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

24 June 2015

Kampachi Sake Dinner Series feat. Izumibashi Sake

The 4 beautiful Izumibashi bottles in a row
Kampachi  celebrated Izumibashi brewery's first visit to Malaysia with a dinner series that took place in Troika last 16 June &  in their outlet at Equatorial Penang on 17 June.

The 9-course Japanese kaiseki menu, created by Kampachi's Executive Chef, Koji Tamaru, featured seasonal seafood sourced directly from Japan. The meal was to be paired with 4 Izumibashi sakes.

We were also graced by the presence of 6th generation brewery founder/owner, Yuichi Hashiba & sake sommelier, Shigeyuki Masaki, who imparted some nuggets of knowledge about the brand and sake. Who knew that there was such a thing as a sommelier for sake? And how do I apply? :)

22 June 2015

Insta Weekly: World Gin Day, Kampachi dinner feat. Izumibashi Sake, P&C Bar, French Martini, Whiskey Sour

I'd like to share with you something interesting that happened to me last week.

I was at a bar for a quiet drink and bumped into some friends who knew that I enjoyed mixing drinks at home. Everyone was having fun and had quite a bit to drink... eventually I was asked to make a drink at the bar. Much to my reluctance, I did agree, but only after the bartender agreed to it as well.

Thinking back, I wondered how I could have handle that situation better. So many things could have gone wrong (since it wasn't a bar I was familiar with, and I'm actually not a bartender), but thankfully it didn't! Anyway, this experience made me realise a few things:

1. I really do enjoy working behind an actual bar - it's still such a thrill. How do I do something about that which is more feasible for my bank account? :P
2. I need to improve my mixing skills and confidence.
3. I need to learn up a wider repertoire of cocktail recipes.
4. I need to find a secret hide-away bar to drink in. :P
5. Don't get tipsy in a bar, just in case I ever get another opportunity like this again - since my "reputation" is at stake here haha!

That being said. Thank you all for the opportunity. You all know who you are! :)

So what else happened last week?

20 June 2015

Glenfiddich's Valley Of The Deer Post-Event Report

(warning: picture heavy post)

Short of uprooting it from Dufftown, Glenfiddich replicated its distillery in Carcosa Seri Negara for 4 days from 27- 30 May 2015 to share the experience of an average working day there.  If you've never been to an actual distillery, this tour was a good representation. Also, it's probably THE biggest event of its kind in South East Asia!

Everyone was there. The who's who, the who who wants to be who, the has-beens, the wannabes, and of course people who were genuinely interested to see what a distillery could look like, because they actually took the trouble to purchase tickets.

Carcosa Seri Negara, Kuala Lumpur, turned into a make-shift distillery and bar for 4 days.

15 June 2015

Insta Weekly: Diageo Worldclass Malaysia Finals, Tuak from Sarawak, Taps Beer Bar, Vom Fass Whisk(e)y Tasting, Glenlivet 50 Finale, Kitshcy French Wine.

Last week was filled with celebrations!

- celebrated 4 very talented bartenders who were chosen to represent Malaysia in one of the biggest bartending competitions in the planet.

- celebrated the winning bidders who bade a record-breaking RM96k for a bottle of rare 50 year old...whisky (hehe).

- celebrated a pair of good friends' baby's 1 year old birthday, where family and close friends got together to over-indulge in an awesome home-cooked BBQ meal... with some awesome drams of course.

- and celebrated the relocation of this wonderful, wonderful bread shop with some delicious wines.

What I'm trying to say is, there's always a cause for celebration. And those causes are usually the greatest reasons for a good drink... or two.... ;)

1. Diageo Reserve World Class Finals @ The Bee, Publika. 


8 June 2015

Insta Weekly: Martin Miller's Gin, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Whisky Fling @ S&A, Revisiting WIP, Ippudo's new Geikkeikan Sake, Negroni Week @ Hyde, Nikka Taketsuru 12

Man, after last week, I thought I would go easy on the drinking and whiskies but apparently, I'm made of tougher (and more idiotic lol) stuff. This week's summary is a little late because I just came back from spending the weekend in Melaka for a friend's wedding which was also a great excuse to stuff my face with food along the way (sorry about all that food spam on my insta today lol).

I love Chinese banquet weddings. Bonus if the first four (out of 8, usually) dishes tastes really good (usually the appetiser, soup, white meat & fish) because I'm usually too stuffed to have anymore (after that it's commonly the prawns, vegetables, rice and dessert). Even bigger bonus if there's loads of booze about - this one had a whole lot of beer, wine and whiskies. Back in the day (I'd say about 10-15 years) ago - chinese banquet dinners predominantly featured brandy and at the most, blended scotch. These days? Single malt and Japanese whiskies are all the rage. Attending a chinese wedding dinner is really a good gauge of what the current beverage trend is. :)



Had this at O&A last week. Hmm, seems like I'm really into my gins now. :D This one tastes like it's in between your london dry & botanicals. Stuff like this reminds me why I love the beverage industry so much. You think you've tried a lot and then something new comes along to surprise you. I wish I could easily get one of these but unfortunately, it's not easy to get, and also in the premium category like your Botanist (which is already RM2XX duty free, by the way). I think I will invest in more gins, while the whole region is still mad with their whisky. Rums too. Once, the whisky craze dies down, it's likely we'll take to rum or gin. Let's see. :)

4 June 2015

Launch: Inch (and Plates) @ Jalan Muntri, Penang

So, I mentioned in passing on my Insta Weekly update that I was invited for the official launch of Inch (and Plates) over a couple of months ago to check out their new place. Let me give you a quick tour of the place before we dive into my favourite topic - their beverage menu.

Located at one of the popular tourist / backpacker areas, 44 Muntri Street in Penang; Inch and Plates (which are sibling restaurants conjoined by the bar), are the newest ventures by one of the owners from The Bee, Adrian Yap.


As you can see from the entrance, it's a pre-war shop lot and is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can't miss its striking red door against its pretty sky blue painted walls. They took the effort to maintain quite a bit of the original structure - especially the wooden bits. I suspect that the tiles at the entrance is also an original peranakan design too (correct me if I'm wrong).

1 June 2015

Insta Weekly: Sommelier Championship 2015 & French Wines Trade Show, Nikka Event, Glenfiddich's #ValleyOfTheDeer, Omakase + Appreciate, Ardbeg Day

I made another resolution this year - to do something different every month. Better if it's something I've never done before. It could be something as simple as watching a musical, or it could be something as big as picking up a new skill. I figured if I didn't force myself to commit to it,  every day would just be like any other day, and I'd be living my life on autopilot. What a wasted life that would be, innit? I figured, since we're only given one life, I must make the best of it, the best that I can.

What have I done so far? In January, I completed my first ever 6km (more like 7.6 actually) cross country (which goes off-road!) run. I kinda copped out in February by merely going on a jungle hike at a nearby park. But March & April was quite a good one as it was my first trip to Siam Reap AND I participated in a 17km cycling tour there. What did I do for the month of May? Well, it's booze -related so you'll need to read on to find out. :)

1. 24H French Wines Trade Show & Malaysia Best Sommelier Championship 2015