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

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

3 November 2019

WhiskyPlus 2019 does Penang

Here's one for the whisky lovers in Penang - WhiskyPlus, arguably Malaysia's largest whisky event, will be coming over to you!


WHERE:
Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort

WHEN: 
Saturday, November 30, 2019 (Session One 12-5pm; Session Two 6-10:30pm)

PRICING: 
Entry passes for attendees range from RM178 (regular entry) to RM298 (VIP entry).

Just some of the whiskies featured at the recent WhiskyPlus 2019 KL event

WHAT DO YOU GET: 
Unlimited samplings of whiskies and spirits to try, from the familiar big names to independent bottling and even new expressions, a Glencairn-style whisky tasting glass, and a food box to line yout tummy! VIP entry pass will receive additional privileges and goodies, including access to the older and higher-end expressions of whiskies poured by each exhibitor.

DISCOUNTS:
1) Be a Dram Full - Malaysia member on Facebook (free!) and you get RM40 off the ticket price.
2) If you're a The Glenlivet Guardians member, you'll also get RM40 off the ticket price.
Both requires a special code to redeem your discount. :)

Some more of the good stuff featured at the recent WhiskyPlus 2019 KL event

FOR MORE: 
Email info@whiskyplus.my or head on to www.whiskyplus.my

WIN!
We've got 2 pairs of tickets worth RM356 each to give away. All you have to do is participate in our little contest on Facebook and Instagram!

Don't say we #bojio!

30 October 2019

TGG Launch x Oktoberfest x Carlsberg


The Good Guys (TGG) bar and kitchen officiated the opening of its third outlet at the Square, Publika by hosting ‘Probably The Best Oktoberfest Celebration’ on the 25th Oct partnered with Carlsberg Malaysia in support.

 Publika chalks the 3rd TGG outlet after Damansara Utama and Plaza Arkadia. Similar to the first two outlets, TGG plays on five elements – good ambiance, good food offerings, a good beer range, good service delivery and good pricing that is a proven to resonance well with the urban and hip working crowd. Congratulations...... Guys!


- Jon

5 October 2019

Brouwerij Martens Bochol Craft Beers Comes to Malaysia

Brouwerij Martens Bochol (the Marten Bochol Brewery) from Belgium has officially launched a series of their specialty craft beers at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur recently.

The brewery was founded 260 years ago in 1758 and is an independent company. Today, Jan and Fons Martens are the eighth generation in the family; who are still continuing the tradition of brewing beers.


We were introduced to:

1) Kristoffel White (5% abv), Blond (6% abv) and Dark (6%). Named after the Saint Kristoffel in the church at the heart of Bocholt, the Kristoffel range are abbey style beers, made with high fermentation. Kristoffel White is a cloudy unfiltered beer, Blond is made with a combination of barley, cornmeal and a special selection of aromatic hops and Dark with a selection of special malts and aromatic hops.

2) Sezoens Blond (6% abv) - a top fermented ale that is made using a special double dry-hopping process.

3) Boot Tread (5% abv) - An amber ale brewed with Saaz hops

4) 1758 IPA (6.5% abv) is brewed in small batches with a blend of 6 different type of hops, this beer marks the year that Brouwerij Martens Bocholt is established.

All beers are available in selected Village Grocer stores, Jaya Grocer stores, all BIG supermarkets and selected bars in the country. Dionysus Asia Sdn Bhd brings them in and you can check them out on https://www.dionysusasia.com/home

-Jon

29 September 2019

The 4th East Imperial Gin Jubilee 2019 @ Malaysia


Gird your liver. Gin Jubilee's back - bigger and better. How?

13 participating Gin brands!
  1. The Botanist 
  2. Caorunn
  3. Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin
  4. Four Pillars Rare Dry
  5. Gin Agricolo Blagheur
  6. G’Vine Floraison
  7. Hendrick’s
  8. Napue by Kyro Distillery Company
  9. Monkey 47
  10. Rock Rose
  11. Scapegrace
  12. St. George Terroir
  13. The West Winds Cutlass
Image: Wholly Spirits
26 participating outlets!
  1. 61 Monarchy
  2. Bar Shake
  3. Bar Trigona
  4. Beta KL
  5. BotakLiquor
  6. Coley
  7. Elements
  8. Flying Monkeys
  9. HYDE at 53M
  10. JungleBird
  11. Knowhere
  12. Mari Gin
  13. Mezze
  14. Mrs Jones’ Parlour
  15. Pacific Standard Bar
  16. Pahit
  17. Pinchos Tapas Bar
  18. PS150
  19. Soma
  20. The Locker & Loft
  21. The Pawn Room
  22. The Sticky Wicket
  23. The Vault
  24. Three x Co
  25. Tickets
  26. Woo Bar @ W Kuala Lumpur
Image: W KL's Wet Deck
Lots of fun between 8-12 Oct 2019!
  • Kick-off party at W Hotel's Wet Deck on 8 Oct 2019
  • Bar crawl through participating bars to vote for your favourite Gin & Tonic between 1-12 Oct 2019. Each post MUST include the hashtags #EastImperial, #GinJubilee2019 and also the Location of the bar.
  • Catch guest shifts, masterclasses and workshops between 8-12 Oct 2019. For updates, follow https://www.facebook.com/ginjubilee
  • Catch Gin Jubilee's finale party- the Gin Lane on 12 Oct at the Sentul West Depot for RM25 g&ts all night by all the participating outlets and gin brands!
For more check out https://ginjubilee.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/whollyspirits/

J

26 September 2019

Will the Grinch of Octoberfest Present Itself Again in 2019?

That's been on my mind lately.

Image: MyBeer Malaysia
2 years ago, you might have recalled The Better Beer Festival 2017 was cancelled (after 5 years!).  One Utama's annual one was also cancelled.  It would've been alright if their permits were outright rejected in the first place - but authorities gave them the okay, only to revoke their permits at the 11th hour, burning all monetary and effort costs involved. 2017 was a hard year for imbibers and organisers indeed.



Reeling from what happened in 2017, in 2018, the 2 local breweries managed to host relatively subdued events - either using different names and only through outlet promotions.

As we're heading towards October - I've not seen much fanfare. So far, we've noted only a couple of pubs promoting their version of Octoberfest.



Other than that, it has all been quiet.

I really miss those big Oktoberfest parties. Sob..

J

19 September 2019

Connor Stout Porter's 'perfect pour' September

Connor’s Stout Porter, Malaysia’s premium draught stout continues to entice the taste buds of stout lovers with a  comeback campaign of its Perfect Pour Challenge.

Upping the ante for the second time this year, Connor’s Perfect Pour Challenge throughout September will feature the Connor’s booth and truck at more than 50 locations nationwide covering Klang Valley, Ipoh, Penang and Johor.

If you choose to accept the challenge for the next 2 weeks, quickly go catch the pop up bar at Pavilion KL @ Connection Level 3 every day from 4pm to 10pm; and 4pm to 12am on Fridays and Saturdays
or visit www.connorschallenge.my for the upcoming locations and states.