Thursday, May 15, 2014

This NOG! is No Ordinary Gin!

Have you ever tasted something and it strikes you so badly that you think that suddenly you have to share this wonderful taste with the world?

Well... I did and in my head when I first took a sip of NOG! at QV.ID in Huldenberg during a tasting, I told myself that I have to write about this GIN and I have to bring it to Malaysia and share it with my friends.

Pic Credit to Marc Castermans

NOG! is actually the acronym for No Ordinary Gin and indeed the name says it all. What started as a joke among Bert Bruyneel, the person behind Asta Morris whisky and his friends ended up as a genius idea. He decided to marry the Belgian Gin and the subtle touch of the maturation in selected ex-whisky casks. These are no ordinary whisky casks. The casks used for NOG! have been formerly filled with single cask bottling of Asta Morris single malt whisky. The end result - a small batch premium gin from an experiment turning into a trend.

Bert Bruyneel showing his Rum bottling and Luc Timmermans

Gin is really hot, hot, hot in Belgium. All thanks to the successful cocktail bars like Sips, run by Manuel Wouters who also starred in the popular "It's Gin O'clock" on Njam! TV and also Appelmans and Bar Bounce in Antwerp. Even most Michelin-starred restaurants here have an impressive selection of gins. I must be quite embarrassed to admit that I used to only think Hendricks was the best. 

You can experiment with the various tonic and ingredients.

This first batch of his NOG! is said to have used a previous NAS Dalmore cask from one of his Asta Morris bottling. One would think, "wow... Dalmore and gin. How would it taste like?". I must say that the experiment went really well and the end result is impressive. Here are my tasting notes...

Batch: AMG001(1 of 415 bottles)
The Colour: A nice golden hue.
The Nose: Big hints of mint, lemon, grapefruit. I find it to be very zesty and the aromas are very appealing. It's indeed very expressive and sexy.
The Palate: On first sip, I get a sweet note, almost candy-like taste. It develops into something more woody and slight hints of liquorice too. Rarely I get to break down a gin into flavours like this as this is quite a complex gin with some layers and a nice finish. One can definitely appreciate this gin on its own, just like a wee dram of whisky.

 Great on its own or as a cocktail..

As I was writing this post, I am actually having a whisky glass in my hand and sipping the gin on its own. It's so good even if it's not even noon here. hahah... Maybe some of you would have known that my whisky company in Belgium has been incorporated and I am now bottling whisky under my own label, Eiling Lim and the purpose is to introduce more independent whisky bottling into Malaysia. In the upcoming months, I am also planning to introduce this special NOG! to my family and friends as this is really a gin to be hooked into. 

If you are really interested to reserve a bottle, just drop me a email at

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