Whisky Events

Bruichladdich Media Launch – Octomore Series 8

Octomore 8 Masterclass

 

Bruichladdich held a media tasting for the upcoming Octomore 8 Series launch at The Writing Club on 1 February 2018. Chloe Wood, the Asia-Pacific Brand Ambassador, was the presenter for the session. Bruichladdich invited me to represent WhiskyGeeks, and I cannot express my gleefulness to have the chance to drink the Octomore Series 8 again!

I arrived early, and our Bruichladdich host treated me to a generous pour of Port Charlotte Scottish Barley! The Bruichladdich team is top-notched in their hospitality, as always! As we waited for the rest of the media to arrive, I chatted with the team, took pictures and enjoyed my dram!

The Tasting Session in Action

A beautiful line-up of the Octomore 8 Masterclass Series

 

Chloe started the ball rolling shortly after 2.30pm when everyone had arrived. She warned me that the presentation was largely similar to what she did for the previous Bruichladdich tasting event, but I still found the presentation enjoyable. I also managed to pick up information about Bruichladdich which I missed out the last time.

Chloe waxing lyrical about Bruichladdich

One of the juicy bits of information which I had left untouched in my previous article was the barley malting process. A malting house at Inverness malts all of Bruichladdich’s barley. They have a dedicated area cornered off just for Bruichladdich and malted the barley with a commitment that is distinctly Bruichladdich! The facility even added the peat to Port Charlotte and Octomore malting manually to control the ppm of the barley.

Another interesting fact is the quality casks that Bruichladdich uses for all their maturing whiskies. Chloe mentioned that they are not cheap to come by and that is part of the reason why the distillery needs a lot of funds to maintain production. Of course, I missed out entirely on Octomore Farm where it grows the Octomore barley for some of the expressions as well as the water source. Bruichladdich draws water from a spring on Islay itself. The distillery used this water source for distilling and watering down of the whisky (when needed).

Octomore 8 Masterclass

 

The Octomore 8 Masterclass is Bruichladdich’s Head distiller, Adam Hannett’s first set of Octomore. Crafted entirely by him, the Eights is the first series to be launched together. The Eights are all eight years old whiskies except for one, which you will understand why once we reveal the reason.

Before we dive straight into the Octomore 8 one by one, please allow us to show you a video of the Octomore Brand.

Octomore 8.1

Picture from Bruichladdich

The Octomore 8.1 is the forerunner in the Eight series. Distilled in 2008 using the 2007 barley harvest, the distillery peated it at 167ppm. 100% matured in first fill ex-bourbon American oak casks for its full term, this eight years old stayed on Islay all its life before getting bottled at 59.3%. The distillery released 42,000 bottles globally.

On the nose, I found sweet, floral, gentle peat. There are hints of pineapples and pears. The palate is oily with warm spice (black pepper), vanilla cream and fruity sweetness! The finish is long with vanilla lingering to the end. With water, the peat appears stronger on the nose and pushes the sweetness to the background. Nonetheless, the palate remains, with vanilla cream and sweet fruits leading the way. The water shortens the finish slightly, but the vanilla stays.

Octomore 8.2

Picture from Bruichladdich

Octomore 8.2 is an interesting one. Intended for the Global Travel Retail, this bottle is the hardest to come by unless you travel during the release period. Distilled in 2008 from the 2007 barley harvest, the distillery peated it at 167ppm as well. Adam vatted six years old liquids from second-fill ex-Sauternes casks, French Mourvedres and Austrian sweet wine casks before putting the vatted liquid into first-filled Italian ex-Amarone casks for two more years. This eight years old expression also stayed on Islay on its life before getting bottled it at 58.4% abv. The distillery released 36,000 bottles globally.

On the nose, I get sweet candy, red wine, dates and cinnamon spice. The rich, robust whisky is oily on the palate that is reminiscent of sweet dessert wine and cinnamon. The mixture is pleasantly exotic and balanced. The finish is long and spicy. The Octomore 8.2 eludes all the sweetness from the wine casks and is fantastic to drink.

Octomore 8.3

Picture from Bruichladdich

Octomore 8.3 is the monster baby of the lot. It is a tribute to Islay and uses only barley from the Octomore Farm’s 2010 harvest. It was a bad harvest that year, and Octomore Farm’s owner, James Brown, faced heavy losses from it. However, the barley produced terrific results during the malting process! A staggering 309.1 ppm reading came back from the malting facility, making the new-make the heaviest-peated whisky in the world! Distilled in 2011, the expression boasts of one farm, one field and one vintage and showcases the barley influence. 56% of the liquid spent five years in ex-bourbon American casks, while the remaining 44% spent five years in ex-Pauillac, Ventoux, Rhone and Burgundy European oak casks. The expression stayed five years on Islay before getting bottled at a whopping 61.2% abv! Due to the small barley harvest, the distillery released only 18,000 bottles globally.

The nose is full of aromatic peat, lemon citrus zest, sweet wine, pears and apples. The palate is oily with full lemony citrus and sweet fruits before the smoke comes in beautifully. The finish is long with light smoke and sea salt towards the end. What an epic dram for sure!

Octomore 8.4

Picture from Bruichladdich

The last bottle of the Eight series is nothing short of amazing. It is the Gamechanger. Distilled in 2009 from the 2008 harvest, the distillery peated it at 170ppm. 20% of the liquid comes from liquid matured in first fill virgin oak casks with medium toast for eight years. The remaining 80% aged in first fill American casks for eight years before getting a finish in second fill virgin oak casks from Tonnellerie Radoux cooperage in France. If you are wondering what is the second fill virgin oak cask, it just means that the distillery used the virgin oak casks for the second time. Virgin oak casks are not easy to come by, and the price is hefty as well! The expression matured fully on Islay before getting bottled at 58.7% abv. The distillery released only 12,000 bottles globally.

On the nose, I get the oak influence immediately. There is an oakiness to the liquid, coupled with a citrus, fruity sweetness and a hint of smoke. The palate is oaky and dry, with sweet pear, apples and some pleasant spice. Hints of smoke linger in the background without overshadowing the sweetness. The finish is long, sweet and peaty!

Sweet Ending to the Tasting Session

Cheese from The Cheese Ark

 

Handmade Chocolates from DemoChoc

Chloe ended her presentation after introducing Octomore 8.4 but it was not the end of the session. No, the Bruichladdich team bought cheese from The Cheese Ark and chocolate from Demochoc to share! We get to eat tasty cheese and pair it with our Octomore, as well as satisfy our sweet tooth with hand-made chocolates!

Further Details of the Launch

Fans of Octomore are waiting anxiously for the series to launch in Singapore, but unfortunately, we still do not have the launch date yet. It is rumoured to be launched sometime in April but it is not firmed up, and the launch can happen earlier! Rest assured that we will keep everyone updated once we know the launch date!

In the meanwhile, prepare yourself for the mad rush when the series launches! It is going to be massive fun! Stay tuned for more 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]

Bruichladdich Black Art Series Tasting Event

Picture Credits: Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich is starting 2018 fast and furious, with many events lined up with various bars. The first event of the year for Singapore started with a Black Art tasting at The Single Cask. Chloe Wood, Bruichladdich’s Asia Pacific Brand Ambassador, led the session. It was a sell-out session, and the crowd at TSC was excited to see Chloe in person. The brand manager of Bruichladdich, Rachel Tan, was also in attendance, and she even brought along home-made butter cakes drizzled with Port Charlotte icing! There was food as well, so it was indeed a little party that we were happy to be a part of.

Starting the session with some history

Attentive participants listening to Chloe

A tasting session could not proceed without a bit of history to set the tone right, and Chloe did not disappoint as she waxed lyrical about Bruichladdich’s history. It was a somewhat stormy history, with struggles and closures that were all too real. Started in 1881, the Harvey brothers built Bruichladdich and resolved to run the distillery using state-of-the-art technology at that time. Spirits ran pure and floral from their stills, and Bruichladdich whisky proved that Islay could make unpeated whiskies.

Bruichladdich Distillery in 1881 (Picture Credits: Bruichladdich)

Troubles soon befell the distillery. A fire broke out in 1934, and William Harvey passed away in 1936. With William gone, the distillery fell into the hands of various entities before getting mothballed in 1994 by Jim Beam.

The distillery saw new hope when Englishmen Mark Reyneir and Simon Coughlin sought to buy the distillery in 2000. Chloe shared an intriguing story in which Mark and Simon were told to “scramp off” by the men who were taking care of the distillery when they tried to gain access to Bruichladdich to take a look. Mark and Simon persisted and finally managed to buy the distillery with 8,000 maturing casks for £6m. 50 investors were involved in the purchase.

A New Hope

With Mark and Simon on the helm, Bruichladdich took a turn for the better. In 2001, the duo decided that they will use purely Scottish barley for their distillation. The most significant achievement, however, was the decision to mature all their whiskies within the distillery’s compound!

Bruichladdich Distillery (Picture Credits: Bruichladdich)

 

Maturing casks at Bruichladdich Distillery (Picture Credits: Bruichladdich)

Things ran smoothly until 2011 when the distillery fell into a financial crunch. The traditional methods of distillation and storage of the casks within the distillery had drained the finances. Mark and Simon struggled to pay the passionate workers and resolved to bring in more funds for the distillery.

Saviour in the form of Remy Cointreau

Remy Cointreau came in with the funds of £58.5m in 2012 and saved the distillery from getting mothballed. With the money, Bruichladdich could once again function with maximum capacity and even increased their production output from 750,000 litres to 1,200,000 – 1,500,000 litres from 2013 to 2017.

Remy left the running of the distillery to the knowledgeable men and women on Islay and provided the support whenever needed. With a team of dedicated whisky makers and a management that is willing to support them, the distillery is scaling for greater heights in the coming years. In fact, Bruichladdich is looking into a possibility of starting their own malting facility in future!

The Whisky of the Night

From left: Bruichladdich 1990, Black Art 4.1, Black Art 5.1

With the intriguing history behind us, Chloe took us through the flights of the three whiskies in front of us. First up was the Bruichladdich 1990/25 years old, followed by the Black Art 4.1 and finally the Black Art 5.1.

Bruichladdich 1990/25 years old

Bruichladdich 1990/25 years old

 

The Bruichladdich 1990/25 years old has a unique history that spans three generations of master distillers. Adam Hannett created the expression using casks brought in 2001. There were two paths to this liquid.

First Path:
– Refill American Bourbon cask, 17 years
– Fine French Claret, Bordeaux Grand Cru Cask, five years
– Spanish Sherry, Pedro Ximenez from Fernando de Castilla, four years

Second Path:
– Refill Spanish Sherry butt, 18 years
– Spanish Sherry, Oloroso from Fernando de Castilla, seven years

Adam then married the casks together to create the Bruichladdich 1990/25 years old.

Tasting notes of Bruichladdich 1990/25 years old

The dark amber of this expression promises a sherry bomb and makes us fall in love with this sherried whisky even before we tried it. The nose is fragrant with dark fruits and chocolate. Raisins, sultanas, dates and apricots float together with hints of vanilla. The palate follows with chocolate cream, raisins and dates. Layered underneath is a soft and light fruitiness that comes from the spirit. The smooth and oily mouthfeel makes this whisky elegant and very palatable. The finish is long with sweet sherry and chocolate. The mouthfeel gets drier towards the end.

Black Art 4.1

Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1

The Bruichladdich Black Art 4.1  is Jim McEwan’s last release of the Black Art before retiring. There is a story behind the Dark Arts..ahem, I mean Black Art. Back in the days when Adam was learning the craft from Jim, he asked Jim what was in some of the casks that were brought in from the outside after smelling an other-worldly perfume in the warehouse. Jim smiled and said, “Ah, well, that’s a secret never to be divulged…that’s where the magic lies.” Adam paused and then replied, “Jim, this isn’t distilling that you do, it’s alchemy – the dark arts…”

And that, my dear readers, was how the Black Art was born. Jim created the first Black Art in 2009. Black Art 2.1 in 2011, 3.1 in 2012, and Black Art 4.1 in 2013.

Nobody except the master distiller knows what went into the Black Arts – and they keep the secret forever. Even Mark and Simon are not let in on the secret. The bottle was blackened, and coated with mystical signs. It is a success because the Black Arts are so different from the other Bruichladdich series.

Tasting Notes of Black Art 4.1

Black Art 4.1 is another 1990 vintage with the liquids spending at least 23 years old in their respective casks. Bottled at the natural strength of 49.2% abv, it is a non-chill filtered and colouring free whisky.

The nose is fragrant and robust. Raisins, sultanas, red wine float gently together. A pleasant, warm spice tingles in the background. The palate is oily and soft, with a slight tingle of spice on the lips. Sweet caramel, raisins and cream coats the palate beautifully. The finish is long, sweet and a little dry.

Black Art 5.1

Bruichladdich Black Art 5.1

The Black Art 5.1 is Adam’s very first Black Art creation. It causes him many sleepless nights, constant worry and self-doubt. However, his belief in his teacher and mentor, Jim, and his knowledge gleaned from his long years of learning the craft, spurred him forward to create Black Art 5.1.

When Jim gave Adam his recipe for the Black Art 5.1, Adam dutifully took and ignored it. Adam wanted to repay his mentor and friend by creating a Black Art that is worthy of the knowledge that he learned from the legendary master distiller. His immersed respect for Jim demands for nothing short of that.

His hard work paid off, and the Black Art 5.1 is a hit with many fans in the world. The elegant and soft expression won the hearts of many, and it was indeed, a tribute paid to both Adam and Jim.

Tasting Notes of Black Art 5.1

The amber colour of 5.1 reminds us fondly of the 4.1. The nose is full of sweet fruits – mango, pineapples and apricots – and warm spice tingles the nose with some spike. It is, however, light and elegant with no unpleasant bite. The palate is consistent with the fruitiness and yet coupled with oak influences of vanilla, honey and soft cinnamon spice. The finish is long and fruity.

After-hours Chat

The tasting session ended soon after the Black Art 5.1, but the party was not over yet. With Port Charlotte cakes and jolly laughter, the party continued with Chloe chatting with various participants. We also stole Chloe’s time for a short chat, and I took the chance to get a picture with her too!

It was an enjoyable session, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Oh, and we got ourselves a fantastic Bruichladdich polo tee each!! It was reasonably priced at $25, so we just grabbed it while it last! The next WhiskyLive is going to have a lot of Bruichladdich “ambassadors” wannabes walking around for sure! Hahaha…

If you want to know more about Bruichladdich and their ranges of whiskies, click here and here to find out more!

Stay tuned as there will be more coming in February!

 

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]

Bruichladdich x The Cheese Ark Tasting Event @ LMDW

 

Whisky enthusiasts are familiar with chocolate and cheese pairing. However, have you thought of pairing whisky with cheese? La Maison du Whisky is hosting an extraordinary event at the end of January featuring a unique combination of Bruichladdich’s whiskies and The Cheese Ark’s artisanal cheese.

What is the event about?

This event will showcase an exceptional whisky and cheese pairing using the core expressions of Bruichladdich’s Islay whiskies, and old, authentic cheese made from the villages in Europe. Chloe Wood, Bruichladdich’s Asia Pacific brand ambassador, who is also an Islay native, will join hands with the passionate founder of The Cheese Ark, Syu Ai Ming to bring you on an explorative journey of both unexpected and explosive flavours.

The tasting will include the following whiskies from Bruichladdich:

  1. Bruichladdich Classic Laddie (Scottish Barley)
  2. Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2010
  3. Port Charlotte Scottish Barley
  4. Octomore 10 (2nd Edition)

Complete details of the event

Date: 31 January 2018
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm
Venue: La Maison du Whisky
Address: 80 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-10
Price per ticket: $65

With exceptional whiskies and good, old cheese curated just for you; this event is bound to thrill you like never before! Book your seat here and look forward to an enjoyable evening!

 

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 Single Cask Event of the Year: THE LAST CHANCE

From left to right: TSC Linkwood 1984, TSC Glenrothes 19 YO 58.5%, TSC Glenrothes 19 YO 58%, TSC Bowmore #31932, TSC Bowmore #31931

2017 is coming to a close, and The Single Cask had similarly organised its last tasting event of the year. If you had not managed to grab a ticket for the sell-out event on 8 December 2017, you had missed out on the five beautiful expressions that we tasted.

Introducing the Bottles

Brendan, the whisky expert of The Single Cask, had chosen five crown jewels of the bar to share with all of us at the event. The Single Cask bottled every expression.

The five bottles we tasted were:

Linkwood 1984 (26 Years Old) – Bottled 2010
Glenrothes 1997 Refill Sherry #L1097 (19 Years Old) – Bottled 2017
Glenrothes 1997 Dark Sherry #T497 (19 Years Old) – Bottled 2017
Bowmore 2001 #31932 (14 Years Old) – Bottled 2016
Bowmore 2001 #31931 (14 Years Old) – Bottled 2016

Why are these bottles so special? Well, if you consider that they are either sold out or having less than five bottles left at the bar, you would want to hurry down to the bar to taste them by the dram before they are gone FOREVER! Before you rush off to The Single Cask, here’s a little background for the five bottles.

Linkwood 1984 (26 Years Old) – Bottled 2010

TSC Linkwood 1984 was bottled back in 2010 when TSC was not born yet. Back in those days, the bar was operating under the name of “Malt Vault” at Ann Siang Hill. It is also the reason why the shape of the bottle is different from the rest. The round glass represented the legacy of Malt Vault. The Linkwood 1984 is one of the first bottlings by The Single Cask. In the seven years that have passed since 2010, The Single Cask has created 37 expressions. That is not a small feat to be sure!

Linkwood 1984 has a clean citrus nose. Raw honey and herbaceous fruits are also prominent with some oakiness. That citrus note follows in the palate with a tingling sensation on the tongue. Light, fresh honey notes with warm, gentle spice are evident too. The finish is medium with light citrus, oaky notes. There is some bitterness toward the end, likely due to the wood.

It is an easy to drink whisky that is balanced and clean. It is somewhat singular but one which is suitable as an introduction to new whisky drinkers.

Glenrothes 1997 Refill Sherry #L1097 (19 Years Old) – Bottled 2017

The Single Cask bottled the Glenrothes 1997 Refill Sherry in 2017. The yield of 85 bottles was because The Single Cask bought only one-fifth of the whole cask. Glenrothes is well-known for its sherry influence, and we had high expectations for this expression.

TSC Glenrothes 1997 Refill Sherry has a woody, sweet nose. Dark raisins, white peppery spice and sour sulphuric notes are in the forefront. A slightly unpleasant sourish odour appears after a while, reminding us of many sweaty bodies squeezed in a poorly ventilated lift. The sulphuric notes follow in the palate, turning it slightly sourish. The saving grace comes from the dark raisins and hints of roasted almond. Some woodiness can be detected in the back of the tongue too. The finish is relatively long with bits of roasted almonds at the end of the throat. It is also astringent and bitter.

It is an unusual presentation of a Glenrothes. While it may not be the most balanced dram of Glenrothes we had tasted, it is worth trying for its uniqueness.

Glenrothes 1997 Dark Sherry #T497 (19 Years Old) – Bottled 2017

This expression of the Glenrothes 1997 Dark Sherry is not a sister cask of the previous expression. It is an older expression by six months. The Single Cask bottled this version in 2017 as well. The Dark Sherry has a yield of 86 bottles and is a sherry bomb! As we had tried this before, we know that this whisky needs a lot of time to awaken to its complete profile. We recommend that you air this dram for at least 30 minutes before enjoying it.

The Single Cask Glenrothes 1997 Dark Sherry has a sherried, sweet nose with raisins and spice in the background. After airing the whisky for about 20 minutes, the spice mellowed, and the nose becomes sweeter. The sherry influence increases as you air it out. The palate is full of raisins, delicious red wine and gentle spice. Some dustiness coats the tongue. After airing, the taste gets sweeter with the raisins taking the forefront. The dustiness and spice take on a mellow note with the red wine coating the palate beautifully. The finish is medium to long with some dryness that is similar to a red wine finish. It is also astringent. After airing, the sweetness becomes prominent, and the dryness recedes slightly. It becomes herbaceous and bitter (something like an 85% dark chocolate).

This version of the Glenrothes is much more balanced and complex as compared to the previous one. However, it can get a little one-dimensional if you waited too long. It is a challenging dram if you want to catch all its notes within the 30 minutes time frame.

Bowmore 2001 #31932 (14 Years Old) – Bottled 2016

Bowmore is a brand that is well-known to all. It has its ups and downs as a distillery. The 60s, 70s, and 80s were terrific times at the distillery as it was performing at its peak. The 90s were less desirable due to the changing of owners to Suntory. The quality of the liquid produced during the 90s was somewhat lacking. Nonetheless, the distillery bounced back in the 2000s, and this bottle here is from one of its 2001 casks.

The Bowmore 2001 #31932 is one of the two sister casks that The Single Cask bought in 2016. Maturing side by side, these two casks were expected to be similar. However, they proved to be very much different!

#31932 has a light, gentle peat nose, burnt grass, sweet pineapples and hints of bananas. Mellow spice lingers in the background. The light peat follows through in the palate, creating a grassy, citrus, fresh tropical fruit mouthfeel with no spice. The finish is medium-long with sweet pineapples and a lingering light peat at the back of the throat.

It is a balanced expression that is gentle and yet complex enough for a hearty drink.

Bowmore 2001 #31931 (14 Years Old) – Bottled 2016

The last bottle of the night is the Bowmore 2001 #31931. The sister cask of the previous bottle, it proved to be as different as it can be. While the cask #31932 is grassy, #31931 is the mighter of the two.

The nose is meaty like smoky bacon. There is a stronger white pepper spice in the forefront and hints of sweet citrus and sea salt at the back. The smoky citrus (lemon & orange) follows through in the palate, with some hints of sea salt and white peppery spice. The finish is long with the smokiness lingering for a long time.

The Bowmore 2001 #31931 is a lovely, balanced whisky that is complex and yet easy to drink. We can easily guess why Brendan had chosen this expression to be the last bottle of the night. He admitted that this is one of his favourite bottles and he had bought bottle #2 for his collection! WhiskyGeeks has a bottle of the #31931 at home too!

What to look forward to in the remaining month of 2017

While the last tasting event of the year might be over for The Single Cask, there are still two exciting events to look forward to in December 2017!

Whisky hoarders, ahem, we mean, whisky lovers, can look forward to the Christmas Sale (YAY!) at The Single Cask on 15 December, from 5 pm onwards! Expect discounts to go up to 60% off, so be sure to mark your calendar! Moreover, all whisky flights at the bar will be at half price for the night! We will see you there!

The other exciting event is The Single Cask Free Flow Night!! Who can say no to free flow? Happening on 16 December, it will start from 8 pm to midnight. Be sure to go there early if you want to have a seat! 🙂

 

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]

WhiskyFair TAKAO Debrief – Day Two

We couldn’t resist putting the WhiskyFair TAKAO banner again here because we loved the way it looked. It reflected the sophisticated affair that we attended very well, and we wanted to remind everyone again just how intriguing it had been. If you have missed the article for Day One, click here.

Beginning of Day Two

Day Two began in a frenzy because we were rushing to queue for our Littlemill 1988 and yet having the need to pack up our belongings because we were heading home that evening. The fact that we ran out of Taiwan dollars made things worse as we needed to find a money changer. However, we did manage to complete our tasks in time and reached the fairgrounds at 9.45 am, 15 minutes earlier than the opening hours.

The Anxiety of Queuing for a Limited Release Bottle

To our dismay, there were about 40 people ahead of us. We began to pray that we could still get our hands on Littlemill 1988. We managed to get into the fairgrounds at 10.15 am, and we rushed to the queue! As the line moved sluggishly, we hoped against hope that everyone in front of us was buying the Springbank 1994! Haha…The helpful staff at the counter began to call out the number of Littlemill 1988 bottles left. “Littlemill left 30 bottles…Littlemill left 20 bottles…” The anxiety was great indeed, especially when everyone in the queue began to count if they were still able to get it. When we were the first in the queue, the staff called out, “Littlemill left nine bottles…”

We breathed a sigh of relief because we knew that we could get our hands on the precious bottle after all! When we paid, the staff cheerfully told us, “You are lucky! You got the last 8th bottle!” And so, here it is!

Littlemill 1988

If you wondered why we did not get the Springbank as well, it was because we were only allowed to buy either the Littlemill or the Springbank. Oh, and they did not let Geek Choc buy the other bottle because Geek Flora purchased the Littlemill and it was apparent that we were together. So yeah, we missed that one! We probably need a better strategy next year! Hahaha…

Cuttlefish and three free drinks

After all that excitement, we were both in need of a drink. Right beside the annual bottle sales counter, there was a store selling dried cuttlefish and scallops. We stopped by for some tasting and ended up buying two packages. The generous storeowner gave us a free bag and then offered us a drink, on the house! We would be rude to say no, so we made our choices.

The exhibitor enjoyed talking to us so much that he ended up giving us one extra dram – The Ledaig 11 Years Old! These bottles were good stuff, and seriously, we felt somewhat embarrassed for having so many free drams. Nonetheless, the exhibitor waved away our concerns and told us how happy he was to meet so many foreign whisky lovers who appreciate his offerings.

Exciting Bottles at ARen Trading Co. Ltd

As we had promised Michael Hsieh, the owner of ARen Trading Co. Ltd (and co-organizer of WhiskyFair TAKAO) to visit him at his booth again, we headed over soon after our chat with the generous exhibitor. Michael had kept a bottle of AMAZING stuff just for us. Guess what it was? Let us give you a clue: it was the older sister of the Whisky Bible 2015 Best Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray!

Woohoo! It is the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2009! The first in the batch and the older sister of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, which had won the Best Whisky of the Year in the Whisky Bible 2015. Once the bottle was out, everyone was in a frenzy to get the last bits of the liquid. We bought 40 ml of that last precious liquid, and another visitor bought 20 ml. The last guy who came along only managed to secure the final 15 ml! He was so elated even to achieve that last 15 ml that he did a little dance right at the booth!

More interesting bottles up ahead

As the crowd dispersed after the bottle kill of the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2009, we had the chance to check out the rest of the bottle offerings. Geek Flora spied upon the Ardbeg Uigeadail – The Ultimate (first edition) and a TWA bottling of Littlemill 1989. We had to buy both because we wanted to taste them!

As we were going to head to the airport later, we had to buy samples instead of drinking it on the spot. It was a good idea as well since we would be able to review these bottles properly at our leisure. Michael, upon understanding that we were leaving for the airport soon, treated us to a little bit of the Littlemill 1989! “10ml would be fine for you!” he said and poured the whisky into one of our Glencairn glass. The nose was full of floral notes, and hints of sweet, creamy vanilla were apparent. These followed through in the palate and the finish. Notes of fragrant pears and green apples dominated the palate with the floral and vanilla lingering in the back. The finish was long and clean. We went to whisky heaven again after this little taste. It was so good!

The Drunken Master X Pin Xin Wine Shop

Next, we visited Pin Xin Wine Shop. Zhuang Meng is the founder of Pin Xin, and he works closely with Chunfeng from The Drunken Master. They have a range of independent bottling named The Octave. We were attracted by the beautiful labels on their bottles and wanted to find out more about them.

The range of whiskies from PX and TDM (Picture was taken from TDM FB page)

Unfortunately, we were not able to take the whole range of bottles during the crowded fair, so we took a picture of the entire range from The Drunken Master Facebook page. The Drunken Master launched these expressions one day after the fair, and we are proud to say that we managed to try some of them before they launched!

Geek Choc tried the Laphroaig 20 years old, but Geek Flora decided to pass and instead bought a sample of the Huntly home. The Huntly, as we understood from Zhuang Meng, was from The Balvenie. They did not allow the independent bottlers to name the distillery. Hence they had to use the location of the distillery instead.

Time to say Goodbye

After our chat with Zhuang Meng, we had to go. After checking out of the hotel, we went for a quick lunch before heading back to the fair to say bid farewell to everyone. It was a fantastic event and one which we enjoyed tremendously! We understood that WhiskyFair TAKAO 2018 would take place at Kaohsiung on 1st and 2nd December 2018! Next year, we are hoping to plan a trip together with some of our members, and we can all go there together! Until next year, folks! Slainte!

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]

WhiskyFair TAKAO Debrief – Day One

Geek Choc buying whisky samples at Omar Distillery Booth

We had such a wild time in Taiwan that we were quite reluctant to come home after a week. It has been such a fruitful trip, and we are thankful to everyone who had given us their time in Taiwan. With the excitement and tiredness from travelling behind us, it is time for us to give our field report to our faithful members who are eagerly awaiting our updates on WhiskyFair TAKAO.

A little background about WhiskyFair TAKAO

WhiskyFair TAKAO is the first ever whisky event to be held in Kaohsiung. It marks the start of a beautiful annual event for Asian whisky lovers to come together for a celebration. Held on 2nd and 3rd December 2017, it was the brainchild of Mr Li Chunfeng, owner of Drunken Master Whisky Bar and Mr Michael Hsieh, owner of ARen Trading Co. Ltd, in partnership with The Whisky Agency.  Many others are involved in organising this fair, but Mr Li and Mr Hsieh are the principal collaborators.
This event is also an investment into independent bottlers across Taiwan and the world. All of the exhibitors invited are independent bottlers or whisky bars which stock independent bottles. The exhibitors come mainly from Taiwan and Japan, but there are also a few independent bottlers from the Western world such as WM Cadenhead and Whiskybase.

What we think about the Event

We were impressed with the organisation of the fair considering that it was the first ever event in Kaohsiung. Despite the inexperience of the organisers, the whisky fair was well thought-out. The venue was at 85 Sky Tower, the tallest building in Kaohsiung. The exhibition overlooked the Kaohsiung port, and while visibility was near zero due to thick fog (air pollution), it was still a charming place. The fairground was well laid out, with plenty of space for visitors to stop by the different booths to buy samples of the whiskies on offer.

Whisky Transaction at WhiskyFair TAKAO

The mode of transaction is different for WhiskyFair TAKAO as compared to Whisky Live Singapore. In this event, the entrance ticket is a low 450NTD (SGD$22.50), and you get a Glencairn glass FOC. You will have to purchase coupons to exchange them for whisky samples at the fair itself. Of course, when we pay for the whiskies, the exhibitors brought out their big guns for the visitors to try!

WhiskyFair TAKAO (Day One)

We started the fair innocently enough – we avoided the crowds and only went in at 11 am even though the event began at 10 am. As we were not buying the first-day annual bottles (Bowmore 25 years old + Caol Ila 10 years old), we had the luxury of entering later. The first scene that greeted us at the venue was this.
Neat, artistically-placed tables stood side by side with the exhibitors eagerly engaging the different visitors who came into the fairgrounds. We were overwhelmed by the friendliness of these exhibitors! When they understood that we are bloggers from Singapore, they piled us with drinks – FOC! Their generosity touched us deeply.

Asian Palate Association

We got to taste three different bottles at the first booth. Interestingly, the owner of Asian Palate Association chooses only whiskies which are sherry-based and what he termed as “clean”. He clarified that it meant that he tried to select whiskies that are not sulphuric or tannic. We heard that he is looking for a distributor in Singapore, so if you are interested, contact us, and we can link you up!

Omar Distillery – Taiwan

Next, we headed to Omar where we quickly purchased our lychee whisky bottles! If you followed our Facebook post, you would have known that we visited Omar distillery and were disappointed that the lychee whisky was sold out at the distillery. Miracles happened sometimes, and we found them at WhiskyFair TAKAO! They were the last few bottles too! Yay!
We were so excited, and the exhibitors were rather amused by us. They made us more excited when they offer us a free pour of the lychee whisky! Now, how generous can they be?! We also tried their peated whisky and were genuinely impressed by it.

Omar Peated Cask Strength

The peat is aromatic and the bourbon cask influence that it was in enhanced the floral and fruitiness of the whisky. We will be doing a post or two on Omar, so we will not dwell too much here. 🙂

Swiss Alpine Whisky

After the first two booths, we went straight to whisky heaven. There were just too many to try, and we had to keep up with all the exhibitors looking to pour their whiskies into our Glencairn glasses. Walking deep into the middle of the fair, we found something that we had not try for years – Swiss Whisky!

Santis Malt

If you have not heard about Santis Malt, it is time you try them! We first tasted Santis Malt back in 2010, when we travelled to Switzerland and found a bottle in a tiny supermarket in Interlaken. We were not impressed back then, but we ought to say that the whisky has improved a lot! Santis Malt is matured in old beer casks and usually have a unique finish. To preserve our livers, we tried their most sought-after winter edition – Snow White and another bottle from The Whisky Agency only.

Snow White No. 5 is the latest edition in their winter release. Slated for their 2017 release, the bottles are going to be available in Taiwan only sometime in late January or even February. It is matured in old beer casks and then finished in APRICOT liquor casks! Woot! It was one of the most amazing whiskies we had ever tasted. The apricot aroma engulfed the nose and followed through on the palate and the finish. Wow…it was simply amazing! It was too bad that they were not selling it at the fair.

The Santis Malt from The Whisky Agency was another exciting bottle. Matured in a sherry cask, it had a different character when compared to the standard Santis Malt. Again, the bottle was sold out so we couldn’t bring it home. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic journey with Santis Malt, and we got to admit that they have improved tremendously since the last time we had it in Switzerland.

Rare Whiskies from Japan

When we talk whisky, how can we not think about Japan and their unique offerings? Whiskyfair TAKAO had some distinctive Japanese exhibitors, such as Toru Suzuki-san from The Mash Tun Tokyo. The bar owners in Japan have many rare whiskies, including Port Ellen and Karuizawa. We even had our first Karuizawa, recommended by Suzuki-san!

Since it was our first time tasting Karuizawa, we had to document that sweet moment with a photo!

Geek Flora and Geek Choc with our Karuizawa sample

Taiwan Independent Bottlers

We did not forget the independent bottlers from Taiwan of course. They are the main reasons why WhiskyFair TAKAO could take off. We visited Spirits Salon and Aqua Vitae amongst others. By this time, we were ready to surrender to our alcohol intake, so we took out our trusty sample bottles and bought some samples to bring home instead.

Geek Flora has a special love for Blair Athol, and we had a taste of it. Allen Chen is the founder of Aqua Vitae. He is a passionate whisky lover and entrepreneur from Taiwan. His company is newly set up and currently have only four expressions. We are sure that there will be more whisky expressions from him next year!

Drunken Master Whisky Bar / Independent Bottler

Finally, we are dedicating the last portion of Day One for Drunken Master Whisky Bar – the organiser of WhiskyFair TAKAO. Drunken Master is both a whisky bar and an independent bottler. The owner, Mr Chunfeng, is also the chairman of Formosa Whisky Society. He did the labels for his bottles on his own and managed much of the operation at his bar too.
For WhiskyFair TAKAO, he brought casks for four individual bottles. There is a Bowmore 25 years old, a Caol Ila 10 years old, a Littlemill 1988 and a Springbank 1994. While we do not have the picture for the Springbank 1994, here are the other three bottles!

Besides these bottles, we also bought samples of Drunken Master’s other bottles. Some of you might have seen the first two bottles below. The other two are not yet released as they are bottles for Formosa Whisky Society. We will post our reviews of these bottles once we have tasted them.

End of Day One

It was a fruitful day at WhiskyFair TAKAO Day One! It was a roller coaster journey as we walked through the exhibition hall. We will continue with Day Two in another post for this is already getting too long. Click here for the next one and thank you for reading all the way here!

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 2017 Debrief

It has been a week since Whisky Live Singapore 2017 came to a close. The excitement has died down, and everyone is happy with their soul filled with precious liquid gold. Now is the time to look back and share our feelings about the event.

What we think about the event

We believe that Whisky Live Singapore 2017 was a great success! The event was well organised, and every exhibitor had their space that allowed visitors to stand around as they sampled the whiskies on offer. The VIP / Collectors’ room was tastefully decorated with natural light to make the whole area bright and cheerful. All of us were comfortable and did not feel the space constraints despite the smaller venue this year. While we had to walk to the masterclasses and the pop-up store, and yes, even climbed a short flight of stairs, it was all acceptable. (We saw some negative comments about the staircase on Whisky Live Singapore Facebook page). The venue is a rustic and charming place, well worthy of the whisky we drank.

The VIP Experience (Day One)

We took the VIP ticket for the first day, where we had a great variety of whiskies. Check out some of the pictures below!

These bottles were incredible! While we did not sample a lot of the whiskies on offer, we picked some of the most popular bottles which were “trending” quickly through the VIP ticket holders.

The Bruichladdich (Octomore) Masterclass

We could not go to all the Masterclasses, so we picked the one that we wanted to go the most. The Bruichladdich Masterclass was the most popular one at Whisky Live – its tickets sold out pretty quickly! The presenter was none other than the newly arrived Brand Ambassador Chloe Wood! Chloe is from Islay, Scotland, and has been part of the Brand Academy at Bruichladdich before coming over to Singapore. While we were sad to say goodbye to Richard (the former brand ambassador), we are delighted to meet Chloe and share Singapore with her!

Chloe presenting Bruichladdich to us at the Masterclass

The Octomore masterclass showcased four different Octomore in Series 8. There were Octomore 8.1 to 8.4. The surprise was the 8.4 because it was hand-drawn from the cask and brought to Singapore by Chloe! The expression was not released yet when we had a taste of it, so technically, we were the first people (about 20 of us) to taste it!

These fellows are top-notched whiskies – every bottle has its character and charm. However, many of us shared the same sentiments when we tried to rank these bottles. We came to a consensus that the ranking is Octomore 8.3, 8.4, 8.2 and 8.1! While this does not mean that 8.1 is not good, it just means that 8.3 has performed better than our highest expectations. We will encourage you to try an Octomore, especially for someone who has not tried.

Octomore has a reputation for being heavily peated, and thus, many whisky drinkers who are not peat heads avoided it. Geek Flora avoided it at first too, until she had her first taste of it. The rest was history!

Whisky Live Cocktail and Food Street

We went for a walk and had some delicious food at the Whisky Live Cocktail and Food Street after the Bruichladdich masterclass. It was crowded and rainy, but people were happy to share tables, and we had a plate of shockingly good pineapple rice and basil leaves fries. We were quite done in by then because the Octomores have high alcohol content. After food, we went back to the VIP room where we had one last whisky before leaving the event.

Scapa 2005 – 12 Years Old

The Standard Ticket Experience (Day Two)

As we wanted to experience both as a VIP ticket and standard ticket holder, we bought a regular ticket for day two. Sunday proved to be less crowded, and we had access to the first floor of the venue only. We had to stop by the Bruichladdich booth first because we wanted so much to try their fabulous whiskies again. Chloe was there at the booth, and so was Brendan, the whisky expert from The Single Cask!

This time, we had the chance to taste some fantastic Octomore 7 Series! We just could not resist the lure of Octomores! There was also a Port Charlotte – Scottish Barley that we had!

The ever-friendly people at Bruichladdich also gave us some premium whiskies that they had hidden under the table. These whiskies are only for people who asked nicely! However, we couldn’t get pictures of them. Anyhow, we tried a Bruichladdich Black Art 5 and the Octomore 7.4!

Oh, we got to chew on the roasted barley that made Octomore, Port Charlotte and the Classic Laddie too! Yums! We love the Octomore barley! Beautifully roasted, the barley was smoked just right for the whisky distillation process.

The Glendronachs and the Glenglassaugh

Moving on, we had our fair share of both the Glendronachs and the Glenglassaugh. Personally, we think that the Glenglassaugh are worth exploring – we tasted some reasonably decent drams! As for the Glendronachs, we already feel that they are great to start with.

Geek Flora thinks that the Evolution is the best out of the three Glenglassaugh that we tasted. It matured in an ex-Tennesse cask, something that was different from the rest. Geek Choc believes that the Revival is excellent though, the colour made us think sherry of course! As for the Torfa, we felt that the peat could be a little more aromatic since it is a peated whisky.

The Independent Bottlers

By now, we knew we had to stop soon, but we couldn’t resist visiting both Gordon and Macphail as well as Sansibar! At G&M, we had some fantastic Bunnahabhain that was only an eight years old, one that is heavily peated. Ohhh…we know that Bunnahabhain does not do peated, so this was something good!

We were quite disappointed with the Macallan though, it felt flat, and the whisky did not impress us the way the other IB Macallan did. As for the Ardmore, we thought it was pretty alright, but the heavily peated Bunnahabhain overshadowed it.

The Sansibar gang was another level yet again. We had everything except for the Sansibar Laphroaig 18 Years Old because it was all gone. We only get to nose the bottle, and we wept silent tears in our hearts that we did not manage to taste it.

Event Wrap Up

After all the whiskies we had, the team had to head home to rest as we were flying off to Taiwan that every night! It was an adventure to be told in another post as we share our experience in WhiskyFair TAKAO. In the meanwhile, we hope you had lived vicariously through our pictures for Whisky Live Singapore 2017. Until the next year! Slainte!

 

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: Glenfiddich Launches Experimental Series in Asia Pacific

 

The long-awaited release of Glenfiddich Experimental Series landed on 9 November 2017 in Asia Pacific. This series works to define Glenfiddich as an innovative distillery that is not afraid to push the boundary to create new and exciting variants in the industry.  The series started with two bottles – the IPA experiment and the Project XX (pronounced as twenty). Both bottles will be available through Travel Retail at less than $100 per bottle.

Exclusive Invite to Glenfiddich Launch

Our friends at William Grant & Sons warmly invited us to the launch party on 10 November 2017 at Funan SG Showsuite. The party was already in full swing when we arrived. After sorting out our passes for the night, we headed straight to the bar to check out the whiskies.

We found our targets sitting at the bar, waiting. Both the IPA Experiment and Project XX were available at the bar. You can choose to have it neat, on the rocks or as a cocktail. We decided to go slow, and hence we tried the Project XX on the rocks.

Project XX – on the rocks

Yumm…the sweet aroma wafted up immediately. Summer fruits, fresh pears, and red apples burst onto the nose. There were notes of a creamy vanilla cupcake with some oak sweetness, a hint of liquorice and gentle spice. A sip of the whisky proved that the ice did not dilute the taste at all. Candy floss sweetness coated our palate with a creamy vanilla oakiness before opening up to almonds, cinnamon spice and hints of tannin. The long-lasting finish with the lingering sweet oakiness completes the journey with Project XX.

What a beautiful dram. It may not be the most complex, but it certainly wins our hearts with its deep and mellow characteristic.

Official Launch

The voice of Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, the Glenfiddich Regional Brand Ambassador in Asia Pacific, captured our attention as he tried his best to gather all of us to the front of the venue where he waited to introduce the two whiskies officially with his partner, Danial Goh, the godfather of beer in Singapore. As everyone made their way to the front, we, too, went all the way to the front so that we could capture their handsome faces adequately. (Teehee!)

Matthew waxed lyrical about the two whiskies and also introduced the beer godfather of Singapore to everyone. He is the regional brand ambassador for Glenfiddich in Asia Pacific and is a well-known figure in the region. Matt has an extensive knowledge of all things whiskies as he honed his skills in the whisky industry for the past decade. His impressive resume also won him the title of the Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the year 2017 from Icons of Whisky awards.

Daniel Goh is a pioneer in the Singapore craft beer scene. He is fondly known as the godfather of beer in Singapore because he started the revolution of selling craft beers out of a hawker stall in 2011. Known as The Good Beer Company, Daniel helps to expand the craft beer scene in Singapore.  In 2013, he co-founded Smith Street Taps, which went on to win the “Best Beer Bar” award at The Bar Awards Singapore 2017. In fact, the bar is also named one of Asia’s best beer bar by CNN and voted as one of the most fabulous bar in the world in Condé Nast Traveler.

Before the guests were split up for the whisky tasting session, WhiskyGeeks managed to grab both Matthew and Daniel for a photo together. You know they are fun people to hang out with just by looking at their pictures, isn’t it?

Whisky Tasting Session

When we finally headed up to level 2 of the show suite for our tasting session, we discovered something else. They were serving beer! Why? The answer should be quite obvious. The IPA experiment was matured in beer cask! Daniel started the ball rolling by introducing the IPA Experiment to us. He explained that IPA is popular in Europe and Glenfiddich wanted to try something entirely different in these series of innovative experiments. Therefore, they chose the IPA. Glenfiddich seasoned the cask by the IPA before pouring the whisky into the cask for maturation. Guess what happened to the beer? Nope, the distillery did not waste it. They bottled it and sold it at one of the festivals in Speyside!

Both the IPA (beer) and the IPA Experiment (whisky) were available for us to compare the aromas and flavours. The beer was fresh, floral and sweet. The taste was slightly bitter and refreshing. The whisky took on a whole new level of characteristics. Green apples, fresh pears and intense floral notes mixed with herbs burst through the nose. Then you get the Glenfiddich characteristics of fruits and sweet vanilla oak. The palate followed the nose with robust citrus notes and soft, sweet vanilla. A hint of fresh hops hung in the background. The long-lasting finish of delicious fruits and subtle green hops ends the journey with the IPA Experiment.

Matthew then shared the history of Project XX – how it came about. 20 brand ambassadors across the world went to the Glenfiddich warehouse, and each of them was given a choice to choose one cask. None of them knew what was going on, and they treated it like a game. What happened afterwards was magical – their Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, married those 20 casks in a vat and Project XX was born!

After sampling Project XX, Matthew gave us a surprise! He let us try HIS CASK! The one that he picked for Project XX. It was a cask strength whisky, and that, my readers, was pure delight. The sweet and floral nose coupled with the balanced palate was more than what we could have asked for!

More Surprises

Before we left the party, the team from Glenfiddich gave us another surprise. There was a media kit prepared for us, and the gifts were indeed generous. Just take a look at that!

It was indeed a fantastic party filled with fun, laughter and delicious whiskies. We are blown by the generosity of William Grant & Sons and look forward to grabbing some bottles from the Travel Retail at Changi Airport soon!

Whisky Event: Isle of Arran Whisky Masterclass

Quaich Bar invited us to their cosy Waterfront Plaza flagship store for an Isle of Arran Distillers Whisky Masterclass last Thursday to meet managing director, Mr Euan Mitchell, of Arran distillery. A couple of other bar owners and whisky experts also attended the event.

The subject of the event is the range of exceptional Arran whiskies which Euan wanted to showcase, as well as for Euan to share more about the distillery with us. WhiskyGeeks is honoured to take the front seat this time, and we got the chance to get up close and personal with Euan.

An Interesting Event Kick-Off

Quaich bar’s owners, Khoon Hui and Joyce, kicked off the event with some tasty chocolate milk. Oh, wait, milk? Well, it wasn’t technically chocolate milk, but it was cream liqueur mixed with Arran Malt. If you guess that it was the Arran Gold, you got it! Here’s a little picture of this beautiful baby.

When Euan arrived on the scene, all of us were ready to take on more yummy stuff that he wanted to introduce.

The event started officially with an introduction to the distillery, the production process and of course, a little history about them. As the only distillery on the Isle of Arran, the privately-owned distillery has a lot of room to grow.

Euan Mitchell is the managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers. Their Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, recently celebrated his ten anniversary with the company. As an independent company, there are no red tapes around any decisions made, and things typically progress pretty quickly around the distillery.

The Liquid Gold from the Isle of Arran Distillery

After the short introduction, Euan and Khoon Hui produced the liquid that we were all eagerly waiting for.

We tasted six different whiskies that afternoon beside the Arran Gold cream liqueur. The whiskies were the 10-year-old, 14-year-old, 18-year-old, Machrie Moor Cask Strength, Amarone Cask Finish and the Sauternes Cask Finish. The 10, 14 and 18-year-old are part of their core range, while the rest are limited releases from the distillery.

Every bottle is exquisite in their way, and each offers something to the whisky drinker. The 10-year-old is perfect for the beginner; someone who wants to try. The 14-year-old has a little more to offer and is an ideal dram for a beginner who wants to upgrade. The 18-years-old is more complex and likely favoured by the more seasoned drinkers.

As for the limited releases, the Amarone and Sauternes Cask Finish are part of Arran’s Cask Finishes series. There is a third bottle with a port cask finish, but we did not try that one. The Machrie Moor is perhaps the unique whisky out of the lot. It is the only peated whisky in the Arran range, and Arran releases one batch each year. The peat is controlled at 20 ppm (parts per million), making the whisky gently peated. The added flavour enhances the sweet citrusy spice that is Arran and makes the whisky fantastic. The highly abv also heightens the aroma and characteristics of the whisky.

Exciting News ahead for our Readers

Euan patiently explained each whisky and their ideas behind each bottle. He also answered many questions, including one involving new releases! According to Euan, the world has something fresh to look out for in 2018 – Arran 21-year-old! Besides that, there is a chance that Arran may consider a single cask bottling, especially for Quaich Bar Singapore!

Euan also shared that Arran has a more significant market in Taiwan and Japan and has some new single cask releases there. As the WhiskyGeeks team is heading to Taiwan soon for Whisky Fair Takao, we are going to search for some of those single cask releases! If there is a chance for us to try them, we will share our results, promise!

As the event draws to a close, we ask Euan for a photograph together, and he happily agreed to it.

We hope that Euan will be back to our sunny island soon and we look forward to meeting him again!

 

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 Macallan Edition No. 3

WhiskyGeeks attended the media launch of Macallan Edition No. 3 last Monday, 16 October at the Luxe Museum. If you have seen the pictures on their Facebook page, you would know that it was a grand event indeed!

The Greeting

The above picture was what greeted us when we walked in. The cask that you see on the left was one of the casks that they used in the Macallan distillery. Macallan shipped to Singapore specially for the event. We were ushered into the main hall behind the frontage to a bar where the staff offered us a cocktail.

We were feeling a little cheeky that night, so we asked for a glass of neat Macallan instead. The lovely staff told us that the good stuff was in the last room. We were surprised at the mention of rooms, and upon further queries, we understood that Macallan has split up the Luxe Museum to various “rooms” where different flavours of Macallan Edition No. 3 were displayed.

The Journey in the land of Macallan Edition No. 3

The setup was a series of “rooms” where guests explored at their leisure. The relaxing atmosphere created here was a luxury that many guests enjoyed. The stroll through the flower garden, the woodlands of oak casks and the modern chic living room filled with precious liquids from Macallan was splendid. Staff members were on hand to serve small bites to the guests. There was a station for ice cream too! We tasted the blood orange ice cream – delicious!

The journey ended in an inner room where they hid the real gems. Staff at the bar were dishing out glasses of Macallan 12 Years Fine Oak to all patrons, and we finally jumped into the action. Sipping the palatable liquid, we waited patiently for the launch to start officially.

Launching the Macallan Edition No. 3

Macallan had the honours of inviting Roja Dove, the Master Perfumer who collaborates with Master Whisky Maker, Bob Dalgarno, to Singapore for the launch of Macallan Edition No. 3. We also had to pleasure to hear him explain why and how they created Macallan Edition No. 3. This particular edition showcases the nose more than the others because Macallan wanted to impress upon whisky drinkers that the nose is just as crucial as the palate and finish. Macallan wanted to be different by creating this lovely whisky.

After Macallan officially launched the whisky, all the guest (that’s us!) got to taste it! The beautiful notes of floral and citrus waft up the nose immediately. The chocolate came after with vanilla sweetness in the background. Lovely! The palate was elegant and slightly dry. Caramel and vanilla mixed to complement each other without overpowering sweetness. It was somewhat typical Macallan. The finish was reasonably long, with the taste of vanilla cupcakes lingering for quite a while.

Meeting Roja Dove

We managed to meet Roja Dove while heading to the counter for a second glass of Macallan No. 3. The jovial fellow greeted us warmly and patiently answered all our questions. In return, he asked how we like the Macallan Edition No. 3. Well, let’s just say that he wasn’t the happiest man after hearing it! That’s because we told him that we love the nose of the whisky, but the palate seems a little flat. While he was not too happy about our comments, Roja was a perfect professional. We spoke a little longer before we left him to be surrounded by others. It was only much later that we realised we forgot to ask for a picture together!

Rounding Up

It was a dazzling night for us, but it was time to call it quits before all of us get too tipsy to head home. While we were a little disappointed with the liquid, we had an enjoyable evening. On a side note, we got to say that the Macallan 12 Years Fine Oak is a fantastic dram! If you have not tried it, you should.

 

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]