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 Awards.in 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!
Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street,
Tel: +65 6337 2201