On The Shelf

Dr Jerry Schwartz and Prof John Rasko craft Two Doctors whiskey and launch a new whiskey bar at Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains

Two prominent Sydney doctors, Prof John Raskoand Dr Jerry Schwartz, are putting their talents together for another very worthy cause – the production of a new single malt whiskey, appropriately named Two Doctors.

While the first batch of six-year-old single malt whiskey is nearing the bottling stage at the Two Doctors Hunter Valley distillery, a three-year-old cocktail whiskey made by Prof Rasko was poured to celebrate the launch of the Blue Mountain’s first dedicated whiskey bar – the Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern – at Dr Schwartz’s Fairmont Resort & Spa, Blue Mountains.

In one of their early meetings in 2012, Prof Rasko discovered that Dr Schwartz operated a brewery in the Hunter Valley, and the two friends decided to establish a distillery to create the first super-premium whiskey distilled in NSW.

No expense was spared in establishing the distillery, with capital investment from Dr Schwartz. The best bespoke wash and spirit stills were sourced from Tasmania, and Prof Rasko set out to expertly craft the finest pure malted barley spirit for maturation in vintage oak barrels sourced from premium Hunter Valley vineyards.

Bottling of Two Doctors whiskey is about to get underway, with the first bottles expected to be unveiled in 2022.

Dr Schwartz said that the partnership to create the Two Doctors whiskey brand was the result of a happy combination of his brewery in the Hunter Valley and Prof Rasko’s interest in creating a whiskey from scratch.

“Expert barrel tastings of the Two Doctors whiskey have been universally praised and reflect both the investment we’ve made in the process and John Rasko’s passion and skills,” said Dr Schwartz.

“What will set Two Doctors whiskey apart is that most ‘new world’ distilleries start their process with gin, vodka or rum so that they can get an early return on investment. But we are focussing exclusively on single malt whiskey and we have filled some 200 hogsheads over the past seven years. No other distillery in Australia is likely to invest such high levels of dedication and patience into their whiskey.

“As a logical extension to the production of the whiskey, I thought we should open a dedicated whiskey bar given that I had a perfect space for such a venue at my Fairmont Resort. With Prof Rasko’s integral role in our whiskey journey, the bar just had to be called the Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern.

“There is a medical theme to the bar, with various pieces of medical equipment installed as ‘furnishings’, though we are confident that a ‘visit to the doctors’ will be a far more attractive proposition than the usual doctor’s appointment.

“The Fairmont is a brilliant location for a whiskey bar because the Blue Mountains, with its mist and chill are very reminiscent of many Irish and Scottish locations steeped in whiskey – or whisky – heritage.

“The opening this week is a great celebration of the end of most Covid restrictions and the welcoming back of interstate and some international visitors. Last week we did 95 per cent occupancy at the Fairmont, and it’s been a long time between drinks since we’ve recorded such a strong performance.”

About Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern 

Two Doctors Whiskey Tavern is a refined, yet quirky whiskey bar, with an intimate location in the basement of the Fairmont Resort. The bar features a large list of the finest local and international whiskies, and a sustainable approach to cocktails, utilising Australian craft spirits and native ingredients to capture the beauty and ruggedness of the hotel’s surroundings in the Blue Mountains.

Signature cocktails will be based on the three-year old Two Doctors whiskey. Others will include Australian Trilogy, which combines Gospel Solera Rye, 23rd Street Not Your Nanna’s Brandy, charred peach caramel, and orange bitters and Tavern Gimlet, featuring Karu Lighting Gin (an award-winning local Gin Distillery) paired with a house cordial of lemon myrtle, eucalypt, and lime.

Defined by four cosy interior spaces and paying homage to whiskey taverns of yesteryear to create a warmth and charm, patrons can sink into leather chesterfields and plush velvet chairs, and explore the bookshelves housing vintage books and curios. On weekends the tavern will host local musicians and DJs to add further energy to the space.

To round out the experience, the Tavern will offer modern classic food with a twist by incorporating whiskey and smoke elements into signature dishes such as smoked beef tartar, honey and bourbon baked brie with lavender, and miso & whiskey glazed salmon with apple, fennel & kohlrabi salad.

The Tavern will also offer favourites such as, dry-aged steak, smash burgers and chicken wings. Desserts include Bourbon panna cotta with caramelized white chocolate, compressed orange & pecan crumble, along with Churros with our house bourbon maple caramel dipping sauce.

 

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