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

6 October 2018

The Macallan Edition No. 4 - Launched in Malaysia


Ever since the scarcity of aged statement whiskies from an Asian upsurge of consumption some years ago, The Edrington Group to which owns the Macallan whisky brand among others went on the offensive to meet the explosion in demand. Which brings us their The Edition series - a yearly limited edition no-age statement series where Macallan plays around with a wide range of wood for the series.

The No. 4 of the Edition Series is their, you guessed it, fourth edition of the series.


The No.4 is aged in a combination of seven different cask types. These include (deep breath guys); European/American Oak refill butts, European/American Oak refill hogsheads, American Oak first fill Vasyma hogsheads, European Oak first fill Diego Martin Rosado butts, European Oak first fill Jose Y Miguel Martin butts, European Oak first fill Tevasa butts/puncheons and European Oak first fill Tevasa hogsheads.

Different from the previous three edition which were more focused on the taste and aroma, master distiller Nick Savage developed Edition No. 4 to reveal the 'structure of the whisky', inspired by the construction of their swanky, newly constructed, £140 million distillery, design by the team behind London's Millennium Dome, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.

Image: Macallan
6 years in the making. 36 copper pot stills. This colossal distillery is quite a sight to behold... at least that's the feeling I'm getting from its video - https://www.themacallan.com/en/the-journal/new-distillery/

The tasting notes for the No. 4 is quite a departure from the usual Macallan signature (sherry, sherry baby). This one had bright orange zest with grapefruit, berries, hazelnuts and some spice. The finish is short but what I liked was what felt like a burst of sunshine.


There were plenty of people at the launch which described this as smooth - which is not exactly a flavour per se but hey, who am I to tell someone how to enjoy their whisky?

At the point of writing, it's RM600 a bottle.

More: https://www.themacallan.com/en/whisky/single-malts/limited-releases/the-edition-series/

- Jon

1 October 2018

The Great Brew Fest 2018 by Heineken Malaysia

October is here. Which also puts us to the month that is beery important ....... in Germany.

Over here in sunny Malaysia, Heineken has launched their very own answer to the globally popular Oktoberfest - the Great Brew Fest.

Tap ALL the beers at the mobile tap bar
This is probably a great opportunity to finally do a side-by-side tasting of the wide range of brands under their belt and to take on the journey of how each brew was made (differently!) and how it should rightfully be served to preserve its different flavour qualities.

Did you know that Heineken Malaysia (formerly known as Guinness Anchor Berhad) produces not only Heineken but also Tiger , Guinness, Kilkenny, Kirin Ichiban, Paulaner, Strongbow cider, Apple Fox cider and Anchor?

FA not doing so well with tapping beers.
While beer is essentially made with just 4 ingredients (grains, water, hops, yeast) but each beer is different because they can be made with so many types of grains, hops, even yeast strains. Even the production for each beer can be different. While cider takes only 3 to make (apple juice, water, yeast)  their ciders also tastes different from one another.

Jiri Rakosnik Marketing Director (left) and Roland Bala Managing Director (right) wants you to have some fun with The Great Brew Fest 2018, and if you learn something from it, all the better!
Well, if you get to encounter Heineken's The Great Brew Fest pop up bar featuring taps of ALL its beers, you'll be able to find out more.

Throughout this Fest, you'll also be able to taste their "festival brew" - the Tiger Amber Lager which is available on tap and only until 10 Nov. A likely crowd-pleaser at 5% abv, this has the familiarity of the Tiger beer, with a hoppy note (that reminds me of Guinness), a malty sweetness (like the Kilkenny) and even a hint of citrus.

Hello Tiger Amber Lager!
There's also limited edition designer mugs for Apple Fox Cider, Tiger Beer, Guinness, Kirin Ichiban and Paulaner München which was created with local artists (CLOAKWORK, Kenji Chai, Beautiful Machines featuring Sling, Jarold Sng and Lynda from Pink Tattoos) to collect.


To join the festivities, learn more about your favourite brews and taste the ones you're unfamiliar with, catch their mobile tap bar, promos and giveaways (RM250k worth of prizes to be won including vouchers fora  bottle/bucket of your favourite brew) at participating outlets around KL, Ipoh, Penang and JB 10 November 2018.  Selected outlets would even get a visit from the Great Brew Bus (featuring the Tiger Amber Lager) and the Great Brew Wall (to learn more about your favourite brews).

I was trying to learn about the beers, not check out the how brand ambassador, really.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/thegreatbrewfest and https://www.instagram.com/GreatBrewFest_MY/ for more info and their locations.

Don't say I #bojio!

- Jon

30 September 2018

Sake Festival Malaysia 2018 (+Giveaway!)


In conjunction with World Sake Day (held annually on 1st October), Nomi Tomo Sake House will be bringing us Malaysia's first ever sake festival!

Who is Nomi Tomo Sake House? It prides itself as Malaysia’s largest sole distributor for craft sake and also owns the popular sake bar, Nomi Tomo in Damansara Heights.

Format:
The event will feature sake tasting stations with over 30 sake labels from the following 10 sake breweries - Bijofu, Dassai, Dewazakura, Gasanryu, Kirinzan, Niwano Uguisu, Masumi, Sakunohana, Seikyo and Yuki No Bousha.

There's also sake appreciation sessions conducted by representatives from selected breweries and certified sake sommeliers Micky Chan (Hong Kong), Elliot Faber (Hong Kong), Thomas Ling (Malaysia) and Danny Leung (Malaysia).

When:
13 October, 4-11pm

Where: 
The Gasket Alley - Lot 15, 13, Jalan 13/6, Seksyen 13, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 46200.

Ticketing:
Tickets can be bought at https://events.pouchnation.com/event/SFM2018
  • Early Bird Tickets @ RM70, 27th August – 10th September2018
  • Pre-Sale Tickets @ RM90 nett, 11th September – 30th September 2018
  • General Admission @ RM100 nett, 1st – 11th October 2018

This event will be cashless, so all transactions will be conducted through RFID tags through credits stored in it. Top-ups can be made via counters at the event.

Each ticket gets you RM100 worth of credits (to buy sake, food and other beverages) and includes a tasting glass, 3 free sake samples, a festival bag, an info book, and a few other surprises too. Other beverage and food vendors (from RM15-RM30) include:
• Sapporo Beer (Japan)
• Nomi Tomo Sake Bar
• Makhan by Kitchen Mafia
• Nomms
• The Ice-Cream Bar

Grab promo:
The festival encourages you to drink responsibly and have arranged for a Grab discount for rides to and from Gasket Alley.
Promo code name: SAKEFESTMY2018
Promo code value: RM5 off 2 rides
Validfor GrabPay (Debit and Credit card) payment only
Valid for the first 300 rides

For more:
www.facebook.com/sakefestmy/
www.facebook.com/pg/nomitomosakehouse
www.instagram.com/sakefestmy
www.nomitomosakehouse.com

Facebook giveaway:
I've got 5 pairs of tickets to give away for this event. For a chance to win, just do this:
1) Share this post on your facebook page (make sure it's public!)
2) Tag your friend that you want to bring along for the event
3) Say why you'd like to go for the event.
4) Drop me a comment on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ang3ltini so I know you're participating

Contest ends 5 October 2018, 5pm. Winners will be contacted via Facebook messenger over the weekend. Good luck!

28 September 2018

An Adventure with Morandé Wines


Founded in 1996, Morande wines is a 20 year old name that make part of Belén Group, a group of winemakers from five related winery's — Morande, Vistamar, Mancura, Zorzal and Fray Leon that produces their own wines.     

They pride themselves as pioneers in creating and planting vineyards in Casablanca and used old, traditional Mediterranean varieties as well as unpopular grapes like the Cinsault, Carignan and Paí grapes, among others. They were also the first winery to produce late harvest wines (sweet dessert wines) in Chile and the first to be recognised as 100% sustainable.


Apart from that, they were among the first to adopt the usage of concrete ‘eggs’ (as opposed to conventional fermentation tanks, which is said to contribute to the wine's complexity and mouthfeel while softening its tannins) and using the traditional-large oak foudres (large wooden vat that allows for slow oxygenation of the wines, contributing to the development of the wine's tannic qualities) for producing their wines.


Their Adventure label is what you think it is - a playground for the winemakers to experiment and produce daring wines that breaks the traditional rules of wine-making.

I was invited to try 9 Morandé Adventure wines paired with 9 dishes from 9 different restaurants (Interlude, Sao Nam, Goa by Hubba, Joloko, Sorrok, Meatology, Tatto, Two Sons Bistro, Spitalfield's Gastrobar) in one venue at the Truffles Restaurant in Taylor's Lakeside University for a sumptuous finale that marked the end Morande's  “The Adventure’s Wine & Dine” programme that ran across these 9 restaurants from July to August. We even had the pleasure of  one of the Adventure's Winemaker, Mr Jorge Martinez, with us that night.

We tasted the following wines:



Morandé Adventure Aterciopelado 
- velvety smooth pais & malbec mix.

Morandé Adventure Vigno 
- dark fruits, dry blend of (mostly) Carignan with syrah and chardonnay.

Morandé Adventure Creole
- red fruits blend of 85% Cinsault / 15% País.

Morandé Adventure Despechado 
- a light pinot noir

Morandé Adventure El Padre 
- dark spicy vanilla from the Cabernet Franc grape, also known as the patriarch of the Cabernet Sauvignon.


Morandé Addventure Gran Petit 
- a fruity deep bold blend of Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot

Morandé Adventure Malmau 
- a tannic, berry malbec

Morandé Adventure Mediterraneo 
- a fresh blend of red and white Mediterranean grapes featuring red fruits and spices

Morandé Adventure Tirazis
- a spicy, acidic, tannic syrah

Morande Reserva Gewurztraminer (bonus!)
- a fruity, flower white wine


Cave & Cellar Sdn Bhd the official distributor of the Adventure wines series can be contacted here for more information of their product and future tasting events. For more details & queries: https://www.facebook.com/cavecellar

If you can do read the intriguing story of Morande Wines on their website: http://www.morande.cl/web/english/

- Jon

All images: Morande

15 September 2018

The Majestic Hotel's Tribute to Hollywood's Golden Age: Bogart Spirits


“ Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”

That's Humphrey Bogart’s famous quote from the movie Casablanca. Before Marlon Brando and later James Dean perfected the art of mumbling while looking suave and sophisticated, it was Bogart that started it all.

The Bogart Spirits is a collection of 4 spirits - rum, gin, whiskey, vodka, by ROK Drinks Company (US) in collaboration with The Humphrey Bogart Estate.

The introduction of its gin, vodka and rum was held at the Majestic Hotel’s Cigar Lounge, a masculine, classy location truly appropriate for someone like Rick Blaine (Bogart’s character).

The gin is juniper forward with floral and fruity notes of lavender, citrus, macadamia cucumber and coriander.  The rum delivers flavours of  almond nuttiness and coconut. The vodka,
distilled 7 times, is clean and dry, with a light fruity body and spicy finish. I wished we could've tried the blended Irish whiskey which sounded like an interesting blend of single malt and grain whiskeys, matured for at least 3 years in ex-bourbon American oak casks.

To commemorate the launch, Johnny, the head bartender of The Majestic made 5 Hollywood cocktails - Ginger Rogers (gin based), Mae West (brandy based), Jean Harlow (rum & vermouth), Coco Chanel (vodka based) and The James Bond (aka Vesper) (a twist of the gin martini). With the exception of the ‘Vesper’ which is actually a classic cocktail, the other 4 named after actual famous icons of the past.

Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers,  Coco Chanel


The James Bond


Mae West

This collection is exclusively available  at The Majestic's The Smoke House and goes for RM45 a glass and RM600 for a bottle.

For more on Bogart Spirits: http://www.bogartspirits.com/
For more on Majestic's Smoke House & Gentlemen's Club: http://www.majestickl.com/smokehouse.html

- Jon

(Images: The Majestic Kuala Lumpur)

1 September 2018

Tiger Beer x WWF-Malaysia Endangered Edition Launch


The Endangered Edition collection by Pestle and Mortar Clothing (PMC) is not just another cool streetwear limited edition collection. It is Tiger Beer’s latest CSR campaign on the awareness and Conservation of Malaysian Tigers in collaboration with PMC and WWF.


This makes part of Tiger Beer's 6-year partnership with WWF in its efforts to support doubling the population of wild tigers globally by 2022.

There are 4 designers’ tiger motif t-shirt designs to choose from by four local artists - Sean Lean, Kenji Chai, Julian Oh, and Hugh Koh. All proceeds of these t-shirt sales will go to the WWF Malaysian Tiger conservancy fund.


Only 260 pieces of these limited edition t-shirts have been made, but this number is still more than the number of Malayan tigers left in the wild (estimated at 250).


These t-shirts that are priced at RM100 each and are available at the PMC flagship Bangsar store while stocks last. Online sales for the exclusive Endangered Edition collection will go live on PMC’s online shopping platform, https://www.pestlemortarclothing.com from 21 st August onwards.


For more information on the Endangered Edition collection, visit www.facebook.com/tigerbeermy.

- Jon

Images from Heineken Malaysia.

11 August 2018

New: PJ’s Bar & Grill at New World Petaling Jaya

Name me a place in PJ you can go enjoy view the city sights?

Mont Kiara jogging hill doesnt count - that's technically in KL. Gasing Hill? Perhaps, but the view ain’t that spectacular. Also, it's not the safest to be in the day time, let alone at night.

I'll let you in on a soon-to-be-not-a-secret-place: PJ’s Bar & Grill located at the 30th floor of the newly minted New World Hotel that's just behind Paradigm Mall.


With a viewing deck and the hotel’s infinity pool, PJ’s Bar & Grill is the largest and highest rooftop bar in Petaling Jaya that offers a 360° view of the city.

The bar has Guinness and Tiger on tap, a choice of wines and spirits as well as a few signature cocktails. The food menu covers an extensive array of  tapas-style bites, mains, and the open grill serving up the city’s freshest ‘Catch of the Day, alongside its Western and Eastern grilled selections. The kitchen is led by Executive Chef - Alexander Chong, with over 20 years of culinary experience, specialising in Western and Chinese cuisine.


There's even a private Cigar Lounge in the restaurant to puff upon their choice of cigars sourced from Cuba and the Dominican Republic or savour a night cap from PJ’s Bar & Grill’s wine and liquor list.

PJ’s Bar & Grill is opened daily from 11.30am to 12.00 am. For dining enquiries or reservations at PJ’s Bar & Grill, call (603) 7682 0000, e-mail marketing.petalingjaya@newworldhotels.com
or visit petalingjaya.newworldhotels.com.

Make sure FA jio you when she steals away for a pint after work.


- Jon

29 July 2018

Lone Wolf Gin Comes to Malaysia!


A few of us had a sneak preview of this lovely gin, which has recently pounced its way into the Malaysian gin market - making us their first market in Asia to enter. Yeay!

MyBeer (of Taps Beer Bar fame), who is likely one of the largest importers of craft beer in Malaysia brings this in. Why is a craft beer importer bringing this in? Because: they bring in BrewDog and BrewDog makes this gin.

With so many gins in the market, what sets this new product apart is with the brewers at BrewDog’s distilling their grain spirit from scratch (50% wheat, 50% barley) - unlike some gin brands that outsources their grain spirits.

The botanicals include juniper, Thai lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaf, coriander, pink peppercorn, almond, fresh lemon peel, mace, fresh red grapefruit peel, and Scottish pine needles.



Bottled at 44% ABV, the higher than industry standard 40% ABV packs just a right punch to allow its botanical to shine especially when gin is married with it and even upon dilution with melting ice.

Creamy with citrus on the nose and spiciness in the end, this gin is delicious.

Lone Wolf will be made available on retail .... soon. We're keeping an eye out for the Lone Wolf tonic as well, which is formulated to pair with their gin like ketchup on fries. There's even a canned G&T at 8.8% ABV - which FA approves:


There are other planned canned booziness too but we'll have sit tight and watch out for it.

- Jon

28 July 2018

An Evening with Hawkers Beer at Taps Beer Bar


Image: MyTipsyTurvy
Australian-born Hawkers beer is actually a standard offering from Taps. a group of us got to spend an evening with founder Mazen Hajjar to taste more of his ‘fucking good beer” (his words) with him and to get schooled on what makes a beer good.

Hawkers' name was inspired by the early immigrant colonial street vendors in Australia that saw trade expand in cities across the country. Craft beer distilleries did nothave budgets for marketing or channels of distribution, thus can't fight the big boy companies for sales volume. Many also through trade word of mouth and door to door sales.

Fireangel thinks he's kinda cute. Image: Taps Beer Bar
According to Mazen, the best food to pair with Hawkers beer is with… hawker food. Well, think of it this way. The biggest volume of sales by the big beer boys come from our kopitiams. Hands down, any good beer just tastes superb with some good street chow.

According to Mazen, “If a person says s/he does not like beer, that’s only because they’ve been introduced to the wrong fucking beer to start off with".  Which is why, if you visit Hawkers' website, https://hawkers.beer/, you'll see that they have quite a variety of beers. From the light lagers to the heavy stouts and limited edition barrel aged, there is a beer for everyone and every occasion.

Image: Taps Beer Bar
More of Hawkers beer will be featured at Taps Beer bar in future, but for now, the ones that are already available have been fucking good. Pardon my Ozzie.

- Jon

22 July 2018

Taste Almost 50 types of Whisky And Spirits at Whisky PLUS!


Whiskyphiles, block 28 July 2018 on your calendars for the upcoming WhiskyPLUS 2018.

What is it:
A whisky and spirits tasting event, organised by the TEG Media Group. Whispers tell me that this could be Malaysia's answer to Whisky Live Singapore!

What can you expect:
About 50 brands of whiskies and spirits to try including: the Arran, Balblair, Bruichladdich, Benromach, Bunnahabhain, Bushmills, Chivas, Deanston, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Hazelburn, Kilchoman, Ledaig, Longrow, Maison Du Whisky, Mars, Monkey Shoulder, Nikka, Octomore, Paul John, Port Charlotte, the Glenlivet, SMWS, Ancnoc... and these are just the whisky brands. Check out the full list here: http://www.whiskyplus.my./#brands

Format:
There are 2 sessions to choose from (12pm - 4pm & 5pm - 10pm) and number of tickets for each session is limited for crowd control so hurry!

Pricing:
Ther are 2 ticket types are available -  Gold (Standard) or Black (VIP).

1) Gold passes vary from RM135 - RM188, depending if you're bulk buying (cheaper) and if it's the 1st vs 2nd (the longer and therefore pricier) session.

The Gold ticket gets you:
- access to the main tasting floor, with unlimited sampling of whiskies and other spirits
- light bites provided by the hotel
- a Glencairn-style whisky tasting glass to bring home
- complimentary F&B vouchers for Hilton KL restaurants
- a free cocktail by guest bartenders

2) Black passes go for RM268 and RM298 (in additional to the gold ticket access, you get other exclusives like the cigar lounge access, VIP premier tasting room, and an upgraded goodie bag) (sold out!)

BONUS! If you are a Dram Full - Malaysia member (why aren't you already?? tsk tsk), you get discounts ranging from RM10 to RM40, depending on the session and the type of pass chosen. CLICK HERE.

More: 
- Purchase-by-the-dram whiskies at the Collector’s Corner to sample private collectors’ rare and expensive bottles.
- Discounted promo codes for MULA e-hailing rides home
- Selected bottles for sale at discounted prices.

For more details on #WhiskyPlusKL2018 and ticket purchase, visit www.whiskyplus.my.

Don't say I bojio!

P/s: I am running a Facebook giveaway contest for a pair of tickets worth RM270!

How to participate?
1. Share this post on your Facebook.
2. Include this in your post "l want to go for #WhiskyPlusKL2018 with (tag your friend) because...."
3. Comment below so I know you're participating. Make sure your FB profile is public otherwise I can't keep track. If I can't see your profile, you're automatically disqualified okay! :)
4. Get the highest number of likes on your post.
5. Win 2 tickets!


Contest ends this friday, 5pm. good luck!

Go go go: https://www.facebook.com/ang3ltini