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

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 

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.

SGD20 off first ride with Uber with the code WHISKYLIVESG

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

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:

Other event info:
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:

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: or SMS 0129177613 (spaces are limited).

Get updated on their activities here:

*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 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:

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

Related stories on Kampachi on

10 November 2015

Insta Weekly: Gyukingu's new outlet - #CocktailTrailKL - Crackhouse Comedy Club - #MyTigerBites Finale - NewMan's #Cpa2015

Hoo boy. We've just come into the second week of November and it already feels like the end of it. Expecting a mad rush of parties and events towards the end of 2015 (to meet sales targets or to use up the allocated A&P budget I suspect, hehe). Here are 5 to start with:

Gyukingu Japanese BBQ's New Outlet + Wine Pairing 

Congratulations on the opening of the second outlet in Hartamas (just next to Old Town Coffee)!

If you're familiar with their first outlet in Kota Damansara, then expect the same menu & quality, fresh cuts of meat. What was unexpected to me was how the available wines also pair well with yakiniku which whetted my appetite for more. If you're not familiar with their work then you should definitely check them out soon because in conjunction with their opening, you'll get a 10% off your total bill and a free ice cream until 31 Jan 2016 when you quote "Angeltini". :)

Before my post is out, have a look at the website first to get you in the mood:

Oh, the wines that were paired with our dinner that night was provided by The Straits Wine Company, the same guys behind the annual Wine Fiesta at Publika & KK. We had a rose and a red, which were both various degrees of smooth, light & fruity (my type of wines!) that complemented the subtle flavours of the lightly marinated bbq meats. It was love at first bite & sip. More on them:


Clockwise from top left: hyde at 53M, Hexa lounge, Lou Shang & 44 Bar. 4 down 2 to go!

If you are unfortunate enough to follow my multiple postings on FB and instagram on this, then you'll know everything there is to know about this event. Just skip the following paragraph and go head to the next one. :)

#CocktailTrailKL is an initiative by 6 Klang Valley independent bars who decided to get together to instil an awareness of the many types of cocktails and bar concepts our little Valley has to offer. For the whole month of November, hop from bar to bar collecting stamps and you'll earn yourself a free drink courtesy of the first bar you visited.

Briefly, the 6 participating bars are:
Hyde at 53M, Damansara Uptown : Likely the first "speakeasy" concept bar in PJ, its plush, classy interior transports you back to the feel of the glamorous 20s. Try their beautiful-looking signature cocktails, or not - they also have a myriad of whiskies (ranging from entry level to stuff that are made of collectors' dreams) to try too.
44 Bar, Bangsar : A pop-up concept bar, it nomads from location to location and currently resides in Dr Inc. Signature cocktails mainly feature special, uncommon craft spirits from  Liberty Spirits Asia which you can't find anywhere else. Try their bottle-aged cocktails or start with their bespoked Gin & Tonic featuring 8 types of gins when they are on a buy 2 free 1 happy hour offer.
P&C Cocktail Bar, Hartamas : This cozy little "speakeasy" concept bar is for the highly experimental. Why? There are no menus here. Only a sheet of paper to mark your flavour preferences then you leave it to the bartender who will surprise you with lots of bells and whistles to boot. With a very intimate & wild wild west setting,  it's located just behind Naughty Nuri's.
Hexa Lounge, Sunway Pinnacle : Helmed by resident bartender Kelvin Lee, the bar is owned by the same fellows from the Grand Imperial chain of Chinese restaurants (crispy duck!). Don't shy away from his experimental cocktail world of fat infused spirits, absinthe concoctions, creative flavour pairings and interesting use of food (smoked bacon! tobiko!) in cocktails.
Lou Shang Bar & Cafe, Damansara Uptown: Relatively the newest kid of the 6, this cozy, laid back Sydney small bar concept features quirky, playful, easy-to-drink signature cocktails. There's a handful of bottled beers  and quite an extensive entry-level to mid range whiskies/whiskeys. Most awesome: Nothing on the menu is above RM40.
The Bar by Sam Kinugawa, Empire Damansara: Being in here feels like you've stepped into a classic  bar in Japan or the Bartender manga. Signatures seem to be a crowd favourite but ask for something off-menu which could surprise you. Enough of cocktails? Sam (the Japanese owner and head bartender ) has a fondness for good whisky so don't be surprised to see some prized bottlings there too.
Well, it's no Singapore Cocktail Week in terms of magnitude and budget, but it's a great start to something more in the future, perhaps. So go support your independent bars this November! :)

Crackhouse Comedy Club @TTDI

Ohai Jonathan Antherton!

I never knew there was an ACTUAL comedy club in Malaysia - all these while I've always thought it was just a name for a gathering  of comedians, but I couldn't be more wrong and pleasantly surprised. Door fee starts at RM15 and up, depending on the theme of the night. Technically has a bar with plain vanilla offering of spirits, beer wine ("red" or "white"  only)  and a handful of cocktails at a price which you will be more than happy to pay (ie, you will definitely not feel ripped off) with set promos. Even offers non-alcoholic stuff and light snacks. It's quite  a good alternative to spending 2 hours at the bar.

#MyTigerBites Finale - street food festival

Tiger Beer marked the end of the extensive #MyTigerBites campaign (to, putting it very crudely, cultivate imbibers to have a Tiger with their street food) with an enormous street food festival atop Avenue K's rooftop. One of the more interesting beer parties I've been to this year, I must say. Kudos you guys! Post-event report with lots of pics to annoy you coming up.

NewMan's Creative Pioneer Awards 2015 presented by Absolut (#cpa2015)

In conjunction with the NewMan magazine's 12 anniversary, 40 Malaysians were selected across 8 categories to be crowned "Creative Pioneer" of the year. Obviously I wasn't one of the nominees, but I'm almost always there for a good party, haha! Everyone who was someone (or trying to be a someone) was there and being totally fashionable - but I have to say, my favourite dress was worn by the Absolut girls. I mean, how can anything beat twinkly lighted skirts? :P

Until next week, drink safe!

Insta Weekly is a weekly summary of boozy updates from my 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!

3 November 2015

Insta Weekly: 44 Bar has moved - KL Oysters Festival - Mortlach launch - Heineken Sundown Party - The Good Batch - Cocktails of 2 weeks -

I know, I know I've been tardy last month. Got too caught up with some crazy offline commitments. But after this week, things will go back to normal again. This I can promise all 5 of you. Without further ceremony:

44 bar has moved!

44 Bar said goodbye The Row @ Jalan Doraisamy and said hello to Dr. Inc @ Bangsar.

Until December 2015, check them out at their new location for your American craft spirits, bespoked gin tonic happy hour sessions and bottle-aged cocktails (truly special stuff) fix. There might be more stuff coming once they have properly settled down - if there is, I'll definitely let you on, on it.