That's the spirit! Fans of the dram spoilt for choice at WhiskyPLUS 2018

Young appeal: WhiskyPLUS 2018 proved to be a hit, especially among the younger fans. — Pictures by Ham Abu Bakar
Young appeal: WhiskyPLUS 2018 proved to be a hit, especially among the younger fans. — Pictures by Ham Abu Bakar

PETALING JAYA, Aug 6 – It was a day to remember for whisky enthusiasts, and an educational experience for those just joining the fold at the country’s biggest whisky and spirits tasting event -- WhiskyPLUS 2018.

More than 600 whisky aficionados thronged the sold-out single-day event, split into two sessions, to enjoy some 48 brands of whisky and spirits from top importers, distributors, and wholesalers in the country.

An interesting observation of the event is how fans of the dram seem to be getting younger, marking the appeal of whisky no longer the exclusive domain of gentlemen in their 40s.

It was also obvious whiskies are also no longer just Scotch treats, but can come from many other regions.

The Chivas Mizunara.
The Chivas Mizunara.

While favourites like Glenfiddich, Chivas, Glenlivet and treats such as Bruichladdich, GlenDronach, Benromach, Old Pulteney, Glenfarclas were the toast of the event, whiskies from India, Ireland, Australia and Japan were also eye-openers in their selection.

In fact, it was also a bold trip of rums, vodkas and gins from around the world including the Diplomático range of premium rums from Venezuela, gins from Scotland, rums from Thailand and craft vodkas from both Australia and the United States.

Akashi's Japanese whiskys were an unusual treat.
Akashi's Japanese whiskys were an unusual treat.

In fact, the appeal of such a large event allowed for the introduction of new spirits, unfamiliar to some – such as the Lower East Side Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and the 23rd Street Distillery Hybrid Whisky from Australia to an impressive array of single cask bottlings from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and The Single Cask.

Plenty of smaller and lesser-known distilleries were also represented, with labels from Ledaig, Aberlour, Hazelburn, Deanston and Port Charlotte all on hand, among many others.

Glenfiddich's 12, 15, and 18-year-old were paired with a selection of chocolates were a delight.
Glenfiddich's 12, 15, and 18-year-old were paired with a selection of chocolates were a delight.

WhiskyPLUS also offered mini masterclasses held by both the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Cigar Journal,  apart from the comfort and luxury of a VIP Premier Tasting Room with an exclusive selection of purchase-by-the-dram rare whiskies, some of which represented one-of-a-kind offerings.

There was also an indulgent cigar room, with an impressive selection of hand-rolled cigars, both Cuban and non-Cuban, with cigar experts from Trinidad Cigars and Cigar Journal magazine on hand to answer questions and guide enthusiasts and an introduction to the team behind The Cabinet, Kuala Lumpur’s newest cigar and whiskey lounge.

Spoilt for choice to purchase both bottles and cigars, WhiskyPLUS also had a Collector’s Corner, with a selection of 20 rare, old and collectible whiskies up for a taste and purchase.

Mocktails by Monin's array of gourmet fruit syrups.
Mocktails by Monin's array of gourmet fruit syrups.

With whiskies encompassing old bottlings, expressions from now-closed distilleries, private independent bottlings, and seriously aged drams of up to 43 years old, the Collector’s Corner afforded connoisseurs an opportunity to enjoy rare and old whiskies by the dram.

The Collector's Corner gave a chance for whiskey lovers to own their own treasured choices.
The Collector's Corner gave a chance for whiskey lovers to own their own treasured choices.

The Locker and Loft, a popular bar in Damansara Kim, also served up a tempting array of freshly made cocktails, including some using their own house-infused "jin" liquor!

The event, organised by TEG Media, was supported by partner The Whisky Bar in Changkat Bukit Bintang, which also handed out cash vouchers for its outlets in Hilton Kuala Lumpur  itself.

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