Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More whisky at Auld Alliance @ Singapore

This is my revisit of Auld Alliance in Chijmes Singapore (1st post here). This is one place for serious whisky drinkers and you'll NEVER EVER get bored with the selection of whisky here because there is just too much for me to comprehend! And everytime I visit Emmanuel, there's always a new bottle somewhere on the bar top...

Joining me at the bar is Ervin from Taberna Wine Bar who loves whisky too besides his wines. This time, I was there in my sober self and was able to try more whiskies unlike the last time when I've already had some wines before adjourning to Auld Alliance. The first bottle that I wanted to try is none other than Basil Hayden's, which is an American Bourbon on my 101 Whisky to Drink list!

This bottle is actually part of the Beam Global Spirits & Wine family of whiskies. This is a singular bourbon that bridges the flavor of rye whiskies and small batch bourbons together. Aged 8 years at a relatively mild 80 proof, you can actually taste a hint of peppermint, notes of pepper complimented by slight citrus overtones, and a spicy finish. It's dry and delicate. Basil Hayden's can be enjoyed alone or in cocktails such as a Juicy Basil and Basil Bubbly.

The 2nd bottle of the 101 list is actually Crown Royal, which is a blended Canadian whisky. This brand is under Diageo and at 80 proof, 40% alcohol, it's said to be the best selling Canadian whisky in US. Hmm... When I was at Charles De Gaulle Airport, I saw this bottle and was tempted to buy it but I already had 3 other bottles in my bag! Oh well, lucky I didn't carry this bottle all the way as the effort wasn't paid off in taste. I didn't really like it. There's some caramel and oak with a very mellow palate. It would be better if it's drank with Coke! haha...

A very interesting whisky is the Rosebank 1991 from Gordon and Macphail's Connoiseurs Range. The Connoisseurs Choice is a series of malt whiskies from various Scottish distilleries many of which are no longer producing whisky. The Distillery was closed in 1993 despite being widely recognized as one of the premier distilleries Taketsuru 21 was crowned World's Best Blended Malt Whisky at the 2010 World Whiskies the lowland region. Only through independent bottlers, we still can taste the whisky which was once produced at Rosebank. This is a laid back style of lowland whisky which was triple distilled for extra smoothness. Don't be fooled by the light hue as it is very smooth, crisp and has some spicy and floral notes with a long finish.

This bottle of Nikka Taketsuru 21 was crowned World's Best Blended Malt Whisky at the 2010 World Whiskies Awards. Labeled as a “pure malt”, in this context it seemed to mean a “vatted malt.” Vatted whiskey is similar to blended whiskey, except that there's no grain alcohol in the mix and it's made from all single malts. And single malts are just a single malt whiskey, from a single distillery. Thus the Taketsuru Pure Malt is a vatting of different Nikka single malts.

It comes in three standard ages: 12, 17, and 21 years old. We’re here to drink the 21yo as I've already tried the 17yo. On the nose, there were a plenty of oak influence with notes of prunes and cocoa, espresso beans, slight touch of anise. There were some spicy notes with black pepper and orange peel on the palate. Definitely a long, good oaky grip finish! Simply divine...

So once you've started on Japanese whisky, you can't stop! I've been dying to try the Karuizawa series and tonight's the night! The more famous Japanese whisky distillery are Suntory and Nikka but that night I wanted my maiden taste of Karuizawa!

The Karuizawa "Noh" series was recommended by Emmanuel as I want to try one Karuizawa on every visit. This is a sherry butt from the 1995 vintage, bottled in 2008 at a staggering 63% ABV at 13 years old. When you sip the amber liquid, you can feel a burning sensation down the throat! I can take it neat all the way and thus settled for an ice ball for the rest of the whisky after a few sips neat. It's quite on the oaky side with some tangerine notes. I really recommend water to go with this or else you might need a fire extinguisher after downing the whole glass!

After I declared that I have enough for the night, Emmanuel pulled out this bottle and insisted that we drink a shot of this before I crawl out of this place! Since it was on him, I would be glad to try out the Solstice Benriach 15. Honestly, I think I had too much to drink and I really couldn't remember how it tasted like! Oops...

As you can see, I did have quite a number of glasses. Was actually quite spoilt as there were some whiskies I didn't like and I didn't finish them. But lucky, Ervin was there to drink everything! So none whisky was wasted in the process.

This is really a wonderful place to go if you're really into whisky. But even if you're not, it's still a wonderful place to hang out with vintage-leather sofas and a room for some cigars! You know what I really love about the bar?!! They serve roasted sheets of seaweed to go with the whisky and oh boy, the taste of seaweed compliments the whisky so wonderfully well!

Auld Alliance
Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street,
#01-08, 187996
Tel: +65 6337 2201


Sean said...

ok, here's something you can laugh at about me. the other day i had a glass of whiskey and a glass of brandy in front of me at a bar. i tried both and i told my friend that they both tasted alike. i couldn't tell which one was whiskey and which one was brandy :D

eiling lim said...

Sean: Ok, I'm trying not to laugh but you're funny! You need more practical sessions! Let's drink more whisky!

suituapui said...

Gosh! So many different types of whiskey! I only know Johnnie Walker, Bells, Chivas, Dimple...that's about it. Vat69, Black & White scotch still around or not?

CUMI & CIKI said...

hic hic! dunno how u stay so gorgeous drinking so much! LOL.. wish i could drink with ya:D

- Clint A said...

Good to see Japanese whisky, especially Karuizawa expressions being enjoyed in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

If you like whiskies there's another place in SG where you can taste and even buy whisky bottle to bring home at non pub/restaurant prices. They have more than 800 different variety of whiskies sold there.

Go down to la maison du whisky located along Robertson Quay in Singapore.

Whiskies I've bought there so far.
12 yo hibiki #interesting
21 yo hibiki #excellent
15 yo Nikka Miyagi #I find avg
15 yo Glendronoch #lively
12 yo Elijah Craig #pretty ok
18 yo Elijah Craig #current love affair, this black mistress burns a long time and all the way down on just a little sip.

Other whiskies have tried.
12 yo Glenlivet #for newbies
12 yo macallan # overated
15 yo macallan #over rated
12 yo Suntory Royal #good aft dinner
15 yo Suntory Royal #very hard to find but it's really smooth like cognac


eiling lim said...

Hi Paul, Yeah I know where LMDW is and I've bought some there as well. Good selection there!

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