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

18 September 2017

John Walker & Son’s XR 21 Mastery

Johnnie Walker is arguably one of the most popular blended whisky brand in the world. Any whisky drinker worth his/her salt has probably drank a Johnnie Walker product if not started with one.


Many exceptional blends have been produced by Johnnie Walker & Sons and the XR 21, produced as part of their premium Prestige line of products is one excellent product.

The XR 21 is a product inspired by Alexander Walker II to honour the commemoration of his knighthood he received in 1920. Alexander Walker II was a master blender like his father and his grandfather before him, who devoted his life to making exceptional whiskies. Inspired by Sir Alexander’s own hand-written notes, it is blended from the exclusive Johnnie Walker reserve of rare whiskies, all of which have been matured for a full 21 years.


I was lucky enough to enjoy an a gastronomical experience with XR 21 recently.

We were transported to the elegant Khoo Kongsi in Penang, one of the prestigious UNESCO heritage clan houses in Malaysia owned by the Khoo (surnamed) clan. Against the backdrop of lighting, the Khoo Kongsi was transformed into a courtyard of entertainment, where we dined from the stage of the opera house overlooking the temple.


The 4 course delectable menu meal served was selected with the highlight of local (Penang) ingredients and tastes made Chef Spider Kong, chef owner of private dining restaurant, Soul Food in Penang, and Chef Jeffrey, the Head Pastry Chef at Metisser Dessert Parlour in Penang.


Balanced and elegant, the XR 21 has intriguing layers. Sweet honey, fruits and spices with smoke coming through. At 40%ABV, with a splash of water, the fruitiness is even more pronounced.

At the later part of the night, another surprise was revealed to us. A special tasting was arranged for another exceptional whisky; the Mortlach 21 - which is one of the whiskies blended into the XR 21, lending it its honey sweetness.


The XR 21 Mastery is a platform created exclusively for Malaysia, featuring local hidden gems and culinary experts to pair with the XR 21. For more information on the XR 21 Mastery, contact diageoinfo@mhdm.com.my

What a great mini holiday this was. Slàinte mhath Diageo!

- Jon

12 September 2017

East Imperial's 5th Annual Gin Jubilee 2017 has arrived in KL

Celebrating everything G&T, participated by over 100 bars across Singapore, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Shanghai and Auckland, the Gin Jubilee will be in KL starting tomorrow.

A post shared by Fireangel (@fireangel80) on

So what’s in store for you, dearest KL-based imbiber?

1. 21 variations of the gin and tonic... from 21 participating bars in KL from 13- 16 September 2017:

Using Kyrö Napue:
Insan Nurull from Pahit
Mattman Joseph from Skullduggery

Using St. George:
Golam Kibria from Jack Rose
Alvin Au Yong from Birch

Using Fords Gin:
Ali Aye from PS150
Desmond Yatigammana from JungleBird

Using Gin Mare:
Alvin George (Loco) from Coley
Kelvin Lee from Bonfire Restaurant & Bar
Erik Fiza from Suzie Wong

Using Bombay Sapphire:
Kay (Khir Johari) from Virgin & Throne
Jovilane Maghanoy from Opium KL

Using Hendrick's:
Roymark Arusab from The Pawn Room
Jiffy Madredijo from Ril's Bangsar

Using Death's Door:
John Buxton from Encore by The Vault
Ebony Hogg from Sticky Wicket

Using West Winds:
Nik Syafiz from Locker & Loft
Anand Pirinyuang from Shelley Yu's

Using Citadelle:
Osmund Bernard from IKKI
Kazi Tanbir from Hyde at 53M

Using Botanist:
Joe Ngui from Omakase + Appreciate
Mitchell Raymond from 61 Monarchy

Say hello to your 21 friendly participating KL bartenders!

2. Win an all-expense paid 3-day trip to Singapore:

To vote for your favourite g&t and stand a chance to win a free holiday :
1. You'll first need a public Instagram account.
2.  Follow @eastimperial on Instagram
3. Post a picture of your favourite bar’s Gin & Tonic
4.Tag @eastimperial.
5. Post up the bar’s name, and use the official hashtag: #GinJubilee2017.
6. Accompany it with a clever caption
7. Make sure you post between 13th to 16th September.

Your vote counts because KL's favourite G&T from the winning bar/bartender will then go on to compete with winners from the other 6 countries for the ultimate title of “Asia’s Best Gin & Tonic” at the jubilee grand finale in Singapore this December.

3. Attend guest shifts and masterclasses by brand representatives from various gin distilleries and international bartenders.

Check out the jam-packed schedule of activities here:  http://ginjubilee.com/calendar

DRINK ALL THE G&T

4. A Big Gin Lane Finale Party with RM25 G&Ts all night!

Date: Saturday, 16 September
Time: 6pm – 12.00am
Venue: Plaza Batai, Damansara Heights

Don’t say I Bojio!

For more: http://ginjubilee.com/

8 September 2017

The Heineken Star Serve National Finals 2017


Heineken Bhd travelled across Malaysia and selected 8 of the best beer pullers to tap the perfect pint of Heineken draught beer in the Heineken Star Serve (which used to be called the GAB Professional Solutions Academy before the brewery re-branded) National Finals that ran last August.

What makes a perfect pint Heineken pull? It involves its signature "5 part ritual": the rinse, the pour, the skim, the check and the serve. And for the finalists, this ritual is to be completed in 4 minutes.

Now in its 4th year, the Heineken Star Serve is a global programme that educates bartenders so they know how to serve the perfect pour of a draught Heineken.


Unlike in the previous years, Heineken International announced that there will be no Global Bartender Finals for 2017. However this international event will be back next year. Last year, Malaysia was put on the map when our local boy bagged 1st place at the Global Bartender Finals in Amsterdam.


This year’s Star Serve National Finals was clinched by Daimler Kenn Cagas of The Beer Factory, Kota Kinabalu and he won himself an all-expenses-paid trip to Amsterdam to explore the Heineken Experience.


Syabas to Daimler!

- Jon

4 September 2017

A Most Unusual Wedding Dinner

This is a long procrastinated official thank you post.


2nd Aug 2017 was officially our 2nd wedding anniversary and not coincidentally also my FA's birthday. How time flies when you are having a great time (no, she didn't put me up to say this, really).