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Whisky Butler Special November Box

November has come around, and the jingle bells are getting louder as we approach the end of the year. With December and Christmas just one month away, there is no better reason than the festive seasons to wind down and take a well-deserved break.  We have found a great way to wind down – sampling alcohol from Whisky Butler’s monthly box!

The box in November is a special one because it showcases three of the most exceptional whiskies from America and one barrel-aged whisky cocktail! Well, that’s special, isn’t it? Do you remember our experiment from Manhattan Bar? We have shared information about the La Louisiana cocktail and the Sazerac Rye in our weekly updates, and now it has turned fruitful. All Whisky Butler’s members are going to taste it from the November box!

Here are some interesting facts of the four drams that members will get to taste.

  1. Port-washed Sazerac Rye 6-year-old
    The port-washed Sazerac Rye is the highly anticipated whisky in this box because it is part of our experiment with Manhattan Bar. The Sazerac Rye has been placed into a port-laced barrel to age for almost a month before bottling. We have followed the changes of the rye from six days, thirteen days and nineteen days. The changes had been incredible. The finished product is fantastic!
  2. Michter’s 10-year-old Bourbon
    The Michter’s 10-year-old Bourbon has got a complicated history, and that appears to translate to its bourbon. The distillery has made many firsts, including promoting a lady – Pam Heilmann – to be their Master Distiller. That marks the first lady to serve as a Master Distiller in a Kentucky Distiller Association since prohibition. This bourbon is a balanced, caramel liquid that soothes rather than excites. The well-coordinated nose, palate and finish mean that you could probably drink this all day long.
  3. High West Campfire
    High West Campfire is a unique whisky because it is a blend of peated blended Scotch, straight bourbon and straight rye. Inspired by a visit to Bruichladdie distillery, High West founders, David and Jane Perkins decided to create a blend of whisky that transpires both geographic and stylistic borders. The final formula has produced a whisky that is perfect for a campfire, or perhaps a road trip to nowhere.
  4. La Louisiana Cocktail (High West OMG Pure White Rye Blend)
    The last one is the exceptional whisky cocktail that is exclusive to Manhattan Bar. The whisky in this expression is the High West OMG Pure White Rye. What is unique about this cocktail is the marrying of the various spirits in a fresh American oak barrel instead of a shaken one. The barrel acted as a stability cask to blend the spirits and neutralised the jagging notes of each spirit. The outcome is a thick, chewy and sweet cocktail that is pleasing to almost every palate.

Such offerings do not come often, and what’s more with such exotic whiskies to try! As WhiskyGeeks are part of the experiment for the November box, we are extending an invitation to all WhiskyGeeks’ members to sign up for the Whisky Butler’s membership. The first five members to sign up will also be invited to an exclusive pilot tasting session at the Manhattan Bar.

What are you waiting for? Send your contact details to WhiskyGeeks at slainte@whiskygeeks.sg or PM us via Facebook, and we will link you up with Whisky Butler for the membership application!

 

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Whisky is brewing at Manhattan Bar!

We are back with Edition 3 of What’s brewing at Manhattan Bar and we are sure that most of you are excited to know how the whisky has evolved. After sharing our updates for the past two weeks, we are now ready to share Version 3!

Sazerac Rye Whisky

Before we move on to the tasting notes and changes on version 3, let’s recap the previous posts. When the experiment first started, we tried the Sazerac rye whisky as it is and after it was aged in the barrel for six days and we compared the difference in their characteristics. Then last week, we updated the changes in the whisky after 13 days in the barrel. Today, we are bringing you version no. 3. How has the whisky change after 19 days?

The whisky after 19 days

After ageing the whisky in the barrel for almost three weeks now, the whisky has changed its characteristics again. The cane sugar, floral and herbaceous notes come back to the whisky. It is now richer and more elegant as compared to version 2 at 13 days. The palate is fuller in flavours, with cinnamon cough syrup with sherry. It almost tastes like a sherry rye whisky now. Spice tingle at the corner of the mouth to complement the sweet and herbaceous notes perfectly. The finish is also fairly long now with sweet cinnamon forming the aftertaste.

Conclusion

The main difference between version 3 and version 2 is the richer, more intense and elegant flavours found in the whisky. Now it tastes like whisky again with its slightly more complex profile and the reasonably long finish.

 

Something is brewing at Manhattan Bar! What’s that?

Our members got first-hand information on what’s brewing at Manhattan Bar last Wednesday. WhiskyGeeks is partnering both Whisky Butler and Manhattan Bar to bring about new whisky flavours and new barrel-aged cocktails. After last week’s introduction, we are back this week with a short update.

Sazerac Rye Whisky

To recap what happened last week, Manhattan Bar has placed the Sazerac Rye whisky into a barrel as an experiment of creating new whisky flavours. We tasted the original and a version of it after 6 days last week. Now, we are tasting it after 13 days.

The whisky after 13 days

In comparison to the original and the previous 6 days version, the 13 days version is much easier to drink. The sweetness of burnt maple syrup and caramel reduce significantly on the nose, and the acetone is almost gone. The whisky is now milder to drink, and the strong flavours on the palate are beginning to disperse, bringing caramel cola and hints of strawberries. It becomes refreshing instead of overwhelmingly sweet. The finish becomes even shorter than before. Sweet cola frizz, slightly minty but also tannic, astringent and slightly numbing on the tongue, similar to the feeling of eating GP-prescribed lozenges.

Conclusion

The barrel has imparted different flavours and characteristics to the whisky while taking away some of the whisky’s strong flavours. Overall, the experiment is going well as we see improvements in the whisky’s overall profile. In 13 days, the whisky is already milder in taste and an easier drink as compared to the original.

What’s brewing at Manhatten Bar? Find out here!

We have been telling everyone that something is brewing at Manhatten Bar for a few days now and we are sure many of you are curious about our experiment! Well, let us reveal what’s brewing today!

Whisky Butler embarked on an exciting journey with Manhatten Bar recently to find out how the profile of whisky changes when matured whisky is put back into a cask for an enhanced finish. WhiskyGeeks goes along for the ride as we know that something amazing is going to come out of this experiment!

We discovered that there are 2 different experiments as of now. First, there is the Sazerac whisky, an American Rye whisky that is perfect for making the first American Cocktail – Sazerac Cocktail! Instead of making a cocktail, Manhatten Bar put this in a cask that held port wine for a week! Next, we have an interesting combination of Highwest OMG Pure Rye Whisky, DOM Benedictine and Mancino Rosso Vermouth that was married in a cask. As it is not pure whisky, the Manhatten Bar has named it La Louisiane cocktail.

How did they go? Let’s find out!

Sazerac Rye Whisky

Before we go into details about the whisky, let us share a little more about the cask.

The Cask

The cask is a fresh American oak that was soaked with a 10-year-old port wine for a week to allow the port wine to penetrate and soak the wood properly. Next, the Sazerac rye whisky is poured into the cask and will sit inside for 4 weeks. The cask has a volume of 13.3 litres and is specially made for Manhatten Bar in a small cooperage located in Minnesota, USA.

The whisky after 6 days

WhiskyGeeks get to try the whisky after it was in the cask for 6 days. In comparison to the original rye whisky, we discovered subtle changes! The rye whisky was sweet in nature with some acetone on the nose. It has an oily mouthfeel, maple syrup/caramel palate and is slightly spicy. After 6 days, the nose became sweeter, with sherry influence that converts into caramel and takes on a slight wood spice. The palate is more pronounced with the changes. Sherry influence is strong and reduces the original spice to nothing. It becomes herbaceous and slightly grassy instead.

What to Expect

The whisky will stay in the cask for 4 weeks and after that, it will be bottled for Whisky Butler. We will update our members every week on the progress and how the whisky has changed. The whole idea behind this experiment is to find out how a new cask finish can affect a whisky that has already been bottled. This should give everyone some idea of what they can do with their own whisky!

La Louisiane Cocktail

What about this amazing cocktail? Let’s explore!

The Cask

The cask is a fresh American oak cask of 13.3 litres, charred to #3. That means that the cask can give the liquid put into it a great amount of sweetness in layman terms. It is also made from the same cooperage in Minnesota, USA. This cask is not infused with any liquid before the cocktail is poured into it.

The cocktail right after mixing

The cocktail is amazing. The nose is full of cane sugar and sweet vermouth, and the palate reflects the same. It almost tasted like a whisky sour, but the different spirits are not yet fully married. The different characteristics of the 3 alcohols came out individually and are not blended with one another. The sweetness can be overwhelming for some as both the rye whisky and the Mancino Rosso Vermouth are sweet.

The cocktail after 3 weeks and 6 days

At this stage, the cocktail takes on deep sherry notes that blends extremely well with the strong cane sugar on the nose. Nonetheless, the sweet vermouth is still evident. The palate is amazing though. The 3 alcohols have blended well together and now the cane sugar mixed beautifully with the vermouth on the tongue. There is no spice at all and the finish is short and refreshing. The overall cocktail is also less sweet.

The cocktail after 4 weeks and a day

Ahh…the perfect balance of the cocktail finally surfaced. The nose boasts of a balanced sweetness between sherry and cane sugar. It creates a sweet nose that is not overwhelming anymore. The palate does not change much from the 3 weeks and 6 days version. The only difference is the vermouth giving out some sourish taste that makes the cocktail less sweet. It becomes more like a whisky sour but much more balanced in its flavours.

The La Louisiane cocktail is a completed product but we feel it can be enhanced further with some bitters. We tried it and it tasted even better. We encourage our members to take a trip down to Manhatten Bar to try this cocktail with some bitters! It is amazing!

What to expect in the next few weeks

WhiskyGeeks will continue the coverage of this experiment in the next week and our focus will be on the Sazerac whisky’s progress. There may be other whiskies but we are kept in the dark as well. We love the suspense and the surprise! We may try to arrange for a tasting session at Manhatten Bar further down the road. Let us speak with Whisky Butler and Manhatten Bar and see what we can do to arrange a session for our members. Stay tuned for more!

 

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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 Butler’s October Box – Highland Park

It is October! 3 more months to the end of the year, peeps! Isn’t that the exciting time of the year where you begin to slow down the pace, smell more flowers and drink a few more drams of whisky? Well, we are! In this post, we are introducing the Whisky Butler’s October box – one that is truly amazing.

As you can guess, October is all about Highland Park. Everyone probably knows that Highland Park released the first expression of a three-part series Viking Legend recently. Named Highland Park Valkyrie, it has received wide recognition as an exceptional whisky in the whisky community around the world. Singapore might be a little late, but better late than never!

Another special dram in this box is the Highland Park Bicentenary 1977 Vintage. This 21 Years Old is an old bottling from Highland Park back in 1998 when they celebrated their bicentenary! 200 years of history went into this bottle, so, except the unexpected!

The October box also includes the core range of Highland Park whiskies – the 12 and 18 Years Old. Known for their delicious nose and palate, these whiskies have been delighting many for decades.

Here’s a little more information about October’s offer.

  1. Highland Park Bicentenary 1977 Vintage

    This legendary expression was exclusively bottled in 1998 to honour the celebration of Highland Park’s Bicentenary. The important milestone event was a historic event in the Orkney Islands as it also celebrated their Viking past. This 21 Years Old expression received many praises from the whisky community and was sold out almost instantly. Today, it is a discontinued whisky expression and not available for sale. Whisky Butler got a special privilege to offer a dram of this whisky to its members as a special celebration of their lovely collaboration with Highland Park.

  2. Highland Park Valkyrie

    This is the first expression out of a three-part series of the Viking Legends bottled by Highland Park. The Viking Legend series is a tribute to the Viking past and bravery of the Valkyries on the battlefields of old. The whisky has won the Chairman’s Trophy in the 2017 Ultimate Spirit Challenge, scoring an impressive 99 out of 100!

  3. Highland Park 18 Years Old

    Part of the core range of Highland Park’s offering, the 18 Years Old is nothing short of exceptional. Its intense balance of flavour has won the title of Best Spirit in the World in the Spirit Journal not once, but twice! The 18 Years Old owes its successful to Highland Park’s 5 traditional keystones in their production of whisky. It represents the distillery’s commitment to skilled craftsmanship and their proud, Viking heritage.

  4. Highland Park 12 Years Old

    The entry level to the core range of Highland Park’s offering is the 12 Years Old. It is considered the heart and soul of Highland Park as it is the most commonly drank whisky from their range of delicious offering. The perfect harmony of smoky peat, sweet heather honey and rich fruit cake makes the 12 Years Old a favourite among many whisky drinkers around the world.

Whisky Butler’s members can look forward to 4 great drams this October, but if you are not yet a member, don’t fret! Contact WhiskyGeeks at slainte@whiskygeeks.sg or PM us via our Facebook page @WhiskyGeeks for more information. Alternatively, head over to Whisky Butler and tell them that you have been sent by WhiskyGeeks. Either way will get you a mystery dram on the house as long as you pick up a subscription package from Whisky Butler!

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.

 

Whisky Butler’s September Curation

September is coming right up! As we draw nearer to the end of the year, things are also dwindling to a slower pace. This is the best time to start planning for December holidays with a dram or two. In anticipation of the slower pace this coming month, Whisky Butler is launching 4 new independent bottlings from The Single Cask (TSC).

The 4 bottles hail from 3 different countries – 2 from Scotland, 1 from England and 1 from America. The differences between them are not just their country of origins, but their individual flavour profiles and characteristics.

The September Whiskies

1. Deanston 15 Years Old

Deanston 15 YO is a single malt Scotch from Deanston Distillery. It was distilled in 1997 and matured in a cask for 15 years before it was selected by TSC. Cask #1958 was then bottled at 45.8% abv under the label of TSC. As one of the 4 whisky choices offered to new members of TSC as a welcome gift, you can be sure that this is a bottle worth keeping!

2. English Whisky 7 Years Old

English Whisky 7 YO is a single malt from The English Whisky Co. It is a young whisky of 7 years and bottled at a high strength of 60% abv. Some may think that young whiskies are bad, but guess what, this whisky is not! Rich and flavourful, it packs a serious punch.

3. American Sour Mash 5 Years Old

American Sour Mash is an interesting whisky. It can only be produced in Tennesse, due to governance from the United States. As unique as it gets, this whisky is also bottled at cask strength of 59.7% abv by TSC. It may be just 5 YO, but it packs a serious tasting profile worthy of an 18 YO!

4. Auchroisk 21 Years Old

Auchroisk 21 YO is another single malt Scotch. It is from the Auchroisk Distillery that was distilled in mid-1991. By the time TSC bottled it in early 2013, it has been sitting in its cask for a whole 21 years! Interestingly, it is still a youthful whisky, with soft notes and gentle florals. It is an easy drink, despite the “advanced age”!

Find out more about these whiskies as we share the tasting notes in our next few posts!

 

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Whisky Review #33 – The Single Cask Auchroisk 21 Years Old

Auchroisk 21 years old is by far the oldest expression in this collection. It has an interesting flavour profile and is considered one of the unique whiskies in The Single Cask (TSC). It is also one of the four choices offered by TSC to its new members as a welcome gift. If you like this one, grab one before it is gone too!

Tasting Notes:

Colour: White Wine
ABV: 48.4%

Nose: Green grass and flinty on the nose, it reminds you of green bananas in a field. Perhaps it is also green raisins with lime skin. Some sweetness close to a lime custard tart formed as you nose it a little longer with hints of sour plum in the background. (15/20 points)

Palate: Umeshu with some pepper, it is sweet and citrusy like a lime soda before giving way to a combination of winter melon, guava, summer berries and peaches. (17/20 points)

Body: Good balance between green and sweet with pepper to add to its complexity. (30/40 points)

Finish: The finish is medium long with sweet and minty notes. (16/20 points)

Total Grade: 78/100 points

Comments:
Geek Choc: “One of my favourite flavour profiles with a good balance. While not everyone will like the flinty profile, I do find it unique and interesting as a drink.”

 

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Whisky Review #32 – The Single Cask English Whisky

English Whisky is truly one rare whisky which everyone’s got to try. The Single Cask (TSC) has specially chosen a whisky that is not from Scotland for this bottling. It is from England, hence the name “English Whisky”. This whisky is a fantastic dram to chill with even though it is only aged for 7 years. Do take note that it is a small release with only 249 bottles if you are interested to get one!

Tasting Notes:

Colour: Straw
ABV: 60%

Nose: If you like peanut butter and smoked honey bacon, this is for you! The notes of peanut butter with sweet corn juice drift up the nose before smoked honey bacon invades. Hints of salt and wet wool follow after. (18/20 points)

Palate: It is sharp and spicy with a big punch, as expected from the high alcohol content. Rich and buttery on the palate, smoky oak chips follows the spice before giving way to hints of toasted nuts and creamy vanilla ice cream. Gradually, it gets dry on the palate like a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. (17/20 points)

Body: Well balanced whisky with a punch. Sharp and spicy versus rich and buttery, it has quite a complex flavour profile. (31/40 points)

Finish: A long and dry finish with a pleasant hint of vanilla ice cream (16/20 points)

Total Grade: 82/100 points

Comments:
Geek Flora: “This whisky definitely lives up to TSC’s motto of fine-quality single malt. A complex flavour profile coupled with its small batch release, this is a whisky that should fly off the shelves fairly quickly.” 

 

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