Melbourne whisky distillery STARWARD is excited to announce Perth-based bartender, Dean Buchanan, as their 2018 Constellations Cocktail Competition winner. Triumphing with his drink, the Tuber, Dean’s cocktail embraced the competition’s ‘Iconic Australian People and Place’s theme and contained STARWARD Wine Cask, Truffle Butter Cacao, porcini distillate, native thyme, and peated Amaro.
With over 170 entries for this year’s competition, STARWARD held the final at their Port Melbourne Distillery where eight of Australia’s best bartenders battled it out across the intense two-day competition.
Up against some of the best bartenders from New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, Dean stood out when illustrating his ability to blend Single malt whisky casks, improvise tiki drinks and display his cocktail presentation skills in front of a sizable group of Melbourne hospitality, watching in awe.
David Vitale, founder of STARWARD added, “It’s truly humbling to see Australian bartenders supporting our whisky on such a large scale. The calibre of entries this year has been amazing and the drinks they’ve produced have really showcased STARWARD’s versatility. We’d like to congratulate Dean on his fantastic cocktail that made him this year’s winner”.
Dean, who works at multi-award winning Long Chim in Perth added, “We all came out of the competition with a greater appreciation for the incredibly hard work that goes into making this great whisky. It was an absolute honour to take out first place”.
Mentored by David Vitalie, Dean’s prize is the creation of his very own STARWARD blend, consisting of some of the distilleries rarest barrels, in addition to a customised cocktail kit and leather bag crafted by Wooten Leather Works of Melbourne.
Second place was awarded to, Brittany Rowe, of Cobbler Bar in Brisbane, who received a bottle of STARWARD Ginger Beer Cask Whisky whilst Kayla Reid, of Brisbane’s Savile Row was given a Highly Commended in the blending round and presented with a bottle of Ginger Beer Cask Whisky.
As a competition judge and co-owner of the Elysian Whisky Bar, Yao Wong stated, “These were some of the best cocktails I’ve ever seen in a competition with some unusual and unique recipes display a high level of dedication from all those involved”.
Dick Blanchard, Brand Manager for STARWARD Whisky added, “We’ve been absolutely blown away by the entries in this year’s STARWARD Constellation Cocktail Competition. The creativity of the drinks has been phenomenally impressive with complex recipes that really show off a multitude of skills. We’re looking forward to next year’s competition already.”