Inaugural whisky champ named by The Whisky List

December 16, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

Dale ‘Chipa’ Bolton from Victoria has been named the inaugural Most Ultimate Whisky Champ 2020 following last night’s blind whisky tasting hosted by The Whisky List.

It was Australia’s first virtual and largest blind whisky tasting competition with morew than 100 people in attendance. Some guests hosted tasting parties in parks and homes, sampling the mystery whiskies delivered prior to the event. Participants had seven minutes to submit their guess as to country of origin, distillery and expression.

The event was hosted by Ben Green, e-sport host and whisky lover, and the live tasting panel included:

  • Kelvin Low – The Elysian Whisky Bar (Melbourne)
  • Emma Cookson – Whisky & Alement (Melbourne)
  • Tim Duckett, founder of Tasmanian Independent Bottlers and Heartwood Malt Whisky (Hobart)
  • Irina Sim – WLA whisky lover (Sydney) and highlight of the evening as she rummaged through her cupboards filled three bottles deep to compare flavours with the blind whiskies on offer.

Emma Cookson scored third (and highest in the panel) in the overall competition. The six whiskies were:  Glen Grant Arboralis Single Malt, Chita’s Distiller’s Reserve, Redbreast 12 year old Irish Whiskey, Starward Solera Single Malt from Melbourne (a crowd favourite!), Woodford Reserve Rye and Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 year old Scotch Whisky.

The inaugural champion, Bolton, is looking forward to sampling his first prize win: GlenDronach 1993 26 year old*. He said: “I have a close family connection…to Riverborne Distillery in southern New South Wales. I am sure my education in nosing whisky from the barrel has helped my training these last couple years.”

When asked about his tasting process for the competition, he said “At the start they mentioned all the whiskies were widely available at most major retailers. So along with listening to the tasting notes from the live panel, I jumped online to my favourite whisky retailer and started looking at whiskies which matched my tasting notes. From there was basically process of elimination to get to a single whisky to guess.”

Oliver Maruda, cofounder of The Whisky List and host of the Most Ultimate Whisky Champs said, “It was great to see a combination of individual participants and teams formed for the tasting. Massive thanks to our live tasting panel for sharing their whisky knowledge to everyone at home and keeping us entertained. Huge congratulations to Dale for taking out the win and being crowned Most Ultimate Whisky Champ 2020! Was the perfect event to end the year.”

*For whisky conoisseurs: GlenDronach 1993 26 year old was bottled exclusively for the Australian market by The Whisky List in partnership with Brown Forman (owners of The GlenDronach). It’s the first ever Oloroso Sherry aged, 26-year-old GlenDronach bottling to make it Down Under, and is purported to be the most expensive whisky cask ever imported into Australia. It retails for $760.

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