Headed down to Marble 8 in Kuala Lumpur on 12 March 2015 for the grand launch of FIFTYSIX DEGREES whisky. The blended Scotch whisky is the first product and core expression of boutique whisky producer and proprietor, 56 Degrees Marketing Sdn Bhd (“56 Degrees Marketing”).
This new Scotch whisky is a collaboration between Malaysia’s first female whisky blend creator and entrepreneur, Kristine Goh, chief executive officer of 56 Degrees Marketing, and internationally renowned independent Scotch Whisky company, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd.
Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd was established in 1933, and is now into its third generation of whisky making, having in its portfolio Scotch whiskies such as Glengoyne, Isle of Skye and Tamdhu Scotch whiskies.
The whisky was inspired by a sense of adventure, and borne out of fire, malt, water and the indomitable spirit of the Scottish Highlands. FIFTYSIX DEGREES is a smooth and rich new-age blend comprising of specially selected single malts and a single grain whisky aged in handpicked American bourbon oak casks and finished in sherry casks.
The whisky get its name from the latitude of the Scottish Highlands, which is well-known for its rugged beauty, clan history, and exceptional malt whiskies. FIFTYSIX DEGREES is at heart a Highland whisky, but blended with the Asian palate in mind, making it a whisky that is easy to drink, yet containing enough depth to make it a whisky worth savouring.
As Jonathan Scott, senior representative of Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd described it during the whisky tasting, “It is a drinking whisky”. During the media launch just before the party, Jonathan took us through the nosing and tasting of FIFTYSIX DEGREES.
The whisky was described as sprightly yet mature in character, a balance of top citrus notes with a rich malty heart, and bears a fresh and creamy palate with a mouth coating fruitiness developing with time.
“The food culture in Asia is generally rooted in the mixing of multiple ingredients to produce dishes of vastly differing flavors. As such, the Asian table is often loaded with an array of food and condiments to be shared among a group of people. I want FIFTYSIX DEGREES to reflect this almost communal aspect of the food experience in Asia. The best feature of FIFTYSIX DEGREES is that it can appeal to both whisky aficionados and novices,” said Kristine commented during her speech at the media launch.
The FIFTYSIX DEGREES bottle design incorporates a sturdy rectangular base to represent the relevance of the whisky making tradition to the present, and a streamlined angularity to signify a broadening out towards the future.
After the media launch, we headed over to the party which was graced by local celebrities and featured a performance by Dennis Lau.
FIFTYSIX DEGREES is a 40% ABV (alcohol by volume) whisky, at presently available on-trade through bars and restaurants in the Bangsar, Damansara and Hartamas areas including The Roulette Restaurant Bar, Naughty Nuri’s, Piggy Tail, Sid’s Pub, Chapter One Bar & Bistro, Hour Place Restaurant, Eight Gourmets Gala (EGG), and Castell Gastrobar.
Photo credits: FIFTYSIX DEGREES and author’s own