Eat/Drink: US distilleries on top shelf

Rye whiskey, multi-grain bourbon, fermented mash whiskey, malted, triple distilled, barrel aged, casked . . . If you're not sure where to start when ordering specialty whiskeys, just ask the Roadhouse Bar & Grill food and beverage manager Kieran Erasmuson when you visit the Atura Hotel Blacktown for a drink.

After 15 years in the industry Mr Erasmuson has an interest in American whiskeys which led to the concept of setting up "the only whiskey bar in western Sydney".

"A lot of guests kept asking for bourbons we didn't have — we wanted to develop this unique concept and we wanted to do it well.

"The concept fit like a hand in glove with the hotel's clientele from the Sydney Dragway and Sydney Dragway and the Motorsport Park."

Opened last year, the venue is sports bar, whiskey bar and "refined but relaxed" living room in one.

It has an extensive menu with 40 American whiskey brands — some are limited edition bottles purchased via auction in the US — as well as Scotch varieties and other drinks you would expect to find at a bar.

Your choice of whiskey will go hand in hand with the American-style options in the grill's menu, including the Roadhouse angus burger, spiced chicken wings, dry aged grass-fed angus steaks and a fancy twist on the classic American mac & cheese.

■ The Roadhouse Bar & Grill, Atura Hotel Blacktown.

■ Wild Turkey special edition: Bottled in 1981 with eight-year-old decanted whiskey from 1973, this rare bottle is not easily found on the market. It’s a smooth drop with caramel notes and hints of vanilla. Shot: $30.

■ Noah’s Hill: Part of small batch bourbon by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, this bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels until matured after 15 year. Has deep and rich flavours. Shot: $24.

■ Hudson Rye and Hudson Bourbon: This rye whiskey is spicy and rustic, with a smidgen of honey and coconut. Shot: $24.

* Suggestions from Kieran Erasmuson from the Roadhouse Bar & Grill. Other whiskey shots cost $7.50 to $12.


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