Diageo launched its Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen last night with a whisky-matched degustation menu at the Sydney Opera House.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen is the second in a series of special releases crafted using irreplaceable “ghost” whiskies and other incredibly rare whiskies from the Johnnie Walker Blue Label reserves.
At the heart of this limited edition is an Islay single malt from Port Ellen – a ‘ghost’ distillery that shut its doors in 1983.
For the special release, Master Blender, Dr Jim Beveridge blended ghost whiskies from Port Ellen, Caledonian and Carsebridge, with five incredibly rare malts from Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol and Oban.
The result is a whisky with layers of creamy vanilla sweetness and rolling waves of waxy citrus, rich malt and tropical fruit notes – all balanced by the distinctive maritime smokiness of Port Ellen.
There were three delicious canapes served prior to dinner: sashimi of coral trout, zucchini, goats curd, pepita & hemp seed arancini, and divine fried prawn dumplings.
Bennelong Executive Chef Peter Gilmore (pictured above) then matched a flight of Johnnie Walker Blue whiskies including the Ghost and Rare Port Ellen, plus Johnnie Walker Blue Ghost & Rare Brora with a degustation menu of slow braised pork belly with mushrooms, shaved squid and sea cucumber crackling; wagyu with roasted onion yorkshire pudding and horseradish emulsion; and creme caramel vs mille-feulle.
Diageo’s National Whisky Ambassador Simon McGoram (pictured above with Peter Gilmore) was on hand to lead guests through the whisky journey, which began with a welcome cocktail featuring Johnnie Walker Blue, lemon myrtle syrup, chardonnay vinegar and soda.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen is presented in a custom design dark blue bottle, showing the distilleries used in the blend, on a map of Scotland. It’s available to purchase from most major liquor stores for a RRP $480 for a 750ml bottle.