Beijing: whisky tasting event

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Beijing: whisky tasting event

Postby cigarism » Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:48 pm


Companies make Blends; People make Single Malts

It's a rainy, fresh and quiet night, Single Malt Club, Palette Vino wine shop and Bar jointly invited Mr. Kelvin Tem who is not only the vice president of InterBev but also a qualified sommelier accredited by WSET of UK to present a single malt testing.

80% of the attendees are non domestic people, they are from different countries and all have great interest in it.

Kelvin started his presentation by quoting some single malt experts:

"'s marketed as a traditional hand-crafted drink...People's quality expectations are such that they expect a traditional product and industry.
They are buying a complex romantic dream, not a bottle of lemonade." - Graham McWilliams, previous Speyburn Distillery Manager

"Having a malt on sale does a lot for a distillery, we've always taken pride in what we do...there is a different feel about the place" - Malcolm Waring, Pulteney Distillery Manager.

And the most incisive point of view is from Stuart Harvey, the Master Blender of Inver House.
"Companies make Blends; People make Single Malts"

Kelvin roughly introduced the 6 single malt areas in Scotland:

Though each Single Malt is unique, those within the same area share some common characteristics.

And then the single malt production flow:

Here are the key points within the production:

Malt and Water
-Barley and malting conditions gives different flavours
-Different water means drastically different styles - will be elaborated during tasting

Use of Peat for Drying Malt
-Type and mount of peat, roasting temperature and time all contribute to final aroma and taste
-Fermenting in used oak tun gives unique flavours
-Temperature and time also determines final style

-Use of copper stills improves the formation of aromatic materials in the spirit
-Size and shape of the still, length, height and shape of the neck all imparts different characteristics
-Type and length of the cooling tubes and cooling time all affects final flavours

Aging in Oak Barrels
-Choice of types of oak, new or old barrels, what they have been used for, are perhaps one of the most important factor affecting final flavours
-Length of aging determines the balance of flavours impart by barrels

Finally Kelvin leaded the testing for 5 single malts from Highland, Speyside and Islay.

Speyburn: perhaps the most scenic distillery in Scotland

Speyburn 10YO
Colour: Pale gold with amber highlights
Fresh, clean and aromatic with a rich lemony fruitiness
Medium bodied with a delicate, fruity character and a dry, warm, peaty finish

An Cnoc 12YO High Res.jpg (16.44 KB)
2008-3-29 21:32

A boutique distillery representative of the young and fresh style among Speyside distilleries

anCnoc 12YO
Amber with a slight yellow hue
Soft, aromatic with a hint of honey and lemon
Fruity with a long smooth finish

Old Pulteney
Legendary distillery in the northern most part of Scotland, producing single malt which is so unique in flavour

Old Pulteney 12 YO
Colour: Deep amber, red golden (with a slight pink hue)
Nose: Medium to high intensity and complexity, dry with a hint of sea air
Taste: Dry medium bodied and smooth with a clean finish: faintly salty with a slight sherry note.

Local man John Ross founded Balblair Distillery in 1790, long history with new effort in single malt now a days.

Balblair 1997
Colour: Balblair 1997 is subtly amber in appearance with rose-golden highlights.
Nose: This full-bodied malt is fused with the aromas of pineapple, apricot and lemon to create a long-lasting sweet finish. On the nose, the American oak barrels used in the distillate's maturation, produce an inviting, spicy fragrance.
Taste: Hints of oak, spice and raisin combine with the sweetness of vanilla to create a long-lingering. Creamy and smooth finish on the palate.

Laphroaig 10YO

Laphroaig's peat bogs on the Glenmachrie Peat Moss and its water source, the Kilbride Dam, combine in the distilling process to produce the characteristically peaty and full-coloured whisky that features in the top five best-selling malts today.

A hint of sherry quickly gives way to the Islay intensity and distinctively oily body with a big peaty and smoky flavour. A round, dry and warming finish renders Laphroaig the perfect night-cap, but not one for the weak-kneed...

During the free drinking and chatting time, I asked Benjamin who is from Dallas Taxes where and what time he would like to enjoy a glass of whisky. He said he'd like to have whisky in bar, where the romantic music and flittering light matching the feeling of the beverage right on the spot, sometimes, he'd also have a few bottles at home, so that he could share those with visiting friends...

Leo, the manager of Pallette Vino were also in some hot discussion with fellows around, and all made warm and light atmosphere in the club. And, some of them have started pledging for the next party.

In the end,it was Kelvin's Lucky Draw, A bottle of Balblair 1997, that brought out not only luck but also happiness and friendship!

Original report: ... t#lastpost

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