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Event: The Single Cask X Whisky Butler Masterclass

WhiskyGeeks was invited to the event jointly organised by The Single Cask (TSC) and Whisky Butler on 30 September 2017. We have previously spoken about this masterclass and since we were invited, we are here to tell you more about what you have missed!

Introducing Whisky Butler

This event is possibly the last celebratory event for TSC’s 2nd anniversary and one which is endorsed by Whisky Butler. In case you are not familiar with Whisky Butler, it is a whisky subscription platform that allows members to try 4 different whiskies every month. You can see it as a kind of whisky flight that you can get at a bar, but at much lower cost. In addition, Whisky Butler will deliver the box to your doorstep to provide the ultimate convenience.

The Single Cask X Whisky Butler Masterclass

This event showcased 5 different spirits (we say spirits because one of them isn’t a whisky). They are
1. Guyanan Diamond Rum 12 Years Old
2. Balmenach 12 Years Old
3. Tobermory 22 Years Old
4. Glen Garioch 19 Years Old
5. Bowmore 14 Years Old

Each expression is bottled by TSC and all of them are from a single cask. You will find the tasting notes of all 5 spirits in the links provided above.

Why Rum and Whiskies?

Both sessions started very informally introducing TSC and Whisky Butler before Brendan, the bar manager and resident whisky expert of TSC, dived into the reason for including a rum in the selection. It is a fact that Singapore is growing rapidly in the alcohol industry. Look at all the bars that are popping up everywhere. People are learning to appreciate gin, brandy, cognac, rum and whisky. No matter whether they drink it neat, with ice, with soda, with water or with a mixer, these different spirits are gaining popularity in Singapore. The vibrant but relatively young community in Singapore makes it very important to have masterclasses like this to help beginners to better appreciate what they are drinking.

We appreciated the way that Brendan ran both sessions – informal and interactive. He encouraged participants to share what they thought about the spirits and encouraged each attendee to describe what they find in each of the spirits served. In the first session, Brendan also spoke of the way to drink whisky after one participant asked.

The Best Way to Drink Whisky according to Brendan

The best way to drink whisky according to Brendan is this: “Take a sip of whisky, swirl it in your mouth to coat the sides before holding it in your mouth for a little while. Swallow it and hold your breath for 5 seconds before breathing out from your mouth”. We tried it, and guess what, we could literally feel the whisky leaving the mouth and smelling the finish! That’s one amazing way of drinking whisky! Nonetheless, there is no correct way to drink whisky, so, if you don’t agree with that, drink it the way you do, because whisky has to be enjoyable above all. In fact, what we do to get the finish is to move our lips repeatedly instead. That works too, by the way!

The interactive sessions ran smoothly with active participation from all the “students” who attended. We could see the impact of the interaction – engagement was high and people were just so involved with tasting the spirits that they appeared to forget everything else. We enjoyed ourselves as well, with jokes along the way.

Willing Buyers, Unwilling Seller

Both sessions ended with participants gaining a greater understanding of what they were drinking. Some of them were so excited about the whiskies that they wanted to buy a bottle home! This was especially so for the last whisky – The Bowmore 14 Years Old – Cask 31931. Brendan had to disappoint everyone because he only has 3 bottles left in the bar and he is not selling them because he wants to keep it at the bar for communal drinking. If you like what you read from our tasting notes, head over to The Single Cask and try out the amazing Bowmore 14 Years Old – Cask 31931. Do remember to mention WhiskyGeeks to Brendan!

If you are keen to join future masterclasses from The Single Cask, do like our Facebook page and stay tuned for the next one! There should be another one coming up soon!

In the meanwhile, stay hydrated with whisky! Slàinte!

 

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Whisky Review #46 – The Single Cask Bowmore 14 Years Old

Bowmore, oh Bowmore…it has such an interesting history that we could wax lyrical about its 1960s to 1980s bottles. Although things changed in the 1990s for no apparent reason, we are guessing that it was due to some teething issues when Suntory took over the distillery. The merry news is that Bowmore bounced back to its heydeys in the 2000s and is once again, producing great whisky.

This bottle of Bowmore 14 years old by The Single Cask (TSC) is distilled in 2001 and bottled in 2016. An interesting note about this bottle is the exclusivity. Only 90 bottles are realised from HALF of cask 31931 because the cask actually belonged to someone else (another independent bottler) and they refused to sell all of it to TSC. Well, TSC took whatever they can, and this is the result of their exceptional selection.

Let’s jump to the review!

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Amber
ABV: 50%

Nose: The first nose is that of heavenly smoked bacon. Oh, that smell literally sends you tingles of happiness! White peppers and hints of sweet citrus follow after. A few minutes wait reveals some sea salt that blends so well with the smoked bacon. (18/20)

Palate: The entry is made of smoky citrus – lemony, orangey taste. Slight hints of sea salt followed by white pepper. The smokiness brings along some form of savoury meat (think: smoked bacon) and the blend of salt, pepper and meat makes this a complex and flavourful drink. (18/20)

Finish: The finish is long and full of pleasant peat and smoke. The peat is not overwhelming but instead, stays on the palate pleasantly just like a warm fire in winter. The smokiness lingers very long before it disappears altogether. (18/20)

Body: This is an exceptional whisky with a good, complex body. The balance between the nose, palate and finish is exquisite and definitely not something that you will come across regularly. Compared to the official bottling (OB) of Bowmore, this is something that appears to outdo some of them. (37/40)

Total Score: 91/100

Comments:

Geek Flora: “This whisky blew me away. Not a fan of peat and smoke, I was at first doubtful about the Bowmore. I was sold after the first nose of smoked bacon, and when the complexity of the whisky revealed itself, I was convinced that this is one of the best Bowmore I have ever drunk. Interestingly, many people shared my interest and the whisky has flown off the shelves at TSC. Only 3 bottles are left, and they are not for sale. If you are keen to get your hands on it, the Master of Malt still has one left, as of 02 October 2017. Do remember that it is from cask 31931.” 

 

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Whisky Review #45 – The Single Cask Glen Garioch 19 Years Old

This bottle of Glen Garioch is the most potent whisky ever bottled at The Single Cask (TSC)! Distilled in 1995, it was bottled 19 years later in 2014 at an ABV of 62.7%! Shocking! It is called the “Iron Fist in a velvet glove” because of the intense kick of the alcohol.

John and Alexander Manson founded Glen Garioch in 1797. It survived all these years, through the two world wars, economic regression and went through all the hardships even when others failed. It is the oldest distillery in Scotland. Beam Suntory is the current owner of Glen Garioch.

Let’s go into the review proper.

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Bright Gold
ABV: 62.7%

Nose: The first nose is nothing but alcohol as the abv of 62.7% gets in the way. After a few minutes, the nose reveals some tropical fruitiness that smells like apricots. Crème brûlée hovers in the background for a short while before the spice comes kicking back in from the background. More time is needed to discover some oakiness and bits of lemons. (17/20)

Palate: The spice from the high ABV hits the palate in full battle gear, knocking the senses out. Citrus notes of lemon come in after the spice finishes the attack. Notes of crème brûlée fade in and out with raw honey coming in towards the end. After a few minutes of aeration, the spice recedes into the background. The citrus becomes more pronounced and the raw honey is full on the palate. Hints of apricots linger in the background. (18/20)

Finish: The finish is medium to long with honey spice and vanilla ice cream at the end. (16/20)

Body: This expression is well-balanced even with the high abv. Although it is on the spicy side, it is understandable considering the high alcohol content. The citrus and honey are perfectly well mixed on both the palate and finish. (33/40)

Total Score: 84/100

Comments:

Geek Choc: “The intense alcohol on the nose initially puts me off, but the palate and finish save the day. When taken together, this is a well-balanced whisky even in all its intensity. You will need some patience with this and I suggest that you do not put any water into it. Water opens up the spice and overshadows the rest of the flavours in the whisky.”

 

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Whisky Review #44 – The Single Cask Balmenach 12 Years Old

Balmenach Distillery is not a well-known one considering its links to the blending houses. In the 1800s, the distillery was one of the many illicit distilleries in Scotland. James McGregor founded the Balmenach Distillery officially in 1824 after he obtained a license. The McGregor family sold the distillery in 1992 and it was mothballed in 1993 by its new owners. Inver House Distillers bought the distillery in 1998 and the first distillate of Balmenach was produced in March 1998. The distillery provides blending houses with whisky and hardly ever bottle their own single malt. However, rumours have it that we might see something from Balmenach in 2018. The distillery also produces the popular Caorunn Gin on its premises.

Balmenach distillery uses worm tubs for distillation, which makes their whisky sulphuric. Worm tubs make use of 100m long copper coiling submerge in water for distillate to pass through. While copper usually “purify” the sulphur in the distillate, worm tubs make it harder for the copper to perform “their duties” as they have to clean the water too. That results in a new spirit that still contains sulphur.

Let’s move on to the review now.

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep Gold
ABV: 50%

Nose: Hmm…the first nose reminds me of Juicy Fruits – the popular chewing gum flavour from Wrigley’s. Sweet bananas, cherry liquorice and cotton candy blend together to create a pleasant nose. Hints of savoury meats (roast pork) and spices linger in the background. (18/20)

Palate: The entry is full of butterscotch and banana, but the spice that is promised in the nose is also on the forefront. The blend of sweet and spice makes a good balance on the palate, making it a relatively easy drink even at 50% abv. (17/20)

Finish: A long finish that is spicy with some sulphuric notes. The sulphur becomes extremely distinguished if water is taken when the whisky is still lingering in the mouth. (17/20)

Body: A superb well-balanced expression that impresses me with its quality mix of sweet and spice. The palate delivers what the nose promises and the finish does not disappoint. (35/40)

Total Score: 87/100

Comments:

Geek Flora: “This whisky brings me back to my childhood where I chewed on Juicy Fruits gums for hours even after the flavours were gone. Putting my sentiments aside, I think this whisky is a great dram as it makes a good balance on the nose, palate and finish. If you are thinking of buying your next whisky bottle, do consider this one!”

 

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Exciting New Event: The Single Cask x Whisky Butler Tasting Session

The Single Cask Singapore (TSC) and Whisky Butler are collaborating once again to showcase exquisite spirits! This exciting event is, of course, hosted by our friendly neighbour – TSC and is happening on 30 September 2017!

What Can You Expect?

You will be taken on an exciting journey through 4 regions in Scotland before taking a flight to South America in this tasting session. TSC sourced and hand-picked every expression from a single barrel, so, each of them promised to be full of characters and flavours. Imagine the treat you will be in for!

What Should You Look Forward to?

You can look forward to taste the following whiskies:

  1. Highlands – TSC Glen Garioch 1995 (19 Years Old)
  2. Speyside – TSC Balmenach 2003 (12 Years Old)
  3. Islands – TSC Tobermory 1994 (22 Years Old)
  4. Islay – TSC Bowmore 2001 (14 Years Old)
  5. South America – TSC Diamond Rum 2004 (12 Years Old)

The Important Dates and Times:

When: 30 September 2017, Saturday
Where: The Single Cask, 30 Victoria Street, CHIJMES, #01-25
Time: First Session: 4pm to 6pm; Second Session: 7pm to 9pm

Tickets can be bought from TSC Website or Whisky Butler! Alternatively, you can try your luck by doing a walk-in. We encourage you to buy your tickets first to avoid disappointment!

How to Get to The Single Cask

We know that some patrons find it difficult to locate The Single Cask within CHIJMES. To help everyone find this cosy bar easily, we have come up with the directions below.

  1. From Carlton Hotel: Cross the road and locate the entrance to CHIJMES. Walk down the stairs, turn right and you will be at the door of TSC.
  2. From City Hall MRT: Locate Brotzeit and cross the road from there to CHIJMES. Once you reach CHIJMES, walk straight pass Toast Box and go all the way to the end. TSC will be right there.
  3. By Taxi/Grab/Uber: At the entrance of CHIJMES (near the church), walk straight from Caldwell House and turn left (follow the pavement). You will see Gyu Kaku at the end. TSC is just opposite the restaurant.

 

The Single Cask – An Introduction to an Independent Bottler’s Bar

Picture Credits: WhiskyGeeks

The Single Cask (TSC) is a boutique whisky bar located at the charming Caldwell House in CHIJMES. Almost hidden by a spiral staircase right outside its doors, this cosy place is not your typical whisky bar. TSC dedicates itself to whisky lovers in Singapore and around the world with the motto of “by enthusiast, for enthusiast”.

History of The Single Cask

Ben Curtis founded TSC as a brand  in 2010 with only 4 casks. He spent the next 5 years looking for the right casks and distilleries for his bar. TSC opened its first bar in September 2015 in Singapore. The second bar opened in March 2017 in Stamford, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.

The Single Cask Singapore

Despite its short history, TSC won the hearts of many whisky enthusiasts in Singapore. Returning patrons walk through their doors on a regular basis. The bar stocks a range of more than 350 different labels. Most of these labels are independently bottled and drawn from a single cask. The brand also has its own range of independent bottling which showcases single cask expressions from Scotland, England, USA and Guyana.

Speciality of The Single Cask

Picture Credits: WhiskyGeeks

TSC specialises in single cask Scotch whisky and commits itself to source for only the best. The company supports and represents a number of family owned distilleries and independent bottlers. As an independent bottler, TSC takes care to select whisky casks that are unique and interesting. These casks are then bottled under their own whisky label “The Single Cask”. Patrons visiting the bar can have a dram of these beautiful expressions. If they like it, visitors can buy a bottle to bring home for their own private enjoyment.

Who is Who at The Single Cask

Ben Curtis: As you already know, Ben Curtis is the boss of TSC. He is the “whisky daddy” as he is the oldest in the team and knows the most about whisky and spirits. As a man who is in this trade for more than 2 decades, he has rightly earned the rights to be a “daddy” of whisky.

Brendan Pillai: Brendan is the bar manager of TSC Singapore. As a fellow whisky geek, he is considered the resident expert at the Singapore bar. Brendan also shares his knowledge through his blog, WhiskyMate.

What does The Single Cask offer its patrons?

TSC inclines towards independent bottlers and lesser-known distilleries due to their own experiences as an independent bottler. Within that impressive collection of more than 350 different labels, you can expect to find rare and beautiful expressions that are not found elsewhere.

Besides whisky, TSC offers a range of different spirits and cocktails to satisfy patrons who are not inclined towards whisky. Expect amazing cocktails from their “mixologist” as he creates cocktails suited for your palate.

Besides beautiful expression of whisky, TSC also hosts special events and masterclasses. It is also the first Whisky Ambassador accredited venue in Singapore. Patrons interested to host whisky tasting sessions for their friends or business associates are also welcomed. In addition, TSC offers whisky tasting sessions for corporates team building and networking events. Flexible arrangements and packages are available.

Where is The Single Cask?

TSC Singapore is located at Chijmes Caldwell House, #01-25, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996

TSC Stamford is located at 16 St Mary’s Hill, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2HN

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