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

11 May 2015

Insta Weekly - Jura Whisky Highball, Hendrick's Booklet, Glenfarclas Tasting, The Bar @ Empire Damansara, Nobu KL's Cocktails & Chillean wine

It was a lovely 4-day weekend in Malaysia wasn't it? Didn't you wished every week was a 4-day work week with a long 4 day weekend? Well, I do. I think a long weekend is just about enough time to really recuperate from the office, spend time on your own personal projects to improve and learn, chores (yuck!) your friends, your family, and with sufficient time to rest. 

One can dream, I suppose. Or quit the corporate life and get your own thing going - which actually could be a worse option because you never sign out of your "office". Oh well! One can't have everything, but one can grab a quick drink and relax....and wait for the next long weekend holiday that's coming up soon! Yippee! 

Made a Jura whisky highball. Drinkable.... but maybe I'm not doing it right.

A highball is actually any spirit mixed with a mixer served in a tall glass. This is me experimenting with a whisky highball - using Jura & soda. A bit of a mistake going with the Jura as it's a little peaty. In fact, I shouldn't even be using single malts for this :p
The whisky highball is very popular in Japan as the first drink you have at the bar or the drink to accompany your meal with, in place of beer - thanks to aggressive campaigning by local whisky brands. In Japan, a slice of lemon is added too. It's supposed to be light, cleanse your palate and appeal to women. The Japanese are so into (or rather, marketeers are SO committed to) it that there are canned options for the highball.

I've always wondered how it tasted. If your answer was cold, diluted, whisky with fizz, you're not wrong. I'm not sure why I thought it may taste different. Maybe I was carried away by these ads by Suntory Kakubin featuring really hot chicks enjoying the taste and making the highball..... have a look see:

Some ads here:
A how-to ad by that hot Last Samurai actress:
A how-to by another Japanese girl (I'm sure famous):

Newer ads:
An ad from early this year:
A how-to by the same girl from the above ad:

Apparently, after these ads went on, sales of the Suntory Kakubin increased by quite a bit!

It's a little underwhelming, the flavour. But maybe I did it wrong. I'll try it with another whisky some other day. The other thing is, I've been told that the soda water from Thailand tastes a LOT different from the local one we have. So I guess I'm just going to have to get me some Kakubin and Thai soda water to try for real.

A pretty little Hendrick's book - like an adult's version of a story book filled with pretty pictures.

A good friend delivered this little booklet over from Singapore (xie xie!). He got sold into Hendrick's clever GWP (gift with purchase) promo that gave him a really cute tea cup and this book which included a bunch of recipes, random well-written stories and some background info about Hendrick's. I wanted to showcase an example of a spirit brand that's still committed to its brand's character and voice. It's not a cheap effort to carry on with it long after it's been launched (1999), but there are still at it! So kudos to the branding and marketing team. :) Let me know in the comments section if you want me to put up a blog post of its beautifully illustrated, fully-colored contents for your voyeuring pleasure.

Glenfarclas heritage, 12 and 105 at last week's S&A whisky fling session.

This month's Single & Available whisky fling featured the Glenfarclas.

105 is still my favourite of the lot. This whopping 60% ABV cask strength is not only value for money, but its thick, syrupy mouthfeel with a punch of flavour is what I also love about it. Of course some water should be added into it  if you don't want to risk burning your mouth, nose, and throat... hehe.

Heritage is supposedly primarily produced for the French and Swedish markets, from what I read. It's a little hard to find (English-written) info on this, but it seems to be available in our market too via Single & Available. It's a sweet and light dram for me.

The 12 years old is an easy-drinking, good introduction to the Glenfarclas' house profile. So if you're unsure of what to try first, the youngest fella is always a good bet.

Single and Available holds a monthly Whisky Fling session at their BSC outlet. At RM20 nett, you get to try a flight of 3 different whiskies every 1st Wednesday of the month. I'll always try to go for it because it's a great way to try stuff I don't own, without having to commit to a full bottle only to find out that I don't like it later. 

Plus: the featured bottles are available for sell at a special price for the day. Just keep in mind that it's a casual session in a small bottle shop, so expect a lot of standing and having to make new friends because you're standing so close to each other. For the sake of your stomach, please eat something first before dropping by. :)

Get updated about their monthly whisky fling on their facebook page here:

Here's a lovely little gin in a lovely little bar which I don't want to talk about, much. :P

Tried this Tanqueray Old Tom Gin at a relative new bar at Empire Damansara called The Bar. I won't say too much about the bar because I plan to write about it someday soon, but I will tell you this - if you want to have a feel of what all those "speakeasy-concept" cocktail bars that your irritating friends who have visited Japan just can't stop talking about - this is an excellent consolation. They are on FB:

Seperately, I feel like there's not a lot of point of me going on and on about how awesome this old tom gin is. Not only is it virtually impossible for you to buy it in Malaysia, it's also a limited edition release with only 100k bottles available worldwide. At quite a high 47% ABV, it's a sweeter version (no added sweetener apparently!) of the london dry gins that you're familiar with with the unmistakable juniper finish. It's so palatable that you could sip this neat, glass after glass. The bartender discouraged me from having it in a martini, but perhaps it could work with other gin based cocktails like the collins, fizz, or the gimlet.... I want another glass. :(

Drink your dragon fruit!

Accompanied a friend to Nobu KL (2 weeks in a row whoo hoo!) last week to learn more about their house sakes and cocktails. The sake distiller and the restaurant owner were apparently best friends and so you'll see a a few sakes with the brand NOBU proudly stamped it. This time we tried a few cocktails too: Cucumber martini, For Gin Sake, and finally the Nobu Shochu Dragon (pictured above). The 3rd one was easily my favourite of the night, made with their house-brand Shochu, elderflower liqueur and fresh dragon fruit. Yum. Fruity and delicious, even tastes deceptively like it's healthy for you with the generous potions of dragon fruit, hehe. Even the plum garnish is special and tasted yum too. 

The bar (they call it the lounge area) is still as pretty as ever (better at night when all the warm lights come on). We tried the sakes without food at first and they were all fine, except very subtle, maybe a little too soft. But pair them with food and there's suddenly a heightened sweetness, flavour and depth to it. I suppose like wine, sake was MADE to be paired with food.

This literally means - the Devil's Locker. 

Was introduced to this Chilean wine brand by new-found Chilean friends some time back - Casillero del Diablo. This is a white Sauvignon Blanc and it's sweet with a slight acidic finish. I had it on its own so felt that it was a little too sweet. But I'm sure it'll be excellent when paired with food. 

Like my reds, I also generally like my whites fruity, light bodied, balanced in sweetness and without the dry finish. For a wine that's less than RM50 (that's the price of wines we have at home) this one's not too bad at all. Do share what is your daily, affordable (<RM50) wines you enjoy at home. I'd like to try more and figure out what I do like - the options seem endless and I don't know where to begin!

Until next week, drink safe!

Insta weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my personal instagram account on Feel free to click on the link if you think you might enjoy daily updates on booze, food and other random stuff by a Malaysian girl. Cheers!