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Thanks to the invitation of Whisky Lover Keith Chong, one of Singapore biggest whisky collector who had amassed more than 700 bottles of this Sunshine Juice, I finally got to attend my first tasting session to introduce beginners to the fascinating world of Whisky.

The masterfully curated experience comprises sampling 5 carefully selected whiskies combined with an interesting array of finger food that included roast pork, ham, cheese, butter, crackers, bread, dried fruits and many other delectable finger food.

We started with the Monkey Shoulder.

The Monkey Shoulder is a superb blended malt whisky from William Grant, made by blending single malt from 3 different famous Speyside distilleries. A whiff of it stirs in your memories a heady mix of marmalade, cocoa, malt, vanilla & winter spice like nutmeg & cinnamon. On the tongue, it reminds one of toasted barley, cloves & butterscotch.

Video Credit: CNA This Singaporean whisky collector has more than 700 bottles to his name | Remarkable Living

Also known as the KGB malt, being made up of Kininvie, Glenfiddich & Balvenie, all owned by William Grant & Sons. This blend is created by a process called vatting, not mixing. The term Monkey Shoulder originated from the pain in the shoulder experienced by workers who constantly have to turn the malted barley over in the malting floor to dry it.

On the bottle itself, you see 3 Monkeys representing the 3 malts used in the creation. The result is a smooth creamy malty Scotch which is superb when drank neat or even over ice (on the rocks) and works superbly in whisky cocktails. This whisky is termed Un-spicy as it has been watered down to the consumer standard in 40% abv (alcohol by volume). Relatively inexpensive, this is a whisky that you can serve at parties & brand you as a more “atas” (classy) party host.

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” – Mark Twain

Second Whisky on the block was a Speyburn 10 year old.

This 10-year old is bright amber in colour, lighter in colour than most average whisky. This won a medal during the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits competition. Considered a classic from the Speyburn distillery, this whisky is considered one of the more affordable Speyburn range. It is aged in American oak casks that formerly held bourbon & sherry.

To the nose, it is gentle, with a rush of springiness in whisky form, dominated by lemon & oak. After a while the acidity mellows, giving way to an earthy honey aroma caressed by lavender. To the palate, the initially honey flavour reminds one of hay & oats with creaminess, and after a few seconds, you feel the spiciness tingle through the mouth reminding one of cinnamon & spices.

“My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whisky.” – William Faulkner Hic...

Thrrreeeddd Whiiss-(hic)-ky on the block was a Glenmorangie 12year old : Lasanta

The Glenmorangie is a brand not many take note of, being overshadowed by the likes of Macallan or Glenfiddich; until you sample the Lasanta; which in Gaelic language means Warmth & Passion. This 12 year old is sherry cask finished, meaning it started by first being matured in bourbon casks for 9-10 years and then moved over to Oloroso & Pedro Ximenez sherry casks for a finishing touch of 2 years.

To the nose, it reminds one of plums and baking spices, followed my milk chocolate raisin, caramel and toasty oak. A taste of it reminds one of tart raspberry that quickly leads to a heady mix of sherried dried fruits, with prominent hint of orange marmalade, toasted nuts & berry jam. Some might describe it as a silky smooth finish with oily orange peel, cinnamon and hazelnuts, rounded off by bitter dark chocolate.

“Whiskey, like a beautiful woman, demands appreciation. You gaze first, then it’s time to drink.” – Haruki Murakami

Heading towards the finish line, we were greeted by GlenAllachie 10 year old single cask. We were so fortunate to feast our eyes on the third batch of Glenallachie 10 year old cask strength baby. This is a super punchy Christmas Cake brew with a alcohol by volume strength of 58.2%. Created by the ex-master blender of Glendronach, this is the work of master whisky maker Billy Walker.

Billy has won many awards despite coming into market for only a short period of 2 years. This is known as a Sherry bomb that is not only high in ABV but sluppy and heavy on sweetness, due to the time it has spent in a sherry cask. A whiff of it reminds one of roasted fruits with crushed spicy black peppercorns, followed by a whisper of smoke.

Swirl it in your mouth and you sense the brighter note of apple and mango, followed by dried fruits and oomphs you with a taste of spicy ginger. The name GlenAllachie comes from the Gaelic Gleann Aileachaidh meaning 'Valley of the Rocks'. The geology surrounding the distillery is littered with Celtic runes and Pictish stones.

Whisky is liquid sunshine.” - George Bernard Shaw

Gracing the finishing line is this most ‘unique’ Whisky , the Ardbeg 10 year old. Think machine oil, thinner, paint, soot, antiseptic, medicine, burnt wood... simply indescribable!!! I let my loved one sample some from the bottle I ‘tapau’ (pack) home & she thought I was trying to poison her !!!! OK, let me be more ‘atas’ (classy) and use the right word. If you want to know what a Peated whisky is and get to know the Islay region, look no further than the Ardbeg.

Ardbeg is a small settlement on the southern coast of the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. Ardbeg means the Small Promontory in Gaelic. The most abundant fuel source for starting a fire to complete that task was peat, and as it burned, its signature smoky embrace washed over the barley, imparting those flavours straight into the grains.

Peated whisky is given a ‘smoky’ flavour by compounds which are released by the peat fires used to dry malted barley. Peat accumulates extremely slowly and bogs are often thousands of years old leading to peat being broadly classified as a fossil fuel. But get over that initial dislike, the Ardbeg is a phenomenal whisky packing powerful peaty deliciousness.

The Ardbeg 10-year old is actually a fav with many whisky lovers world wide. Produced on the Kildalton Coast of Islay, this single malt matures for 10years before being bottled without any chill filtration. If you like your whisky with a “chow tah” (burnt) smell and leaves a dark, smoky, earthy with lots of medicine for up to 45mins, then this is the Whisky for you.

(Sorry Keith, I tried my darndest and couldn’t even detect nor taste that vanilla... )

An interesting anecdote, in the movie Constantine, besides being addicted to smoking cigarettes, John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is also seen drinking "Ardbeg"..

“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”- Raymond Chandler

For those who are interesting to partake in this most delightful experience, drop this Kid a note, rate my article and also please leave a comment in the comments field attached to this post and I’ll be happy to connect you.


1 comment
22 October 2020
Thank you !


21 October 2020
If you want to sample some really unique whiskies, Keith is the MAN !!! Extremely well curated experience and this man can talk 2 hours without stopping on his beloved whiskies