried fruits, dark brown sugar, nougat, pie spices and white pepper seem not to compete but complement one another, with effortless grace and elegance. The finish is near flawless with lingering spices and molasses accents leaving a haunting impression of this fine elixir. A truly remarkable rum.

World Malbec Day 2012 – Sydney

Join us for a FREE instore tasting on World Malbec Day

When: April 17th, 2012, 5.30pm FREE

Malbec is fast becoming one of the ‘it’ grapes on the international wine scene. And it is hardly any wonder as this grape, when treated with the care it deserves, can produce fantastically concentrated and elegant wines. Part of the secret lies in the high altitude vineyards of Argentina which provide pure fresh air, high levels of sunshine and cool nights. These conditions provide the perfect combination for deeply coloured and flavored wines, with high extraction and purity of fruit. Yet really the main attraction to these wines is the prices they demand which are not merely inexpensive but down right good value.

To taste some of the best Malbecs around join us for the national celebration of this grape with a FREE tasting on April 17th at 5:30pm.

We will be tasting the Finca Filchman Misterio Malbec and Rutini Estate Malbec which will be served with some mild cold meats.

See our full listing of MALBECs available online

Woodford Reserve Bourbon – On taste at the Oak Barrel

WHEN: FREE TASTING Thursday 19th April, 2012 – 6pm

While not a well recognized brand in Australia, Labrot & Graham’s distillery Woodford Reserve has been crafting fine bourbons since 1996.

There are a number of factors that make this distillery and their bourbons unique to the industry. Woodford reserve is the only distillery in America with their own cooperage which allows for complete manipulation and management of the principal source of flavour, the barrel. Woodford is also the only bourbon producer to triple distill its spirit in copper pot stills. This gives a cleaner and more refined new make of 79% abv. Limestone rich well water is used throughout the distillery and sour mashing is practiced. This is an altogether different sort of bourbon distillery.

To taste the fruits of Woodford’s labor join us for a rare opportunity to sample these very limited bourbons. This FREE tasting will commence at 6pm on the 19th of April so make sure you are here early as stocks are extremely restricted.  

Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

Opening on the nose with cream toffee and honeycomb that waft through spicy charred oak and old leather scents. The palate starts with rich spiced honey and sweet corn making way for a dry mid palate that offers toffee, white pepper and brown sugar. The finish brings rye spice and sweet charred oak. A bourbon of great depth that has only improved in depth over the last few years.

Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish Bourbon (50.2%abv)
“Sugar maple trees have a complex natural chemistry, rich in calcium, potassium and other minerals, but they are best known for their flavorful sap which contains as much as 3% sugar. Though it was thought that whiskey barrels could not be crafted from sugar maple wood, our Brown-Forman Cooperage has done just that.” - Chris Morris, Master Distiller

Finishing in sugar maple barrels has bestowed this bourbon with a noticeably different disposition. These maple bourbon casks are toasted not charred, contributing cinnamon and maple elements which are supported by top notes of chocolate, muscavado sugar and baked apricots.  The nose also offers rum and raisin nuances, maple syrup and polished leather. On the palate, this bourbon is full bodied with the maple wood showing prominence and bringing with it cedar, cinnamon, hazelnut and almond pastries. This offering fades into spiced maple syrup and leather with an all maple wood finish of stonefruit compote and baking spices. A one of a kind bourbon with a fantastic composition to be explored.

Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Seasoned Oak Finish Bourbon (50.2%abv)
“Barrels play a critical role in producing bourbon, with approximately 70 percent of the spirit’s flavour and aroma – and all of its colour – provided by the oak barrel. As the rough oak staves are exposed to seasonal weather changes and subsequently dried, this natural cycle develops a new range of flavours in the wood. This seasoning progression changes the wood by reducing tannins and ultimately creates a new range of flavour compounds.” - Chris Morris, Master Distiller

As the only Bourbon distiller to craft its own barrels, Woodford reserve can maintain complete control over the manipulation of their barrels. An industry standard for bourbon barrels is 3- 5 months seasoning. The Barrels used for the ‘Seasoned oak finish’ is seasoned for a whopping 3 -5 years, the longest in the industry.  An ominously deep mahogany colour, this bourbon opens on the nose with complex aromas of clove, cinnamon, roasted nuts and fruitcake wrapped in a blanket of thick caramel and vanilla. The palate brings with it much of the attractive nose with the addition of a strong oak presence, dried fruits, blackberry jam and candy corn. The complex finish is velvety and long with lingering sweetness and anise infused wood. A bourbon of immense depth and power.

World Whisky Day – Free in-store tasting

World Whisky Day is a global celebration of Whisky / Whiskey / Scotch / Bourbon / Blended / Single Malt wherever they are and no matter the expression or style. This day is a chance for whisky connoisseurs and novices alike fans to get together and raise a glass. So drop in join us as we open drams from one of the most awarded distillery’s in recent memory, Highland Park.

Highland Park Distillery

Highland Park Distillery

Highland Park is regarded by many as the quintessential Orkney whisky, showing typical sea breeze characteristics with fantastic depth and concentration. We will be tasting the 12 year old, 18 year old and 25 year old expressions.

Date: March 27th
Time: 6pm -8pm

Anyone is welcome, so please drop in for a casual dram and have a chat to the team about the whiskies.

Oak Barrel In-store tasting

Oak Barrel In-store tasting

St-Germain Cocktail Tasting

Friday 2nd March from 6pm

Get in the Mardi Gras spirit this Friday evening as we mix up some fantastic St Germain Elderflower Cocktails.  St-Germain is the world’s first, handcrafted, all natural elderflower liqueur, produced from 100% fresh, wild and hand selected flowers.  Its signature cocktail is a sparkling wine spritzer with St Germain and a lemon twist.  Also works beautifully straight up with ice, or with as a finishing dash in gin and tonic……Endless possibilities!!!

St-Germain ElderflowersSt-Germain Liqueur

St. Germain Cocktail Tasting

St Germain Cocktail Tasting: Friday 2nd March from 6pm

Get in the Mardi Gras spirit this Friday evening as we mix up some fantastic St Germain Elderflower Cocktails.  St. Germain is the world’s first, handcrafted, all natural elderflower liqueur, produced from 100% fresh, wild and hand selected flowers.  Its signature cocktail is a sparkling wine spritzer with St Germain and a lemon twist.  Also works beautifully straight up with ice, or with as a finishing dash in gin and tonic……Endless possibilities!!!

St-Germain ElderflowersSt-Germain Liqueur

Crafty Fridays in March

Following the roaring success of our expanded craft beer range, we have decided to bring the wonder of these amazing brews to the masses. Enter CRAFTY FRIDAYS, showcasing a small selection unique micro-breweries with four FREE instore tastings in the month of March from 5.30pm. A not to be missed series of tastings that survey some of the leading producers in Australia and the UK…

Starting this awesome series of tastings is a small selection of UK imports. Each of these delectable brews are extremely unique, offering something vastly distinct to other breweries worldwide. These are quality brews which are not easy to obtain down under, so for a fantastic beery experience…just remember CRAFTY FRIDAYS

UK Imported beers - FREE Tasting at the Oak Barrel SydneyMARCH 9TH – UK Imported

  • Badger Blandford Fly Ginger Ale (5.2%abv)
    Local folklore has it that the only remedy for the bite of the infamous blanford fly is zingibain, a constituent of ginger. Accordingly, locals endeavored to deliver this antidote in the most pleasant way they could find and in typical English fashion, found it was ale. The inclusion of ginger in this ale made their cure so agreeable that locals claim that the fly swarms all year round- without any detriment to the locals.A light tawny hue with slight head retention, this ginger infused ale offers scents of cinnamon, clove and ginger. A malty flavour on the palate akin to shortbread broadens into flavours of tangerine, ginger Snaps and lifted spice. A fruity style of ale with nice balance and refreshing vitality. A perfect accompaniment with spicy Asian foods or Indian curries.

  • Brakspear Triple Ale (7.2% abv)
    An immediately interesting beer for the detail and transparency of its packaging. Starting with the front label, a unique bottle number can be found at the base offering a unique insight into the company’s philosophy that each bottle matters. The back label also offer a swath of information including a quote from the head brewer Jeremy Moss: “Thanks to the two fermentations in the Brakspear ‘Double Drop’ system and another in the bottle, this highly aromatic and satisfying strong beer delivers its rich flavour with subtlety and balance”.
    This is a rich, intense and greatly generous Triple with swathes of malty, biscuity and hoppy character. The nose offers pungent honey, bready malts and full hoppy aromas. On the palate this is a big beer with butterscotch, vanilla and a fruity tang dominating. A fantastically powerful beer with massive flavour to offer.

  • Wychwood Brewery King Goblin (6.6% abv)
    “ A beer enlivened by the energies of the universe, when the elements are converging into a harmonious alignment. Truly a brew fit for celestial majesty.” - Wychwood BreweryThis beer is only brewed on a lunar full moon. A clear copper hue, with a solid off-white head and with moderate retention. Aromas of roasted nuts, bready malt, caramel and fresh grassy hops build in your glass. A deep palate with sweet malt character, dark fruit, figs and mild chocolate. Fresh hops lend a slight bitterness to the fruity finish. A classy beer that is

FREE craft beer tasting - Oak Barrel Sydney

MARCH 16TH – Badlands Brewery from 5.30pm
“Passion and commitment can be tired and overused terms, exploited by overzealous sporting commentators, advertisers or politicians. It can take the occasional emergence of something original and great, an enterprise born of genuine hard work and love to remind us what these terms really mean.” - Jon, Badlands Brewery

For those of you who have met the energetic and enigmatic Jon, you would have noticed the slightest glimmer in the corner of his eyes. This sparkle is not a mere trick of the light, but a burning passion for the skillful craft of brewing. Jon’s devotion to brewed beverages has manifested in his creation of Badlands Brewery situated in Orange. Since its inception no more than two years ago, Jon has been creating unique small- batch bottlings as well as his more readily available pale ale.

  • Pale Ale
    Inspired by traditional summer ales from the heart of the English countryside comes the Badlands Pale Ale. With a fresh but soft palate this ale offers a unique fruity hint backed with a snappy bitterness. A great easy drinking Pale Ale.
  • ‘Man Singh’ IPA
    A serious Pale Ale not for the faint hearted. This ale is big and brash in every direction with pungent fruity hops to give a firm backbone and with great malt complexity. Aromas of hickory, hay and earthy grass notes make an intriguing offering which is sure to tantalize.  Well balanced this pale ale has an effortless power with great finesse. 
  • London Porter
    A robust English Porter with a roasted malt character that dominates. Dark and delicious, this porter offers flavours of chocolate, rum, roasted nuts and orange. The distinct flavours originate from the unique blend of five malts used.

Free craft beer tasting at the Oak Barrel sydney

MARCH 23RD – Dalgety  Brewing Company
An easy 14 kilometers from Berridale in the Snowy mountains lies Dalgety, one of NSW’s truly great undiscovered craft breweries. This brewery started production 2008 after a government grant allowed the owners of Snowy Vineyard Estate to expand their premises into a tasting room, cellar door and restaurant. The brewery was a logical progression from there, aiming to offer their clientele a uniquely Snowy Mountains brewed beverage. All water used in the brewery in in the final beer is pumped overland from the Snowy river. Hops have recently be planted on site at Dalgety and have made their way into recent batches. Additionally, all grain is crushed on site with beer being kegged or bottled by hand. This is a truly hands on operation with great care taken to see a quality final product.

  • Pale Ale
    This Pale has great citrus, really in your face! Dalgety use the unique Nelson Sauvin hops to give it the great aroma and punchy bitterness. Once you’ve tried on you cant stop. This one makes it hard to encourage the responsible service of Alcohol!
  • Strong Ale
    Not for the light hearted this is a 6 course meal in a glass! A traditional malted barley base with a combination of Hallertau Hersbrucker and Pacific hops. Strong upfront and lasting flavours 6.5% abv
  • Smoked Porter

Free craft beer tasting at the Oak Barrel Sydney

MARCH 30TH – Two Meters Tall
Two meters tall is one of those truly rare breweries where they do everything the right way. Quality and freshness are the main concerns of this micro-brewery, sourcing all its barley and hops from their onsite farm or from friendly local producers. Owner, farmer and brewer Asley Hunington describes Two meters Tall as brewing on the ‘lunatic fringe’ yet there is upmost care and consideration taken in the selevtion of materials and the process conducted. The culmination of this quality focused production is a fantastically ‘real’ tasting beer with batch-to-batch variation announcing the artisanal nature of this brew.

  • Forester Bitter Amber Ale (5.5%abv)
    Featuring Pride of Ringwood hops procured directly from the kilns of the last working hop farm in the Forester Region of North East Tasmania.  This is a refreshing and versatile, fully flavoured, bitter ale.
  • Real Ale (5.2% abv)
    Wheat & barley malts are used in this ale along with old, noble aromatic hop varieties grown on the banks of the Derwent River which are no longer commercially available.  Bottle conditioned and without filtration, this beer shows classic bready characteristics overlayed with very fresh grassy hops. There is a strong seem of citrus both on the nose and on the palate, giving this beer great structure and refreshing vitality.  A serious beer not meant for serious contemplation.
  • Cleansing Ale (5.3%abv)
    Another fantastic brew from one of the leaders in grassroots boutique brewing. As the name suggests, this is a refreshing ale which despite some vibrant acidity has more depth then one would expect.  The nose opens with aromas of sappy grass, caramelized lemon peel, dusty chamomile and fudge. The palate is a different beast, full and rich while heavily structured and neat. Finishes with the unfiltered powder of its creation and a light bitterness. Finally a refreshing beer with actual substance!