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

28 December 2015

Insta Weekly: All the Whiskies I've Tried and Probably Can't Buy :(

December's usually quiet, and last week was no exception. Haven't had the inspiration to mix drinks lately. However, I did have all the luck to try Other People's Stash of whiskies. <3

Trying something new this week. Let's see if embedding my Instagram pictures directly onto my blog works for you - please let me know if you can't see any of the images below?

Note to self, BUY THESE:

1. The National Trust for Scotland Glen Garioch Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (43% ABV)



2. The Scotch Malt Whisky Society 35.132 Mellifluous munificence (56.1% ABV)



3. Kavalan Solist Horizontal Tasting - Ex-bourbon , Vinho Barrique, Sherry.



4. Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky PX Cask Triple Matured 48% (travel retail exclusive)



And I hope you had a Beer-ry Christmas! Wishing you a very happy new year!

A photo posted by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on



Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my Instagram.com/fireangel80 with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!

27 December 2015

Post Event Report: Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTiger Bites Finale

For 2 months, Tiger ran a #MyTigerBites campaign that encourages foodies to create a street food trail across Malaysia with the promise of exciting prizes and a grand prize of an all-expense paid trip to Taiwan for two.

Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale

The campaign ended in early November with a huge street food festival atop Avenue K's rooftop featuring a whole slew of hawker stalls, games, beer cocktails, and of course ice cold Tiger Beer.

Have a peek at the fun, and then try to figure out how they managed to get not 1, but 2 (!!!) lok lok trucks on the rooftop!

Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale
It really felt like an ACTUAL food court, EXCEPT you're on the roof!
The row of shoplots in the background are NOT real and were built just for the festival, wow! 

Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale
There were about 10 stalls, and 2 loklok trucks. Queues were a common sight - just like an actual food court. 

Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale
Just half of the food available that night. There were even 2 Tiger beer cocktails. 

Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale
I love how Tiger put in so much effort into this - they even re-created street signs! <3


Tiger Bites Street Food Festival aka #MyTigerBites Finale
L: Poking 4 fishballs into a stick was no easy feat! R: free flowing ice cold cans of Tiger beer. 

Thanks for having me, Tiger!  

Lots of food + free flowing ice cold beer = many happies.

For more, check out: www.tigerbites.com.my

21 December 2015

Insta Weekly: Harrison's Wine Shop Promo - Oyuwari Whisky - White Oak Akashi - 61 Monarchy - Inside Scoop Boozy Ice Creams

Harrison's Wine Shop @ Jalan 222 Festive Promo. 

Harrisons Wine Shop @ Jalan 222

It's that time of the year where Harrison's festive wine promos are on, just in time for Christmas & CNY. Prices of wine start from upper RM30 and up. They also distribute Tullibardine whisky, by the way. I've already popped by to get my hands on a few bottles. Stock up before stock runs out. :)

Contact:
No. 9, Jalan 222, 46100 Petaling Jaya.
GPS Coordinate : 3.095672,101.630348
Tel : Shop 03-7960 1010 or Jasper at 018 2233910

Monday to Friday, 11.00am to 8.00pm
Saturday 11.00am to 6.00pm
Sunday Closed


Oyuwari Whisky. 

oyuwari whisky @ Twenty One Bar

Just whisky with hot water, it's a popular winter drink in Japan. Once the hot water hits the whisky, the lovely whisky fragrance hits you in all the right places. And of course, the hot water burns off some of the alcohol, making the whisky smoother to consume. Sure we don't get winter. But this is great for the crazy cold rainy season we've been having.

White Oak Akashi Blended Japanese Whisky. 

white oak akashi blended japanese whisky

This lesser known Japanese label is now available in Malaysia, distributed by Fortier Wines & Spirits. Evidently the stills are only in operation for 1 month each year, which means that they have super limited quantities to sell.

Seems like there are 2 versions of this 1) A domestic Japanese one where the malt whisky is mixed with molasses spirit and 2) An export version where its a mix of malt and grain whiskies (source). We get version 2. 

61 Monarchy is Opened for Business. 

61 Monarchy bar / lounge opens

PJ-lites can rejoice as we can look forward to yet another new boozy hang out joint in PJ, Damansara Uptown.

It's setting itself up to be a snug, intimate, upscale whisky/cocktail lounge for the affluent with a strict dress code applied (no slippers, no shorts etc..). 61 Monarchy is part the Hyde, Good Batch and Nara Kitchen group, by the way, and are all located practically next to each other.


Inside Scoop Boozy Ice Creams.

Inside Scoop Cognac Cranberry

Crowned Best Place for Dessert by popular vote in Time Out KL's Food Awards 2015, we popped by last week to check it out.

2 flavours stood out for us for obvious reasons - Smoked Cognac & Cognac Cranberry (pictured above, 1 scoop = RM9.50). We tried them both and man, it really does have quite a bit of alcohol - you can smell and taste it! Smoked Cognac is exactly what the name says it is - smoked cognac. Both are delicious novelties to enjoy on a hot weekend.

Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my Instagram.com/fireangel80 with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!

20 December 2015

New: Gyukingu Japanese BBQ New Outlet @ Sri Hartamas (Feat. Wine Pairing Dinner)

Spurred on by the success of their first outlet at Kota Damansara, Gyukingu has ventured on to open their second one - at the super happening hub of Sri Hartamas.

Gyukingu specialises in Japanese BBQ or yakiniku. While not an uncommon concept locally, what sets them apart from the noise is their focus on premium cuts of meat.

I've been to the Kota Damansara outlet before and was quite wow-ed by it. I have Japan-crazy friends (who makes annual/bi-annual trips to Japan) who claim that this is one of the better yakikinus available in Malaysia and the price while steep, is fair for its quality. All I know is this - it made an impression and I knew another trip was due some day soon.

So it was a very nice surprise when a bunch of us were kindly invited by the team from Cleansui (who are Gyukingu's official water filter system providers) to commemorate the opening of new outlet with a yakiniku wine pairing event. YIPPEE!

gyukingu yakiniku sri hartamas launch straits wine aix french wine cvne spanish wine angeltini booze blogger alcohol malaysia

It never occurred to me that wines could be paired so well with Japanese food, specifically yakiniku! I guess I should've known better, since sake is basically a type of wine anyway, heh.

We started off with a French wine, AIX Rose 2014 (RM174.00) and I instantly fell in love with it. I typically don't enjoy rose as they are generally a tad too sickly sweet for me but this was just right. Vibrant, fruity, crispy, and soft.

The heavier meats were paired with a Spanish red - Vina Real Crianza 2011 (RM 200.00). On the nose, it was woody dark berries. In the mouth, silky without much tannin on dryness (yeay!). Then again, we had this wine only after several courses of the lighter meats and the rose, so my tongue was very seasoned by then. This was a great follow up wine, because the bold flavours still came through intensely.

Both wines were so easy to drink and went so well with the food that I couldn't stop asking for refills. In fact, because I was the only blogger who enjoyed drinking so much (the rest were prominent food bloggers), I probably had everyone's share of refills :p

gyukingu yakiniku sri hartamas launch straits wine angeltini booze blogger alcohol malaysia white meat
Iberico pork, Saga Beef, Beef Tongue

The rose was pair with 4 of their selected premium meats:
  • Saga wagyu beef sashimi (RM148.40) (not pictured) - felt like sweet butter in the mouth, nearly melting with just a little chewing. A wonderful, promising start.
  • Iberico Pork (RM38.00) - sweet & tender, doesn't have any of the pork-y smell (we were told that it's because the pig was fed with only acorn). If I closed my eyes it almost feels like I'm having a nice slice of beef.
  • A5 Saga Zabuton Beef (RM153.70/100g) - We were told that it doesn't lose to Matsuzaka and Kobe in quality. A short time over the fire resulted in a buttery, sweet and delicious meat.
  • Special Beef Tongue (RM45.40) - Springy and with a chewy texture which I absolutely adore (cook it for no more than 1 minute unless you like to chew on leather). I love BBq-ed tongue and this one was no exception.

gyukingu yakiniku sri hartamas launch straits wine angeltini booze blogger alcohol malaysia red meat
Sakura Pork Belly, Angus Beef Sirloin

The red was paired with the following:
  • Sakura Pork Belly (RM18.90) - the more affordable pork meat of the night. 
  • Angus Beef Sirloin (RM33.90) - an affordable beef alternative.
Both meats were recommended to be eaten Korean BBQ style - dipped in miso sauce and wrapped with lettuce - which filled me up to the brim!

As if all these meats didn't already tasted good on its own, my mind was blown when they were paired with the wines. Both meat and wine flavours became more intense, an example of a pairing done right. With every sip of the wine while the meat was in my mouth, I couldn't help myself but squeal in delight. This happened with nearly every single bite. I must've annoyed everyone around me quite a bit, sorry!

gyukingu yakiniku sri hartamas launch straits wine angeltini booze blogger alcohol malaysia free ice cream
Garlic Fried Rice & green tea ice cream

We had 2 other sides that night too:
  • Garlic Fried Rice (RM9.30) surprised me. Plain and unassuming, it was very tasty! A must order for rice heads. 
  • Shiratama An mitsu (RM14.60) - It's basically a single scoop of green tea ice cream with red beans and the works. Lovely. 
Gyukingu also has an extensive liquour list which includes wines, beers, sakes and shochu.  

Good news for you: In conjunction with the opening of the new outlet, you'll get a free scoop of ice cream & 10% off when you mention "Angeltini". Valid at both outlets until 31 Jan 2016.

Both wines are distributed by The Straits Wine Company - the same guys behind the annual Wine Fiesta (the one held at Publika earlier in Oct this year). For more: https://www.straitswine.com.my/

For more on Gyukingu: https://www.facebook.com/Gyukingu/

Thank you so much for having us! This has to be one of the more unforgettable dinners we've had.

14 December 2015

Insta Weekly: Strongbow Red Berries - Glenfarclas Tasting - 44 Bar @ Dr Inc

There were more updates on my instagram last week actually, but I'll only be featuring a select few which I feel is worth re-sharing here. If you'd like to be spammed daily and in bite sizes, feel free to follow me on instagram. :)


Strongbow Apple Ciders Red Berry

Insta Weekly 14.12.15

Strongbow recently launched their limited edition Red Berries version - available only until February 2016, just enough time for you to stock up for the upcoming Chinese New Year because how can you not want to have a red drink in your home for the  festivities? :)

Priced at about RM19 in selected F&B outlets and RM12 in supermarkets (could be cheaper with Christmas promotions!). Get your hands on them before they run out of stock.

Updates, and outlets: www.facebook.com/strongbow.my


Glenfarclas 15, 17 & 105 Tasting

Insta Weekly 14.12.15
12 Years Old 43% ABV, 15 Years Old 46% ABV, 17 Years Old 43% ABV, Cask Strength 60% ABV

Ian McWilliam from Glenfarclas is doing a mad 16 day Asian tour and managed to squeeze in some time for us in Malaysia to do a tasting.

Their whisky is predominantly mostly in sherry butts - so this is one label that sherry heads would go gaga for.

Cask Strength 60% ABV was and still is my favourite among the 4! So much flavours and punch. Even at 60% for some reason, it's smooth enough to drink on its own. But adding a couple of drops of water opens it up.  The Malt Maniacs named this their ‘Bang for your Buck’ in 2004.


44 Bar Eggnog + Sunday ice creams!

Insta Weekly 14.12.15
Add caption

Popped by 44 Bar last weekend with every intention to check out their alcohol Sunday ice-cream specials but got side track with Dr Inc's food festival instead. Got so stuffed with their brunch and coffee that I only managed to try 44 Bar's special bottled eggnog. Thank goodness I had space for that because it was so yummy and available for 1 day only :P

Oh yes, about those alcoholic ice creams, there are 3 flavours:
1) Spiced Rum Coconut
2) Godfather (Amaretto & Whiskey)
3) Negroni (Gin, Campari & vermouth).

I will be back to check out those ice creams I promise! And I better do it soon before they move out at the end of the year. Why do you guys only make it available on Sundays?!!? WHY!!!!

Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my Instagram.com/fireangel80 with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!

11 December 2015

Experience: Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

Was invited to check out one of Eight Gourmet Gala's (EGG) wine dinner sessions recently.

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines
L-R: Carpineto dogajolo bianco igt, Canaletto pinot grigio, Carpineto dogajolo rosso igt, Carpineto chianti classico docg, Carpineto brunello di montalcino docg
















EGG's concept is an interesting one. Owned by the same guys behind Black Market & the brand new Yamaguchi Fish Market in KL, the restaurant houses 8 different cuisines under 1 roof, almost like a upscaled food court if you will, consisting of:
  • Hakka Crab (chinese hawker)
  • Chiyo Sushi (Japanese)
  • Chateau De C.A.F.F.E.I.N.E.E.S (cafe)
  • Hook & Cook (Western seafood)
  • Malt. Berry. Apes (wine & whisky bar)
  • Yi (vegetarian)
  • Confessions of Lady Laura (desserts)
  • Nibbles Soup (Soup, Salad and Sandwich)
So basically, you're free to mix and match the food and drinks from these 8 outlets to your heart's stomach's desire.

The wine dinner session was a sit-down 4 course food (from the various outlets) & wine pairing session with a representative from the winery present to take your questions. This particular session featured Carpineto and Canaletto Italian wines.


Chiyo premium sashimi starter paired with Carpineto Dogajolo Bianco IGT

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

The wine was already excellent on its own - not too dry, not too sweet, fruity on the nose. This was a great start. The sashimi, already fresh and delectable, had its sweetness enhanced further with the white.


Truffle mushroom soup with Canaletto Pinot Grigio

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

I have to say this is one of the best mushroom soups I've had the pleasure of having - thick with lots of earthy flavours and generous amounts of mushrooms bits. That lovely truffle oil was the icing on the cake. It went down excellently with that citrusy, crispy, pinot griogio with a lovely floral scent.


Smoked duck breast rocket salad with balsamic sauce Carpineto Dogajolo Rosso IGT

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

THIS is my FAVOURITE wine of the night. I liked it so much I even bought a bottle home! Fruity, full bodied & complex yet not too heavy on the palate - lovely with the gamey meat and the sour balsamic sauce.


Grilled salmon and lamb loin & mint sauce with Carpinetto Chianti Classico DOCG

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

This wine is quite special as it's been aged in oak barrels for at least a year resulting in full bodied berry vanilla flavours with a creamy /velvety texture on the tongue...  Sort of reminded me of whisky! A seamless combination with the heavy red meats. 


Cheese platter with Carpineto Brunello Di Montalcino DOCG

Eight Gourmets Gala's Monthly Wine Tasting Feat. Canaletto & Carpineto Italian Wines

This one is like the previous Chianti but aged at least 3 years in oak barrels! So on the mouth and nose, there was EVEN more vanilla & berries, feels even heavier & thicker and coats the whole mouth. I suspect whisky lovers might just enjoy this one a whole bunch, it very nearly feels like whisky! So it's a no-brainer that the strong characters of the wine was a good match with the pungent cheese.

EGG will be holding these wine dinner sessions once a month. This session was RM148++ and totally worth it, if you ask me. Also, at every one of these wine dinner sessions, the bottles are sold on promotion. So if you find yourself falling in love with the wine you've just tasted and simply must get that bottle home, you can!

I had a memorable experience guys. Thanks for having me!

More info on the wines:
http://www.carpineto.com
http://www.casagirelli.it/our-wines2/Canaletto
The Carpineto and Canaletto wines are distributed in Malaysia by In Vino Veritas

For restaurant & event updates:
https://www.facebook.com/8gourmetsgala
www.8gourmetsgala.com

8 December 2015

Launch: Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky

When a representative from Diageo teased us by saying that the Mortlach was coming to Malaysia soon, the few local whisky geeks I knew squealed like little girls. Surely that had to mean something awesome.


But Mortlach is a brand which is alien to me. So I undertook an "extensive" research to learn about the brand and to fully appreciate its history. Here are some  highlights I've found, which may give you a sense of its history:
  • The distillery was established in 1823.
  • It's the 1st legal distillery in Dufftown, Speyside. 
  • Founder of Glenfiddich apparently worked in Mortlach for 20 years before moving out to establish his own brand - the Glenfiddich.
  • Bought over by Johnnie Walker in 1923.
  • Originally used as part of Johnnie Walker's blend.
  • Whisky aficionados loved the Flora & Fauna series, one of its few official bottlings (which will be even more sought after now that it's no longer in production)
  • Mortlach of old was described as "meaty" and the brand was nicknamed "The Beast of Dufftown" because of it.
So in short, it's a very old brand with a strong cult following over its limited bottling releases...  Then along came Diageo who bought it over and pushed it into the limelight. 

They didn't uproot their still pots over to Malaysia. These are just replicas. :)

(Ms) Georgie Bell, the brand ambassador for Mortlach, who was at the launch event, mentioned in passing that the distillery prides itself over something called the 2.81 distillation process. Evidently it's so geeky that it's hard to put it into writing without boring you. Fortunately, there is this site which might help. 

What I do understand, however, is that the special 2.81 distillation process is what gives Mortlach its signature character. To illustrate it, a few of us got to sample their new make spirit (the alcohol that directly comes out from the stills and before it gets barreled) which was very fruity & fragrant (perfume-y even) on the nose, with an intense, flavour in the mouth.

Osmund Bernard, Shawn Chong & Joel John were the guest bartenders of the night.

We got to try the Rare Old (sherry + bourbon, my preference of the lot), 18 (sherry + oak) and 25 (oak) years old at the Glasshouse @Seputeh launch party. All of them were inoffensive and easy drinking with different combinations of vanilla, fruits (typical of a Speyside) and spices. 

What caught me off guard was the pricing.

The 3 cocktails that the bartenders each recreated with Mortlach.

Now, true whisky aficionados will never let the trivial issue of price get in the way of their opinion of their liquid gold,  but have a look at these estimated pricing for the local market and draw your own conclusions (provided by trusted sources):
  • Rare Old, 500ml (NAS) : RM300 (est.)
  • Mortlach 18 years old RM1.5k (est.)
  • Morthlach 25 years old at RM3k (est.)
All bottles are 500ml, by the way (700 or 750ml is the standard whisky bottle size).

Mortlach 18 and 25 samples.

I personally thought that it was steep. Is this just forex issue with the RM being weak and all? No it isn't. It's an international price strategy. You don't have to take my word on it though, just google it up or refer to the pricing at Master of Malt for the Rare Old18 and 25.

I've been officially informed that it's priced like this because it's :
1. an ultra premium brand
2. produced at very low levels yearly; less than 3 million litres a year.

The Bar at Glasshouse @ Seputeh 

So, with all that, how can you get your hands on a bit of history? Well, the Mortlach Rare Old, 18 and 25 years old whiskies will be available at all authorised distributors, 5-star hotels as well as selected cocktail & whisky bars. 

There's something called Special Strength at 49% ABV which should be available at travel retail soon (we didn't get to try). So do give me a holler if you have a bottle to taste! :)

For more: www.mortlach.com

7 December 2015

Insta Weekly: 3 weeks in Summary

Argh. I've been terrible I know. 3 weeks and no Instagram summary. Even if no one reads it but me, the point of this segment was to record my boozing experiences. It's been quite a crazy past 3 weeks and I keep forgetting I'm no longer 18 - so sustaining strenuous days (nights) mean more time is required for recuperation - something I keep forgetting. If you're in your mid 30s and enjoy your night life and spirits as much as I do, please share with me your secret for your endurance.

Anyway,  3 weeks in summary by events, bar visits and booze imbibed begins now :

Events: Yamaguchi Fish Market & Gekkeikan Sake Launch - The Glenlivet Pairing with Vom Fass Edible Oils - Tiger White Wheat Beer Launch - Blue Elephant Turns 1 - Whisky Live Singapore 2015

  • Tong Woh took the opportunity to officially launch Gekkeikan Sake in conjunction with the opening of Yamaguchi Fish Market restaurant. Fresh seafood and sake? Makes perfect sense. Try pairing one of their top 10 recommended food items with a Gekkeikan Kin No Shichi Fukujin Meguri Sake for an additional sense of luxury - this honjozo (sake with additional alcohol) has gold flakes!
  • The Glenlivet Guardian recent event (no longer a monthly event as they now have about 700 odd members!) paired the whisky with edible oils from Vom Fass. Mingling with fellow like-minded people and sampling delicious food = fun. 
  • Tiger launched Tiger White - the first locally produced wheat beer. It's supposed to have "hints of clove, coriander,  & orange peel", and yes it's Tiger's response to the other 2 "fruity" tasting wheat beer that we're familiar with. I'm interested to know how they've decided to price themselves -  stay tuned. 
  • Blue Elephant celebrated its 1st anniversary with a big boozy bash. I wouldn't call it a cocktail bar with a "speakeasy" concept. With its loud music, tiny service bar and strobe lighting, it seems more to me like a hidden clubbing place.
  • Whisky Live Singapore 2015 happened 2 weekends ago. I did the crazy thing by taking a bus on Saturday,  then headed straight to the event, then hopped on to the bus home next day. Mad but what a great experience! There were some grouses by veterans who have gone for at least a couple of years - but for this first timer, it was great. I'll get around to putting down my thoughts about it on a post-event report soon. But am looking forward to Whisky Live 2016 already. 

Visited:  #CocktailTrailKL at P&C Bar, The Bar by Sam, 44 Bar & Dr. Inc - Sinhalese Bar & Snow Beers @ Ipoh - Whisky Fling @ Single & Available - Ojos Bar - Ikki Bar

  • Popped by P&C Bar, The Bar by Sam & 44 Bar on the #CocktailTrailKL. FYI - due to popular demand, it's been extended to the end of the year. So it's not too late to get on the trail!
  • Paid homage to Sinhalese Bar in Ipoh - it's one of the oldest bars still in operation.  Nothing fancy, it feels like any other old  kopitiam with its marble tables, cement floors and wooden ceiling, offering your usual beer fares and a handful of spirits. Just that being in this place makes me feel like I've touched a part of history, somehow. Also had  the infamous Snow Beer at Kafe Yoon Wah. 2 large Carlsbergs for RM30. It's a novelty not to be missed, especially when paired with roast pork.
  • Single & Available Whisky Fling featured Benromach Whisky 10 years, Glenfarclas 15 years, Kilchoman Distillery Loch Gorm - All sherries. Personally like the Glenfarclas most as the other 2 had some smoke going on which isn't my thing. 
  • Was invited to check out Ojos Bar @ Jaya One. Initial thoughts about this new spot inspired by the Taiwan cocktail scene: a good looking cocktail bar, has interesting signature cocktails, a lot of effort is put into making each cocktail look super pretty (a gimmick which might still be necessary for this young cocktail market). Cons: pricey, most of the bartenders and maitre de speak very little English (coz Taiwanese!). 
  • Also received a kind invite to check out Ikki Bar @ TREC KL. This 60-80 pax seater place is no tiny little bar. It's a HUGE hidden lounge that happens to have a beautiful looking "Great Gatsby meets East" cocktail bar which is capable of dishing out some really exciting cocktails. A shame that the frequent patrons prefer to open Japanese whisky bottles instead - which the bar has a decent range of. If you're one of them and have chanced upon this entry - let me implore you to try their cocktails for a change! Osmund, the head bartender, isn't one of Malaysia's Diageo Worldclass Finalist for no reason. 

Others:  Ikea Raskog Bar Cart - Balvenie Madeira Cask 17 years old - Hibiki 21 - Black Velvelt - Grapefruit GnT

  • Randomly participated in KampungBoyCityGal's Ikea giveaway contest in conjunction with Ikea's Cheras outlet launch and won myself a Raskog cart yeay! Now I can fulfill my dreams of finally owning a little mobile bar cart at home. :)
  • Made 1) Black Velvet - equal parts of champagne and stout. It's a legit cocktail ya, not something I made up! 2) Grapefruit gin & tonic - Just toss in fresh grapefruit slices in place of lime. Bruise it a little so that it infuses with the gin = GnT with add Vitamin C! (please note that this is in no way a form of legit medical advice).
  • Drank other generous people's 1) Hibiki 21 Years Old - Sigh. My favourite but not only it's getting more and more difficult to get your hands on them, with prices that have skyrocketed so much that it just doesn't make sense anymore. It's going to be at least another 20 years before the hysteria finally wears off and the liquid is replenished. :( 2) The Balvenie Madeira Cask 17 years old - oh my. I think I like all my whiskies in the Madeira cask. Smells like delicious toffee with a great mouthfeel. Why do I like all these limited edition stuff. :/
Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my Instagram.com/fireangel80 with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!

29 November 2015

Whisky Live Singapore 2015 : All the Available spirits and whiskeys/whiskies to Try.


A quick post to share with you the available spirits and whiskeys/whiskies that you can expect to taste at this weekend's Whisky Live Singapore 2015 (these are posted on my Facebook page, btw):



(mind the lack of quality. had to shove the crowd away from the booth, snap and flee)


Not included : stuff from the masterclasses, cocktails by guest bars, special sampling at the VIP section and stuff from Collector's Room.

And you know what? One day is simply, humanly not enough.

Updated: You can also browse through my Flickr album too, if you prefer.

Either click on the image below to take you to the album directly, or you can navigate through the slideshow using the left and right button which will appear on the image when you hover your mouse over it.

Whisky Live Singapore 2015

23 November 2015

Whisky Live Singapore 2015: Everything you need to know.


The annual Whisky Live Singapore is back!

Organised by La Maison du Whisky (who also organises Whisky Live Paris, said to be the biggest Whisky and Spirit show in Europe), this is likely the biggest annual whisky event in Asia.

Oddly enough, most of you reading this blog are from Singapore. So I've taken the trouble to compile all the information you'll need to know about this event for your easy reference. You're welcome. :)

Who should go:
Anyone and everyone who (legally can and) has the slightest interest in whisky and/or spirits.

What's included in the ticket:
1) Being able to sample an insane number of whiskies (whiskeys) and spirits:
  • Over 20 whisky brands from A to T (there's no U-Z brand names lol). Featuring distilleries from east to west, south to north, craft to commercial brands. 
  • Over 40 spirit labels - from whites, browns and everything in between.
  • Totaling close to (what is claimed to be) about 500 expressions 
Details: www.whiskylive.sg/whisky-live-singapore/exhibitors

2) Cocktail sampling from 9 popular bars in Singapore:  28 HongKong Street, L’Aiglon, Tippling Club, Sugarhall, The Library, Anti:dote, Spiffy Dapper, FOC and Longplay.

3) ... paired with food samplings by Burnt Ends, Meat Smith, FOC, El Mero Mero and Sorrel.

4) Access to view the very special Collectors Room which showcases bottlings from closed distilleries, limited editions  and old vintages (which collectors and whisky geeks may salivate over).  Though, tasting them is a separate fee.

Getting there & back:
8-10 hours at a spirits event? Driving is not even an option. The organisers behind Whisky Live have made special arrangements so that you can imbibe responsibly and without having to worry about how you'll get home.

Free shuttle buses:
From Harbourfront MRT to and from Capella event space, specially arranged for Whisky Live.
First shuttle: 30 mins. before event opening
Last shuttle: 30 mins. after end of event
Frequency: Every 15mins.
The shuttle service is accessible at Harbourfront MRT Exit D.

Uber:
SGD20 off first ride with Uber with the code WHISKYLIVESG

SMRT Taxi
7-seater taxis provided from the hotel at SGD50 with additional SGD12 for en-route stops. Rides within Sentosa / Vivo City are SGD13.

Masterclasses:
Held by the respective brand representatives, these 1 hour sessions usually involve an intimate presentation session followed by a tasting of the feature product(s).

Participating brands/spirits are:
The Aberlour, Nikka Coffey, the world of rum (by Luca Gargano, owner of Velier rums and renowned rum expert), Glenfiddich, The Dalmore, The Balvenie, Kavalan, GlenDronach, Highland Park.

Priced at SGD35 each on top of the event tickets, I believe some of these classes are already fully booked as spaces are limited. Details: www.whiskylive.sg/events/masterclasses.

Other event info:
Venue:
Capella Singapore, 1 The Knolls, Sentosa Island, Singapore 098297

Event hours:
Saturday, 28 November: 2-10pm (last entrance 9pm)
Sunday, 29 November: 11am-9pm (last entrance 8pm)

Buy tickets:
Pass from SGD95 up to a package promo with hotel stay at SGD990.

Offline: For those in Singapore, you can also purchase the tickets at La Maison du Whisky (80 Mohamed Sultan Rd., Singapore 239013).

More Info:
http://www.whiskylive.sg/
https://www.facebook.com/events/692056207593670

I'll be there on Saturday and am counting down the days.
Say hi! :)

18 November 2015

Experience: Shucked Oyster Masterclass @ The Gardens, Midvalley


I just recently learnt how to truly enjoy oysters.

I thought being someone who loves eating oysters just meant stuffing my face with (m)any raw oyster at buffets.... and then hoping not to have a stomachache later. But with this masterclass, I realise it's more to it than just being a good value for money item at an all-you-can-eat.

I can't imagine how one simple shelled thing can look, taste and smell so different from the other, but it can! My eyes and taste buds are now suddenly opened to a whole new world -  tasting oysters is very much like tasting whisky, or wine.

Tragheanna Bay, Ireland (RM30*): Very fishy. Irish Premium, Ireland (RM37*): Very pleasant, salty.
Dutch Creuses, Holland (RM37*): Easy, smooth subtle sea taste.

In fact like whisky or wine, everything about its environment can affect an oyster's character - the location, the temperature, the water. Even the tasting process itself is very much like tasting whisky. Let me explain:

1. To properly taste whisky - one shouldn't add any water, ice or mixer into it. To taste oyster, one shouldn't add any condiment to it (lemon or tabasco) and just savour it raw, as it is, brine and all.

2. Before tasting it, you should take a good whiff at it - as both oyster and whisky has its own distinct scent, depending on where they originate from.

Sydney Rock, Australia (Price unavailable): Upfront soft, ends and stays with iodine - it's like an islay whisky!
Jersey Rock, UK (RM46*): Sweet! West Mersea, UK (RM38*): Clean flavour.

3.  Let your whole mouth savour it - your tongue is segmented into different flavour segments. To fully appreciate what you're tasting, you'll need to coat your entire mouth with it.

4. Savour it slowly - not gulp it down. Otherwise, how are you going to know what it really tastes like, right?

5. Like whisky, wine or any other alcohol, there is also a nose, body and finish to oysters. I believe this is the same for every food stuff but today we're talking oyster. :P

Tasmanian Prime, Australia (RM38*): Salty! Coffin Bay, Australia (RM37*): Easy upfront, ends with the sea. Cloudy Bay, NZ (RM45*) - Very creamy & sweet (same place as the wine!).

Rule #1 was broken with me though. This noob can't take a full strength oyster because it's just too much of the sea, so with everything I tasted I had a drop of lemon and tabasco - sorry oysters!

So as I was saying, I learnt to truly enjoy oysters in the form of a Masterclass hosted by Shucked at the recent KL Oyster Festival.  For this session, we were given 12 oysters to try and pair with champagne, stout and cider.

You might like to know that the people behind Shucked (Southern Rock Seafood is theirs too) are responsible for bringing in fresh flown seafood for not only themselves, but for a host of other restaurants and bars too.

Loch Ryan, UK (RM56*): Very meaty texture, the zinc finish HITS you. Gallagher Special, Ireland (RM60*): Most expensive): Juicy sweet with an iodone end. Fin De Claire, France (RM45*): Distinct bronze end, very odd for me.

Like my whisky, I don't like the strong flavoured oysters. My preference is inclined towards the more subtle, sweet ones which aren't fishy or have a very pronounced ending. They would be the Irish Premium, Dutch Creuses, West Mersea, Jersey Rock, Coffin Bay, Cloudy Bay & Gallagher Special.

I find that champagne brings out the metallic taste of the oyster, which I didn't like. Maybe that's the point, and why people always seem to have oyster with champagne, but it's definitely not for me. I actually prefer oysters with Guinness or cider. With the Guinness, it becomes creamier. The cider's acidity helps offset the "fishiness" of the raw oyster. I also like white wine with it which brings out the sweetness of both (which I had on a separate occasion).

Lots of canapes and booze to accompany the lovely fresh oysters.

Now that KL Oyster Festival is done and dusted, Shucked will still hold regular Oyster Masterclasses at RM230 per pax (with free flow wine and beer) or RM160 without the booze.

These upcoming 90 minute sessions will have Josh Green, the resident Oyster expert (and owner of Shucked),  to talk you through your oyster tasting journey featuring 6 oysters, a glass of welcome champagne and lots of seafood canape in between to fill your tummy.

Here is Josh, showing us how shucking is done - it's not easy, you could lose a finger!

They still have available slots for:
Thursday, 19 November, 7:30pm
Thursday, 3 December,  7:30pm
Thursday, 17 Dececember, 7:30pm 

By the way, oyster masterclasses are also available for private booking for special events.

For more or to book: shuckedgarden@gmail.com or SMS 0129177613 (spaces are limited).

Get updated on their activities here:
www.facebook.com/ShuckedOysterBars
www.shuckedoysterbars.com

*quoted prices are for 3 pieces.

17 November 2015

Insta Weekly: 3 Little Pigs Promo - on the #cocktailtrailKL - Haig Club Cocktail - Kampachi Kanpai - GAB Oktoberfest Finale - Marini's on 57

Stuffed my face with food and drink last week. It was a great week. I hope you had a great week too.


3 Little Pigs & the Big Bad Wolf: Ribs & Cocktail Promotion


Famous for everything sinful and porky, 3 Little Pigs is currently running the promo until 21 November 2015: Order their ribs (for RM85) and you get 2 cocktails - with the option of Southside and/or Whiskey Sour. I think it's great deal because on average, each cocktail could set you back no less than RM25 a pop). Their version of a Whiskey Sour is made with Jameson's (instead of the usual bourbon) whereas the Southside is a gin-based (Tanqueray, specifically) cocktail with a touch of mint. Both are sours which may whet your appetite for more food (bwahaha) but with the mint, the Southside is quite refreshing. Do give them your feedback on these new cocktails as they are dabbling into something out of their comfort zone and I personally appreciate the effort. Available at all their outlets - Tropicana City Mall, Pavilion & Bangsar.

By the way, this is not some random promo they decided to come up on a whim. 3 Little Pigs is embarking onto something rather interesting which we'll probably hear about it properly come December. If it's something I'm looking forward to, you might have an idea of what it could be *wink*.


On the #CocktailTrailKL - extended to 31 December 2015.


I've already given a short introduction to the #CocktailTrailKL this last week, but due to popular request, the trail has been extended to end of the year. So here's a reminder for you to get on it now!

Pictured is Hexa Lounge's Tobiko - It's a mix of sake with lychee liqueur served with a spoonful of soya sauced soaked roe. It may sound and feel odd at first, but this drink will grow on you once the initial shock has settled - it's sweet, dry, savoury and salty all at once. The resident bartender is back now so be sure to go ask for one when you're on there.


Haig Club for Cocktails


Still not sure what Haig Club is apart from David Beckham? Well, I did write a little piece about it here, if that helps. This bottle belongs to a friend who wasn't quite sure what to do with it and asked me to make her a cocktail. Seeing that I brought along some basic mixing tools and ingredients (doesn't everyone do that? yes? no? :p) I tried my hand at making a variant of an old fashioned. I say variant because instead of using the peel of an orange, I dropped a whole slice in it, and used only a touch of syrup for viscosity. 

I think Haig Club is quite easy to use in cocktails - the brand also pushes itself to be a mixing whisky. One could substitute white spirits with it in any cocktail. Because it's such a soft, delicate whisky, I probably wouldn't wanna use it in classic cocktails that call for bourbon or scotch. Like the one above, I couldn't get any of the usual oaky mellow kick like I would a bourbon, but it turned out to be an easy-to-drink cocktail which doesn't assault the senses.


Fantastic Kampachi Kanpai Sake Buffet 


Words can't do justice how much I enjoyed myself at Kampachi's KANPAI! with Sake Masters event -  I'm still in cloud 9 thinking about it. 4 labels, 4 Masters, 10 expressions, never-ending delicious food from Kampachi. If this was a version of heaven, it'll be very difficult to complain. Post-event report coming up, but I just want to say a big DOMO ARIGATOU for having me. <3


GAB Oktoberfest 2015 Finale


GAB ended their Oktoberfest 2015 celebration by hosting 10 winners with their 10 friends to party at their infamous on-location bar - The Tavern. Beers were drunk, pretty girls ogled at, bands listened to, the hungry were fed, games played and there was plenty of merry to go around. Until next year!


A Surprise Birthday Party @ Marini's 57


Attended a friend's surprise birthday party at Marini's 57. I've been here for their happy hour sessions and enjoyed it. But weekend crowds and loud music ... I think I'm too old for that, lol.  Enjoyed the Botanist (always a treat), Havana Club 7 years old rum (smells like good cognac!) and left before the Haig Club opened.... because driving had to happen. These bartenders, when they are off duty, they sure know how to party and enjoy ONLY the exotic stuff. My gain! :)

Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my Instagram.com/fireangel80 with the hashtag #angeltini. Feel free to follow me if you enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a girl from Malaysia. Cheers!

11 November 2015

Experience: Kampachi Sake Tasting & Appreciating Session

Kampachi probably holds the most number of junmai sake labels than any other Japanese restaurants in our country.

But what the heck is a junmai?

A table setting fit for a noble!

It's basically sake made with just 3 ingredients - water, rice and koji (special fungus) with NO additional alcohol added. Any alcohol found in the sake is created naturally from the interaction between fungus and the rice.

Sakes with additional alcohol added will not have the word "junmai" in it. Now, doing this doesn't necessarily lower the quality of the sake, it does put it in a different category. In fact, some people like this version better as it usually produces a more aromatic and stronger sake - but junmai purists will have none of that, of course. :)

The different levels of polished rice used in for sake

So we were invited to check out Kampachi's sake tasting session, held in their Plaza 33, Petaling Jaya outlet.

Featuring a range of sakes to try at each session, you can taste it cold, hot and at room temperature if you wish - if possible ask to try them all. At each different temperature, the sake will smell and taste different. There is no right and wrong to what your preference is. And don't worry, in spite of what everyone may have told you, good sakes CAN be drunk hot. It's usually the "bad" ones that shouldn't be served hot - you'll know which shouldn't be drunk hot when all you smell is turpentine. :)

drink sake hot or cold - it's your choice!

In our session, the host began by briefly explaining how sake was made and the various types of sakes there were (the topic presented may differ from session to session). Then it's a free & easy session where we get to try (copious amounts of) the various sakes and pair it with the snacks in front of us. Officially, we had 4 to try at our session. Unofficially, we had more! 

If the host feels generous, you may get to taste other bottles too! At our session we tried at least 2 more :p

Officially set for 1.5 hours, but because it's so casual, easy, and fun, time went by so fast and before I knew it, it actually went on for about 2+ hours. So make sure to clear your appointments and don't hurry home!

My favourite was the junmai daijingo (typically means at least 50% of the rice was polished off, yes more wastage = more expensive). It was the most gentle, subtle, aromatic, smoothest of the lot  Sigh. I have expensive taste.

Refills are available while the bottle lasts - but do drink responsibly as you'll need get yourself home! It's too easy to forget about the going home bit when you're imbibing awesome sake, I know.

While it's usually hosted by the bar manager who is only too happy to make you happy, sometimes you may even get guests from the brewery & distilleries as well as sake masters or sommeliers to conduct these sessions too.

we learnt that top grade junmais typically use the sake cups on the left - there's a reason for this which escapes me for now.

Coming out of it, I think it's a perfect, casual session for people who want to try and compare a few sakes at a time without having to pay & commit to a full bottle. At RM82 nett per pax, it's a steal! Some sakes found in Isetan already cost more than that :P

Kampachi endeavours to host these tasting sessions every month. A little bird told me that we should be expecting at least 3 more sessions before the year ends. :)

These sessions are only available via RSVP and places snap out fast (as there are only 6 places a session) so do call +603 7931 6938 to make a booking.



Just in case you're wondering, Kampachi can organise customised or private tasting sessions upon request. Just give them a buzz to chat about it. Then remember to invite me okay! :D

For more info & to get updated on their upcoming tasting sessions here:
http://www.kampachi.com.my/
https://www.facebook.com/KampachiOfficial/

We had a wonderful time, as usual, Kampachi. Domo arigatou!

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