Whisky Events

Weekend Rendezvous with Penderyn Single Malts

We had an awesome weekend with Michael Wheeler, Global Brand Ambassador of Welsh Single Malt, Penderyn in early March. As Wales celebrates St David’s Day on 1 March of every year, Penderyn importer, Spirits Castle Pte Ltd, decided to bring the celebration to Singapore with a couple of whisky tastings amongst other activities.

Pre-Celebration Drinks

The celebration started at The Providore, Downtown Gallery, where Michael held an impromptu lunchtime tasting of two best-selling whiskies in Singapore, the Sherrywood and Rich Oak.

Set up at The Providore, Downtown Gallery

While most people were not keen to start drinking at noon, more interested drinkers came at around 1 pm. Michael had a good time speaking with them about Welsh whiskies, and some of them walked away feeling that they have found gold! He also spoke with two seasoned drinkers who thought that the Sherrywood was quite similar to some of their favourite Scotch whiskies!

Whisky Pairing Dinner @ Conrad Centennial Singapore

WhiskyGeeks invited ourselves to the whisky pairing dinner at Conrad Centennial Singapore on 1 March 2019 because we had to (wink!) and of course, we were glad that we went! The event was a collaboration between Conrad and Spirits Castle with Conrad doing most of the job. When we arrived, we saw the team at The Lobby Lounge busy working on the set up for the evening. What impressed us though, was that their General Manager was helping out as well! We seldom see a GM who is so hands-on and respected the man who is so willing to serve.

The completed set up

First…the Dragons

The Dragon Range (from left to right): Legend, Myth, Celt

The whisky dinner started with a series of canapés and the Dragon Range from Penderyn. The Dragon on each bottle represents Wales and what it stands for. The dragon is, of course, the one gracing the flag of Wales. Michael spoke about the range and intrigued audiences with tales of dragons and myths.

Michael and his audiences

The Legend was the first whisky we tried. Matured in a bourbon cask before having a finish in Madeira casks, this whisky is light and fruity, with a hint of oakiness. The Myth is sweeter, with a rounded balance of fruits and candy because it is a bourbon-matured whisky that is finished in red wine casks. The Celt is the most interesting, with light peaty smoke and sweet ripe fruits. Michael explained that this whisky was finished in ex-Islay casks! All the whiskies in the Dragon range are bottled at 41% abv.

The Golden Dinner

The food prepared by Conrad’s Chef

The actual dinner pairing worked with Penderyn Gold Range – a series of 5 different whiskies bottled at 46% abv. Chef Mandar worked extensively to come up with each pairing, and all of them were fantastic!

Conrad’s Penderyn Pairing Dinner

Our favourite was the Pork Belly with Sherrywood as the pairing worked so well! The tender pork belly infused with coffee enhanced the flavours of Penderyn Sherrywood, while the whisky helped to remove the sweetness of the sauce perfectly. We also like the dessert, because the chocolate cake was divine! It was so good that we almost forgot about the whisky!

Michael speaking about the whiskies

Michael talked about the whiskies at every course, and he regaled tales of the distillery’s history and blunders in a humourous manner. He told us about Penderyn Peated – a mistake that turned out to become a popular whisky in the core range! It was said that the person-in-charge of buying casks for the distillery made a terrible blunder and purchased a batch of casks that were once holding peated whisky on Islay. When the distillery discovered the mistake, it was too late, and they had to release the whisky as a “one-off” experiment because they cannot just throw away good whisky. It turned out that people love the whisky so much that they begged the distillery to continue the production, and so today, it is part of the core range.

The Final Frontier

We ended the dinner with a special cocktail, one which the bartender at The Lobby Lounge did for the event. It was a Manhattan but done using the Penderyn Celt. Sweet and smoky, the cocktail was the perfect drink to end a lovely evening at Conrad Centennial Singapore.

A Whisky Journey to Wales at Wala Wala

Wala Wala’s Bartender with Penderyn

2 March 2019 was equally exciting because Penderyn did a tasting at Wala Wala, Singapore’s iconic bar at Holland Village! We understood that Penderyn distillery (and Spirits Castle) is absolutely delighted with Wala Wala’s support of their whiskies.

Wala Wala Cafe Bar is a place that most of the 80s and 90s kids know fondly. It is THE place to hang out, and some of us did more than hang out there – we slept on the floor, drunk, of course! The event was a collaboration between Wala Wala and Spirits Castle. Again, Wala Wala was the one who did all the job of setting up!

The Actual Event

Michael led the group gathered at Wala Wala on a journey to Wales, where he waxed lyrical about the country and the beautiful places that surround Penderyn Distillery.

Mike with the attentive audiences

The focus at Wala Wala was the five Gold Range expressions, but participants were greeted with a cocktail done with the Myth! The crowd at Wala was curious about Welsh whiskies, with many of them hearing about Penderyn for the first time. Therefore, many questions flew at Michael, who happily answered them all.

He also showed them some interesting elements of the distillation method at Penderyn and explained why the whisky tasted so different from the others.

Studying the elements of distillation

Interaction with our resident WhiskyGeeks

Michael also had a chance to speak with our guest writer of WhiskyGeeks – Hongfu aka Panda. He was delighted to find someone who loves whisky so much that questions came nonstop! It was enjoyable to see them interact with each other and to know that WhiskyGeeks will always have someone to fall back on should we fail to deliver in future! Hahaha!!

Michael with our resident whisky geeks

All of us enjoyed ourselves at Wala Wala, and we are awed by the generosity of the owner – Stanley when platters upon platters of food came from the kitchen after the presentation was over. It was an endless parade of food, and needless to say, we were all stuffed by the time the event ended. So many questions, so much food…Whisky flow aplenty as well, and out of the five, Sherrywood naturally came out tops, again!

We had an enjoyable time, and appreciated the efforts that Wala Wala had put in to make the event so fun!

Till the next time…

The weekend rendezvous with Penderyn was excellent, and we hope to do it again! Conrad’s dinner pairing was a luxurious, one of a kind event and Wala Wala’s laidback environment was a complete opposite to it. Both events left deep memories of the place, the whisky and the food. We can’t wait to do this again! Till the next time, folks!!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

Introducing Old Pulteney – The Maritime Malt

The Old Pulteney New Range

The Old Pulteney is not a new distillery; neither are its single malts strangers to everyone. However, the old range of 17 and 21 have disappeared in the market, and a shiny new range has taken over. It consists of the good, old 12 Years Old, a new NAS called Huddart, a 15 Years Old and an 18 Years Old.

How did these new expressions measure up? We found out in a recent media launch with Mr Malcolm Waring, the Distillery Manager of Old Pulteney.

Introducing Mr Malcolm Waring

Credit: David Parry

Malcolm Waring is the distillery manager at Old Pulteney for the past 12 years. He is the perfect choice for the job because of his many talents. Raised in Wick, Scotland, Malcolm started as a boat-builder, but his destiny was determined otherwise. He joined the Pulteney team in 1990 and worked his way through all areas of the distillery – maturation warehouses, the mash room and the stills. He learned the craft of making fine single malt whisky and his skills in the job made him brewing manager, and later on assistant distillery manager. In 2000, he moved to Knockdhu as the manager for six years before returning to Wick, and Old Pulteney as the distillery manager.

The New Collection

Old Pulteney 12 Years Old

The classic 12 Years Old is an old favourite among many, with its sweet vanilla and citrus notes. The tinge of salt from the sea is subtle but noticeable, so it is definitely one of the Maritime Malts.

Price: SGD $135

Old Pulteney Huddart

Old Pulteney Huddart

The Huddart celebrates the birthplace of Old Pulteney – Wick, Scotland. Known for its excellent fishing spot, many fishermen came to Wick during the fishing season in the past. As a result, the town grew to what it is today. Huddart is a peated malt, but not like the ones that we are used to from Islay. Huddart is matured in American ex-bourbon casks and finished in ex-peated casks. The whisky is mellow and brimming with wood smoke, honey, and bacon. Vanilla cream, crisp green apples and burnt toffee come in after a while. Sitting the whisky for about 30 minutes brings out the musky, soil-like notes of peat.

Price: SGD $160

Old Pulteney 15 Years Old

The 15 Years Old is a new expression that replaces the old 17 Years Old. As far as replacements go, I think the 15 Years Old tops it all. The intensity of the flavours found in the 15 Years Old is excellent, with green apples, citrus orange, honey, vanilla cream and the hint of white tea flowers. The use of sherry casks in the maturation process also brings out rich, dried fruits and milk chocolate. The finish is long and oaky. This dram is appealing and the balance exquisite. I find myself liking this very much.

Price: SGD $180

Old Pulteney 18 Years Old

The last expression in the series is the 18 Years Old. The distillery matured this expression in ex-bourbon American oak cask and Spanish sherry butts. As a result, the flavour profile of this whisky is balanced. Earthly sweetness with some spicy greets the nose, but the palate is soft and mellow. The caramel sweetness of the dram reminds one of sweet dried red berries and raisins. It is a balanced dram but perhaps will appeal best to the sweet tooths.

Price: SGD $215

Whisky & Food Pairing

Whisky & Food Pairing

We had an excellent lunch prepared by Chef Jeremy from Restaurant Jag (more about it below). The menu was meant to pair with the whiskies that we were tasting.

  1. Cheese Platter with Old Pulteney 12 Years Old
  2. Scallops & Capucine with Old Pulteney Huddart
  3. Risotto with Lightly Grilled Squid with Old Pulteney 15 Years Old
  4. Venison & Parsnip with Old Pulteney 18 Years Old
  5. Smoked Dark Chocolate & Truffle with Old Pulteney 18 Years Old (goes well with Huddart too!)

It was evident that each course was prepared with much care and love for both the food and the patron. I enjoyed the risotto and venison especially, due to the excellent pairing it did for the whiskies. Nothing quite prepared me for the dessert though; I probably had not eaten such fantastic ice cream in my life. The smoked dark chocolate ice cream was silky, and it worked so well with both the 18 Years Old and the Huddart!

Venue

The venue of the media launch was Restaurant Jag, a bespoke French restaurant helmed by Chef Jeremy and owner Anant. The cosy restaurant nestled among the many shophouses along Duxton Road, and it is easy to miss it if you are not looking out for it. The establishment takes up two floors, with the main restaurant on the ground level and an intimate bar on the second floor. It is a beautiful place and one which you should visit if you are looking for an excellent place to chill and relax.

Address: 76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535
Reservation Number: 3138 8477

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

The Glendronach Revival 15 Years Old is Back!

The Glendronach Core Range and Single Cask

Glendronach is a well-known single malt that most of us love. The sherried notes in each of their expressions are a signature to their passion and expertise in their knowledge of using sherry casks; not just any sherry casks though, but excellent and well-made sherry casks.

I was invited to the Glendronach Revival 2018 launch at the Saint Louise House some days ago, and here are some of the highlights.

The Glendronach Revival Event

The Glendronach Revival 2018

As we know, the Glendronach Revival had been one of their most popular expression, and it was met with such an uproar of injustice when the distillery first announced its discontinuation due to stock constraints. Therefore, you probably could imagine the joy of most attendees at the event. The new Revival is still a 15-year-old expression but made slightly differently. While the old Revival aged exclusively in Oloroso casks, the new one aged in a combination of Oloroso and PX Sherry casks. Everyone was excited to try the new Revival to see if it lives up to its name, but there was another distraction – the 1993 single cask bottled for Asia.

The Revival 2018 did not disappoint, but what wowed me was the single cask bottled for Asia. Distilled in 1993, it is a 24-year-old whisky that deserved its reputation. Try it, I’ll say, and you may want to bring a bottle home. The Glendronach Revival is retailing at $299 and the single cask at $1099. You can find them at The Grande Whisky Collection.

Exclusive Chat with Dr Rachel Barrie

Dr Rachel Barrie

Glendronach’s Master Distiller, Dr Rachel Barrie, hosted the event. As you can imagine, it was not every day that we get to meet a Master Distiller of a well-loved distillery. I jumped at the chance of getting an exclusive interview with Rachel when the opportunity presented itself.

We had a good chat about some important things. As a professional, Rachel had worked with many distilleries before she joins Brown Forman as the Master Distiller. Her career is somewhat unique because most master distillers work with only one distillery in their entire career, but Rachel has proved to be different. Working with various distilleries gave Rachel an experience that other master distillers may not get, and that experience has helped her to gain a reputation in the malt whisky industry.

The Greatest Takeaway from Rachel’s Varied Experience

I was curious to know the most significant takeaway from Rachel’s experiences in the various distilleries before joining Glendronach. She told me that Glendronach is an “old-style” traditional distillery, making single malt whisky in the same way for centuries. It is different from some of the more modern distilleries that she had worked with, and the greatest takeaway for her is that in Glendronach, she is not just the Master Distiller; she is the guardian of tradition and the highest quality. She protects the best from the past and ensures that they only use the best and most authentic ingredients to make the world’s most complex single malt.

Gender is Irrelevant in the Industry

Rachel is one of the rare ladies in the whisky industry to hold her position as a master distiller. I asked if gender is an issue in her job. Her robust answer to that was a resounding NO! She said that making malt whisky is a passion. It does not matter whether a man or a woman is doing it. What is important is the teamwork and collaboration that happens inside the distillery. When everyone, both men and women, is committed to what they do best, the team achieves the desired result.

The Challenge of Glendronach

Rachel worked with many distilleries in different roles, but I was curious about her challenges as the master distiller of Glendronach. When I put the question across to her, she paused and then smiled. Rachel’s biggest challenge at Glendronach is the selection of casks. She said that Glendronach has a deep and complex character which changes with the seasons. It also matured differently in the various casks left in different warehouses. The robust and fruity spirit of Glendronach created an abundance of intriguing layers when she left them in different casks. Therefore, her challenge at Glendronach is the selection of casks as each one is different from the other. In her words, Rachel said, “The challenge is the opportunity”.

A Day in the Life of a Master Distiller

All of us are interested to know the life of a Master Distiller, so I asked Rachel what her day looks like. She said that there is no typical day because she works on different things each day. She works with all three distilleries under Brown Forman – Glendronach, Benriach and Glenglassaugh, but she spends most of her time with Glendronach.

Rachel revealed that she spent most of her mornings nosing cask samples to make decisions for vatting of casks. Her day varies between selecting casks for individual bottling, writing tasting notes, and composing the next vatting of the Glendronach core range. She also needs to give her attention to new expressions as well as deciding on the cask fillings.

Some Advice for the Women in the Whisky Industry?

I also asked Rachel for her advice to women who hope to work in the whisky industry – regardless of role. Her reply does give hopes to many, I believe. She said, “Work hard and stay focused on the serious job of making whisky. Learn something new every day, stay curious, be courageous and seize every opportunity to be creative. If you keep trying, stay focused and have a positive attitude, opportunities will come your way.”

So, if you hope to be a master distiller one day – continue to work hard and learn! You never know!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

Launch of Bruichladdich Black Art 6.1

Photo Credits: WhiskyGeeks.sg

Bruichladdich has an excellent series of whiskies named Black Art. Starting from Black Art 1.1, the series is as mysterious as the dark arts (hence the name)! As we go through the series, we arrived at Black Art 6.1 – the second Black Art series that new head distiller, Adam created.

There was a Masterclass for the Black Art 6.1 during Whisky Live, where participants get to drink the whisky before anyone else does! However, the real media launch of this mysterious dram happened on 21 Nov 2018, at Jigger and Pony.

Media Launch of Black Art 6.1

Photo Credit: WhiskyGeeks.sg

It was a grand tasting at Jigger and Pony considering how lovely the bar is. Bruichladdich has a small set up near the bar for about 15 pax, and we can all sit comfortably with our drams. The bottles were set up at the bar area (see above), and we even get a delicious dram of Classic Laddie before we start! Well, they offered a highball, but Chloe poured me a large dram of Classic Laddie after she knew that I had a long day ahead and did not want to mix my drinks!

A Tasting of Black Arts

We had the chance to revisit Black Art 4.1 and 5.1 during the session, and of course, we had to compare between the three. Black Art 6.1 is artfully created by Adam to be different from his previous rendition of Black Art 5.1. In my humble opinion, I think that Black Art 6.1 is more similar to the 4.1. The 4.1, of course, was created by Jim Mcewan, Bruichladdich’s previous head distiller.

As usual, Chloe waxed lyrical about Bruichladdich and what the distillery has achieved so far. She knew that most of us probably could repeat what she said since we have been to various media launch, and hence, gave us something new to be excited about besides the whiskies.

Photo Credit: WhiskyGeeks.sg

Chloe revealed that Bruichladdich is building new warehouses, and it is currently the most significant construction on Islay! If you are heading that way, remember to visit Bruichladdich Distillery!

Review of the Black Art 6.1

Photo Credits: WhiskyGeeks.sg

Nose: The initial nose is full of mellow toffee, honey, vanilla, cereal, nuts and chocolates, coming in layers by layers. There is a hint of spice hiding behind the sweet nose.

Palate: I get toffee, nuts, chocolates and honey with my first sip. The oily mouthfeel is silky and makes the whisky very approachable. The second sip gets me all the above, in deeper concentration. It also brings out a gentle ginger spice that I did not get on the first sip. Delicious!!

Finish: 6.1 has a long and floral finish, with nuts and gentle ginger spice along the back of the throat.

Compared to the 5.1, Black Art 6.1 is richer and has strong flavours. I prefer this to the 5.1 as I like the richer notes to it. There may be hints of sherry notes as well, but too faint to catch it properly.

It is yet another great whisky from Bruichladdich, so grab your bottle before it is gone!! I understand from Chloe that it is retailing at all major stores in Singapore, so ask, or regret forever!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

Here comes the Snake – Blackadder Arrives in Singapore

Blackadder is a popular independent bottler that many whisky lovers around the world is familiar with. As of 14 November 2018, Singapore has the honour of finally having a Blackadder distributor in Singapore! We were invited to a well-organised launch party by Jeremiah Kee, founder of Interco-mle. His company is the sole distributor for Blackadder in Singapore.

Here comes the Snake

The launch party was held at Laughing Juice, a well-crafted bar/event location at Orchard Boulevard. The decoration of the bar is classy, and it comes with a well-stocked bar too!

When I arrived at the bar, there were already lots of people mingling around the area. I was greeted by our host, Jeremiah, and then the whiskies stared at me in the face! Distracted by the whiskies, I believe I ignored a couple of friends who were waving at me. Hahaha…my apologies, my friends.

Up for grabs were some excellent Blackadder whiskies, including a Glen Ord (Singleton, anyone?) and a Loch Indaal (Bruichladdich!!). There were also two Japanese whiskies, one from the famed Chichibu distillery, and the other is an Eigashima. (Picture at the top)

Introduction to Blackadder

The event started officially with Jeremiah doing a short introduction to his company, Interco-mle and Blackadder. We understood that “Interco” means the International Code of Signals, and “MLE” simply means that “the patient has had too much alcohol”. Jeremiah obviously has the “mle” condition, considering his passion for whisky and Blackadder! It also revealed Jeremiah’s background – if you know it.

Robin Tucek and John Lamond founded Blackadder in 1995 and named the company after the historic Scottish figure Bishop John Blackadder. The company’s bottlings are mostly single casks and are neither chill-filtered or coloured. To drive the point of the natural state of the whisky, the company bottles their whiskies in clear bottles to ensure that customers can see the whisky clearly during their purchase.

The different ranges of Blackadder

Blackadder bottlings have standard ranges such as the “Limited Edition” and the “Auld Edinburgh”. It also offers the “Raw Cask” series from 2000, which showcase whiskies that are bottled directly from the cask. The bottling does not filter the whisky in any way, which results in some sediments in the whiskies such as fragments of wood.

For Singapore, Jeremiah imported many of the “Raw Casks” series as they are premium and suitable for our market here. We tasted two of these “Raw Casks” bottling – a Glen Ord 2004 13 Years Old, bottled for Hong Kong Whiskies More and a Bruichladdich (Loch Indaal) 2007 10 Years Old. While the Glen Ord reminded me of a Singleton whisky, it has more flavours and gives a better punch than the regular Singleton that we get in the market. The Bruichladdich, on the other hand, is excellent. There is a bite to the palate at first, but once the whisky opened up, the distillate shines through beautifully. A nose of cereal and hay romances me before the palate of sweetness engulfs the tongue in a tug of war. The finish is long and dry, lingering long after the whisky is gone.

Japanese Whiskies

As we are all aware of, Japanese whiskies have become the holy grail of whiskies these days. It is, therefore, an impressive feat for an independent bottler to get his hands on Japanese casks. This is what Robin did – Blackadder bottles Japanese whiskies! We tried two different whiskies – an Ichiro’s Malt at five years old from the Chichibu distillery and an Eigashima at three years old. Both are typical Japanese with notes of floral and sweet fruits. Personally, I prefer the Eigashima over the Ichiro’s Malt, but tastes are subjective!

Black Snake and Red Snake

In addition to the various single cask offering, Blackadder has a range of “Black Snake” and “Red Snake”. These whiskies use a Solera system, where aged single malts are placed into a sherry or bourbon cask for further ageing. When the whiskies are deemed ready, Blackadder draws two-thirds of the whisky out from the cask for bottling, while the cask is filled once again with more single malts. There will always be “older” whiskies in the cask, which allows for a balance of flavours and complexity.

We can liken the Solera system to how our hawkers do our braised duck gravy! The pot will always have some “original” gravy left behind, and our hawker uncle or auntie just keep on topping up the liquid. The new flavours of the gravy are stewed together with the flavours of the previous, making the gravy ultra yummy! The rich flavours of the braised duck gravy are similar to the rich flavours that you will get from the Black Snake and Red Snake.

The way to determine the sherry or bourbon cask is through the name. Black Snake is from the sherry cask while Red Snake is from the bourbon cask.

Cheese and Chocolate

Accompanying Blackadder whiskies were two vendors who are well-recognised for their excellent products. The Cheese Ark is a craft cheese shop which has gained its reputation as the purveyor of fine cheese. Lemuel Chocolate is the provider of fine, craft chocolate from bean to bar. Ronald is the chocolate maker behind Lemuel, and he is a passionate man who is in love with his craft!

I tried all of Lemuel’s chocolate on offer (because I am a chocolate monster as well as a whisky monster), and they are delicious stuff. It is almost like drinking whisky; the chocolate have finishes! My favourite is the India bar, which is herbal when I first eat it and then turn sweet after I chew it. They paired well with the whiskies too! I think we will probably hear more about Ronald and his chocolates soon!

A lovely evening through and through

It was a lovely evening with Blackadder, The Cheese Ark, Lemuel and of course, the Laughing Juice! Before I end the post, let me share future events from Interco-mle and Blackadder.

30 Nov – Laughing Hour @ The Laughing Juice (free-flow drinks and food for a reasonable price!!)

Dec 2018 – First monthly tasting of Blackadder (date is not firmed yet, so follow Interco-mle on Facebook and Instagram!)

Thank you, Jeremiah, for hosting such a beautiful launch, and we looked forward to more of your tastings!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

 

Doing your part for the ocean with a Whisky Auction

I think it was a good cause when the Whisky Auction approached me to write an article about an upcoming charity auction that they are hosting on their esteemed auction site. It is a sister company of The Whisky Exchange, and the bottles that are going on auction will make you sit just a little taller in your chair.

Judging by what the line-up looks like at the moment, whisky lovers and collectors alike will go crazy at an auction like this. Dangerous I know, but with a good cause.

The Brief about the Charity Auction

The special auction that Whisky Auction is hosting will give all the proceeds to their chosen charities to actively combat the damage done to the oceans. One of the prominent charities that the auction is supporting is US-based NGO, Plastic Oceans. The money donated will be used to expand global awareness, with a plan to reach another billion people by 2020. The project includes developing films and contents to educate, inspire and foster change.

What kind of bottles can you expect?

An auction of this magnitude cannot showcase anything but what many perceived to be the best. There are many 1 out of 1 bottle that will be going on offer. Currently, some of these bottles include:

Port Ellen 38 Years Old
Dalmore 45 Year Old
Bowmore 43 Year Old
Ardbeg 37 Year Old
The Balvenie 1973 Vintage Cask
Glenfarclas 1967
Brora 35 Year Old
Macallan 50 Years Old Millennium Decanter

There is also a crown jewel in this auction – a Karuizawa 50 Years Old that was given 94 points by WhiskyFun. Legendary and beautiful to behold, such a bottle do not come by easily. I trust that the bid for this bottle will be more than just fierce, but hey, if you have the dough, why not? It is a 50 Years Old Karuizawa! The packaging is lovely too, just see below!

How not to love the Japanese when they can do such excellent packaging for an equally fantastic liquid?

You can check out the pictures of the other bottles below.

I remember seeing that bottle of Glenlivet in last year’s Whisky Live – it was a significant sum of money…one that I cannot afford at the moment. Hahaha…

As for this Nikka, it is a Yoichi single cask. From what I know, this is yummy stuff…

There are other spirits too

If you are not that into Scotch and Japanese whiskies, you will be pleased to know that there are also rare bourbons and rums in this auction. The OFC 1990 is something special and let’s not even talk about the rare Caroni Magnum that will be on offer!

How do you bid?

Like many other auction sites, you will need to register for an account before you can bid. There is a fee of 5 GBP during registration to make sure that you are sincerely interested in the auctions. It is a one-time fee, and once your account is set up, you are ready to go!

The special auction starts on 18 November and ends on 27 November 2018. However, if you are already a user of this auction site, I doubt you will need to register again. However, just try clicking the “register now” button on this site to make double sure that you can participate when the time comes around!

Good luck and happy bidding!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

 

Whisky Event: Whisky Fair Takao 2018

The time of the year has come again for numerous whisky events to happen together, one after another. Previously, we wrote about Whisky Live Singapore 2018, and now, allow us to remind you about Whisky Fair Takao 2018.

For those of you who had followed us since last year, you would know that Whisky Fair Takao started the previous year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. We had an enjoyable 2-days event last year, and we are heading back there again this year.

When is it happening?

Whisky Fair Takao 2018 is taking place on 1st and 2nd December 2018. The venue remains the same at 85 Sky Tower, but this year, the organiser has expanded on the fairgrounds. The fair will shift upwards to level 75 (it was held at level 74 last year), and a concurrent bartender fair will take over level 74 to showcase cocktails made by talented bartenders.

What can you expect?

The show this year is going to be bigger than ever. You can expect to see independent bottlers, whisky/spirits importers, retailers, private collectors and of course, the local distilleries, Nantou Winery and Kalavan Distillery. As for the whisky, you are going to have a tough time deciding what to drink as there will be a wide selection from official bottlings to independent bottlings of your favourite distilleries. There are also rare vintage bottles for you to try, such as Karuizawa, Port Ellen, Littlemill and more.

Masterclasses

Similar to last year’s offering, Whisky Fair Takao 2018 is offering a range of masterclasses to every participant. One of the most notable masterclasses is the one hosted by Tsuyoshi Kitakaji-san of Shinanoya, Japan. It will showcase six different lost distilleries whiskies, of which one is a Hanyu. The whiskies are all high-aged and rare. The other two masterclasses that we are interested in are The Mash Tun Tokyo Anniversary Bottling hosted by Toru Suzuki-san and The Shizuoka Distillery hosted by Taiko Nakamura-san.

Tickets go on sale on 15 October 2018 at noon, Taiwan time (aka Singapore time), and do note that you will need to first purchase tickets to the Whisky Fair before you can buy tickets for the masterclasses. You can find more information on the other masterclasses here.

Annual Bottlings

If you followed our blog, you probably would have seen our spoils from last year’s Whisky Fair Takao – a Littlemill 1988 bottle that only has 60 bottles worldwide. Bottled for Whisky Fair Takao, it was the creme of the crop for us. Similarly, there will be annual bottlings for 2018.

After the success last year, the organiser has decided to expand on the range of annual bottlings on offer. You can expect the following limited release bottles to be grabbed from the fair over the two days.

  1. The Whisky Agency Speyside Region 1976 41 Years Old, 46.6%, Sherry Butt – NTD $13,800
  2. Wemyss Malt Bowmore 1990 28 Years old, abv unknown, Hogshead – NTD $10,800
  3. Cadenhead Linkwood 1989 26 Years Old, 51.4%, Sherry Cask – NTD $8000
  4. Duncan Taylor Highland Park 2003 14 Years Old, abv unknown, Octave cask (2 similar bottles) – NTD $4000 each

It appears that the Speyside 1976 is worth taking a look, but we must admit that all five bottles are exciting. For us, we would be looking at the Speyside 1976 (of course!) and the 2 Highland Park in Octave casks. Interestingly, they also happened to be the highest and lowest in prices.

How does the Fair works?

For the uninitiated, the fair is not a free flow event. You pay a small amount to get into the show (NTD $450). In return, you can a branded whisky glass, a lanyard, dining vouchers for the hotel, and a miniature whisky sample. You will need to purchase “coupons” in exchange for the drams that you want to try.

The coupons will be in points form. Each point is worth NTD$50, and they come in both 1 point and 5 points. The drams will be priced in the points system, and you work out the maths on your own before paying for the drams.

They also allow you to bring your sample bottles to “tabao”, as there is no way to drink 30 drams in two days unless you are trying too hard. Therefore, go slow, enjoy and pack the most expensive whiskies that you want to savour back home!

Should you go to Whisky Fair Takao 2018?

If you have enough vacation days to spare, or you think you can fly in and out of Taiwan over the weekend, why not head over to take a look? More than a couple of us are going to Whisky Fair Takao 2018, so there will be a tiny “WhiskyGeeks contingent”. Given the amazing things that we had last year, it would be worth your time to go if you have a chance!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

Event: Launching the Port Charlotte 10

 

The night was filled with wondrous music, joyful laughter and friendly banter as everyone gathered at Cargo39 for an evening of Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore. A trade and media session was over earlier in the day and the evening was solely for the consumers by invite only. We went to the consumer session partly because of Bruichladdich’s lovely thoughtfulness of putting us together with our friends.

We arrived shortly before 7 pm, and after a little trouble, managed to find the venue. The first thing that caught our attention was the Rare Dram Bar. If you have taken a good look at our pictures, you would have seen a bottle of the Yellow Submarine Edition 3, as well as a bottle of OBA (Octomore Black Art). Coveted drams as such do not come by easily, and what’s more, at an event such as this! There were also bottles of the Rare Casks and a couple of Valinch bottles that we were keen to try.

Well, I digress. The event was not for the Yellow Submarine or the OBA, but for the long-awaited launch of the Port Charlotte (PC) 10. While some people stated that this is a relaunch for PC, I say that it is a launch. Port Charlotte gets a rebrand for the entry level bottle from the PC Scottish Barley to the PC10.

Port Charlotte PC10 Launch

The PC10 launch was a vastly different style from Bruichladdich usual launch party. Considering the bigger space at Cargo39, there was room for food, cocktails (with The Botanist) and games! It was also the first event hosted by Bruichladdich that mirrored the Islay Festival – Feis Ile! Music and malt always go well together, and the successful event on 21 Sep proved that it worked wonderfully in Singapore too!

The best part of the event was the appearance of Adam Hannett, live from Islay!

The event kicked off with Chloe Wood (Bruichladdich APAC Brand Ambassador) introducing the brand and announcing Adam’s role for the evening. After that, Adam took us through four different expressions during the tasting. The first on the line was, of course, the PC10. After that, we had the PC Islay Barley, MRC:01 (PC Mouton Rothschild Cask) and finally the MC:01 (PC Marsala cask).

The Tasting Session

For the record, I love the PC10 so much that I bought a bottle home to enjoy. However, I will not do any form of whisky review for the drams that we had that night, mainly because I hope that you will be encouraged to try it without knowing what to expect. Please try not to read any reviews before trying, because you will be pleasantly surprised at what you will get when you try it without expectations.

The experience with Adam leading the tasting was exciting, but a little rushed. The key factor probably remained at the fact that the serving for the whisky was slow. Quite a fair number of people did not get the last dram (including us) until after the tasting was over. The crowd was also too excited and we couldn’t hear Adam clearly. Quite a number of “shhh!” needed to be given! Haha! Nonetheless, we enjoyed our drams and that was all that matter!

Rare Dram Bar

The tasting was not the only thing that excited us that night. We headed to the Rare Dram Bar straight after we enjoyed the four drams. The idea was to purchase rare dram coupons and exchange them for drams at the bar. We zero in on the drams we wanted…

I must say that our favourites are the two bottles in the middle – The Bruichladdich Organic 2009 and The Distillery Valinch Bourbon Virgin Oak Cask 2004.

Besides Whisky…

The event was Whisky Festival style, so naturally, I should not linger on the whiskies only. The band of the night was fantastic! I heard that Chloe found the band and they are named Craic Horse! An interesting name with awesome music is what I would call the band!

The band is based in Singapore and it is a group of talented musicians made up of Singapore’s established traditional Celtic musicians, rock and indie artists to create a “folk-rock-punk-funk hybrid”.

There was also food from various partners such as the Cheese Ark, and game stations hosted by industry friends such as Brendan Pillai from The Single Cask and Sarah Thallon from the Vagabond Club!

We had an amazing time at the party! Port Charlotte was reborn on 21 Sep in Singapore and it came with a loud bang! Congratulations to Bruichladdich Distillery and we look forward to the launch of Black Art 6.1 at Whisky Live Singapore 2018!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

Whisky Live Singapore 2018

The exciting times are upon us once again as Whisky Live Singapore 2018 comes around. This year event promises to be bigger and better than last year as the venue switches back to a hotel once again. After the fantastic experience we had at Capella Hotel, we are certainly looking forward to Whisky Live 2018! Hosted by Andaz Hotel located in the heart of town over the first weekend of November, Whisky Live Singapore 2018 is going to be a smash for everyone!

What is Whisky Live Singapore?

If you are new to Whisky Live, it is an annual event held by La Maison du Whisky (LMDW) to celebrate whisky and other spirits in Singapore.

“To taste and experience whisky is as much art as it is science. Whisky Live Singapore has established itself as a highly sought-after annual show that celebrates all things whisky, and a platform to encourage whisky appreciation in an approachable way,” said Mr Mathieu Musnier, General Manager, La Maison du Whisky.

Every year, Whisky Live Singapore brings an immersive experience to visitors as they discover a large selection of world-class whiskies and spirits. Visitors also learn more about whisky appreciation through their interactions with brand ambassadors. It is also an excellent platform for new brands to introduce themselves to the market as well as for established brands to launch new products.

Experience a multi-sensory world of Whisky Appreciation

Five exclusive experiences await you at Whisky Live Singapore 2018. The Whisky Room & Spirits Room, La Boutique, The VIP Area, The Masterclass Rooms and The Cocktail Terrace are designed with visitors’ experiences in mind and promise to indulge your senses to the maximum.

The Whisky Room & Spirits Room showcase new brands and products and visitors get to experience a wide selection of whiskies and spirits in a friendly atmosphere. Brand ambassadors and distillery experts will be on hand to share brand’s histories and offer you a wealth of knowledge about their products. The La Boutique provides everything that you can buy and more as you step into the largest shop ever found in Singapore. By experience, grab a bottle that you wanted to buy immediately after tasting it, or it would be sold out!

VIP Area and Masterclasses

To cater to the growing community of whisky connoisseurs, Whisky Live Singapore expanded the VIP Area this year to allow avid fans of exceptional whiskies to gather and experience prestigious new releases, single casks and limited-edition whiskies and spirits. The Masterclass Rooms are also increased to offer visitors more opportunities to attend different classes. With 14 Masterclasses to choose from, it can pose a challenge of what to choose.

Cocktail Terrace

Finally, for those who are interested in cocktails, the Cocktail Terrace offers a fantastic open-aired space where some of the world’s best mixologists offer their creation to delight your palate and senses. Featuring internationally coveted bars – Monkey 47 Bar and New Colours Bar, be prepared to enjoy excellent cocktails during Whisky Live Singapore!

What to expect on November 3 & 4?

We understood from LMDW during the media preview that this year’s Whisky Live is going to showcase some of the world’s most exquisite and first-rate whisky brands available in the market. There will also be some exciting new launches coming your way too! The event features over 60 exclusive whisky and spirits brands from across the industry, including Bruichladdich, Kavalan, Old Pulteney, Benromach, Benriach, Gordon and MacPhail as well as new brands such as Penderyn Whisky from Wales, U.K and Blanton’s Bourbon Whiskey from the USA. There are many more brands, but you need to be there to know them!

Tickets and how to get them

There are many types of tickets to choose from. Here is a complete breakdown.

Ticket Categories

page4image5814800 page4image5815216

Early Bird Price 13 Aug-17 Sept 2018

page4image5816048 page4image5816464

Regular Price 18 Sept-4 Nov 2018

Saturday, 3 November 2018 (5.30pm – 12.00mn)

Saturday Standard

10 whisky tasting coupons (10ml each) at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
1 Glencairn tasting glass
S$15 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag

page4image5819376 page4image5819792

S$ 99

page4image5820416 page4image3728256

S$ 119

Saturday VIP

10 whisky tasting coupons  (10ml each) at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room Exclusive access to The VIP Area to enjoy unlimited rare whiskies
1 Glencairn tasting glass
S$25 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag

S$ 179

page4image3730128 page4image3730544

S$ 199

Sunday, 4 November 2018 (1.00pm – 8.00pm)

Sunday Standard

10 whisky tasting coupons (10ml each) at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
1 Glencairn tasting glass
S$15dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag

page4image3733248 page4image3733664

S$ 99

page4image3734288 page4image3734704

S$ 119

Sunday Standard & Big Breakfast at Andaz Singapore

10 whisky tasting coupons (10ml each) at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
1 Glencairn tasting glass
S$15dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants
10% discount at WhiskyLive Singapore La Boutique
WhiskyLive Singapore 2018 tote goody bag
Big Breakfast @Alleyon25, AndazSingapore (11:30 am to 2:30 pm)

S$ 119

S$ 139

Sunday VIP

10 whisky tasting coupons (10ml each) at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
Exclusive access to The VIP Area to enjoy unlimited rare whiskies
1 Glencairn tasting glass
S$25 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag

page4image3737824 page4image3738240

S$ 179

S$ 199

Sunday VIP & Big Breakfast at Andaz Singapore

10 whisky tasting coupons (10ml each) at The Whisky Room &Spirits  Room
Exclusive access to The VIP Area to enjoy unlimited rare whiskies
1 Glencairn tasting glass
S$25 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag
Big Breakfast @Alleyon25, Andaz Singapore (11:30 am to 2:30 pm)

S$ 199

S$ 219

Saturday & Sunday, 3-4 November 2018 – 2-Day Pass

2-Day Standard Pass

2 days access for one person
1 Glencairn tasting glass
10 whisky tasting coupons per day at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
S$15 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants per day
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag

S$ 188

S$ 218

2-DAY VIP Pass

2 days VIP access for one person
Unlimited and exclusive access to The VIP Area for tastings of rare whiskies & spirits
1 Glencairn tasting glass
10 whisky tasting coupons per day at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
S$25 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants per day
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag

page5image5792544 page5image5793168

S$ 338

S$ 368

page5image3708080 Whisky Live Singapore 2018 Staycation Package – 2-Day Pass

Standard Weekend Staycation

2 days access for two persons
2 Glencairn tasting glass
2 x 10 Whisky tasting coupons per day at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
2 x S$15 dining vouchers at Andaz restaurants per day
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
2 Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody  bag
2 Big Breakfast@Alleyon25, Andaz Singapore (11:30 am to 2:30 pm)
1-night staycation at Andaz Singapore – Standard Deluxe Room

S$ 688

page5image3711824 page5image3712240

S$ 749

 

VIP Weekend Staycation

2 days VIP access for two persons
Unlimited and exclusive access to The VIP Area for tastings of rare whiskies & spirits for two persons
2 Glencairn tasting glass
2 x 10 Whisky tasting coupons per day at The Whisky Room & Spirits Room
2 x S$25 dining vouchers at the Andaz restaurants each day
10% discount at Whisky Live Singapore La Boutique
2 Whisky Live Singapore 2018 tote goody bag
2 Big Breakfast@Alleyon25, Andaz Singapore (11:30 am to 2:30 pm)
1-night staycation at Andaz Singapore – Standard Deluxe Room

S$ 988

S$ 1,049

Whisky Live Singapore 2018 Masterclasses (per session per person)

page5image5802528 page5image5802944

From S$ 35

page5image5803568 page5image5803984

 

From S$ 35

page5image5041888

We heard that the early bird tickets are selling fast, so grab yours before it is sold out!

See you at Whisky Live Singapore 2018!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]

Whisky Event: The Lost Distillery

The seven Lost Distilleries expressions

29 August was a night of rare whiskies, or what we would expect from whisky distilleries long gone if they had survived. The Wall SG invited Flora and Choc to the tasting session, and of course, we just had to go! Tasting seven expressions of whiskies were the first for us, and we were prepared to get tippy!

We arrived at The Wall SG shortly after 6.30pm and were pleasantly surprised to see that Chris Marshall, co-owner of Distilled (they import The Lost Distillery bottles) were already there. After a short introduction, we made ourselves comfortable and began chatting with Chris.

The Short History of Distilled

We understood that Distilled was established just a short 12 months ago, and will be reaching the first milestone soon. Chris was an engineer in his previous life and enjoyed his work very much. However, he got into spirits and began to explore the idea of setting up something of his own. The time came when Chris decided that it is time for him to pursue his passion and his wife supported him. Hence, with his co-founder, Stephanie, Distilled was born.

Distilled represented many brands, but only two whisky brands. One of them is none other than The Lost Distillery.

The Lost Distillery Company

The Lost Distillery Company (TLDC) believes that it is a pity that many distilleries of the past were gone and buried. Many of these distilleries do not even get a mention in current times. To bring back the memories of these long-gone distilleries, the research team at TLDC worked hard to understand these lost distilleries to find the style of whisky they might have produced. With the knowledge, they re-build the flavour profiles by blending single malt whiskies to create what these lost distilleries might have produced if they are alive and distilling today.

The research includes the barley type, water source, type of stills and yeast. They also used black bottles to replicate the black bottles used during the 18th and 19th century.

The Range of Products

TLDC creates three different ranges – from the Classic Selection to the Archivist Collection and finally the Vintage Selection. The classic selection holds expressions generally aged around 12 years old, and bottled at 43%. The Archivist Collection showcased expressions around 18 years old and bottled at 46%. The Vintage Selection is the most expensive and feature expressions about 30 years years old and also bottled at 46%. Do note that all of them are blended malts made by the talented master blenders of TLDC.

Currently, only the Classic Selection is available in Singapore as they are more approachable and offers an excellent choice for many drinkers.

The Classic Selection

Taste Profile of the Seven whiskies

There are seven whiskies in the series which represent Scotland’s five whisky regions.

Highland: Auchnagie, Jericho and Gerston
Lowland: Stratheden
Speyside: Towiemore
Campbeltown: Dalaruan
Islay: Lossit

As there are too many expressions to share our tasting notes, we will share two of our favourite.

Jericho

Details: 12 Years Old, 43%, Highland, remote area with no access to other parts of Scotland, one of the first to use sherry cask for maturation

Nose: Dark raisins, chocolate and hints of spice all the way

Palate: Dark raisins, cherry at the forefront before milk chocolate appears in mid-palate before dried prunes turn up at the back of the throat.

Finish: Medium to long, with raisins and dried prunes. It turns oaky after a few seconds.

Both of us like this expression because it reminds us of a sherry bomb that is not overly sherried. The beauty of this dram is the sherry influence without the sulphur that tends to be associated with sherry bombs.

Lossit

Details: 12 Years Old, 43%, Islay, a rough area with pirates and dangerous thugs, was isolated due to bad association.

Nose: Lemon peels, sweet fruits, some spice and very light peat.

Palate: Lemon, sweet fruits, some peppery spice, oily and some light peat.

Finish: Short to medium with smoke, lemon and oakiness.

We love this expression because it is peaty. It is also an easy to approach dram for new potential peatheads.

Where to find these drams

If there is anyone who wishes to try these drams, you can find them easily at The Wall SG. You know that you can find rare whiskies, affordable drams and fantastic service there!

 

Like what you have just read?

Join WhiskyGeeks.sg as a member for FREE and receive our curated articles and videos in your mailbox every month!





[recaptcha]