The Balvenie with Sam Simmons, Global Ambassador

Samuel J Simmons, The Balvenie’s Global Ambassador, hosted an intimate dinner at Chiswick restaurant in Woollahra with a special tasting of Balvenie drams. Vising Australia for the first time, the Canadian-born ambassador known as Dr Whisky is a highly respected industry expert and whisky judge for panels such as the Best in Glass Awards and the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

The Balvenie with Sam Simmons
Sam Simmons, The Balvenie

The Balvenie, a Speyside single malt whisky from its distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, renowned for its “barley to bottle” approach where the grain is home-grown, malted and bottled on site. The main taste profile reflects the classic Speyside with honey and fruits with accents of sherry and spice.

The Balvenie with Sam Simmons
The Balvenie Range on Taste

Six expressions were on taste, The Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood, The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel, The Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewood, The Balvenie 21 Year Old Portwood and The Balvenie 30 Year Old as well as a rare 1973 single cask straight from the barrel that made the journey from Scotland.


Top picks were the The Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewood, with its complex oak, vanilla and honey sweetness with a touch of spice, The Balvenie 21 Year Old Portwood with its ripe raisin notes with honey and spice in a long and gentle finish, and the smooth Balvenie 30 Year Old with oaky tones, rich dark chocolate and marzipan on the palate.

The Balvenie 1973 Single Cask (46.7% ABV) is a big bold whisky, mahogany in colour and aged in European oak. At 40 years of age, it still retains the house style honey notes with dried fruits, figs and cloves, in a long dry finish.

The Balvenie with Sam Simmons
Collective Menu by Chiswick

Throughout the evening, a “Collective Menu” of share dishes was served including favourites such as the risotto of asparagus, pecorino and nasturtium, fish and prawn tagine with saffron couscous, the signature wood-roasted Moran family lamb, and an irresitible Balvenie Chocolate Mousse with honeycomb, hazelnuts and orange.

The Balvenie dinner with Sam Samuels was held on Wednesday 7 November 2013 at Chiswick Restaurant in Woollahra.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.