Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky

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The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting at Carcosa Seri Negara. Let's be honest, when I hear words like Single malt, Carcosa, Whisky tasting all strung up in the same long sentence, it makes my palms sweat. In a good way, of course.

I was the privileged one to be invited to be part of this event as Ciki was outstation for work. Poor Ciki, you should have seen the sms relay we had that went something like this.

Ciki: "Are you there yet? Have you tasted it? You like the balvenie thirty best? Is it good? It IS? Wow! Is Lemongrass drunk? Is FBB hugging everyone? Did you finally get to shake KY's hand? Woe is me ! Why am I not there.. ?! Wail... "

Me: "uh-huh, gurgle.. slurp.. gulp.."

The buffet spread prepared for the guests had been wonderfully selected. It raised our spirits but not as high as the whisky soon would.

Anyway, a big thank you to the organizer, the lovely Ms Marian Eu for the invitation. Without you, it would have been just another boring (sober) night with microwave dinner and a bottle of Night Train Express. But all joking aside, this was probably one of the most enlightening whisky tasting experiences I have had the honour to participate in, in Malaysia (I have previously been dragged, by my cousin, on a scotch whisky tour while in Edinburgh). Below are some of the things that I pick up on that eventful night.

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*some pictures courtesy of balvenie

The Balvenie is a unique range of single malts crafted by Malt Master David Stewart. Each single malt (like a human being) has its unique, smooth, rich character and no two are alike.

David Stewart whose passion for experimentation has set him in a league above the rest, uses different cask types and ages of spirit to add new expression to the balvenie range. Some of these single malts are rare and really hard to come by. One of a kind, so to speak.

What makes the Balvenie Unique?
1. They grow their own barley
2. They malt it themselves the traditional way
3. They use their own coppers to tend to their different casks
4. They have an exceptional Malt Master in David Stewart (but of course!)

As the balvenie single malt whisky Ambassador, Mr David Mair walked us through the processes step by step, I really began to see the complex systems and highest standards of quality control and perfectionism behind the making of this whisky.

We tried the 12 year old, the 15 year old, the 21 year old and finally the 30 year old.

So which one did I like best?

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Why, the 30 year old of course. (because with age comes greater depth of character, lingering sweetness and dare I even say... all rounded spiciness!)

The Balvenie Thirty (Aged 30 Years)
The Balvenie Thirty is a rare and especially fine single malt for which David Stewart selects only exceptional casks that were laid down over thirty years ago. By marrying The Balvenie slowly aged in traditional oak whisky casks with that aged in European oak sherry casks, David creates a rich, mellow Scotch whisky with unusual depth and complexity. ‘Thirty’ is bottled at 47.3% abv to capture all the signature characteristics of the balvenie.

Like I said, a gorgeous, all rounded 30 year old!

Anyway, to my common tastebuds, the balvenie thirty was smooth and mellow on the nose with oaky tones. When I tasted it, it had great depth and a slight sweetness. After I had swallowed it, there was a lingering spiciness and it didn't leave a heavy feeling behind in my mouth.

So, did I pass the test, Mr Ambassador sir? Have I crossed over into the land of the Whisky Connoisseur ? (Ok, ok, let's not let one whisky tasting session get to my head.. right I hear you!)

Finally, the all important question that you (who have read this post) would be asking. Where can I buy the Balvenie?

Single and Available,
G21, Ground Floor,
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre,
1, Jalan Telawi 1,
Bangsar Baru, KL.

Tel: 03-22834257

(Anyway for different opinions, photos, prolific banter.. kindly click on the Tastebuds/Whiskybuds of Lemongrass, FBB & KY!)


Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Ahhh Cumi, we had such fun that night......*long and lingering sigh*. We must do this again soon....

JENCOOKS said...

The 30yrs Balvenie must be as old and gorgeous as you. Lucky fellas to be invited; saw that whole table spread of food and castle like effect with chandeliers, must have been quite an experience. Poor Ciki must have missed it terribly hard.

boo_licious said...

Nicely written Cumi - I love the way you described the 30 years old. Poor Ciki since she had to be up north or else she'll be guzzling down the whisky.

backStreetGluttons said...

Sadly we never did get round all those singles , being confined mostly to those as yet unexciting already blendeds, albeit golden

sc said...

sounds divine! enriching and great experience i bet..

thule a.k.a leo said...

Ah... the taste of a fine whisky! Hmmm... I normally drink this when I go out on drinking session with my friends at club or pub!!!

Nic (KHKL) said...

i can imagine ciki's disappointed look up north..haha! well, i guess there's more reasons to call for another drinking session...ok, some siew yoke to go with it will be good. hehe..

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Awwwww....poor Ciki!! I agree with Nic, some siew yoke would be shiokness! =D

CUMI & CIKI said...

LL - yes. I wonder when the next invite will come!

Jen - thank you and the place was magnificent. so was the food and the whisky. it does not get much better than this. Oh you will be sure ciki will be at the next tasting!

boo- thanks! ciki was just happy that it's on the blog - really!

bsg - blend has it's place. so has the single malt!

sc - it was.

thule - you have expensive taste!

nic - correct. call us!

bangsar b - hmm, might be out of place in such posh surroundings.