Boozepimps of the Month – Vincent & Michelle Loh

Boozepimp of the Month is a column that features respectable players in the alcohol industry. These are interesting personalities in the scene that have made a significant impact, or have the potential to do so, or would like to do so.

The Boozepimps for October are….

Vincent Loh & Michelle Loh, a brother-sister act. They’re part of the well-established family business called Tong Woh Enterprise (TWE, 1968), which is a big importer & distributor of booze – liquors, liqueurs, wines, etc. (They also deal in Chinese medicines n shit, but am not interested in that.)

I’m actually jealous of them. Maybe i’ll apply for a job there.

Most self-respecting alcos have stepped into their retail outlet at PJ New Town at some point. A spot for good value for most bottles. U can get a real good absinthe for $198. Loads of wines n bubblys too.

TWE works closely with key partners such as GAB, CCBM, Moet Hennessy Diageo (MGD), Diageo Malaysia, Beam-Global, Remy-Cointreau, etc.

Anyway, I call these two Double Trouble. Coz I always bump into them when either me or them are already high, or all of us are whacked, and of course we’ll strive to get higher! Its nice partyin with them.

Vince is a dude. Met him only last year, and I usually look forward to seeing him. He’s 30 years old, and is the business development manager at TWE. He used to be a designer. Designing hangovers probably. Besides drinking, Vince likes to mountain bike, dive, fish n surf.

I'd quit if i were you

Michelle,28, is the one I met first, at her event – the launch of absinthe in Malaysia. The blog had just been created and this was one of my first gigs. She’s TWE’s marketing manager, and is friendly and pleasant, and can drink. Good qualities eh? U wanna know about absinthe, ask her.

When she’s not drinking, she’s into gourmet food & artisanal drinks, and would like to travel the world to learn about others’ ways of life, and their eating and drinking culture.

Yea, who wouldnt?!

Anyway, here are some questions I had for them.

I: What’s it like owning a store/warehouse full of booze?

Michelle: It’s a wonderland to many, haha!
Vince: For me, is like a kid in candy land.

The evil absinthe witch nails a victim

I:. How many brands of wine, beer, liqueur and liquor do u think u have in stock?
M: A lot le, basically whatever you can get at a bar, we carry.

I: Which are you favourites among all the booze u got?
M:  Guinness, absinthe. Actually you can mix both and it becomes incredible! And champagne, but it’s a love-hate relationship this one.

V: Absinthe!! The most misunderstood drink. The wonderful richness of aromas; the taste of anise opens up the tastebuds to the other flavours. A very refreshing and interesting drink. But on the outside, i like a pint of freshly and perfectly-poured, creamy Guinness Draught, drank with its optimum temperature!! Aaahhhhhh

Watever. Show-off

I. Can u go to the booze section and grab anything u like?
M: Err… yeah.. It’s quite awesome.
V: No laa. We’re Hakka, every single cent counts!
(Am gonna hang with Michelle)

I: What do u like about your job?
M: Going to the booze section and grabbing anything I like.
V: For me, meeting new people, and the license to drink. There’s always something happening in this industry. Functions, events almost every day. I gain new knowledge of booze from time to time.

I: Nice. Any exciting stuff coming up?
M: We are trying to do more for Sagatiba, the Brazilian cachaca that we imported early this year; and we’ve recently brought in mezcal (the ‘tequila’ with the ‘worm’) from Oaxaca. Mexico. There’ll be continuous efforts to promote the 15-year old Scotch whisky, Morriston Gold. There’re few other projects in mind that we are very excited about, but let’s keep it hush-hush for now.
OK, you can tell me later!
V:  We’re also moving to a bigger office next year, major expansion going on, more staff, stronger sales force, new departments such as branding and marketing.

Tryin to cure a hangover

I: How has absinthe been going since u launched it in Malaysia?
M: It took us some time to create awareness and – I don’t like the word but – educate – people what absinthe is all about, its history and myth and how to properly enjoy the Green Fairy. We’re far from the golden era of absinthe during Belle Epoque Paris, but there’re definitely growing numbers who’re interested and eager to try absinthe.

Double Trouble went to the birthplace of absinthe in Switzerland (village of Couvet), where d ingredients grow

I: Hows the TWE-created liquor project going?
M: The new and improved TWE House Pouring range will be fully ready by the end of October. We call it the Rhapsody; the eclectic range includes basic bar pouring needs: Le Monde VSOP brandy, Symphony Whisky, Savoy Gin, Spry Vodka (pronounced as spree), Frida Tequila and Gonzo Rum. The range serves as an alternative for outlets who offer free-flow and promo cocktails, as the price is lower than most premium imported brands, yet the quality is still up-to-standard.
I: Yea, I hope its better than the shit some bars are still serving. How has TWE changed over the years?
M: As we’re a family-owned business, the tradition and skeleton management structure remained unchanged. However, with the 3rd generation, namely Vince and I onboard, we hope we’re making changes bit by bit and giving the company a breath of fresh air. Not to mention we are moving into a bigger warehouse with a full-fledged bar for demo and training (and drinking) purpose!
OK! Am there!
V:  My grandfather, my uncles and my father have put their lives into the business. From a small Chinese medical hall, mini-market to today TWE, a main player in the liquor distribution business. Now we’re bringing in our own brands. TWE is still growing, full of potential!

Happily enjoyin absinthe with spring water

I. How do u see TWE in the future?
M: Optimistic! As long as the authorities don’t make consistent efforts to put us out of business – our duty & tax for alcohol remains one of the highest in the world!
Yup. Go join Alcon then.
V: I think it will be a much more dynamic and organized company. TWE will venture into other businesses, and become an all-rounder company.

I: Cool. I really hope u guys open a bar. Your thoughts on the alcohol and drinking scene here?
M: We’re few years behind in the global alcohol and drinking scene. Most trends will only be picked up by here after being popular in the region for couple of years. Though we have well-travelled drinkers who know their drinks (thank u, thank u!), the majority remain pretty ol’ skool and still stuck at the open-bottle-yum-seng state. Hence, sometimes even though there are good brands available, but due to low demand and monopolization of giant companies, these brands come-and-go without being noticed.
Having said that, we’re a semi-developed market that carries great potential and the population still has money to spend. So, again, as long as the authorities leave the importers and operators alone, and actually encourage the growth of F&B industry, I think Malaysia will be on par if not better than our neighbouring countries.
V: Yea. Malaysia’s drinking scene is growing, bigger clubs, richer crowd, younger drinkers. Drinkers are a lot smarter nowadays – qualities of drinks is a MUST!

Absinthe pilgrimage anyone?

I: Agree on that. Some bar owners assume we’re all dumb, when only some are. Haha. Anything u’d like to say to the Malaysian consumers?

M: We’re working our asses off to bring you good stuff… and the price is lower now coz of competition, so drink more!!

V: It’s nice to get tipsy from time to time, just make sure we enjoy this wonderful creation responsibly. Jom! It’s time for happy hour!!


The blog lifts off!

Launched this blog last Thursday early evening. Was one helluva party. 20 bottles say so!

Don’t remember what happened between 12am and 1am. One of ’em D.I.A. moments (Drink-Induced Amnesia). Anyway, the post is based on what i do remember. If u were there, u can help fill in da blanks.

Guests could mix their own cocktails

Guests could mix their own cocktails. Hence the drunkeness

6pm Meet the lounge manager and discuss program & flow. Start set-up

Drinking starts. Thank God for the Early Birds Club

Some of the esteemed members of da Early Birds Club

Some of the esteemed members of da Early Birds Club gettin high

First bottle opened is a Smirnoff Black. Bar staff look at us funny. We had hardly started the set-up and we already asked for a bottle and start drinking

Make two welcome drinks at the cocktails station:

– 1) Kelapa Rock – 7 coconuts worth of mixers are ready

– 2) The Yeltsin Boogie ’09 – empty two litres of Smirnoff Black into a punch bowl, then add relevant mixers (minimal). Bar staff continue watching the fun, trying to suss out what kind of event this will be

Designated drink-testers get to work, & nod heads in approval. Adjust taste of d punch to make it go down faster.

Cocktail station is ready. Some very thirsty people around

Music’s rockin

Intoxication sets in pretty quick. Haha. The punch never fails

Go grab your welcome drinks!

Go grab your welcome drinks!

7pm Event ‘officially’ starts

Fadly takes up position at media/guest registration. I fix him a stiff drink


7.30 Most early birds are quite high. Cocktails going fast

Mix 'em up!

Mix 'em up!

8pm Kelapa Rock is number one drink for d nite. Sold out! Some fans wanna rename it Kepala Rock. Watever

Mike steals d recipe. Will have to kill him

Fadly abandons guest registration table to join d party and get high

La Clandestine absinthe station at the bar opens. Adian finds his spot for da nite

Some new-arrivals tell me that I look high. No shit

The right way to do absinthe is to allow cold water to slowly piss on it

The right way to do absinthe is to allow cold water to slowly piss on it


9pm Launch protocol time. Everyone quite blasted

MC says some stuff

I get up front and give a ‘speech’. Was quite blazed, so rock n roll speech. Wasted some booze on my crotch during speech – never hold drink n mic in same hand n try to sip

Pink champagnes are passed to all guests. I get a bottle of it. Blast the cork into space – blog launched!

Raised glasses, “Salud!”, drink

Launch sequence complete. Heavier-drinking starts

Pizzas n stuff served

'Speech' it seems

'Speech' it seems


Between 10pm-1am

Photographer down. Damn. He passes out for awhile, and gets his pictures taken instead

Various absinthe sessions break-out at the bar. Michelle from TWE busy getting everyone high on The Hulk – absinthe shooter placed in half a pint Guinness – down at one go. My buddy Adian hangs at the absinthe station all nite. As I promised during the speech, he did receive the event’s ‘door gift’ the next morning – a hangover

At the cocktail station, 11th bottle of vodka is opened. Lotsa mingle-mingle goin on

I’m in a hazy state of being, moving (more like floating) about all around d lounge. Bother the chicks whenever I can. Make them more cocktails

Open a 3rd bottle of absinthe –  alcos head to d bar like fly to shit

Drinking festival

Drinking festival


1am Launch finally ends. Seven hours of drinking. Everyone senget, including bar staff. Haha

Carry a body outta there. Dump her on the couch at our pad. Dont remember drivin home


2am+ After-party at our pad. Don’t remember much of this


3.30am After-party ends


4am Dreamland. A 10-hour party for me


One thing that was not done that night after the ‘speech’ was the Question & Answer session. Nevermind, u can ask your silly questions here.

A big thank you & salud to Shirley & Riche Monde for the case of Smirnoff Black one-liter bottles and some Johnnie Walkers, and TWE for some absinthe. Modesto’s Tao Lounge at TTDI Plaza was the right choice for d event. Extremely accommodating, great service, superb food! I only had to instruct the staff ONCE about how i wanted da nite to flow. If u ever wanna do an event, Camy’s yor niga ( Modesto’s – still the BEST goddam pizzas in KL!

Grand total of bottles i opened – 16 liquors, 4 champagnes

Thanks to all who helped, and Joyce for some pictures. And to The Star for the coverage.

Since everybody said they had a blast, will plan a similar-style party for the blog’s first anniversary. Or if dat’s too far away, 6-month anniversary, or my birthday in November. Haha!

A crowd of about 40 swallowed 20 bottles. Ruthless mafuckers! Well done and thank u for joining in d festivities!!

Drink on!

A couple of dodgy people tried to swipe an absinthe

A couple of dodgy chicks tried to swipe an absinthe but were caught and spanked

Dont know wats so funny

Dont know wats so funny. Dont know wats in d shooter either

The evil absinthe witch and her new sidekick at work

Da evil absinthe witch Michelle & her new sidekick Adian brewin sum shit

Henry hangin wit sum wimen

Henry hangin wit sum wimin

Eddy n Khang sharing The Hulk - supposed to down it, not share. Pussies

Eddy n Khang sharing The Hulk - supposed to down it, not pass around. Pussies

Dont ask

Dont ask

Feeding Joyce more cocktail, tho she's obviously already in La La land

Feeding Joyce more cocktail, tho she's obviously already in La La land



Brain damage rating: 9/10

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