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

19 May 2016

The Macallan: Edition No.1 Sample & Rare Cask Malaysia Launch

Macallan has been actively moving away from age-statements and are now putting all their focus on wood.

So expect to see new NAS bottlings and even more geekery about their casks.

I'll be featuring 2 of them in this post, as they were all shared with me during my hiatus back in January - but better late than never eh?


The Macallan: Edition No.1 & Rare Cask

Was contacted to be 1 of 25 people chosen to try a sample - thank you for the honour, Edrington.

This new Macallan is the first release of their new annual limited releases to come. So we can expect a new one every year!

The Edition No. 1 is matured in 8 unique European & American oak cask styles selected by master whisky maker Bob Dalgarno. Of 8, 7 are sherry, 1 is American oak. It's a mix of liquid aged between 11 to 25 years.

I get the dry sherry. Spices. And with a few drops of water = more fruits come out for me. But in subsequent tasting, there seems to be some strong sulphur scent going on there. Hmm.

At 48% ABV, it's priced at around RM4XX (at selected liquour shops & supermarket) up to RM8XX at outlets. Distribution is very limited but you can try your luck at Enfin by James Won, HYDE at 53M, 81 Monarchy, Italian Wine Shop, The Whisky Bar and Tong Woh Retail shop... IF they still have it.



The Macallan: Edition No.1 & Rare Cask

The name may seem a little misleading as it's actually made from a blend of 16 different CASKS. The claim is that some these emptied casks will not be re-used - thus, making those liquid rare.

The liquid is a combination of Spanish & American sherry oak casks, mostly first fill.

I got vanilla on the nose, woody spices in the mouth, warm finish down to the throat.

At 43% ABV, it's available at selected outlets like The Penthouse, Hyde53M, Monarchy 61, H20, Merchant Pub, Club De-Royale, Ojos Bar, Zouk, Avalon & Meja and Brussels Beer Café at about RM2k. Supermarkets at about RM1.6k.


For more:

16 May 2016

Launch: Carlsberg Smooth Draught Beer in Malaysia - first in the world!

That's right! We're the first in 140 Carlsberg markets in the world to have this!

Officially launched end of April, the intention of this new version is to provide the "freshly tapped beer" experience at outlets that typically have no access to draught beer. We're looking at coffee shops, food courts, hawker centres, chinese restaurants & some supermarkets (ie, your home).

So, this version is supposed to be smoother, easier to drink with a nicer carbonation, (which they claim is) like "freshly tapped beer". This is achieved by Carlsberg Smooth Draught's slightly different brew techniques from the Carlsberg Green Label:
- double the maturation cycle
- uses cold hopping technique (...but Googling provides me with no explanations)

Carlsberg Smooth Draught Beer Launch Malaysia
Big smiles by Henrik Juel Andersen, the outgoing Managing Director of Carlsberg
(Image: Carlsberg Malaysia)

It's currently available only in the big 580ml bottle now and should be priced similarly to the green label. However, at 4.8% ABV, it's 0.2% less ABV than the original - which probably contributes to the "smoothness".

I find it very agreeable. It really does feel easier going down, and it has none of that usual bitter / metallic finish (unlike the Green Label). I could even detect some malt on the nose. When you're in a hot stuffy coffee shop or in need of a quick, cold, fix at home, a chilled bottle would be hard to beat.

Carlsberg Smooth Draught Beer Launch Malaysia
Carlsberg Malaysia re-enacted a hawker centre in the brewery for the launch. MANY JOYS
(Image: Carlsberg Malaysia)

This launch event also marks the current Marketing Director's impending departure and warmly welcomes the new MD, Lars Lehmann (above picture, 5th from left). A warm selamat datang to you sir!

For more:

12 May 2016

(Re)Launch: Johnnie Walker Green Label Datang Lagi!

Johnnie Walker Green Label is back!

Heart were broken, (manly) tears were shed, shelves were emptied and basements were filled up with green boxes (YOU BLOODY HOARDERS) when Diageo decided to discontinue selling the Green Label back in 2012 (except in Taiwan, because you know, where, instead of oxygen, they inhale single malt whiskies) to introduce the Gold Label and Platinum Label.

Then in 2015, cheeky Diageo teased selected countries (North America..& Australia too I think... But not Malaysia I believe ) with a limited time offering of it which was in conjunction with their 10th anniversary.

Johnnie Walker Green Label Launch Malaysia
Happy people: Georgie Bell, global whisky expert from Diageo & Rajesh Joshi, Marketing Director for Diageo Brands - Moët Hennessy Diageo Malaysia (Image: MHDM)

This year, Diageo finally decided to bring the prodigal 15 year old back for good.

Like the old (pre-2012) version, this 40% ABV blended malt is made with the combination of the following 4 single malts (which we got to taste individually ... except for the Linkwood, sniff.):

Talisker (Skye) - spice, smoke & the sea
Linkwood (Speyside)
Cragganmore (Speyside) - fruity, malty sweetness
Caol Ila (Islay) - sweet peat. peat. peat.

Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Years Relaunch Malaysia

The combined end product was sweet upfront, oaky & a little spicy in the mouth with a faint malty (like horlicks!) finish. But the mouthfeel not as dense as I've hoped though.

Now to keep a look out for how much it'll be. Do drop me a note if you've already seen it on shelves, k? It's about RM550 on retail, and will be available at selected upscale hotels, restaurants, cocktail bars and high-end grocers.

In the meantime - if you're thinking of getting rid of your old Green Label stocks (the ones pre-2012), give me a holler! I need them. You know, for research purposes, like side by side tasting and all. It's work. No, really. ;)

johnnie walker green label relaunch malaysia
Party people united - with Angel Ng (PS150), Junior (Marini's 57), 
Kenny (MHDM), Shawn (Omakase)


9 May 2016

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Collection 6 Launch

Hennessy VSOP has some dazzling new clothes made by Peter Saville, an English graphic designer, and some of us were invited to check it out.

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Collection 6 by Peter Saville (Image: MHDM)

This would be their 2nd collaboration while limited editions have been released yearly since 2010. 

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Collection 6 TREC KL food cocktail pairing hacha mecha japanese fusion angeltini blog booze alcohol malaysia
Hacha Mecha grub waiting to be eaten. (Image: MHDM)

We got to taste a few cocktails made with the cognac, paired with food by Hacha Mecha @ TREC KL.

Hennessy V.S.O.P cocktails
3 Hennessy VSOP cocktails and on the rocks. (cocktails images: MHDM)

Horse’s Neck (Hennessy V.S.O.P, Ginger Ale, Angostura Bitters and Lemon Wedges)
A nice starter drink with ginger flavours that wasn't overpowering. Like teh halia. Except hold the tea and substitute with it Henessy. :)

Side Car (Hennessy V.S.O.P, Triple Sec and Lemon Juice)
A classic brandy sour cocktail. Birthed during (likely) the pre-prohibition, the beauty of this drink is in its simplicity. I love this.

Mint Julep (Hennessy V.S.O.P, Angostura Bitters, Mint Leaves)
Traditionally made with bourbon, good if you have a sweet tooth (I don't) and prefer a light-tasting, minty drink which doesn't taste strong.

Hennessy on the rocks - there's really no better way than to enjoy a good cognac except neat or on the rocks. 

Ikki Hennessy Signature Cocktails
New Ikki Hennessy Signatures (On left: MHDM)

We were also introduced to 2 IKKI signatures created by the Lead Bartender, Osmund Bernard.
  • The French Summer - Osmund's tribute to summer in France and a nod to Hennessy's birth country.
  • A Letter from Mr. Ikki - strong flavours of oak and coffee. Also available on menu at IKKI. 
Age caught up to us and we had to leave before the REAL party started at Avalon, LiveHouse and Zouk Club KL. :(

Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Collection 6 TREC KL IKKI Bar Cocktails Osmund  angeltini blog booze alcohol malaysia deepak thirstblogger brian martin the star
(Having a good time with Deepak (ThirstyBlogger, Locker & Loft) 
Brian Martin (The Star) Image: MHDM)

Thanks very much for having us, MHD!

Facebook : Hennessy Malaysia
Instagram : #HennessyMY

5 May 2016

AIX Rosé Wine Media Tasting @ SkyBar, Traders Hotel KL

All the AIX Rosé you can drink.

Provence, France is the birthplace of rosé wines - just like the AIX Rosé, which was officially launched last month. 

It's produced by Maison Saint AIX winery that only produces 1 wine - the AIX.

AIX is made from a blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah (20%) and Cinsault (20%) grapes.

AIX Rosé Wine Media Tasting SkyBarTraders Hotel KL Provence France angeltini blog alcohol booze malaysia pool
A glass Rosé with a view. Life is good.

It's fresh, fruity (citrus! berries! mango!) and not too sweet. I could drink this all night - and we did! This has easily became one of my favourite Rosés.

AIX Rosé is distributed by The Straits Wine Company and retails around RM2XX a bottle.

You can get it directly from distributor (The Straits Wine Company), or at Traders Hotel KL, Babe, No Black Tie, Havana, Bistro a’table, Ploy, Pinch & Troika, among other outlets.

AIX Rosé Wine Media Tasting SkyBarTraders Hotel KL Provence France angeltini blog alcohol booze malaysia jonathan ee laine
Here's a couple of jokers that tried to selfie with the AIX to win a 1.5L bottle home. They lost.


2 May 2016

Jacob's Creek Heritage Wine Collection Dinner @ Saujana Resort

Jacob's Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay + chilling at Saujana Resort = Bliss.

There's a trend that's taking over wine makers by storm - going rogue and breaking all the rules with new grape varieties, wacky names, edgy copy-writing and eye-catching label designs.

Sweet bitch. Fat Bastard. Bulls Blood. Gnarly Head. Fish Eye. Hocus Pocus. Bitch. Frog's Piss. Elephant on a Tightrope. No, I'm not making up rude words - these are ACTUAL wine brand names.

With an encouraging price tag (RM50ish), I have to admit that it's quite fun to play around with them. But it's almost like Russian Roulette - sometimes they turn out okay. Other times, they were so horrible I wish I was dead.

On days when I don't feel like placing a bet and just want to HAVE decent wine - I go back to the trusted, classic names. For me, that translates to a handful of Australian wine labels that I'm familiar with. I'm no wine snob and I like my easy drinking, uncomplicated, new world wines which usually comes with an attractive price point (i'm also quite cost sensitive).

The other thing is this - Australian wines were the first wines I was exposed & learned to enjoy back in my Sydney University days - so I guess you could say that I always go back to Australian wines because of nostalgia and misplaced loyalty. :)

So it was a nice surprise when an invite from Pernod Ricard Malaysia (PRM) came for a Jacob’s Creek wine tasting & dinner pairing session at @ Saujana Resort recently.

Jacob's Creek Heritage Wine Collection Dinner @ Saujana Resort
Drink us. DRINK US!

Pernod Ricard Winemakers Wine Ambassador, Jenny Rothenberg, took us through the 4 labels under the Heritage Wine Collection (and my thoughts below):
  • Reeves Point Chardonnay - oh man, I really enjoyed this bubbly. Not too sweet, not too sour, just right. Call me Goldilocks anytime you want, just keep my glass filled with this beautiful stuff okay?
  • Centenary Hill Shiraz - Soft with not much tannin or acidity which Shiraz's are known for. This is one of the rare Shiraz I enjoy a lot.
  • Steingarten Riesling - flowery & fruity in the nose.. with a peculiar mineral-ly finish.
  • Johann Shiraz Cabernet - dark. heavy. tannin is prevalent in this one.
And with a name like "Heritage Wine Collection" it's definitely your premium-level stuff. 

Update: We're looking at a lower RM2XX for the Chardonnay and Riesling, mid RM2XX for the Shiraz and lower RM3XX for the Cab. Only available at hotels for now, and Saujana is definitely one of them.

Thanks for having us, PRM!