A four-day soiree of drams and exceptionally shaped ice will be sweeping through Sydney in November, as the inaugural Whisk(e)y on The Rocks festival ropes in some of the world’s leading whisky brands. Setting up in – you guessed it – The Rocks from Thursday 19th to Sunday 22nd November, the new festival will be dedicated entirely to the art of whisky, with rounds of masterclasses, a whisk(e)y trail of local bars, pubs and restaurants, and four distinct “festival zones”.
The COVID-safe event will be scattered amongst key areas of Campbell’s Cove, 47 George Street, Playfair Street, and The Argyle Courtyard, each hosting different concepts from the likes of Glenfiddich, Monkey Shoulder, Johnnie Walker, Starwood Whisky, and a few others. Even Fever-Tree will be getting amongst it, setting up a High Ball Bar in Campbell’s Cove with house whiskies from all festival partners mixed and matched with the range of premium mixers.
Glenfiddich’s two-storey ‘Whisky Wanderer’ bus, complete with high-end whisky bar and a hydraulic pop-up roof, will be parked up alongside the High Ball Bar, serving full serves and selling personalised bottles. Similarly, Monkey Shoulder’s cocktail-shaking Mixer Truck will be posted over on Playfair Street, while Johnnie Walker dominates the Argyle Courtyard with a 200th-anniversary celebration, and the three-floor venue over at 47 George St transforms into a “home of whisky” with bars from Maker’s Mark, Dead Rabbit’s, and Wild Turkey.
The structured roaming festival will keep those “festival zones” open for two hours across several allocated time slots before sending whisky lovers off on the curated walking trail, tracking the likes of Starward Whisky and Cooper Dog Whisky at venues across The Argyle, The Doss House, Mrs Jones Bar, The Push, The Mercantile Hotel, Sergeant Lok, Tayim, Fortune of War and Maybe Sammy. Each of these spots will have their own whisky and food menu created especially for the festival.
Anyone keen on mixing their libations with a bit of education can veer off the trail and into a host of intimate (and ticketed) 45-minute Master Classes set up in the Campbells Cove Stores, each dipping into the history, craftsmanship and story behind the festival’s partnering Whisky Houses, led by leading ambassadors and educators in the industry. Exact details on the classes haven’t been revealed yet, but you can click through below and keep an eye out on the official website for details ahead of the festival.
Tickets to the festival are $25 each and come with 7 sample tokens, which are redeemable for 15mL whisky nips and cocktails across the festival zones and along the trail.