We at InStitchu really appreciate a good whisky, much like our clients.
A glass of whisky in the hands of a classy gentleman has historically speaking, always been a picture of poise and influence. It was only until recently that we teamed up with the decorated Sydney connoisseur, Oak Barrel, to host our first whisky evening. As presumed the night was a success, with our guests gaining a tasteful insight into the life of a seasoned whisky drinker, accompanied by our personal stylists, measuring and designing a garment for them. The man in the driver’s seat?
Scott Fitzsimmons, who provides a wealth of knowledge on an array of alcoholic beverages, specialising in the field of the rare and elusive whisky. First, let us take an in-depth look into Oak Barrel’s finest collection and the actual whisky’s sampled at our most recent tasting event.
|Kilkerran Single Malt Scotch
Whiskey: A hotly anticipated release from Glengyle/Kilkerrans Campbeltown distillery that’s taken 12 years to land on Australian shores.
GlenDronach Original Aged 12 Years Single Malt: A rich number from the Scottish distillery that utilises some of the finest Spanish sherry on the market.
Laphroaig Isley Single Malt Scotch Whiskey: This Scottish bottle is regarded by many as one of the most richly flavoured scotch’s in the world.
Suntory Hakushu Single Malt Whiskey: A multi award winning 12-year whisky from Japan, Hakushu has become a source of fascination for whisky drinkers in the know.
Finally, let’s pick Scott’s brain a little on his thoughts on the unification between the sophisticated gentleman and love for whisky.
If you ask Scott, the link between suit culture and whisky appreciation is tailor-made. There’s “something magical” about whisky and the work that goes into it. Much like a bespoke suit, it is greater “than the sum of its parts”. Like a suit “it has universal appeal”.
As Scott so kindly points out, it’s not too hard to identify a novice whisky drinker. “There’s no visual clues,” he says with a grin. “When a guy comes through asking for Glenlivet or Glenfiddich, and then acting surprised when we don’t stock it” that speaks volumes. A whisky veteran like Scott can usually split the talkers from the walkers pretty easily. “It usually only takes a couple of minutes of discussion. A lot of blokes know a few names but can’t really identify flavours or qualities.” Scott twisted the knife further, stating that female scotch and whisky drinkers typically have a greater appreciation of the beverage. “Women catch on a bit quicker. They usually have a further developed palette.”
So how does Scott identify a quality whisky? Well, the proof is usually in the pudding. The awards will typically speak for themselves. However in terms of preference, “I prefer something interesting, something unique or challenging. If it’s not interesting I get bored.” Scott believes the art is in the balancing act. “An interesting whisky features all kinds of different elements. It’s about perfectly balancing those elements, and then perfectly maturing it. This bad boy took 12 years [he says as he grabs the Hakushu Single Malt off of the shelf]. The right timing on the release is critical.” Scott also stressed the need for the story of production, again referencing the Suntory Hakushu and their mountainside distillery. “If you don’t have the story (of the whisky), you’re just drinking flavoured vodka” he quips, to the laughter of all those in attendance.
All things considered, Scott currently has a clear favourite whisky. “The Kilkerran 12 Year is my favourite right now. the flavour is very old, very unique. It’s been aged 12 years, and that seems to have balanced it perfectly.”
Seeing as we’re a suit company, we got Scott’s opinion on his personal favourite suits. A self-proclaimed fan of dark, understated tones, he doesn’t fancy himself rocking a bright orange double-breast anytime soon. “I can’t pull off anything fancy,” he says, laughing. “I’ve always liked greys. A dark, charcoal grey, even gun-metal is my preference. I’ve also been known to wear a deep blue or navy from time to time. It’s not flashy, but I’m playing the long-game.”