Got caught in a crazy crazy rainy Klang Valley rush hour jam trying to head over to Souled Out in Desa Sri Hartamas from Sunway on Monday 22 April 2013 for the “A Very Scotch Affair” whisky pairing organised by Asiaeuro Wines & Spirits.
By the time we arrived it was close to 8.00pm and the place was rather full but the organisers found us some spots with two professionals who turned out to be lawyers. Very friendly lawyers though probably made so by the copious amounts of whisky that was going around. Nevertheless we made new friends and it’s always good to know some good lawyers in case you ever wanted to take legal action against slanderous liars
or get a divorce.
Didn’t know which whisky they were serving though but it tasted pretty good so we just kept ourselves nicely watered and since my partner and I were rather hungry we opted to order the delicious “Butter Chicken and Naan” from Souled Out kitchen (Souled Out has been one of my favourite restaurants since before they moved to their current location in Desa Sri Hartamas).
We were kept entertained by a jazz band and it wasn’t long before the launch ceremony was under way and concluded and the whisky pairing started.
The first whisky served was the Auchentoshan 12 Years Old Whisky (we had some trouble pronouncing this as it’s really quite a tongue twister, don’t believe me? Try saying it quickly 5 times!) paired with grilled lamb; Auchentoshan is the only Scottish distillery to insist on triple-distilling its whisky, resulting in a smooth, pure taste targeted at the modern man, as well as the whisky-loving woman. Very easy to drink and very smooth. The ladies at my table seemed to agree as well.
On to the second whisky which was the Glen Garioch 12 Years Old Whisky served and paired with grilled strip chicken with orange whisky sauce. For over 200 years Glen Garioch has kept true to the tradition of handcrafting a beautiful range of natural, non chill-filtered single malt whiskies, keeping more of the flavours that erect in the casks in the final bottle. Each member of the Glen Garioch family stands out as an individual that is unique in spirit, yet all united by a distinct house character of honey sweetness, hints of heather and the perfect touch of spice, close to cask strength at 48%. Woah! This was quite a powerful one nevertheless my palate could still handle it. Pretty spicy though.
Lastly, brand ambassador Gordon Dundus came over to our table and introduced the Bowmore 12 Years Old Whisky accompanied with fresh shucked oyster. Bowmore’s No. 1 Vaults, Scotland’s oldest maturation warehouse and the only one below sea level, contributing to the smoky peatiness of Bowmore making it a fine and balanced whisky that is a good complement to oysters and other seafood. We poured a couple of drops of the whisky onto the oyster before eating it and drinking down the juice leftover on the shell! Delicious! I’ve just discovered a new way to eat oysters!
Here’s a little info on the three (3) brands:
Auchentoshan (pronounced ‘Ock-un-tosh-un’) Gaelic for ‘corner of the field’, is one of Scotland’s finest triple-distilled single malt whiskies that owes its smooth, unadulterated flavour to the quality of its ingredients, the skill of the men who oversee the distilling process, and the insistence on time-honoured methods such as wooden washbacks and triple distillation for every drop.
“No other Scottish distillery insists on triple distillation for every drop,” said Mr. Gordon Dundas, Brand Ambassador for Asia and Europe, Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. “while this process is more time consuming and expensive, it is also absolutely unique in distilling away impurities to release the gentle, complex flavour of Auchentoshan.”
Triple distillation ensures that only the lightest spirit is used at each point of distillation, from the wash still, to the intermediate still, all the way to the spirit still. This labour of love takes Auchentoshan to its signature strength of 81% ABV (Alcohol by volume). This high alcohol content liberates a complex compliment of congeners from the still, dramatically affecting the character of the spirit which when transferred to barrels (at a strength of 63.6% ABV) results in a subtle whisky that matures beautifully in oak.
Founded in 1823 in the Scottish Lowlands, the Auchentoshan Distillery resides on the outskirts of Glasgow and prides itself on producing the most delicate tasting single malt whiskies, revealing strong notes of fruit and citrus which entice the taste buds of both fledgling whisky lovers as well as those well-versed in the appreciation of this golden spirit.
Auchentoshan Distillery is the only distillery in Glasgow, and produces 1.65million litres of alcohol every year.
Founded over two hundred years ago in 1779 by local Scottish merchant David Simson, Bowmore is the first recorded distillery on Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’) and one of the oldest in all of Scotland. Bowmore Single Malt is nurtured in the distillery’s legendary No.1 Vaults, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest and most perfectly balanced whiskies in the world.
The Distillery is the first of Islay’s eight distilleries and its close proximity to the sea plays an important role in shaping the final character of the spirit.
“What is special about Bowmore is that our whiskies are created using the same time-honoured techniques that have been passed down one generation to the next,” says Mr Gordon Dundas, Brand Ambassador for Asia and Europe, Morrison Bowmore Distillers Ltd. “Our No.1 Vaults are now legendary status, not only for being the oldest maturation warehouse in Scotland but also for being the only one below sea level.”
The whisky’s distinctive combination of the purest water from the Laggan River, its own floor-malted barley that has been carefully smoked in its peat-fired kiln, the finest oak casks left to mature in the No. 1 Vaults, Islay’s natural environment and a dedicated team of craftsmen together create the perfect balance for which Bowmore is known and loved. One sip and you taste the unmistakable smoky peatiness of the first Islay malt.
The Distillery is dedicated to producing the finest flavours for its whiskies and this attention to detail starts at the very beginning of the process – with the production of its own floor malted barley which is laboriously hand-turned by Bowmore Maltmen using traditional tools, just as how it has always been.
Established in 1797 by Manson brothers John and Alexander, Glen Garioch, (pronounced ‘Geery’) is Scotland’s most Easterly and one of the oldest and most endeared operating distilleries.
Situated in the historic Valley of the Garioch, the Distillery’s location was also named the ‘Granary of Aberdeenshire’, traditionally the finest barley growing area in all of Scotland boasting rich fertile land bounded on every side of rolling hills. Being built in a small valley (Glen is the Scottish term for a deep valley in the Highlands), Glen Garioch came to prove the saying, “from small beginnings, come great things”.
Glen Garioch Distillery is steep in history and for over 200 years has kept true to the tradition of handcrafting a beautiful range of natural, non chill-filtered single malt whiskies, keeping more of the flavours that are created in the casks in the final bottle. Each member of the Glen Garioch family stands out as an individual that is unique in spirit, yet all united by a distinct house character of honey sweetness, hints of heather and the perfect touch of spice, close to cask strength at 48%.
The maturation process is a key focus at Glen Garioch, and the Distillery places great emphasis on the quality of their casks as an essential ingredient playing a vital role in the production of the finest drop of single malt whisky.
The sides of the outer packaging also feature an iconic tartan design which is a respectful hat-tip to the beautiful tartans that have historically been created in this Aberdeenshire area.
More info available at:
Paradigm Mall’s Fashion Week 2013
Paradigm Mall hosted its very first Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Week which kicked off on Friday, 26th April 2013 with a fashion showcase by the Amber Chia Academy, featuring Amber herself, in the event hosted by Hitz FM djs, Jin and Natalie.
To my surprise the bar featured Grey Goose vodka (which to my knowledge is not quite so popular in Malaysia although it’s a pretty good vodka) mixed with orange juice to create a “screwdriver” which is quite easy to drink. My partner though being the wine-lover that she is opted to go for red wine. There were canapes going around but we had our dinner at Chilli’s earlier in the mall so just picked up one or two desserts.
Eventually the show started with the first segment of the fashion presentation featuring the Spring/Summer 2013 collections of Springfield, ELLE, MOG, Kitschen, Skechers, Tooba, Walk In, Adidas and Bossini.
Dayang Nurfaizah trotted up on stage and entertained us with her powerful yet soulful voice performing three songs and this was soon followed by the second segment featuring Red’s Revenge, US Polo, Payless Shoes, Elements, Padini, Squareroom, Brat Pack, Nichii, Sun Paradise and Voir.
The Paradigm Mall Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Week takes place between 26th April to 3rd May 2013 at Upper Atrium, Level UG.
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Photo credits: Asiaeuro Wines & Spirits Sdn Bhd, Paradigm Mall, and author’s own