Cape Byron Whisky launched around the country with Master Distiller, Jim McEwan and Cape Byron Distillery Co-founder and Distiller Eddie Brook.
It’s not often that I write a personal account of an event or relate my personal tasting notes on this website. In fact, this may even be the first time in over seven years of publishing Cocktails & Bars. But this was no ordinary event. I call it history in the making.
The long-awaited Cape Byron Whisky launched around the country with a series of events that included Sydney last week. The single malt was co-created by one of Scotland’s most awarded Master Distillers, Jim McEwan and Cape Byron Distillery Co-founder and Distiller Eddie Brook.
A full house of whisky enthusiasts gathered at Tattersalls Club in Sydney’s CBD and the legendary Jim McEwan made his grand entrance led by all the fanfare of pipers. Throughout the event, Jim and Eddie regaled guests with stories of how they met, the friendship that developed between the two families and how they worked together to create Brookie’s Gin in 2016 followed by Cape Byron Whisky.
Back in February 2019, Cocktails & Bars travelled to Cape Byron Distillery in Byron Bay where Jim McEwan and Eddie Brook revealed their plans for whisky. I won’t repeat it as you can watch the video interview here and read the article here. At the time, I had the opportunity to taste the new make spirit.
When you taste new make spirit, as delicious as it is, it’s not easy to imagine the end result and how years of maturation will transform the liquid. The years have passed since that momentous occasion and there it was, the very first whisky expression in the glass.
Cape Byron ‘The Original’ Australian Single Malt Whisky (ABV 47%) is the signature expression, aged exclusively in American oak ex-bourbon casks. The nose leads with an interplay of vanilla and ripe fruit teasing with notes of charred oak. On first sip, the fruitiness comes to the fore but it’s not the orchard fruit flavours we often associate with Scottish whiskies. It is brighter, more flavoursome and somewhat closer to our shores. I get hints of tropical fruit, predominantly mango followed by a touch of nuttiness, possibly hazelnut and at the very finish, an ephemeral hint of salinity. The long, smooth and warming finish encourages another sip and by the second and third, I am taken on a flavour journey through the rainforest. The uniqueness of this whisky lies in capturing the terroir and climate of Cape Byron Distillery, the rainforest location and the proximity to the ocean.
Also on taste was Cape Byron Chardonnay Cask Australian Single Malt Whisky (ABV 48%), a luscious dram with notes of raisin, hazelnut and a hint of maple. If the peated spirit on taste at the event is any indication, the next release should be highly anticipated. But then the light tease of a single malt finished in Brookie’s Barrel Aged Mac. Liqueur sounds simply exquisite.
This is not a sponsored post.
You may also like:
- EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Scenes at Cape Byron Distillery with Eddie Brook and Jim McEwan
- Whisky: The Next Chapter for Cape Byron Distillery
- VIDEO: Interview with Jim McEwan & Eddie Brook at Cape Byron Distillery
- VIDEO: Cape Byron Distillery Rainforest Tour with Martin & Eddie Brook
- Cape Byron Distillery Joins B Corp
and from the archives: