Whisky Focus - Talisker Race To Skye Champion And His Winning Cocktails

Talisker Race To Skye Champion And His Winning Cocktails

5th September 2017
Do you fancy trying Andrew Lennie's Talisker Race To Skye winning cocktails.

Andrew Lennie Talisker Race To Skye Champion 2017Diageo Reserve has named Andrew Lennie of The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh as the winner of their inaugural Talisker ‘Race to Skye’ Competition following an intense final in the whisky’s homeland, the Isle of Skye.

Launched earlier this year, the regional heats for the ‘Race to Skye’ competition invited bartenders from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Bournemouth, Bristol and London to create a cocktail that embodied Talisker’s ‘Made by the Sea’ campaign. The ten best from each region were selected to compete in the semi-finals before the final six were chosen to go head-to-head in the two-day final on the Isle of Skye..

On Skye, Andrew Lennie competed against fellow finalists: Rebecca Bevvy of The Laundrette Group in Manchester; Dave Ali of The Finneston in Glasgow; Daniel Bovey of Be at One in Bristol; Mike Pendergast of East London Liquor Company in London; and Charles Roche from Scout also in London, during a series of challenges.

Talisker Race To Skye Finalists 2017

Day one started with the Loch Ness Mixer challenge. Each bartender was given five minutes to mix a long drink using a Talisker variant with two ingredients and a garnish of choice and present their creation to the panel of Diageo Reserve judges including David Sinclair, Ali Reynolds and Colin Dunn. Challenge two, Talisker Brainstorm took place during the journey to Skye, in which each contestant had two minutes to answer as many questions about Talisker as possible, testing the bartenders’ knowledge of the brand’s history and the Scotch category.

Loch Ness Mixer Challenge Winning Cocktail

If you fancy trying Andrews winning Talisker cocktail at home here it is!

"Would you go to the sea bed with me?" by Andrew Lennie
  • Ingredients:
    50ml Talisker 10 Year Old
    30ml smoked rhubarb syrup
    15ml fresh lime juice
    Ginger beer
    Moondog bitters
  • Method:
    Shake and double strain
    Top with ginger beer over cubed ice
    2x dashes Moondog bitters

  • Garnish:
    Smoked rhubarb water over hot stones

On day two, contestants travelled to the Talisker distillery to test their palates in the Map of the Skye round in which each finalist was tasked with identifying the flavour profile of four Talisker expressions, before deconstructing a Talisker serve by naming the five ingredients, including the expression used. That evening at a gala dinner, the final round saw the bartenders present their Hip Flask serve. Each finalist had to create a drink before their journey to Skye, travelling with it until decanting it from the hip flask and serving to the judges for scoring.

Hip Flask Challenge Winning Cocktail

Andrews winning Talisker cocktail hip flask filler!

"Home Talk" by Andrew Lennie
  • Ingredients:
    100ml Talisker 57 North
    100ml Jasmin tea with fresh blackberry
    40ml Akashi Tai plum sake
    40ml Campari
    4 dashes peach bitters
  • Method:
    All ingredients added to a mixing glass and strained into hip flask - no ice

As the first ever ‘Race to Skye’ champion Andrew Lennie is awarded the title of Honorary Talisker Ambassador to support the Scotch whisky brand in telling its story and communicating the on-going Made by the Sea campaign. He will also enjoy an enhanced PR campaign to help raise his profile in the drinks industry.

Andrew Lennie commented: "I’m incredibly excited to be named the first ever ‘Race to Skye’ champion. It has been an amazing couple of days and competing in the heart of Skye has been unforgettable. It’s been a truly rewarding experience and I have learnt so much more about Talisker and Scotch throughout this journey. I’m looking forward to working with this wonderful Scotch brand to tell its rich story in my new honorary ambassador role."

David Sinclair, Whisky Ambassador at Diageo Reserve added: "Andrew is an incredibly worthy winner and we’re delighted to welcome him into the Talisker fold. He and all of the finalists showcased their knowledge, skill and passion for Scotch and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with them all from entry to final phase."

If you fancy recreating Andrews Talisker cocktails or just want to explore the Talisker whisky range you will find the current range available from specialist online whisky shops such as Master of Malt

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