Whisky Events

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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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

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Early Bird Price 13 Aug-17 Sept 2018

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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

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S$ 99

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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

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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

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S$ 99

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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From S$ 35

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From S$ 35

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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!

 

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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!

 

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Event: An American Affair in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

From left: Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Double Oak, Jim Beam Signature Craft and Maker’s Mark

A whisky shop owner invited Geek Choc and me to a tasting session that he hosted with his wife during our short stay in Kaohsiung. It was an eye-opening session for us, and one which we will not be forgetting anytime soon. It happened totally at random as we went to the shop because a friend told me that the shop has a lot of Bruichladdich bottles, including one which I was looking for.

We arrived with a high expectation, and the shop did not disappoint us at all. It started out a little awkward, but as we got to know the boss and lady boss, we began to chit chat about whisky and all things Taiwan vs. Singapore. The boss then invited us to a tasting session of Jim Beam, which took place one day before we left Kaohsiung. We accepted the invitation readily as we were very curious about how Taiwanese ran their whisky tasting sessions. We were glad that we did because it was indeed different and entirely out of our expectations.

Brief Information about the tasting session

The boss told us that the tasting session was for Jim Beam. While we lamented that it was not a Scotch whisky tasting, we thought that Jim Beam should still be interesting to us, as we never drank it before. The line up was four different drams with significant differences.

They are Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Double Oak, Jim Beam Signature Craft and finally, Maker’s Mark. Out of the four, we tried Maker’s Mark before and enjoyed it with ice.

The Event Proper

The organiser held the event at a new hotel in Kaohsiung, named Lin Hotel. It is a luxurious and lavish hotel completed with much opulence. We were stunned when our taxi drove us up to the lobby, and we breathed a sigh of relief that we dressed up for the event. The hotel had arranged the tasting session in a private room within their seafood restaurant, and it was a small, cosy place. It sat about thirty people comfortably and had a small area for displaying the four whiskeys.

The setting looked like a small intimate Chinese wedding dinner, with three tables for ten pax each placed at strategic locations. Everyone seated could see the big screen in the middle. Once 90% of the participants turned up, the event started promptly. The organiser did not wait for latecomers – which was interesting for us.

Speaker of the Event

Brand Ambassador of Jim Beam

The speaker for the event is none other than the brand ambassador of Beam Suntory in Taiwan. I need to apologise that I completely missed his name as I am bad with names. He is a knowledgeable man and explained much about American whiskey. The only thing that I feel that he could do better is to slow down. The speed of the presentation and tasting session was too fast, which was not ideal considering that most of the participants were avid drinkers who wanted to taste the whiskeys properly.

Nonetheless, he shared the history of Jim Beam and how it came about with the audience and what proved to be of interest to me was the history of Jim Beam. It was the oldest Kenturkey bourbon ever – sold for the first time by founder Jacob Beam in 1795. It was a short but insightful session. I loved it when brand ambassador waxed lyrical about the history of the brand and the distillery because it helped me to understand the whiskey better.

Production Methods

The brand ambassador also shared the history of how charred barrels came from as Jim Beam charred their barrels to level 4 to get the most of the butterscotch, vanilla, coconut and caramel flavours. History has it that charring had a very different purpose in the past. One theory said that it was to kill germs – burning the wood was the best way. Another argument, which was popular, said that a greedy merchant tried to cheat the system by using secondhand barrels. To remove the smell and taste of the previous liquid, he burnt the insides of the barrel badly. By accident, the charred barrels produced excellent results, and hence the idea took off.

Besides barrels, the brand ambassador also explained the rules of making bourbon. It must be at least 51% corn, and the remaining 49% can be made up of rye and barley. While he did not tell us the exact make-up of Jim Beam, he did mention that Jim Beam is a proper Bourbon. Due to the temperature at Kenturkey, Jim Beam’s angel share is about 4%, and the first-fill bourbon barrels influence the liquid up to about 60%.

After the presentation (which was too fast for me), we tasted the whiskeys. These were the four glasses that we had.

Besides the four glasses, two pitchers of Jim Beam Black sat on the table, for anyone who wanted a top up. We found the session to be completely generous as it was also free.

The Four Whiskeys

Jim Beam Black

We started out with Jim Beam Black. We understood that the black label is supposed to be better than the white label.

Jim Beam Black

Jim Beam Black is 43% abv with a bright gold colour. It has a strong coconut and caramel nose with butterscotch and spice in the background. A creamy mouthfeel with coconut, caramel, vanilla and gentle spice follows in the palate. The finish is short to medium with sweet caramel all the way.

It is a simple whiskey and one which can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail. Personally, this is one of my favourites among the three Jim Beam bottles.

Jim Beam Double Oak

Jim Beam Double Oak

The next whiskey up for tasting is the Jim Beam Double Oak. It is an excellent whiskey to showcase the influence of wood. Again at 43% abv, it gives a beautiful bright gold colour too. The nose promises a fuller flavour with coconut and caramel complementing the spice. The palate has a sharper bite to it, and the oak influence creates sandalwood notes in addition to the expected coconut, caramel, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is less creamy but oilier. It is also oakier. The finish is longer than Jim Beam Black with the sandalwood notes lingering all the way.

The Jim Beam Double Oak is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of whiskey. The stronger flavours may appeal to some but not others. Geek Choc likes this expression best out of the three Jim Beam, but I find it harder to accept.

Jim Beam Signature Craft

Jim Beam Signature Craft

The Jim Beam Signature Craft is unique because it aged for 12 years before bottling. For those who know about bourbon, you know that bourbon does not age for more than five to six years typically. For an expression to reach 12 years of age is not an easy feat. The Signature Craft is also 43% abv and spot a gold colour that is slightly brighter than the above two expressions.

The aromas from the nose are more mellow than the other two expressions. Coconut and caramel couple with vanilla waft up the nose with no sharpness. There is also no spice detected. The palate is oily and creamy, with beautiful notes of coconut, caramel, vanilla ice cream and hints of spice. It feels mellow, smooth and more aged. The finish is long with sweet coconut and gentle spice. Slightly oaky in the end too, but nothing unpleasant.

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark

Finally, we had Maker’s Mark. While it is not from the Jim Beam family, it is produced together in the distillery. I like Maker’s Mark as I find the notes of honey, vanilla, and coconut to be perfect as a whiskey on the rocks.

The nose is full of honey, coconut and caramel in the forefront and vanilla hiding in the background. The palate speaks with spiced coconut, caramel, and honey at first before vanilla cream appears to give another layer of complexity. The finish is short with spiced coconut lingering all the way.

The Dinner

I must admit that the dinner which followed the whiskey tasting was the best surprise of the night. We expected a series of finger food and snacks, but a 10-course Chinese meal came instead. When course after course arrived at the table, we were stunned beyond words. The food served was lip-smacking good – drunken prawns, smoked duck, steamed fish, and the list went on.

The whole event ended after dinner. The organisers offered up bottles for sales at a reasonable price and many of the participants bought by the cartons. For us, we only bought two bottles as we still have a long trip ahead of us in Taipei.

Conclusion

We had a great time and indeed, opened our eyes to how a tasting event can be done. It is as different as it can be in Singapore and I think the same scale will be hard to replicate here due to cost. While this tasting is not representing every tasting session in Taiwan, we believe that it is a great way to get people together to enjoy good food and whisky.

 

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Whisky Event – Bruichladdich Old vs New

From left: SMOS 1992, SV 1990, X4+3, Islay Barley 2010

Here’s a new whisky event that Geek Flora and Choc went to in less than a week! Bruichladdich Old vs New event happened at The Single Cask on 9 May 2018. Hosted by both bar manager Brendan and Bruichladdich APAC Brand Ambassador Chloe Wood, it was an awesome evening filled with history and amazing whiskies.

The Lineup

The lineup on 9 May was a stellar one. The liquids came from different eras of the Bruichladdich distillery. We had a Signatory Vintage 1990 Bruichladdich, 26 Years Old, a Single Malt of Scotland 1992 Bruichladdich, 23 Years Old, the X4+3 and the Islay Barley 2010 from the distillery itself. The oldest whiskies came from independent bottlers as Bruichladdich was in a less than desirable situation in the 1990s when it still belonged to Invergordon. If you followed our article about the distillery, you would know that Bruichladdich closed in 1994 and did not reopen until 2001.

The X4+3 was a unique expression as it was quadruple-distilled and aged for only three years (hence the name X4+3)! It came from the era of Mark Reynier and Jim McEwan, the legendary distiller. It is almost impossible to find a bottle now, so if you manage to find one, BUY IT! The Islay Barley 2010 is, of course, one of their newer expressions when the distillery came under the guidance of their current master distiller – Adam Hannett.

The Event Proper

The event started not with the whiskies, but with pizzas and garlic bread, compliments from the good folks at The Single Cask and Bruichladdich. After they fed us, the event started with Brendan and Chloe up on “stage”.

Brendan and Chloe up on “Stage”

They explained that they originally wanted to start the tasting session with the old vintages, but changed their minds. They were starting with the youngest one! The reason was simple – we are likely to taste the difference better when we did the young to the old. So, that’s precisely what we did!

Islay Barley 2010 (50% abv)

The Islay Barley is slightly different from the regular Scottish Barley as it has a salty tint to it. We would like to think that it is due to the Islay barley used. While the typical sweetness of a Bruichladdich is prominent, there is this unique coastal salt, and toasty cereal notes to it. The spice is also sharper than the regular Scottish Barley. Overall, it is a lovely dram that you can enjoy any time of the day.

X4+3 (63.5% abv)

X4+3 is exceptional. That is Geek Flora talking, by the way. The sweetness of the whisky is so distinctively pears, green apples and melons! This is one whisky for the sweet tooths! The palate has hints of coastal salt and lemons coupled with light tangy spice at the tip of the tongue. Even though this is only aged for three years, the creaminess and oiliness of the whisky are remarkable. We supposed it has something to do with it being quadruple-distilled.

SMOS 1992, 23 Years Old (55.4% abv)

The SMOS 1992 was one of the crowd’s favourite that night. As it was from the Invergordon era, the distillate differed slightly from the modern ones. There was this pine note within the whisky, which kind of differentiate it as a whisky made for blends (we think). The nose was fresh with pine, melon and lime. The palate presented a bouquet of flowers, with oak, light melon and hints of lime. Warm spice lingered in the middle and back of the tongue. Unfortunately, the finish was short with pine-oak and floral notes. It was also dry. Again, the finish showcased a whisky that was perfect for blending, but not so great perhaps, as a single malt due to a rather short finish at such a high abv.

Signatory Vintage 1990, 26 Years Old (53.4% abv)

As for the Signatory Vintage 1990, it was a little different because it was a sherry-cask matured whisky. However, it appeared to be slightly lacking as it did not showcase typical sherry notes. The nose was promising, with cherry, hints of cranberries (some say baby vomit), green apples and some savoury salted meats. The palate was warm spice, red fruits and hints of salt. While the finish is long, salty and dry, it did not give a high satisfaction. Were our expectations too high? We are not so sure.

After Party at The Single Cask

We stayed way longer than we planned to (as usual). Initially, it was to savour and finish our drams, especially the X4+3 and the SMOS 1992. As the crowd left and the bar quietened, it became a great place for conversation. We had a chat with Chloe and a fellow Laddie fan, Fiona, and spoke about Laddie t-shirts! Haha! So, we decided to take this photo below.

Laddie fans united with our Laddie Ambassador!

It was such a beautiful picture, isn’t it! Chloe and Brendan had on the Bruichladdich Polo Tee, while Geek Flora and Choc had our Unicorn Bruichladdich and Octomore Tee. Fiona was wearing her 2017 Feis Ile tee! We love this so much that we named it the “Laddie fans united with our Laddie Ambassador” picture!

A Laddie Cocktail

Islay Barley 2010 Whisky Sour

Just as we were about to leave, Brendan said, “How about an Islay Barley Whisky Sour?” We just had to stay for that because Brendan made terrific cocktails! Most of you who know Flora personally know that she is not a cocktail person, but she took two big sips from this glass that she shared with Chloe. It was the perfect answer to how yummy this whisky sour was. Stunningly balanced between the sweetness and the alcohol, this whisky sour is probably something that you will keep wanting to come back for.

After emptying the glass, it was time to head home. So we bid goodbye to Brendan and Chloe and made our way back. It was an excellent evening to be sure. If you have never been to a Bruichladdich event, come to the next one. We promise that you will not be disappointed.

 

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Date Night with Jack Daniel at Asia’s Number One Bar

Canon JD No. 7 with tasting glasses

Geek Flora and Choc were invited to a tasting session of Jack Daniels on 6 May 2018 at Manhattan Bar. It was an awesome evening because tasting a famous Tennessee at Asia’s Number One Bar can never go wrong. Besides, the assistant Head Distiller, Mr Chris Fletcher, was in town and we knew that he would answer all our geeky questions.

We reached Manhattan Bar around 7 pm, and the reception ushered us into a private room next to the main bar floor on the right. What we saw was absolute class and luxury as the tall glasses laid in their full glory with the gold nectar within them. The room smelled of whiskey (of course), and we got a little more excited.

Introducing Jack Daniel as a person

In case you do not know, Jack Daniel was indeed a real person. Nobody truly knows Jack’s birthdate, but official records from the distillery stated the 1850s. He was the youngest of 13 children and was very young when his mother died. His father remarried but unfortunately killed shortly after that in the Civil War. Jack did not get along with his stepmother, and hence, he ran away from home at a young age. Jack ended up in Lynchburg, Tennessee where a local lay preacher and moonshine distiller named Dan Call took him in.

Jack began his career as an apprentice distiller with Call and his Master Distiller, Nathan Green. In 1875, Jack received an inheritance from his father’s estate and founded Jack Daniel Distillery with Call. However, Jack took over the distillery shortly afterwards as Call decided to answer his true calling as a preacher.

Jack Daniel Distillery

Jack soon expanded the distillery in 1884 by purchasing the surrounding land. He was getting recognition from the public, and the whiskey gained popularity in the 1880s. The distillery began to bottle their liquid in square bottles in 1897 to convey a sense of fairness and integrity. In 1904, Jack Daniel won a gold medal at the St Louis World’s Fair, and the distillery experienced a surge in demand. However, things looked bad at home with Prohibition oncoming.

Jack gave the distillery to two of his nephews in 1907 due to failing health and died in 1911 due to blood poisoning. One of them became the next owner for 40 years while the other sold his share early. Prohibition laws passed in Tennessee in 1910 and the distillery halted its production in Lynchburg. Two other sites in St Louis, Missouri and Birmingham, Alabama started distilling but failed to produce quality liquid. In 1920, the United States of America passed nationwide prohibition laws, stopping further distillation from taking place.

Despite it all, Lemuel “Lem” Motlow held his uncle’s legacy through the Prohibition and was the front mover in repealing the Tennessee state-prohibition law in 1938. After that, things ran smoothly until 1942, where the U.S government banned production due to World War 2. After the war, Motlow resumed Jack Daniel in 1947. Sadly, he died in the same year and left the distillery to his children.

Jack Daniel distillery began its modern era in 1956 when Brown-Forman bought the distillery from the Motlow family.

The Making of a Tennessee Whiskey

Did you know the difference between a bourbon and a Tennessee? To confuse you a little, a Tennessee can be bourbon, but bourbon can never be a Tennessee. Why!?

The definition of bourbon defines it as a liquid made anywhere in the U.S with at least 51% corn and matured in a brand new charred oak cask. The alcohol content of the new make must also be 80% or lower. A Tennessee is a bourbon produced in Tennessee and treated with maple charcoal before maturing in a brand new charred oak cask. The process, called charcoal mellowing, makes all the difference between a Tennessee and a bourbon.

Charcoal mellowing helps to maintain the flavour consistency and soften the whiskey to make it less harsh. Hence, a Tennessee whiskey is always easier to drink than a typical bourbon.

The Making of a Jack Daniel Tennessee Whiskey

Jack Daniel distillery sources its water from an underground cave spring. The grain percentage is 80% corn, 12% malted barley and 8% rye. The distillery milled the corn and cooked it with hot water to turn it into grist before adding the rye. After that, they allow the mixture to cool before adding the malted barley to the mash. The fermentation team then pumps the mash into the fermentation tanks and add yeast. When fermentation completes, the alcohol abv is around 12%.

Distillation then begins in the 100% copper stills. The 40ft tall column still brings the vapours into a short still with copper plates heated by steam. The system separates the alcohol and then distil it a second time before cooling off into new make. The liquid then passes through 3m of charcoal made on-site for the charcoal mellowing process. The entire process takes about two to three days. After that, it becomes Tennessee whiskey at 70% abv.

Jack Daniel’s Barrels

As you know, all American whiskey needs maturation in brand-new charred American oak. Jack Daniel is no difference. Their Tennessee whiskey sleeps in brand-new charred American oak casks for at least four years and mostly less than eight years. There is no additional colouring. Maturation in Tennessee is different from Scotland – they need hot summers. Hot summers mean maturation is likely to conclude in five to six years while cooler summers will result in a slightly longer maturation.

Jack Daniel resells all their barrels after using as they are not allowed to use it for the second time. About 25% of all ex-bourbon barrels in the world are Jack Daniel’s!

Jack Daniel’s Cooperage

Jack Daniel also owns two cooperages and have a patent barrel-making process. They buy oak trees, cut them up and build their barrels from scratch. The newly-made barrels are toasted for 17 minutes at 260 degrees Celsius to get the creamy vanilla and caramel into the wood before getting charred for 25 seconds. The cooperages make about 2,000 barrels every day.

The Tasting of Jack Daniel’s Range

The beautiful glasses for Geek Flora

After reading so much about Jack Daniel, it is time for us to take you on the tasting journey for the night. We had a total of six expressions. They are Gentleman Jack, JD Single Barrel, JD No. 7, JD Gold No. 27, JD American Straight Rye, and JD Sinatra Select. Chris Fletcher, the assistant Head Distiller (pictured below) waxed lyrical about the distillery and its whiskey-making methods, which delighted us (and resulted in the long explanation above)!

Mr Chris Fletcher, Assistant Head Distiller at JD

It is now time to delve into the various JD and see how they are.

Gentleman Jack

As the name suggests, this whiskey is a complete gentleman. Soft-spoken and gentle, the nose is full of melons, pears and bananas with just a hint of oak. The palate is creamy, fruity and soft. Elegant indeed. The finish is too short, but Chris mentioned that the distillery makes it this way as it is an entry whiskey for those who just started learning about whiskey.

JD Single Barrel

A little note about the single barrel: the distillery chooses their single barrels only from the top floor of specific warehouses within the distillery. As they build their warehouses on sites of different heights, the top floor of each warehouse differs from the other. As Jack Daniel depends on the weather for maturation, location of each warehouse plays a big part. The highest floor of each warehouse naturally gets the most heat and hence, considered as one of the best.

The JD Single Barrel is a colossal sugar babe. The nose boasts of molasses, vanilla, melons and Juicy Banana chewing gums. The palate is sweet with molasses, vanilla, melons and spice. It is oily and less creamy than Gentleman Jack. Hints of Juicy Banana chewing gums reappears behind the spice. The finish is medium with oak and ripe banana sweetness. Hints of sweet sandalwood appear with the second sip.

JD No. 7

JD No. 7 is well-known in this part of the world, and almost everyone had a JD No. 7 before. The nose is full of molasses, melon and light vanilla. The palate is creamy with vanilla and spice. We get hints of banana sweetness at the end. The finish is too short, with faint banana sweetness and a bit of oak.

JD Gold No. 27

The JD Gold No. 27 is an unusual expression. It matures four years in oak before transferring to a maple barrel for six months to a year. The nose boasts of bananas, vanilla and maple syrup. The palate is exceptionally creamy, with molasses, banana, maple and spice at the back of the palate. The finish is medium, creamy and slightly spicy.

JD American Straight Rye

The JD rye is a new expression launched in September 2017 that consists of 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley. The nose is full of banana cream, light spice and sweet sandalwood. The palate brings the sandalwood to the front, with banana cream, earthen spice and light mint at the back of the palate. The finish is short and spicy.

JD Sinatra Select

JD Sinatra Select

Finally, the JD Sinatra Select is an expression made to commemorate Sinatra’s 100 Years. He loved Jack Daniels and would promote the brand blatantly even though they never paid him a single cent for advertising. Therefore, this expression celebrates the man who loved his JD.

The nose is oaky, oily with vanilla in the background. The banana scent that is so distinctive JD is weaker too. The palate reveals dry oak, vanilla, bananas and hints of sandalwood. There is some spice also. The finish is medium, with sweet vanilla and oak. It gets slightly dry at the end.

A Wonderful Night Indeed

Chris signing the barrel after pouring in the bottles of Gentleman Jack

The tasting session ended with Chris pouring in a few bottles of Gentleman Jack into a barrel at Manhattan Bar to barrel age the whiskey further. As it is part of Manhattan’s barrel-aged program, we may have the chance to try the liquid after the maturation! We shall wait in anticipation.

We certainly enjoyed ourselves that evening and got to know Jack Daniel better as a brand and as a whiskey. We are apparently amazed by the different expressions and have since changed our minds about JD. Just like our friend, Brendan from The Single Cask, said, “So many years of prejudice against Jack Daniels, and it was washed away all in one night.” We feel the same way too!

 

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