Auchentoshan shows up

Auchentoshan Single Malt Whiskey (ock-en-tosh-en) is one that has a low profile over here, which is unfortunate, coz i enjoy it. However, it carried out what was probably its first event recently, at BSC in Bangsar (WIP).

A bar popped-up

A bar popped-up

This is a single malt that originates from the Lowlands, and is one of only three remaining malt distilleries in the Lowland whisky region of Scotland. The distillery rests at the foot of the Old Kilpatrick hills overlooking the river Clyde, which runs through the heart of Glasgow in the West of Scotland.

The third still

The third still

Auchentoshan is the only Scotch whisky that is triple-distilled. What this does is that it removes more impurities for a cleaner result. It has an effect obviously, making it probably the smoothest, most delicate tasting single malt scotch whisky around.


The most well-known expressions are the 12, the Three Wood and the 18.

At the event, guests had the opportunity to have some fun – making cocktails! There was a pop-up cocktail bar with all the ingredients, tools and recipes needed to make several types of drinks.


Taste profiles for cocktails

Taste profiles for cocktails

The one i enjoyed the most involved the Three Wood (which is aged in three types of wood), called What the Kueh!? It also consists of gula melaka, pandan reduction, and bitters, plus a scoop of passion fruit. Delicious.

Auchentoshan’s signature smooth, delicate taste is something you can expect from their products.  It’s range of whiskies are available at several bars including Locker & Loft.

The session they had was a fun, interactive event; now if only they’d be more active with this brand…


Brain damage: 7.5/10


A classic malt tasting

Diageo ran a tasting recently of several of their single malt whisky brands, and it was goood.

Single malt whisky is a whisky made from only one type of malted grain and distilled at one particular distillery. Single malts are traditionally made from barley cultivated near the actual distillery. Other regular whiskies are made by blending whiskies made by different distilleries.

Session on

Session by Colin Chia, Regional Manager, Asia Pacific Diageo World Class

We started with Glenkinchie (ABV 40%), a lowland whisky (south Scotland). This is light and pleasant. Easy-drinking whisky. All day. It’s floral and delicate on the nose.

A guide

A guide

The Singleton of Glen Ord (40%) gives a caramel nose. I find it to be well-balanced, with some smokiness, mixed up with some zestiness, like orange peel. Not too hot on the palate, with a lingering, mild bite. It’s a winner among Asians generally.

Oban 14 Years  (43%) is a highland malt from the west coast. It’s balanced, but this is not a regular whisky. It’s complex, and bold. It’s got an easy start, a bit sweetish, and doesnt leave till late.

Interesting stuff

Interesting stuff

On the nose, the Talisker 10 (40%) is straight-up peat, but nutin too crazy. This one’s from the Isle of Skye in the west. To me it’s smoky and sweet, smooth and silky. The bite is minimal. Light and smoky with a hint of fruit. Not iodine-like, unlike many peaty whiskies.



The Lagavulin 16 (43%) has a pleasant, peaty nose. One of the easier whiskies among the Islay peat range, not too hard. There is a kick in the middle, and a little smoke left behind.

Up there

Up there

The final drink was the Caol Ila (43%) (pronounced “Cull Eela”, Gaelic name for the Sound of Islay). The nose is deceptively regularlr peaty stuff. But then when u taste it, u realize it’s a big-dick Islay malt. Tho not as much punch as the Laphroaig, it’s still got that iodine thing goin on.

Ben buzzed

Ben buzzed

It was quite a trip, tasting whiskies from all over Scotland. It’s pretty cool how different regions produce different flavours. If you view whisky flavour maps, you can gauge which whiskies would be your type. Enjoy!


Brain damage: 8/10


French Scotch?

Michel Couvreur is a range of single-malt Scotch whiskies. But it’s done in Burgundy, France, by a Belgian. Seriously.

It’s what i’d call a craft-liquor. Everything (including labelling and bottling) is done by hand, thus the quantity is limited. In fact, every bottle is signed by Michel himself, who started this business in 1964 in France’s wine country.

Cool bottles

He sources the raw whisky from various distilleries in Scotland, then ages them in France in sherry casks, in a 5,000-year-old village called Bouze, which is supposedly the origin of the word booze. Haha. The guy has an underground cave-cellar that stretches for two kilometres!

Luckily for us, there’s some of his booze available here now.

We had a tasting session. I was impressed by these whiskies. Obviously Michel takes a lot of care and pride, coming up with eight varieties. He personally goes to Portugal and Spain to select and book each sherry cask, showing his commitment, considering he’s already 85 years old.


The Grain Whisky (ABV 44%) is the most basic one, with a floral nose and a dry, lightly-sweet taste. Aged more than 12 years is the Overaged Malt (ABV: 43%). I found this creamy and a little smoky.

Also quite old (over 12) is the Pale Single Single (45%), with a tangy, in-your-face aroma, altho in the mouth, it displays a very well-rounded flavour. A crowd favourite.

The Fleeting Single Cask (45%) is aged 15 years. Aromas of sherry, with a light-tasting woodiness. My fave was the Blossoming Auld Sherried Over 17 Years (45%). It has a nose of wood and leather, and a palette of smoke, wood and sherry. Awesome.

The dark-rum colour of this whisky is because of its 17 years in sherry casks.

The darkest whisky i've ever seen/had

Prices range between $250 and $600. Well worth a try, especially for single-malt junkies.

With eight varieties, i feel there’s a whisky for everyone, but all whiskies by Michel are very drinkable and interesting in their own way. Great stuff.

Bottle caps are sealed over with hot wax

A video i watched showed the waxing process goin down. The bottle’s tops were being dipped into a bucket of hot wax by a coupla old aunties in what looked like a kitchen in a barn.

Underground shit.

Impressed by these unheard-of whiskies

Michel hasn’t bothered with a website or shit like that, since there isn’t much produced anyway. It’s sold mostly to cigar clubs and private customers.

It’s brought in by Luen Heng. Go get ’em.


Tasting-out Glenmorangie

Scotland’s best-selling single malt had a tasting session recently, which i totally enjoyed. Mainly coz i’ve never sat in one spot and tried the range that the award-winning Glenmorangie offers. Now i’ve got new good buddies.


It went down at The Hill, and pre-dinner drinks were Glenmorangie of course, which i had on the rocks. The fine whiskies were accompanied with pretty fine food as well.

I find Glenmorangie to be pretty experimental with their aging techniques, giving their whiskies different and more subtle flavours compared with other singles. In the ’60s they began using ex-bourbon casks when others were using sherry casks, and in 1996, they introduced their wood-finished range, utilizing port wood casks and wine barriques as final aging vessels. These styles are now used by many distilleries.

The first of three whiskies on the list was the Glenmorangie Original, the backbone of the range, aged 10 in American white oak bourbon casks. I liked this. It gives a floral-spice nose, while in the mouth, it has a short spiciness, a lil sweet, with a mild finish. There’s no tongue-bite, and has a hint of smokiness. Very good balance, to me at least.

A sit-down session

The Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or exhibits whiffs of vanilla. Taste-wise, it’s light caramel, woody, and creamier than the Original. There’s a persistency in the finish. But you wouldnt think that it weighs in at a fine 46%.

The Nectar is aged 12, with 10 years in American bourbon oak followed by time in Sauternes wine casks from France. This final aging is what gives this Scotch its distinct flavour.

Hot stuff

My first whiff of the Glenmorangie 18 Year Old somehow gave me flashbacks of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Damn. Must be some sort of craving that needs to be quenched. Hmmm.. (*hint hint* to Charles. Paging Charles Wright.)

It gives out sweetish and pleasant toffee notes. It tastes extremely smooth, sweet-sour and multi-layered. It finishes just as silky. It kinda reminds me of a very good aged rum, with a nutty tease.

Slowly matured for 15 years in the finest ex-bourbon oak casks, a proportion is transferred to Spanish Oloroso sherry casks for the final three years of maturation. Excellent.

I like. All three

I sure have renewed interest in Glenmorangie when it comes to drinking Scotch. Will certainly look forward to our next meeting!


Brain damage: 7.5/10

Related Posts with Thumbnails