Celebrate Tasmania's new-found whisky brilliance in style at Saffire.
Is it possible that Tasmania is, in fact, a lost Scottish territory? Islay, the Hebridean island known for some of Scotland's most famous single malts, is home to nine active distilleries; Tasmania, which has been producing whisky since just 1989, now has the same number, with more on the way. What's it all about? The weather? The doughtiness of the inhabitants?
The quality of the water and grain certainly play a part, but the rest was vigorously debated over the two-night Whisky Business, Saffire Freycinet's first weekend dedicated to the dram. Bill Lark, Casey Overeem and Patrick Maguire, from the Lark, Overeem and Sullivans Cove distilleries led the charge, talking single-malt enthusiasts through the recent history of the state's distilling, guiding tastings and pouring more than a few drams.
Saffire is known for going above and beyond, so Whisky Business had a piper and a smoky demonstation of the cooper's art by Adam Bone from the Tasmanian Cask Company. The resort's reputation for seriously good food was in the spotlight too, whether it was in Hugh Whitehouse and Simon Pockran's canapés (brilliant quail pastillas, cocktail haggises on rounds of swede), or their dazzling dinner, with pairings in the order of Sherry-matured Overeem teamed to great effect with salsify cooked over peat, roasted rye, black pudding and saltbush. There's simply no better introduction to Australian whisky.
Saffire's next Whisky Business weekend is 28-30 August 2015; from $1,950 per room per night, including meals.