A single cask BenRiach bottled for Australian-based Facebook collective Australian Whisky Appreciation Society [AWAS] has made its public debut during a Sydney tasting.
The cask, peated spirit matured in an ex-marsala fortified wine cask, appeared at a BenRiach tasting held at Surry Hills’ Clock Hotel on Wednesday amongst a line-up of other age statements from the distillery. The tasting was organised by AWAS administrators and local representatives of Brown-Forman, BenRiach’s parent company. Bottled by the group's administrators, it will be an Australian exclusive single cask.
Active for five years and with over 10,000 members, AWAS is one of the most prominent Facebook whisky groups, particularly locally. The social media giant has actively encouraged membership and activity in groups across all interests and hobbies for the past 12 months, which has helped grow AWAS and similar whisky groups internationally. Whisky and other alcohol-based communities have, however, come under the radar recently in a crackdown on peer-to-peer alcohol sales on the platform.
As well as the incoming BenRiach cask, which is expected to land before the end of the year, AWAS have made no secret of their intentions to move into an independent bottling concern. They have previously announced the purchase of a cask of whisky from New South Wales distillery Black Gate while there are believed to be multiple releases in the pipeline for the next 12 months.
This week AWAS also launched a holding page for an upcoming website, which may aid in alleviating the community’s dependence on Facebook.
Comprehensive details on the cask, including a firm release date, are still vague but the 2007 distillate was matured in an ex-marsala wine hogshead before it was bottled earlier this year as a 12-year-old. It sits at 60.1%.