Whisky Live Singapore 2012
Whisky Live Singapore 2012 was a dram-atic way of starting the work week. Was pleased to meet familiar faces at St. Regis Hotel, and we set to work immediately.
My favourite tastings at this sampling session were both sherry casks at the La Maison Du Whisky station (also the host for this rendition of Whisky Live in Singapore): a Bunnahabhain from Islay distilled in 2001 for the Cask Strength Collection (Signatory) (57.70%) after being aged in sherry butt for 10 years, and a Strathisla distilled in 1965 and bottled in 2011 for La Maison Du Whisky (80 Mohamed Sultan Road, facebook).
Other bottles at the station (Glenfarclas Private Reserve 2003, a Ballechin No.6 Bourbon Cask Matured), including some LMDW exclusives.
Nikka Whisky: single malts – Yoichi 12 years, Miyagikyo 12 years. Blend – Taketsuru 21 years. A bit too lite for my taste, but then i eat sashimi mostly to provide legitimate for a wasabi high.
The Glendronach Distillery (Highlands) x kilts: Glendronach Moscatel Finish 15 Years, Glendronach Revival 15 Years, Glendronach Allardice 15 Years, Glendronach Parliament.
American whiskies were represented by House of Bourbon (Maker’s Malt etc) and Jailers Tennessee Whiskey. At the Jailers masterclass (replete with cheeky Jack Daniels put-downs), we were told that the composition of mash for the Jailers Whiskey was terribly Canadian, but there was much American pride in the Breakout Rye which was 100% American rye. The Forbidden Secret Dark Mocha American Cream Liqueur was a hit with more than the usual Bailey’s crowd. Will be available in Singapore come July, said the representative.
The second masterclass by Glenmorangie was facilitated by a Frenchman, because the distillery had been acquired by LVMH. But the whisky was all still made by the Scottish, he was quick to emphasise. Though not chill-filtered, giraffe still (with a neck longer than normal stills) removed some of the oiliness from the alcohol. In terms of smokiness, Glenmorganie was usually just 2ppm cf. Ardberg’s 50ppm. From what i can make of my scribbles: Original – 10 years in ex-bourbon, 40%, vanilla, sweet, roasted ground nuts; La Santa extra-mature – 46%, spicy, caramel, dates, raisins, walnuts; Quinta Ruban – cask used is obvious, dry, dark chocolate, minty, floral; Nectar D’Or – Sauternes finish, light, sweet, lemon, honey; 18yo – 15 years in ex-bourbon and 3 years in oloroso, roasted groundnuts; Signet – roasted malt, very light, new oak + ex-bourbon + ex-sherry. The representative was remarkably patient with two Indian men who, having no knowledge of whisky, asked if they added flavouring to the alcohol to give all the different flavours, and also with a young man who asked was a ruby was. Good form to desire to educate the public, i thought, in comparison with some other representatives i would meet later.
Also featured were single malts from non-traditional countries like India (Amrut) and Tasmania (Sullivan’s Cove). Detected the presence of some sulphur derivative (mercaptan?) in one of the bottles. Tried to get to the bottom of it but unfortunately the female representative at the table didn’t understand what non-chill-filtered was, and claimed that the seemingly off-taste was because the beverage was just to strong for me because i had used the spittoon. Her colleague joked that i must have eaten garlic for dinner and asked if i wanted to taste their other bottle which would taste of onion. Google was a better teacher – wonder if it was the anaerobically grown brewer’s yeast used together with distiller’s yeast that caused the surfeit of sulphur (Whisky Science)? Or inadequate distillation in copper (Scientific Societies, “Origins of Flavour in Whiskies and a Revised Flavour Wheel: A Review“)? Intriguing.
The Connoisseur Table – bottles to be admired, not drunk. City Nomads’ blind tasting experience.
Great fun was derived from how the organisers really went to town with the whiskies, having stations for:
whisky cocktails at the Bar Essentials bar and gin cocktails at The Monkey Bar;
whisky and cheese pairings (with artisan Compass Box Whisky and cheese brought in by Aequitas) – Compass Box Great King Street or Asyla with St. Nectaire Fermier, Compass Box Hedonism with Vieux Comte, Compass Box Oak Cross with Ossau Iraty Fermier, Compass Box Spice Tree with Mimolette Mitee, Compass Box Peat Monster with Roqueforte Artisanal. Most people only had a coupon for a single tasting so there were some good-hearted arguments about getting more cheese (and while the servers were distracted, others engineered a guerrilla flank attack);
whisky pastries. They were made specially for Whisky Live Singapore 2012 by Wong Joon Kit, the pastry chef for St. Regis Singapore, and they were excellent; delicate flavours with the textures were done all right. We spent a good amount of time here, err, for dessert.
Constantly amazed by the amount of enjoyment we can get from permutations and derivatives of a fixed number of agricultural products. If this creation’s amazing stuff, the next can only be mind-bogglingly better.