About Deep

Alco blogger, ex-lifestyle/F&B writer for The Star

A great wine-tasting

I had a fantastic wine-tasting recently, which took place at Graze, Hilton KL. It’s very rare that i love all the wines at these sessions, but man, these were perfectly-selected.

The delicious award-winning Californian wines are under Treasury Wine Estates, and the session was guided by TWE Winemaking Ambassador Stuart Rusted.

The congregation

The congregation

We had several wines before and during lunch, starting with the Beringer Founder’s Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Refreshing & fruity in a citrusy way, soft, but rich as well. Clean grassy finish.

It’s for sure a superb wine, one that could easily challenge New Zealand’s sauvignon blancs. The grapes are from vineyards on the Central Coast mixed with those from the California Delta. I had to go for seconds. And thirds.

Come 'ere u!

Come ‘ere u!

It’s RRP is RM89, which is awesome value. Beringer has been producing since 1876 in Napa Valley.

After i got my late breakfast outta the way we had the Chardonnay. It was the Sterling Vineyards VC (RRP RM117). Again, the right amount of fruit, minimal dryness when it ends, and less oaky that the usual. A citrusy finish.

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Main course, NZ sirloin

A little tipsy by the time lunch was served. Food was awesome, as usual.

This was probably the first time i had a Cali merlot, the Stags Leap Napa Valley Merlot 2014 (279). Wine growers have faced a drought there for a decade, giving the grape richer flavours. As is typical of merlots, this one has a dry finish; however not the tongue-twisting dryness that usually puts me off merlot.

I’m more of a cabsauv kinda guy. We were served the Beaulieu Vineyards Cab Sauv 2015 (92). On my palate i got sweet berry. It’s also a little ‘leafy’, with tannin, but these are lighter flavours. Finish is velvety. Another excellent production.

BV_Asia CA CabSauv_750_nvThis was followed by an on-point Pinot, Sterling Vineyards VC Pinot Noir 2015 (117). It does a 10-month bid in American & French oak. The concentrated palate is rich with good depth and complex flavors of dark berries.

Dessert wasn't a dessert wine

Dessert wasn’t a dessert wine

For the finale, our glasses were blessed with the Beringer Private Reserve Cab Sauv 2012 (489). (ABV 14.9%)

The sifu for the day

The sifu for the day, kickin back

Their wines are near-perfect. Amazing stuff.

And understandably except for the Private Reserve, the prices are as enticing as the quality of these superb productions.

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I’ll definitely get my hands on some these wines, and not necessarily for special occasions either. Sunday breakfast should do.

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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The new Guinness Bright

Yup, Guinness has a new product out. It’s exclusive to the Malaysian market and called Bright.

It’s a stout with coffee, ginger, and lemongrass extracts. (Am not kidding.)

GuinnessBrightLaunchKL-Bottle Shot-PhotobyAllIsAmazing (2)

Green

Tried it cold, from the bottle. Definitely not a typical nor a traditional stout. In fact it’s quite fruity in the mouth, with little to no bitterness. I thought it tasted like a fruit beer or a cider, with the additives not really overpowering. Carbonation is light and pleasant.

GuinnessBrightLaunchKL-Crowd Shot - Media & Trade Partners - PhotobyAllIsAmazing

Al fresco drinking..

It’s an easy-drinking stout, and it can go down quick. ABV is low at 4.5%.

Guinness Bright is available in 325ml bottles and 320ml cans. However i have yet to see it out there.
GuinnessBrightLaunchKL- HMB MT- PhotobyAllIsAmazing

Some of the brewery folk

It will complement the existing lineup of Guinness Draught and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and will be a permanent addition to the range of brews on offer in Malaysia.

 Curious drinkers can who are in Trec can get a complimentary sample of the new brew at The Quad. Samples are limited to one per customer, from 9pm tonight (Fri).

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This ale was developed in a partnership between brewers at Heineken Malaysia Berhad and Guinness’ Brewery in Dublin, and is not available anywhere else in the world. The RRP off-trade is RM8.80 / 9.50 per can / bottle.

Next up is mixing it up with some traditional Banting toddy then! Might go well together.

Sumtin like dat...

Sumtin like dat…

 

Brain damage: 7/10

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Whiskey – the Irish liquid

Yup, not many know that the exquisite spirit of whiskey was actually something that originated in Ireland. But the Irish are used to being screwed, so Scotland’s whiskey is now more well-known around the world.

Initially distillation was used by boring early humans to make perfumes, but they soon graduated to produce better stuff, thanks to ancient Celts whose monks brought the tech back to Ireland to produce uisgebeatha (water of life).

Not a bird..

Not a bird..

The first Irish record of drinking waay too much whiskey is that of a chieftain in 1405 “taking a surfeit of aqua vitae” at Christmas. Yea, understandable. He OD-ed and died.

Till today, it’s the first written record of the existence of whiskey. Haha. Solid.

Anyway Kieran Crowe is a very-much alive Irishman who’s the brand ambassador of Jameson Irish Whiskey whom i met recently for a chat.

The Irish

The Irish

So what’s different about Irisch (i just made that up) vs say, Scotch? ”Well Scotch tends to be smokier. Irish whiskies are typically triple-distilled, makes it a little smoother. Also when we malt our barley, we don’t use peat to smoke ’em; we use heated air. That would be the main difference,” he says.

Cieran pretending to make a cocktail

Kieran pretending to make a cocktail

Irisch was bigger than Scotch for a very long time in fact. But a series of unfortunate events saw Scotch take over the number one position. “But over the last 25 years, Irish whiskey has gotten bigger and bigger, lead by Jameson.”

The unfortunate events include the Irish War of Independence and subsequent trade war with Britain which denied it access to Commonwealth markets.

Kieran says the worldwide revival began in a Brooklyn dive bar called Bushwick Country Club (not a country club), with affordable drinks and friendly staff. The bartenders there invented a shooter called the Pickleback. A shot of Jameson is chased by a shot of pickle brine. Gotta try it.

Owner John fixing a Pickleback

Owner John fixing a Pickleback

US is the largest market for Jameson, which takes half of their 5 million annual cases. Interestingly, 12 more distilleries are opening in Ireland over the next five years.

The second best-selling Irisch in the world is Bushmills, followed by Tullamore Dew. “Keep an eye out for Red Breast.” is his tip.

That's the delicious Scarlette O'Jameson, a cocktail with raspberries available at Locker & Loft

That’s the delicious Scarlette O’Jameson, a cocktail with among others raspberries, available at Locker & Loft only

How do the Irish drink Irisch? “Over rocks, with a little water. The younger ones drink it with ginger ale and lime.”  Ale & lime? That’s how i usually take rum!

I kinda enjoy Jameson Original. A good whiskey to be taken on it’s own, at anytime, and versatile in cocktails as well. It’s matured in a combo of ex-Bourbon barrels as well as Sherry casks.

Kieran leads a toast after the tasting session

Kieran leads a toast after the tasting session

Kieran also took a bunch of folk thru a whisky tasting, which went down at restaurant & cocktail bar Locker & Loft. Followed by shots of Jameson, like true Irish.

He however messed up big time and said ”Cheers”, but soon corrected himself – “Sláinte!!”

 

Brain damage: 7.5 / 10

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Guinness’s St Patrick’s celebration is back

Heineken Malaysia is bringing St Pat’s back big-time this weekend with a party from Friday to Sunday at Publika (Mar 17-19) as well in other states.

The Guinness team with their black juice

The Guinness team with their black juice

The launch party & media preview happened at this bar called Donkey & Crow (really). It’s an Irish-themed one in TREC KL. Food was good, and the drinks too of course.

The joint

The joint

Oysters too! Not like i eat aliens...

Oysters too. Not like i eat aliens…

So this weekend the party kicks early at Publika at the space called The Square, Sat & Sun from 1pm, and Friday from 6pm, with bands and all goin on. Yay. Day-drinking.

O yea Irish food and Guinness-infused dishes too. Lunch sorted.

Btw more than 13 million pints of the stout will be consumed in 150 countries across the world on St Pat’s Day (which officially is on Mar 17).

I don’t get it how i can drinks litres of the black stuff but my piss is still colourless. Where does the black go?

Sláinte!

Sláinte!

They be giving away 100 complimentary pints of Guinness daily at 17:59pm too! Event page here.

Festivities take place in Penang, Ipoh, Johor, and Kota Kinabalu as well.

Damn freeloaders. They everywhere

Damn freeloaders. They everywhere

 

Brain damage: 7.5/10

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