Go On, Try A Single Malt Whisky: TheMaltManSG Musings
The deep gold liquid in the tasting glass glinted. The MaltmanSG could feel stirrings of excitement. A new whisky, a Renaissance Chapter One, from the fabled distilleries of Glen Garioch. The Highland distillery located in Aberdeenshire is one of Scotland’s oldest, established back in 1797. He longed to know what surprises the malt held. What wonders it would reveal.
Wonders? You might think, really? Oh yes, every single malt whisky has its own, and many have more than their fair share. Be it the colour, the aromas wafting in the glass, the myriad taste profiles, the ABV or alcohol by volume variations, the distillation methods. Even experimentation with the shapes and sizes of the stills adds its own complexity and charm to the whisky being indulged in. To The MaltmanSG’s delight, at the Dram whisky bar at Tipple and Dram, a fascinating selection of single malts waits to be explored. Have you tried single malts yourself though?
If not… here are six reasons why you should.
First, the taste. There’s a depth of taste to single malt whisky that spans and encompasses all its physical properties, from colour, to aroma, to texture, and warmth, but is much more than all of that. To find out what we mean by this, gently swirl the dram of whisky in the glass as you look at it, bring it closer. Did a whiff of tobacco, or vanilla or smoke get you? Now sip the liquid and let it roll in your mouth, linger, before swallowing. Breathe in. An explosion of sensations this simple act. No exaggeration in that claim.
And the range of tastes and flavours on offer is quite astonishing. Single malt whiskies are malt whiskies from a single distillery. No blending. Why this should make such a vast difference may be hard to tell, but it does, and The MaltmanSG is always happy that’s the case.
The Scotch Malt Society has a wonderful way of describing the taste profiles in twelve categories, from calling out a taste to be youthlike young and spritely to ladylike light and delicate to being gentlemanly old and dignified.
Whisky making is an art. Everything counts, every tweak, every change, big or minuscule has an impact. The great whisky makers enjoy the possibilities, and experiment ceaselessly for interesting results. For instance, the same whisky, finished in two kinds of wood cask, can taste distinctly different and lead to whole new experiential worlds. A single malt matured in bourbon cask, you’ll find, will have notes of fruity vanilla, whereas one matured in PX Cask will have a characteristic sweetness.
Of course, when it comes to preference, there are no rules, it’s always a personal choice. What pleases your tongue, your nose, your soul, is just right for you. And should you wish to talk about things single malt, The MaltmanSG hopes he’ll be around.
Second, single malt whisky loves company. It’s a great ice breaker, a good single malt. Many a deep friendship has been forged over a bottle or two of a fine uisge-beatha. Come over to the Dram whisky bar with business associates or friends, and make the most of this.
Third, low-calorie. Yes, that’s right, single malts are low-calorie drinks. Why? Because whiskies contain no fats or carbs, and sometimes no sugar even. The distillation ultimately reduces it to water, alcohol, and a whole gamut of congeners that impart flavours and aroma.
Charred or toasted casks, however, do contain simple sugars and this is transferred to the whisky while ageing. The longer a whisky remains in a cask, the more the sugar concentration, but even at the upper limit of extraction from the wood, the amount is really very small.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie alcoholic beverage option, The MaltmanSG will smile and tell you, look no further. Reach for a single malt.
Fourth, the mood. Walk into the Dram whisky bar at Tipple and Dram, and look at the bottles lined up on the counter. A joy to behold. For each one has a different drink for you, a different kind of enjoyment, even enchantment. Single malts, you’ll discover, put you in a mellow state of mind. You relax, you contemplate, you rejuvenate. And here at Dram, you get to choose from an array that’s not just vast, but eclectic too. There are malts here that you won’t find anywhere in Singapore, in fact, anywhere even in Asia. For example the Feis Isle Caol Ila bottlings, where there are only 2,500 bottles produced worldwide or the Erdadour Sauternes Finish Distillery Exclusive Bottling or a Lagavulin Jazz Festival Bottling.
Fifth, single malts bring out the explorer in you. You can feel the climes of far off places, wondrous vistas, without moving from your place, merely sipping your drink. And don’t think the malts come only from Scotland, or Japan, or another region a friend mentioned. With 35 countries producing single malts and experimenting with how they make their whisky so as to leave a signature statement for the country producing it, there’s a lot of exploration to be done.
Sixth, here’s just the place. The MaltmanSG must say, the Dram whisky bar is perhaps in itself a reason to indulge in single malts when you’re in Singapore. There’s that noteworthy offering of malts mentioned a few sentences up. There’s more. A great basement setting, food that goes well with the drink, fine cigars, informed and helpful bar staff, prices that are reasonable…
Ready to give it a try? Slainte!