I think I've told many people that I am not a whiskey person. But recently I've been converted. From non-whiskey believer to Single Malt (SM) aficionado. My friends has been encouraging me to try SM (not the Sadism and Masochism that you have been thinking about) after I told them about my dislike towards whiskey. At that point of time, I didn't realise that there was a difference between blended whiskey and SM. I hated Chivas for a simple reason - it smelled like cockroach and I can't take it without cola.
My first taste of SM was Single Malt Cask Port Ellen. Initially, I refused but then I gave in after much persuasion. I had to admit that my perception towards whiskey has changed. After trying so many SM such as The Glenrothes, Macallan, Highland Park, Dalmore and many others, I had to agree that I do have a liking for it. I have done trying the 12 years and if I have a choice (& money is not a problem), I would not look back to 12. So far, I've tried Highland Park 12, 16 & 25 and I must say that the 16 and the 25 was a better choice. Maybe 25 is too expensive but the 16 maketh a great drink.
Despite saying all that, I still like certain types of blended whiskey especially Famous Grouse. Famous Grouse or popularly known as "the burung" by locals, is actually a blend of a few SM such as The Glenrothes, Highland Park and Macallan. Therefore, it tastes a bit different from the usual blended whiskeys and its colour is just like the SM.
I had my first taste of FG in Dubai at a bar in the hotel opposite the one I was staying. In Dubai, liqour could only be served and sold in hotels/bars and you wouldn't be able to find it in supermarkets or restaurants. If you want to drink alcohol outside these places, be sure that you disguise your drink in soft drink cans.
The bar that I went to with my colleague and other exhibitors was like a bar in the olden day with wooden furnitures. The bartender and the bar girls weren't attractive at all. We were served popcorn. I've never had popcorn in a bar before! Everyone ordered a beer but I chose FG after seeing it on promotion. It only cost me AED15 (around RM14++) for a shot of FG on the rocks. In Republic (Sunway Pyramid), I think it's RM18.
It was a creative promotion. If you try all the 5 drinks on the dice, you get another one of it FREE! Heavy drinkers would love the promotion! The FG is a better alternative to blended whiskeys IMHO and the price wouldn't kill you too.
That's my cherry popped for drinking in Dubai.