This Monday, seven of the UK's best bartenders went head-to-head to secure a spot in Auchentoshan's first New Malt Order competition. The brief? To create a take on the the whisky's signature serve, the Auchentoshan and Ale, using their own bespoke bitters.
The global winners will form the New Malt Order, and will be charged with creating a very first, bartender created, limited edition variety of Auchestoshan – available to the on-trade in 2017.
Dandelyan's Jack Wareing and Plateau's Georgia Billing are the UK additions to the club, after beating out the competition at London's Peg + Patriot. The competition was judged by Mike Aikman, owner of Bramble, Last Word Saloon and Lucky Liquor Co; John Cashman, international brand ambassador for Beam Suntory; and Amanda Humphrey, Mixxit brand ambassador.
'I entered Auchentoshan's New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters,' said Billing on her win. 'Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, abv and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression'.
'To involve bartenders in the creation of a new whisky is an innovative idea and one which I will follow with interest,' added Aikman.
'Jack's was the only "savoury" drink we saw, which was an excellent showcase for the tasting profile of Auchentoshan Three Wood. Georgia's scientific approach was unique. Her bitters were excellent and her second drink was proof that sometimes keeping drinks simple is the best tactic.'
Cashman commented: 'I was impressed with Jack's foraging approach for his bitters and this theme continued with his cocktail, which was influenced by druids and mythical times.'
Billing and Wareing will join 10 other bartenders from around to the world, partaking in a masterclass with master blender Rachel Barrie before getting to work on creating their expression.