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

28 January 2018

Carlsberg's Probably The Most Victorious Year

Image: Carlsberg Malaysia

Once again us alcoholics kick off our yearly CNY celebrations with the annual Carlsberg Chinese New Year party. This year’s big bash was held in One Utama, High Street ground centre court accompanied by everything that makes it an awesome CNY celebration - an acrobatic lion dance, giant drum performances and lots of not-halal Chinese food.

Carlsberg Malaysia MD, Lars Lehmann all smiles while "drumming" off the Carlsberg CNY promotion.
Image: Carlsberg Malaysia

This year also marks their half a BILLION ringgit fund-building milestone for their Top Ten initiative, an effort with China Press and Nanyang Siang Pau, that funds the development of Chinese education and schools in Malaysia. Keep up the good work, guys!

Carlsberg Malaysia's CNY theme for 2018 is inspired by the Chinese saying Qí Kāi Dé Shèng (齊開得勝) which means “flagging off to successful ventures” or “together, we succeed”. Well, 2017 was a humdrum on the economy, so 2018 being ‘ye leng yat fatt’ it can only be better, right?

 Image: Carlsberg Malaysia
In conjunction with Carlsberg's Probably The Most Victorious Year promotion this year,  there's a whopping RM6 million worth of prizes up for grabs from Jan 1 to Feb 28 across so many campaigns that basically, everyone that drinks or buys Carlsberg can be a winner!

For more: https://www.probablythebest.com.my/cny2018 or www.facebook.com/CarlsbergMY

So go forth, drink a Carlsberg and HUAT AH!

- Jon

P/s: And here's a whole bunch of hashtags:

#carlsberg #Carlsbergmy #probablythebest # probablythebestcnybeer #probablyhemostvictoriousyear #probablythebestbeerintheworld #victoriouswithcarlsberg #smoothdraught #drinkresponsibly #probablythebeerbrandwiththemosthashtags #probablygettingsorethumstyping

Okay, the last 2, I made it up.

31 December 2017

Welcome to Malaysia, Scotch Malt Whisky Society!

We recently saw the official launch of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) in Malaysia for Christmas. Heads up - this is actually an open secret society.. but it's nothing sinister like a triad or a cult, of course. :)

However, one might just mistake it for a cult when members get together, imbibing on spiritual liquids and then with their eyes closed, enter into trance-like state while spewing random words like - heady phenols. robust palate. second fill. virgin cask. pencil shavings.  complex yet mellow. oily coating. short finish. etc etc etc. Well, do not be intimidated by that. Those are just hardcore whisky geeks at work.

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on


But I digress. The point of this post is to share with you the 5 things you need to know about SMWS, because here in angeltini.com, we're all about the sharing!

1. What's with the brand name? 
Founded in 1983, the SMWS is exactly what it is, a subscriber-based club, created by whisky lovers, for whisky lovers.

2. So they make their own whisky?
No, they are independent bottlers. This means that they buy the whole cask from various distilleries across the globe, further kept to mature then and bottle it themselves at cask strength, before selling them directly to its members.

The bottling is approved only through consultation of independent panel of whisky geeks, so there is a fair amount of QC involved.



3. What's with the numbers on the labels? How would I know what I'm drinking?
The numbers on the label are their (open) secret codes. The first numbers before the decimal is the code of a certain distillery. For example 1, is Glenfarclas. The numbers after the decimal is the number of cask acquired from distillery. Thus 2.8 is the eighth cask bought from Glenlivet, which is also my birthdate, ahem!

But don't sweat it. Here are the cheat codes to decipher them. You're welcome!

4. What’s with the weird names on the bottle?
The names are based on the key characteristics of the whisky. The Tasting Panel that decides on which cask is good enough to be the chosen bottled one also provides a whimsical set of tasting notes which provide an indication of what flavours and textures the drinker can expect. So expect names such as 'Kissed up by sweet promises' or 'Intense menu of seduction' or even "Wasabi on a california roll".

The reason they don’t put the name on the bottles is that the SMWS would prefer you to focus only on the flavour of the whisky rather than the age or region it is from.


5. Can I buy a bottle?
Ah, good question. As the whisky bottle suggests, these are produced by a society and only membership has its privileges. In Malaysia, the spirit geeks at Wholly Spirits Sdn Bhd are the official distributor of these bottlings. You may visit this site to obtain more information on SMWS Malaysia and its membership.

But just a little hint… I’ve seen these being sold in airport duty free (*cough* Singapore DFS *cough)..

So next time you get your hands on own of these babies, feel free to give me a jio!

Sláinte mhaith!

- Jon

18 December 2017

Brooklyn Lager and Brooklyn East IPA Launches in Malaysia!

Image: Carlsberg
With craft beers in the rage both internationally and domestically, Carlsberg joined the party with the launch of Brooklyn Lager and East IPA through a partnership with Brooklyn Brewery an award winning brewhouse in New York.

An intimate launch by Carlsberg Malaysia was held at the MEJA Kitchen and Bar at TREC on the 14th Dec 2017, with food pairings that went well with the two new beers.

Here are the official description of the two beers:

Brooklyn Lager, 5.2% ABV
Amber-gold coloured with a firm malt centre, refreshing bitterness and a  loral hop aroma. The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by “dry-hopping”, the centuries-old practice of steeping beer with fresh hops as it undergoes a long, cold maturation. 

With a slightly higher ABV than the usual Carlsberg Green Labels (CGL) at 5% ABV and the Carlsberg Smooth Draught (CSD) at 4.8% ABV, the product is a punch more flavourful, smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food.

Brooklyn East IPA, 6.9% ABV
A pale ale that offers a bold balance, with a bright piney aroma, and the taste of stone fruits yet a firm bitterness from IPA's ancestral British home. It's higher ABV and packed flavours are best paired with rich and spicy food. 

If you are not accustomed to drinking IPA beers, you’d need to know that its is awfully strong (bitter from the hoppiness) in taste. I find letting it sit for a few minutes allows more flavours to be released when its less chilled. So do take this one slow. Perhaps start with the lager, then finish with this.

Image: Carlsberg

Thanks for the jio!

- Jon

13 December 2017

Hennessy Declassified

Hennessy created an interactive experience to show invited guests how the cognac was brought to life through a a super elaborate simulated distillery tour that built on the 50th floor of the Platinum Park Tower, Kuala Lumpur.  Held from 11th -16th Dec 2017, the tour was divided into 5 zones which ends in a free-flow lounge bar.

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on

Did you know: A brandy can only be called cognac if it's:
1) produced in the Cognac region
2) made with grapes produced from the cognac region (mostly a white grape called Ugni Blanc)
3) distilled in a copper pot still, twice to produce a fruit wine (eau-de-vie) of at least 70% ABV
4) aged in french oak casks for at least 2 years.


At Hennessy, their casks are still hand-labelled by their coopers (the guys in charge of casks) who are specially trained in a specific calligraphy style that's been handed down from generations.

Image: Hennessy Malaysia

Also, did you know that Hennessy has a tasting committee of 7 people that meet PRECISELY at 11am everyday to taste anything between 40 to 100 samples of eau de vie for blending. It takes no less than 10 years of training before one can even think about sitting on that table.

Image: Hennessy Malaysia

At the end of the tour, we had a little treat of the Hennessy Paradis Imperial. It's a recreated blend of a once historic eau-de-vie made for royalty. An average of only 10 out of 10,000 eaux de vie goes into this blend, making it pretty damn rare. How does it taste? On the nose - a bouquet of flowers, like a luxurious perfume with a hint of warm spice. In the mouth it's creamy, viscous, full - with some tannins that made my mouth water. In a word - Divine. No surprises now that it retails for about RM6,400 a bottle!

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on

The afterparty at the lounge was a perfect way to end of the night - plied with free flowing drinks (neat Hennessy and Hennessy-based cocktails by local and international bartenders), delicious small bites (rounds and rounds of fresh raw oysters!) and being crooned by a live band. Wish I brought my cigars!

Image: Hennessy Malaysia
Thanks for the jio!

- Jon

9 December 2017

Have a Mele Kalikimaka @ WIP

Since in we celebrate a tropical Christmas in Malaysia, WIP wants to bring you to a Hawaiian Paradise with its Hawaiian tropical-themed menu and festivities this coming Christmas (‘Mele Kalikimaka’ is a hawaiian phrase for ‘Merry Christmas’).

This Christmas Eve, WIP will be throwing the luau featuring Hula dancers, ukulele bands and fire breathers. For RM150 nett per adult and RM 100 nett per child, you'll be able to enjoy a buffet of unique Hawaiian-inspired delicacies and drinks.

In anticipation for the luau, the culinary team have whipped up some delectable specials from now till Christmas Day:

Image: Continuum PR

  • Kuleke Platter @ RM88 (sliced roasted turkey, fresh water prawns, chicken Merguez & spicy beef sausages, roasted baby carrots, sautéed vegetables, red wine poached pear, grapes, and fresh strawberries with a chocolate dip).
  • Aloha Beef Burger @ RM35 (homemade beef patty, beef bacon, Emmental cheese, grilled pineapple, tomato, and onion, topped with teriyaki sauce).
  •  Huli Huli Chicken @ RM38  (a popular dish in Hawaiian cuisine that features grilled chicken that’s been barbecued over mesquite wood, and basted with a sweet huli huli sauce which is a combination of pineapple juice, ketchup, soy sauce, sherry vinegar, brown sugar and ginger). 
Of course, there will be a selection of Tiki-style cocktails (RM35/glass) to accompany your solids, afterall what's a Christmas without some Christmas spirit, eh?

Image: Continuum PR

  • Toucan -  a balanced sweet and sour cocktail with a rum base, Aperol, fresh pineapple, pink grapefruit and lime juice.
  • Batida - Cachaca, coconut water, and banana. An ikat tepi super filling banana dessert drink.
  • A-Maize-Ing -   a rum citrus cocktail with um, velvet falernum syrup, fresh lime juice, and bitters.
  • Maui Fizz - a light refreshing mix of rum, fresh lemon juice, chai spice syrup, coconut water, egg white, and soda. 
  • Orinoco Fog - a spirit forward number from a mix of rum, gin, cognac, dry curacao, orgeat syrup and fresh lime juice. 
For more information on the WIP Christmas Specials or the ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ Christmas Eve Luau, visit the WIP Facebook page: http://fb.com/wip.kl

Note: WIP will undergo a major cosmetic facelift to refresh the brand in anticipation of its 10th Anniversary. The facelift is taking place in two phases: the first phase involving the main entrance, mall entrance and restroom, which will be completed by the first week of December; and the second phase that will see a complete refurbishment of the interior, which will take place in January 2018

 - Jon

3 December 2017

Say hello to Somerby's Sparking Rose

Image: Carlsberg Malaysia
There is new sparkling Rosé newly launched that feels like bubbly, looks like a Rosé wine but priced like a apple cider - say hello to the new Somersby Sparkling Rosé cider!

Launched recently, launch party was held at Roofino @ Trillion, Jalan Tun Razak which saw a venue decked to look like a stunning orchard.

So how does this new bubbly hold up? You have the flavours of the acidic but sweet apple mixed with berries and a floral aroma on the nose.

With 4.5% alcohol, it really feels like a sparkling wine but still has the familiarity of apple cider.

If you’d like to sample this brand new bubbly, Somersby will be running sampling activities at leading restaurants, concept bars, hypermarkets and supermarkets from December 2017 to February 2018.

Image: Carlsberg Malaysia

Somersby Sparkling Rosé will be available across Peninsular Malaysia for a limited period of 6 months in individual bottles (330ml), 4-bottle pack and 2-bottle pack at leading hypermarkets and supermarkets, 100 premium restaurants and concept bars. 2-bottle pack will only be available in 7-Eleven convenient stores. Somersby Sparkling Rosé will retail at a similar price point to Somersby Apple and Somersby Blackberry for this 6 month period.

Lars Lehmann, Managing Director of Carlsberg, at the launch. That lucky fella's forever surrounded by hot chicks.
Image: Carlsberg Malaysia
If you ask me, I actually think this is quite a perfect gift for X’mas and CNY parties.

For more: www.facebook.com/SomersbyMy or www.carlsbergmalaysia.com.my.

- Jon

2 December 2017

Tap-it-Out: Malaysia’s First Self-Tapping Beer Bar

Wish you could have the experience of tapping your own beer? Wished you could sample just a bit of a strange new beer you've never had before committing to a full glass of it? Now you can with the launch of Tap-it-Out.

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on

Nestled in Solaris month Kiara, this is the first self serving tap beer in Malaysia with 10 types of beer for under RM50 per litre.

The grand opening of Tap It Out was officiated by its founders Ethan Yoon, Ryan Foo and Joltan Ng, in attendance of their key business partner from Carlsberg Malaysia represented by Managing Director Lars Lehmann, Managing Director of Luen Heng F&B Sdn Bhd Datuk Kenneth Soh, and their shareholders. Image: Carlsberg

Opened in August this year and officially launched in November, Tap-it-Out is a business collaboration between 3 main partners with Carlsberg Malaysia and Luen Heng. Carlsberg Malaysia supplies of course Carlsberg, Asahi, Connor’s and Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc while Luen Heng is the official distributor of Lowenbrau, Erdinger, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois and Leffe.


So how does the self serving tap concept work?

1. Buy an ATM beer pass card (it works like a Touch N Go card BUT BEER). Minimum load is RM50.

2. Choose your poison from the multiple taps on the wall and place your card on the slot.

3. Tap your beer! Note, you can stop at anytime you want, which means you don't have to fill up your whole glass. There is a metered reading that tells you how much (in litres) has been tapped and the remaining value left available on the card.


Sounds like fun, eh? The prices and discount offers will be displayed either on the overhead telly or on the taps itself so you’d know the best buy for your buck. At the time of opening, prices per litre were as follows:

Carslberg - RM33.50
Connor's - RM39.00
Asahi - RM46.50
Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc - RM52.00
Hoegaarden - RM54.50
Lowenbrau - RM56.50
Stella Artois - RM56.50
Erdinger - RM58.00
Leffe - RM58.50

Worth to note that apart from the 10 beers on tap, there's a couple of beer pong tables inside and a selected offering of whiskies.


For a very limited time a free 10% additional credit will be given to all top up reloads. Tap-it-Out opens from 4pm-2am every day. For more information go visit their Fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/tapitoutmsia/

Don’t say I bojio!

- Jon

Tags: #tapitoutmsiagrandopening #ProbablytheBest

30 November 2017

A Majestic Rat Packed Christmas

The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur is celebrating this upcoming festive season with a dedication to Hollywood’s most famous entertainers; Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford or collectively better known as the Rat Pack.


The Colonial Cafe's house band, The Solianos, will play tribute to the music of that era made famous by The Rat Pack alongside popular Christmas tunes.


Served as an accompaniment to the band is a separate Christmas eve 9-course dinner priced at RM280 per person or RM380 with wine pairing and a Christmas day 9-course dinner menu priced at RM220 or RM320 with wine pairing. Here is a small visual teaser of the menu’s offering.

Image: Majestic Hotel
If you’d like to check out the full menu, clink on this link to take your to Majestic Hotel's website.


But wait, there is more...


As the legend goes, Frank Sinatra was a long time fan of JD... which inspired the Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select. What makes this so special is that the whiskey is matured in "Sinatra Barrels" where the barrels are grooved to allow even more contact between the whiskey and wood and bottled at 45% ABV. I have not had an opportunity to sip this dram yet, but here is a bit of the background story behind it and the tasting profile on Master of Malt.

This is exclusively only available at the Majestic Hotel's Smoke House. I’d recommend that with some Cubans and the “Rat Pack Gentleman's” Afternoon Tea (canape-style bites, tea & coffee) at RM80 nett per person that's accompanied with a tankard of beer throughout December.

- Jon

19 November 2017

Goa by Hubba

There are 22 major languages in India with over 700 different dialects. Fact. That is an astounding mind boggling number of variants for Indian cuisine and ways curries you may never try in your lifetime.


Goa is quite a popular touristic destination, that we we know. Air Asia flies there. It is supposed to be a hippy coastal city where grass there is popular, not necessarily greener, if you get what I mean (I only heard about it from friends who have been there!).


Well, a little part of Goa(n) cuisine is now featured by a watering hole that used to be known as Hubba Hubba. Now rebranded as Goa by Hubba, it's located on the ground floor of Ramada Suites KLCC. Don’t be confused by the hotel name. This is actually off Changkat Bukit Bintang.


Goa by Hubba now features a brand new food menu and cocktails inspired by Goa cuisine and flavours. The menu was created in collaboration with Le Cordon Bleu Celebrity chef Sapna Anand. Sapna, a native of Goa herself, brings to the table delectable dishes like the Fire Roasted Bone Marrow, Cochin Seafood Stew, Goan Beef Cutlets, Allepey Grilled Fish and more. Many of these dishes were also inspired by her mother's own recipes.


To complement the new menu, they have created new cocktails inspired by spices from Goa-style flavours of rasam, raita and lassi. Exotic kooky cocktail names like Kinky Kokum, Masala Mantra, Ass Whuppin Chai Masala got me tickled. FA really loved their gleaming copperware.


For the after office happy hour crowd that just needs a little something something to kill some time while waiting for the rush hour traffic to subside, there's still their beers on tap to accompany some of their Goan-inspired nibbles to keep your mouth busy.


Congratulations Michele Kwok and the Soul Society team on this new baby, and thanks for having us!

- Jon

17 November 2017

#Becurious at H.O.M.E. by Martell


Martell recently invited us to explore our curious side through its #BeCurious event at its first Martell H.O.M.E. pop-up located at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club, beckoning us to explore the cognac with a different lens.

From the entrance to exit, the tent had plenty of curiosities to keep us.. well, curious.


The dark, laser-filled first room led us to Zelda (not her actual name), where our fortunes will be met from the magic sphere ball. Shaking the magic sphere ball will open a magic drawer for the cocktail ingredients in little straw pouch.



Entering another door led us to the cocktail lounge room with 5 Martell-based cocktails and the option of having the VSOP neat.

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on

Then it was time for some food. The Be Curious menu was designed by maestro Chef Nathalie of Nathalie Gourmet Studio. Naturally, the menu was conceptualised with the pairing of 4 Martell's signature drinks; The VSOP, Cordon Bleu, Cordon Bleu Extra and the XO.






At the end of the dinner, our rather enigmatic host, Martell brand ambassador Pierre Boyer invited  us for a cocktail mixing session. We were encouraged to mix our own cocktail under the careful guidance of the mixologists and the reward was a certification of curiosity by Martell signed by Pierre himself:

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on
One can't keep FA away from the bar :/


With this as their first H.O.M.E. by Martell event in the country, Martell Malaysia hopes it will further encourage the appreciation and discovery of cognac through unexpected experiences and the spirit of curiosity.

Stay tuned and curious for more updates by following Martell Malaysia’s Facebook page or their H.O.M.E website here https://www.martell.com/en-my/be-curious

- Jon