Benromach, a Speyside special

Speyside single malts like Glenlivet tend to be my favourites. Typically, they possess light, sweetish characteristics. Lunchtime whiskies. The older ones and those aged in sherry casks however are richer and more pronounced.
Benromach is a tiny distillery from this region, which was once closed for a long time. Then it reopened in 1998. Nothing is automated at Benromach. It’s 100% hand-made single malts.

All the action in this 'house'

All the action in this ‘house’

It’s the second smallest whisky distillery in Scotland. It’s such a small distillery that only a handful of guys run it.

Stills... mmmm..

Stills….  mmmm….  full of goodness

Speyside whiskies of past had small elements of smokiness in them. This feature is said to be the classic pre-1960s Speyside character.

Before the mid 1960s, these distilleries malted their own barley. Hidden away in remote glens, they’d top up their fires with cuts of local peat when coal was running low. These slices were enough to impart a touch of smoke in the region’s whisky.

Hmmm. I didn’t know that. I have always assumed Speyside whiskies traditionally have a light and non-smoky profile.
However, the ‘Speyside smoke’ ain’t nowhere like the Islay one (in your face). The smokiness is very light, and not very noticeable.



Met up with the Juliette Buchan of Benromach for an introductory session.

The Benromach 10 Years (43%) is a mix of aged whiskies with 80% from bourbon barrels, 20% from Sherry hogshead. Final year is spent in first-fill Oloroso casks. Its beautiful taste of sherry, fruit and vanilla gives way to a light pop of smoke, coming after that pleasant sweetness that Speysides are so sought for.

Loved it. This is Benromach’s flagship expression.
We also tried the 10 Year Old 100 proof (50% abv). Just as interesting, only stronger.

The teen

The teen

The longer maturation of the 15 Year Old (43%) softens its smokiness to hints of charred smoke, while developing the wood-imbued character of honey, vanilla and fruit. Very pleasant, but richer.
As a treat, we had some Benromach 35 Year Old (43%). This exquisite dram is a lot more complex after chillin for more than three decades in oak. It’s a sophisticated, delicate dram, with the right balance between fruity freshness and oaky maturity.



This tiny family-run distillery by the town of Forres produces some astounding stuff. Will plan to serve it at Locker & Loft, especially the 10.


Brain damage: 8/10


Smirnoff Mojito

Yup. Smirnoff now has a range of vodka ‘cocktails’, one of which is Smirnoff Vodka Mojito. It comes in a 700ml bottle, and is a mix of vodka, Triple Sec liqueur, and a dash of mint. A very basic recipe.

I prefer mine with rum.

All set

Since it’s already mixed, firepower is low, like a strong wine, at 15%.

Others in this range are Tuscan Lemonade, Grand Cosmo, and Pomegranate Martini.

Nice ass

For lazy butts, and those who want sumtin that’s convenient, ready to go.  Good for a travel pack i guess.



Johnnie Walker Platinum Label?

Yup! And it’s great stuff.

Had some at Moet Hennessy Diageo’s media night at Vertigo recently. This is a super-premium 18-year-old blend, to be launched soon.

Session on at the media nite

The Platinum is primarily for the Asian market. It’s also time to say goodbye to the Green Label.

I tried a glass of this Scotch neat, and it was silky, sweet-ish, with a tinge of smoke. The finish was easy and pleasant, with an urge to have another sip almost immediately. That’s how nice it feels.

Jim Beveridge has outdone himself.

Cant wait. Stay tuned for the post-launch post.



Tres Generaciones tequila

This is a super-premium, triple-distilled tequila from the town of Tequila, Mehico.

It’s from the Sauza family, the people who bring us Sauza tequila, which is the house-pouring and cocktail base at Frontera Bar & Grill in Jaya One.

The last time i was at this Tex-Mex joint, i got blasted (tx to Kenny Sia) on some crazy Mexican chili called habanero, and tequila of course.

Ramesh of Frontera introduces us to the first of two Tres Generaciones, the Reposado (which means it’s aged between two months and a year). This one did four months in American oak. Obviously it’s 100% agave.


The bottle is cool, like some ol skool Aztec shit. Funny, i just talked about the Aztecs in a recent post.

It has a citrusy nose, while very easy on the palette. You can swirl it around your mouth without any facial reaction then swallow. It’s got a smooth, and a lil spicy finish. No salt or lime necessary of course.

Yup, a tequila that can be sipped. But as it’s the super premium range of Sauza, expect to pay 50 bucks a shot.

The other one is the Anejo (meaning aged minimum of one year, but less than three years).


The Anejo has a caramel tinge, but is less sweet and spicier. This one did 12 months in toasted American oak.

Frontera makes all its margarita from Sauza gold (which is 100% agave tequila), so u can be sure its good shit. And, rather than regular sugar syrup, the cocktail is sweetened with imported agave nectar. It tastes like herbally honey. Awesome flavour. Almost like a Ricola! Haha

And the margaritas are made with fresh lime juice. No cordial crap. A pitcher is 110++ (7.5 shots of Sauza).


Frontera has the $50 for 3 deal for Guinness etc all day. Happy hours is 5-9pm, where margaritas are 2+1.

There are a total of 11 different tequila here (including Patron), besides a wide range of Mexican food. The nachos platter kicks ass.


Brain damage: 7.5/10

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