The Booze Blog - Alcohol, Bars, Malaysia and Beyond.

15 May 2021

The Singleton 38 Years old


By the time we hit publish, this limited quantity expression may have already been sold out in Malaysia. That's because Diageo only made 1,689 bottles of this 38 year old available worldwide with only 10% of this quantity (168, just in case...) made available in Malaysia.

It is a result of a 12-year old, which had a second maturation in a number of experimental casks of ex-Bourbon, Pedro Ximenez Oloroso Seasoned casks and brand new American Oak casks to mature further for over a quarter of a century. 

Diageo Malaysia graciously hosted us a tasting session at the Whisky Cove, Pavilion Hotel KL, with our host Mr Chong in attendance via Zoom, courtesy of the new social event standards.

The session opened with a 21 years and 25 years, leading to the main event of the 38 years.

Official notes of the 38:

Bottled at cask strength at 49.6%ABV, the immediate top notes are rich, fruity and sweet, with aromas of red apple, mango, pineapple and candied citrus fruits. These fruity tones are soon succeeded by almond oil and vanilla pod, and later vanilla fudge, on a base of sandalwood. A drop of water opens the nose a little, while keeping the same profile. At natural strength, a thick, creamy texture and a vibrant, sweet start in which rich opening notes of fudge lead smoothly into a lightly spicy, intense and fruity taste suggesting cinnamon-spiced baked apple, drying gently into an autumnal peppery warmth that envelopes the palate. 

For those interested to purchase this rare single malt Scotch whisky, you can try contacting Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia at diageoinfo@mhdm.com.my.

-Jon

7 February 2021

FOUR PILLARS GIN AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE PURCHASE IN MALAYSIA

Four Pillars Gin is a craft distillery founded by three friends in 2013 based in Healesville, Melbourne’s Yarra Valley. Four Pillars took Australia and the world by storm when the first ever gin they developed - the Rare Dry Gin - won awards just one year after the distillery was founded, making the distillery a fast cult favourite and one of the most beloved gin brands in Australia.

Their gins are always made from their four copper stills, hence its brand name. Its water source is from the Yarra Valley and they pride themselves of using native botanicals such as lemon myrtle from Queensland, Pepperberry leaf from Tasmania and local citrus. So you can imagine this to be more of a botanical gin instead of a London Dry (which is juniper forward).

Distribution of Four Pillars in Malaysia will be managed by Luen Heng F&B and the following variants (official descriptions below) are available here: 

Rare Dry Gin (41.8%) - the original. Combines Asian botanicals with great Mediterranean citrus. Spicy but with citrus from whole fresh oranges and lemon myrtle. It's Four Pillar's interpretation of "a truly modern Australian gin". 

Spiced Negroni Gin (43.8%) - the only gin in the world created specifically to go in a Negroni cocktail. It is a highly aromatic, rich and spicy gin. They use the West African grains of paradise and Indonesian cubeb.

Bloody Shiraz Gin (37.8%) - this experiment using their original Rare Dry Gin is steeped with local cool climate Yarra Valley Shiraz grapes balances the sweet grape fruit and ginny goodness.

Navy Strength Gin (58.8%) - an intense gin made for cocktails. This overproof gin is distilled with native finger limes and fresh ginger in the botanical basket. Turmeric adds weight to the palate and a fresh but earthy quality, and the palate is sweet and juicy but still very clean.

More: www.fourpillarsgin.com

Four Pillars is available for online purchase at Luen Heng.

24 January 2021

Glenfiddich Celebrates the Chinese New Year with a Limited Edition Festive Box Set

Glenfiddich's Lunar celebration packaging is sure to bring you some festive cheer. 

Designed by the up-and-coming Chinese illustrator Rlon Wang, it tells a story of ‘The Great Homecoming’, inspired by the feeling of "balik kampung", ie - returning home to family for the festivities. The story follows on from 2020’s edition, where artist Wang first reimagined the royal stag icon and the journey of Charles Gordon (son-in-law of Glenfiddich founder William Grant) where he embarked for Asia with a few cases of whisky and a dream to bring the Speyside Scotch whisky to the world. The 2021 special edition bottle honours his return home to Scotland a year later.

The gift pack comes with a full bottle of whisky and 2 branded rock glasses as is available for the 12, 15, 18 and 21 expressions.

For more details on availability, follow @GlenfiddichSEA.

- Jon 

12 December 2020

Stay Safe - Drink Draught At Home!

My mum is a huge fan of the black stuff since forever.

She is so well-known for her love of Guinness that when we meet up with relatives over  a festive reunion, they will whisper to her, ".... there's a few cans of Guinness in the fridge just for you ya..". 

And whenever we go out for makan and if there's an option for it, you can bet she will order a pint (or two!) Guinness draughts to go with her meal.


So, it's her big 7-0 birthday this year and we had plans to throw her a big celebration... but thanks to the incessant movement restrictions (sigh COVID-19), those plans had to be cancelled. And as a high risk individual... she's been good citizen by not going out unless absolutely necessary... which also means she hasn't had her fresh pint in months! :(

Well, we couldn't bring mum to a bar... but we could bring a bar to her! 

How did we do this?

Heineken Malaysia has a DRAUGHT-AT-HOME service where you can enjoy chilled, freshly-poured (Heineken and Tiger) beer, (Apple Fox) cider, and (Guinness) stout safely and responsibly in the comfort of your own home!


The service includes delivery to your location and other amenities including the portable ice box which chills the beer, and glasses/plastic cups. 

Our technician from Guinness, Ratha, also demonstrated how to execute a perfect two-part pour for Guinness:


This is how the system looks like when it's set up (this is for a 10L keg - that's about 30 glasses):


That big metal box you see above is the ice box where the draught is tapped from, there's also a gas canister and the smaller tank is the beer keg. You may need to prepare additional ice, depending on how large your order is and how long your party goes on for. I've been told that once the keg is opened, it'll stay fresh for about 72 hours no problem.

Once you're done with the party, just like any usual catering service, Heineken will pick up the system,  so nooo it's not for keeping, okay! :)

Check out the 2-part pour perfectly executed by my mum:


And... a picture with the birthday girl is a must:


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MA! HOPE YOU HAD A GOOD TIME /HIC!

So for your next party, why be conventional and cater boring old food when you can cater FRESH DRAUGHT OF BEER at home! And guess what? With Christmas just around the corner... this would be perfect for any (small) home party!

For enquiries, just call 012-281-8888 or hop on to www.drinkies.my

Reminder: This service is for 21+, non-Muslims only. 
HEINEKEN Malaysia advocates #EnjoyResponsibly. Please don't drink and drive.

18 October 2020

Johnny Walker 15 Years Sherry Finish Launched in Malaysia

Think Johnnie Walker and you'll probably be familiar with their colour coded brand range - Red, Black Green, Gold, Platinum, Blue....Yes the Walker family is popularly loved for their blended whiskies, and the newly launched Johnnie Walker Aged 15 Years Sherry Finish is no exception. 

Cardhu, Glen Elgin and Clynelish are some of the single malts that went into the making of the 15YO.

Made with a blend of 15-year-old single malt whiskies then finished in ex-Sherry oak casks, this new expression is only available in selected locations - both China, Taiwan, and now Malaysia. 

It's unlike the usual JW as it's on the sweeter side and have none of the usual signature Walker smoke, making it a an easy accompaniment to Asian cuisines, as we discovered it for ourselves at the launch lunch that feature a yummy-licious Chinese seafood menu by One Seafood Restaurant


Official tasting notes: Exhibiting flavors of candied fruits, dried fruits, and coco exclusive to sherry. On the nose, a slight floral aroma along with the fragrance of baked apples, honey and vanilla is present without the usual trace of smokiness, while it presents notes of candied fruits, chocolate and nuts exclusive to sherry on the palate, followed by an exquisite floral fragrance. This is a classic flavour profile from the Clynelish Distillery located in the Highland region of Scotland. Together with the aromas of fruit cake and dried fruits exclusive to the Glen Elgin Distillery, there is a great depth of flavour finished off with honey and candied-fruit endnotes that linger after every sip. Johnnie Walker Aged 15 Years Sherry Finish offers a sweet and aromatic experience.

Chong Wai Keng, Diageo Malaysia Brand Ambassador and Rajesh Joshi, Marketing Director of Diageo Malaysia at the recent media launch of the JW15 sherry finish.

The Johnnie Walker Aged 15 Years Sherry Finish is available on Boozeat, Stay Thirsty, Whisky.my and at major supermarkets. Now with CMCO hitting selected states in Malaysia, what better time to get hold of them online and try it at home with your own homecooked food? Don't forget to jio us, ya!

Official website: www.johnniewalker.com
Official hashtags: #JohnnieWalkerMY #JW15YSherry #KeepWalking

- Jon

28 September 2020

GinRum.Me 2020


Covid-19 has been a huge downer ... BUT rain, shine or virus, we must keep our spirits (glasses) up!

GinRum.Me is back in its third year with a new format for the new normal featuring 9 weeks of spirits experiences with gins, tequila and a mezcal across 8 bars in Klang Valley and even 4 in Ipoh!

WHAT TO EXPECT:
Each week will feature one spirit by one participating bar. There are a few ways you can participate:

1) Get an entry ticket to participate in a special event hosted by the bar and spirit partner.

2) Get a limited edition masterclass box (aka the Grab.Relax.Minum box) which is curated by the participating bar and spirit brand partner to experience #GinRumMe2020 at home. There will be one box for each Bar-Brand collaboration.

3) Get both the entry ticket and masterclass box for a discounted price!

Check out these awesome Grab.Relax.Minum Masterclasses boxes by Hyde-Tanqueray and Joloko-Koch El!

LINE-UPS:
Week 1 (26 Sep): Hyde x Tanqueray No.Ten - Gin cocktails and Jazz

Week 2 (3 Oct): Joloko x Koch El Mezcal - Mexican Afternoon

Week 3 (10 Oct): Pahit x Whitley Neil Gin - Gin and Kerala Food pairing

Week 4 (18 Oct): JungleBird KL x Mount Gay Rum - Caribbean Afternoon 

Week 5 (26 Oct): Wildflowers x Edinburgh Gin - Afternoon Tea

Week 6 (31 Oct): Three x Co x Bacardi 8 Rum - Cocktail Making Workshop

Week 7 (7 Nov): Skullduggery x No. 3 London Dry Gin - Launch of the Kingsman edition.

Week 8 (15 Nov) : Jann @ Four Points Chinatown x Caorunn Gin - G&T and BBQ by the pool.

Week 9 (20-21 Nov): Ipoh bar hopping - Atasspeakeasy, Lumi, Mad Ramen and Tiga

So much gin cocktails at Hyde last weekend!

PRICING: 
Event ticket for each outlet - Average of RM80 per event.

Grab.Relax.Minum box - Between RM100-RM120 each box.  

COMBO package of ticket + box - About RM155 per package

Purchase them at eshop.thirstmag.com 

FOR MORE: 
Head on to www.ginrum.me

Don't say we #bojio!

#GinRumMe
#GinRumMe2020

18 January 2020

Jann, Four Points Sheraton Chinatown KL

The Petaling Street / Chinatown area is booming with foreign and local tourists, drawn by the mushrooming of new, quaint F&B outlets, super Instagram-able graffiti and design, and most of all - bars of all shapes and sizes.

Enter newest kid on the block, Jann. A cocktail bar that's located on the 7th floor of the newly opened Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown.

Image: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FourPointsKualaLumpurChinatown

Jann, named after the daughter of the family that owns the hotel, features signature drinks inspired by the flavours and ingredients from Petaling Street.

Headed by Lawson (previously of The Deceased) and assisted by Chris (previously from Three X Co), these two boys creatively put together a list of 12 signature cocktails. They would, as much as possible, even purchase the ingredients from Petaling Street in their bid to support the small businesses that make up the heritage of area.

Asam Laksa (RM45) - A margarita twist named after the laksa stall located along Jalan Hang Lekir (Madras Lane).
Aged tequila, ginger flower, asam keping, orange, calamansi.

Bak Kwa (RM45)  actually has bakwa from Oloiya.. who actually started off selling orange juice.
A lighter version of a Screwdriver, but with grand marnier, lemon and tea foam.

Great Master Kui (RM40) is meant to take you to Sin Sze Ya temple.
(Tea-infused gin, aperol, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit, lemon)

Wanna guess why this is called Kapitan Yap (hint: hat)?
This interesting take to the whisky sour is made with jackfruit-infused Jack Daniel's.

Tau Foo Fah (RM40) is made with Tau foo fah from the infamous Jalan Petaling Tau Foo Fah stall, spiked with dark rum.

The Tailor - paying homage to the century-old fashioned tailor shop along Jalan Sultan.
This Old Fashioned is twisted with Jack Daniel's that's infused with bonito.

But like all freshly opened establishments, we were told that the drinks menu will continue to be tweaked.

Of course they have other items on the menu as well, spirits (as it's part of the Mariott group, you can expect the back of the bar to be dominated by  popular Pernod Ricard brands), beer on tap (which we need to find our more about), wine.... and of course bar snacks.

The bar itself is a marriage of old and new, east and west. As you enter, it's hard to miss the horse-shoe shaped open-concept bar.  And with an open air balcony with a view of the KL skyline.

Can't wait to check it out again once they have settled in.

More:
7th floor, Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur
2, Jalan Balai Polis, Chinatown
50000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 03 2035 7333
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/kulfc-four-points-kuala-lumpur-chinatown/
https://www.facebook.com/FourPointsKualaLumpurChinatown/


15 December 2019

Dram & Leaf - Penang's First Specilalist Bottle Shop

A big congratulations to Ben Ng (of Drinks Alliance), and his partners on the opening of Penang's first retail shop offering fine things for sale and experiential sessions.

 
What fine things? Here is rundown of what they have to offer:

... More than 300 whiskies and craft spirits (gin, rum..)... including brands like AD Rattray, Whitley Neil Gin, The English Whisky Co., Ben Riach and Von Hallers are just some of the interesting ones, to name a few.


... Premium home grown brand, “A Chocolate”, that specialises in customised alcohol infused chocolate and also luxurious caviar by Poseidon.


... a humidor room filled with cuban cigars


Apart from that, Dram & Leaf plans to undertake collaborative experiential activities such as street food and whisky pairing tours. Look out for their events on facebook (link below).


There is also a small tasting room and a 2nd level that will be an event space/gallery that can accommodate 40 guests. Both can be booked for private functions.

Keep updated & in touch with Dram & Leaf at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dramnleaf/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dramnleaf/
Email: info@drinksalliance.asia
Tel: +6016 494 9760
Location: Address: 15 Jalan Hutton, 10050, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

10 November 2019

Balblair's Core Range Release in Malaysia


We were recently invited for a tasting and dinner to introduce the Bablair's core range aged expressions of the 12yr old, 15yr old and 18yr old.

But is Balblair's new? The answer is.... not really.

Previously, Balblair was originally introduced as a whisky bottled by "vintage" like, wine. The Balblair 95 for example; was bottled in 2015.

What made them change? Well my guess would be, like every other brand going NAS, stamping Balblair as an aged expression is a way of changing their game plan for meeting demand. So, if you can get your hands on their vintage variant though, do it.

Image: The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt

If you're curious, you can read about their change here:
https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/latest-news/25093/balblair-removes-vintages-amidst-revamp/
http://www.thewhiskybusiness.com/2019/03/balblair-distillery-launches-new-age.html

Of the 3 new expressions released, which one do I like? To be honest, all 3 make for a decent everyday easy-drinking dram. The 12 yr old was a nice dram to start the evening with the 15 yr old makes a decent after dinner dram, and the 18 yr old was a good way to end the night.

For more:
https://www.balblair.com/
https://www.facebook.com/asiaeurogroup/ (main distributor in Malaysia)

Thanks for the jio, AsiaEuro.

- Jon

Sorgin, The Bewitching Gin

Image: Sorgin

Most gins are distilled from grains. However, Sorgin is made from fine Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Not just any grapes, but grapes from the vineyards of Francoise Lurton, the 4th generation wine producer from one of the biggest Bordeaux wine families, producing wines since 1897.

Sorgin is the first spirit created by him and his wife, Saabin, after he diversified the family's business by relaunching the distilling activity his great-grandfather, Léonce Récapet, had inherited in 1880. Sorgin was designed to be a link between his new venture into spirits and his family''s heritage in wine.

Apart from juniper berries (mandatory for gin!), it also has pink grapefruit, lemon, lime, violet, broom (cinnamon), blackcurrant buds. The finished product of 43% abv  has a fruity, tangy notes while the nose has a hint of wine (thanks to its grape base).

Sorgin means witch in Basque french, an ode to its French South West origin.

Single & Available brings it in. While it is only exclusively available at Mr Chew's for now, I am told that this will eventually be available from year-end onward.

For more: http://sorgin.fr/ or https://www.facebook.com/sorgin.fr/

- Jon