The high-class single malt, Mortlach

A new single malt has hit our shores, Mortlach, with the official launch party taking place at a cool spot called the Glasshouse.

The mega-pad

The mega-pad

Mortlach was the first distillery to be built at Dufftown, Scotland, in 1823, producing high-quality, luxurious malt that is unrivalled in flavor, earning its recognition as ‘The Beast of Dufftown’ from whisky connoisseurs.

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The bottle’s cool

Guests refuelled at the bar that was cookin up three types of whisky cocktails, that had the Mortlach Rare Old as the base. Each of the three mixologists served up a cocktail each.

Joel, Shawn and Osmond were on liquid duty

Joel, Shawn and Osmond were on liquid duty

 

One of the welcome drinks

One of the welcome drinks

The three new expressions are aimed at global travel and the luxury connoisseurs: Rare Old, 18-Year-Old and 25-Year-Old, which were awarded the best malts in its category at the recent International Spirits Award 2015.

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A tasting was also done

The Rare Old Mortlach, carries Mortlach’s signature balance of sweetness and dryness, infused with the whisky’s fruit and flora notes; while the 18-Year-Old Mortlach sees an interplay of malty sweetness and balancing acidity, which is best enjoyed straight.

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Mortlach brand Ambassador Georgie Bell talking about the drink

The 25-Year-Old Mortlach on the other hand, is a complex mix of spices and dense layers of sweetness, with some liquorice coming thru. Surprisingly light and easy on the palate. All bottles are 500ml.

A little display

A little display

Guests gained a premier Mortlach experience at an excellent and impressive venue. The Glasshouse lies by lots of greenery, and the rooftop is really cool too.

A spacious spot

A spacious spot

Whisky connoisseurs who have the desire to have a super premium single malt may contact 012-299 0722.

They are also available at MHDM and authorized distributors in Malaysia. On top of that, they’re available in some 5-star hotels, speakesies and whisky bars.

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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Beware, your beer has a clandestine enemy

I learnt something new today. Keeping your drinks cold has another enemy that is little known – condensation.

While i always assumed condensation was natural and quite harmless, it’s in truth a goddam cold-sucker. The droplets on your glass, can or bottle, are actually the main cause of your drink warming up.

Once you grab a can or bottle of beer from the fridge or esky/ice-box , stopping it from warming up quick is a losing battle, unless you have some protection. (Thirsty Blogger post on booze storing systems and ice-boxes here.)

The important part is why. The researchers studied how much of an effect the water droplets that collect on the outside of the beverage — condensation — have on the temperature of the can, glass or bottle.

NOOOOooo....

NOOOOooo….

The effect is huge: the formation of those damn droplets sucks heat from the surrounding air, and delivers it straight to the drink.

It was sumtin i saw on Business Insider, an article called Science Proves It: Koozies Keep Beer Colder. Among others, the koozie stops the formation of these water drops, thus slowing the heating process.

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Koozies by huggaz – handy drinkers’ gear

Works for wine bottles too

Works for wine bottles too

Says study researcher Dale Durran, atmospheric scientist of the University Of Washington, “Probably the most important thing a beer koozie does is not simply insulate the can, but keep condensation from forming on the outside of it.”

I didn’t know that. I assumed it’s role was merely the insulation from the surrounding heat.

Will use huggaz koozies a lot more now. Haha.

A beer is typically served at 5 Celsius. With condensation, within 5 minutes it can double and warm up to 10 Celsius. Condensation is an exothermic process. Heat is released into its surroundings, in this case, the beer.

Liquid absorbs heat to turn into gas; thus gas (in this case H2O) releases heat when it turns into liquid.

condensation

Condensation = bad news. Gas turning to liquid and causing shit

When u see sweat on your can, beer or wine bottle, or glass, it’s no good. And the more humid the air is, the worse the condensation. And we have a high 80% humidity.

So watch out for that condensation. And if you dont have a koozie/huggaz, a napkin will have to do. Just make sure you don’t allow that evil condensation!
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The Star Factor Showdown

Heineken and GAB Professional Solution (GABPS) held this competition recently that picked the cream of Malaysian bartenders to select one that will compete in the Heineken Global Bartender Finals 2015 in Holland.

In 2013 our guy got all the way to the finals but lost to a local. Damn.

The Heineken Star Pour is a five-step process of pouring the perfect Heineken draft.

The contenders

The contenders

It wasn’t merely pouring tho; some bartenders indulged in some booty-shakin before getting down to business. Hilarious! They selected their own tunes to work with.

The three winners from the six were judged to be Glen from Mish Mash (Penang), Sean from Muzuem (Setiawalk), and Spencer from Publique (Penang). They will now have  a 3-day boot camp to prep them for the Holland finals.

The 3 winners with Hans of GAB

The 3 winners with Hans of GAB

GABPS is the training division of GAB, catering specifically to trade partners and front-line staff.

As Jessie Chuah, marketing manager, explains, “The Heineken Global Bartender Final is also an avenue for local skilled industry professionals to open their world to new experiences whilst competing with some of the world’s finest bartenders.”

Set-up was different

Set-up was different

Earning his stripes

Earning his stripes

The three judges hard at work

The three judges hard at work

There was also a Consumer Star Factor Showdown. Guests were asked to pour a Heineken draft as we entered the event, and four of us were selected to face-off on stage.

Serious..

Serious..

After two rounds against two guys, i won. The prize? Attend the Heineken Global Bartender Finals in April. In…. Amsterdam!

I was there last more than a decade ago!

01 GABPS Academy NF 2015 - Consumer SF Showdown Winner

Damn. Cant wait.

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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44 Pop-Up Bar

Hidden among the large newspaper HQs in Jalan Riong, Bangsar, is 44. It lies in a former printing press beside NSTP, the place where i got my first job in journalism.

44 is a specialty bar focusing on American craft spirits, ranging from rum to gin. I had a taste of these drinks a few months back in Georgetown at a place also called 44 (the same owners).

The space

The space

There’s whisky, vodka, gin, rum, craft beer and specialty cocktails. As these are small batch producers, prices range from $380 to 400 for spirits. However prices are nett, and the range is definitely nothing you will find anyplace else.

The menu features 5 specialty cocktails, tho there are many others as well. The Darjeeling Jungle Bird mixes rum Ragged Mountain, which is a dark one, with Campari, lime and pineapple juice, and lots of mint garnish; a bitter-sour ‘refreshment’.

Lil birdie

Lil birdie. The JB is a Malaysian classic tiki cocktail from the 50s

There’s also a gin mixing station for customers to screw around at, called Gintoxicated. There’re a bunch of herbs, spices, botanicals and fruit for you to flavour your gin tonic with. The tonic is fancy as well, called Fentiman’s.

A good deal at $35 (1.5 shots of craft gin). If you’re confused, 44 barman Erik’s your man, who can recommend flavours as well as cocktails.

The featured gin right now is Bulfinch 83. I had a shot, and find it light and not over-ginny. Easy on the florals and herbs. I built mine with juniper berries, rose buds, cinnamon stick and lime. Turned out pretty nice, with floral and limey notes coming through.

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Some colour to that

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The Bulfinch

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Special tonic

We also tried a few other drinks, notably the Coconut Gingerbread Daiquiri, which i thoroughly enjoyed, tho a lil sweetish. The aroma is awesome – like freshly-baked coconut cookies. Erik explained that this is due to his homemade gingerbread syrup.

Gosh. I can still smell it in my head.

Wild colour

Wild colour!

It’s made with Montanya rum (platino), coconut water, lime and dragonfruit juice.

I also had a Lynchburg Lemonade that was made with Bully Boy Straight Whiskey, a three-grain spirit. Unlike bourbon, it’s not too woody, and made for a perfect Lynchburg for me.

Specialty cocktails cost about 40.

The bar is set-up in a printing press, and some old presses decor the spot. Seats are basic and informal, and tunes are decent, with some funk goin on at times. Food? Haha. No such thing.

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Basic

Basic but cool

There's also Bakon Vodka; unfortunately no real bacon were killed to make this

There’s also Bakon Vodka; unfortunately no real bacon were killed to make this

If you’re confused on which bottle to go for, there’s a flight – 3 samples for $35.

Being a pop-up bar in a temp location, 44 wont be there forever, with plans to end in March, unless plans change. It opens Wed-Sat from 6pm. Might hit it again this Friday!

Will try to drive this thing out after a few drinks

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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