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A few weeks ago, I was invited to my very first Single Malt Scotch Whisky tasting session at Carcosa Seri Negara. When I first got the email invite, the one thing that immediately came up to my mind was “is there a dress code?”.

As it turned out, Carcosa was indeed a very apt location for the Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Wisky that we were being introduced to. A very classy place for top of the line scotch to be tasted by the weel heeled in this part of the world who came with their fancy cars (my car was sandwiched between a Ferrari and a Porsche).

Balvenie Single Malt Whisky
30, 21, 15, and 12 year old Balvenie Scotch priced from RM 2000+ to RM 200+

Balvenie is the only distillery that employs their own internal resources in every step of the whisky making process, from growing barley to malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, to maturation process. Nothing is outsourced, and everything is still done in the good old fashion way. They even maintain the same copper stills by their own coppersmith of some fifty years.

Balvenie Single Malt Whisky, David Mair
David Mair, the Balvenie Brand Ambassador

Our host of the day was David Mair, the Balvenie Brand Ambassador who flew all the way from Scotland. Throughout the night I did learn quite a bit from about single malt whisky in general, and of course, about Balvenie.

  • In Scotland, whisky is spelled without the E (as in whiskey)
  • Single malt whisky is distilled by a single distillery in a pot still, using malted barley as the only grain ingredient
  • Scotch whisky must be distilled in Scotland
  • The 12, 15, 18, and 30 year old whisky each has a different process for maturation, keeping the 12 year old for another 18 years doesn’t make it a 30 year old Balvenie.

buffet dinner at Carcosa Seri Negara
the buffet spread at Carcosa Seri Negara

We were treated to a buffet dinner prior to the tasting session. Most of the dishes from the buffet spread was pretty good, not overly impressive, but not disappointing either. I vaguely remember that the salad prawn was excellent, but the motto of the day was to review the whisky, not the food anyway.

I joined Fatboybakes, Lyrical Lemongrass, and Cumi as the four invited bloggers to be among those who got there with their Ferraris, Porsches, and Rolls Royce. I think we were also among the most misbehaved.

Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Balvenie Single Malt Whisky tasting session

At the tasting table, we were each presented the four different Balvenie Scotch Whisky, the 12, 15, 18, and 30 years.

  • Balvenie Signature, 12 years – aged from finest first fill bourbon, then refill and sherry casks.
  • Balvenie Single Barrel Single Malt, 15 years – aged in only selected casks which have the essential characteristics of The Balvenie Single Barrel, with honey, vanilla, and oaky notes.
  • Balvenie PortWood Single Malt, 21 years – rare Balvenie is trasnferred to port casks, or pipes, which have held fine port wines.
  • Balvenie Thirty Single Malt, 30 years – by marrying Balvenie slowly aged in traditional oak whisky casks with that aged in European oak sherry casks. The Thirty is bottled at 47.3% abv.

KYspeaks, Cumi, Lyrical Lemongrass, Fatboybakes
KY, Lyrical Lemongrass, Fatboybakes, and Cumi

My favorite? Of course the 30 years old! The whisky is silky smooth with a hint of plum, chocolate, and caramelized pear taste that lingers in your mouth with sweetness. That said, I really liked the 12 and 21 year old too, the 18 though, somehow tasted a bit too strong for me.

It is also interesting how the taste changes if you drink it neat compared to mixing with half a glass of water. The water really brings out the flavor in a good way. Coke, green tea, or orange juice is not the mixers you should ever use for whisky, especially these single malts.

The Balvenie whiskys are priced from RM 200+ for the 12 year old to RM 2000+ for the flagship product. Since the 12 year old is still perfectly drinkable after tasting the excellent 30, I think I shall start from there.

Single and Available,
G21, Ground Floor,
Bangsar Village Shopping Centre,
1, Jalan Telawi 1,
Bangsar Baru, KL.

Discuss : Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky at Carcosa Seri Negara

  1. Balvenie is nice 🙂 I actually like putting ice in often, as sometimes the whisky is a bit too warm with the climate here.

    I was told that when whisky is spelt whiskey, it means it’s Irish whiskey.

  2. julian,
    And American too spelled it whiskey, yah, ice is good too as it’s made out of nothing but water. 😀

  3. hrmm, never heard of the brand b4, but i usually think whiskey tat are older taste much nicer~ sure wonder how the 30 years old taste like

  4. Looks good, will look out for it next time I’m duty free shopping.

  5. OOh…someone is drinking single malts now! I like Balvenie. Although it’s quite peaty but it’s smooth. Next time, take a sip neat and then deink it on the rocks. That’s how to enjoy a glass of SM. Btw, they are not using the right SM glasses!

  6. Not your first la! Remembered I gave you a glass of Dalmore 21 years at Cubes? Ish…

  7. taufulou,
    Oh the 30 yr old was lovely!

    ShaolinTiger,
    I’m not sure if they have these at the duty free though.

    eiling,
    Ops, you’re right, hee-hee. 😛

  8. i am looking for the single malt whisky….i tried it once and instantly fall in love….damn….now see u back ur post…reminds me of it….

  9. Nice…I’m a big fan of single mat whisky too! 🙂

  10. Suertes

    Dress Code? Wear a kilt!

  11. vialentino,
    Time to spend some money? 😛

    Huai Bin,
    I can imagine! 😛

    Suertes,
    Hahahhaa, too windy!

  12. It’s a shame that I don’t know much about whiskey. Glad to learn some knowledge from your blog. And it’s a delight to be invited to such a review. 🙂

  13. heard someone was wearing a kilt, no?

  14. Sugar Bean,
    Wah such nice words T_T

    thenomadGourmand,
    Hahah yah, the brand ambassador himself. 😀

  15. You can get Balvenie at the Duty free shops.

  16. i’m not going to comment about the wine tasting thing as i’m such a total infant towards wine, but i do think that the buffet spread looks tremdously exotic… the platters and decorations really is eye catchy

  17. I heard it’s available at the duty free shops too, so must go look out for it on my next overseas travel. Yahoo!

  18. eiling,
    Nice! 😀

    cindy khor,
    except it’s whisky heehee 😛

    Lyrical Lemongrass,
    Woohoo!

  19. oklah can afford the 15 yrs one.

  20. cockroach

    i want to be a blogger

  21. Carcosa is the yummmsss. High tea there is the awesomeness! Okay that’s all I can think of to say because I don’t like whisky and the thought of alcohol still makes me very queasy. Wooooo.

  22. Hmm.. You should actually slowly add water until you don’t get any prickly smell. Sniff it, don’t drink it. It’s just like tea. Sniff it first….

    What you can actually do is exchange drinks and share what you think of the whisky. DIfferent ppl have different sense. 😀

  23. Yiling,
    You rich oso! 😛

    cockroach,
    Why not? 😀

    Mellissa,
    Hahaha, told you to pace yourself! 😛

    Kevin Yong,
    You have a point there, I’m a absolute novice when it comes to this. Thanks. 🙂

  24. on the rock is always nice.

  25. now cannot simply spent money ler….baby coming soon…when spent a single cent…need to think twice now…sigh…

  26. ya, wear kilt ma…it suits the mood, haha…

    it’s a shame that you didn’t take a fuller pic of mr David wearing the classic formal coatee jacket.

  27. Myhorng,
    Yeah!

    vialentino,
    Ah well, baby’s always expensive.

    lb,
    Haha yah, didn’t thought of that then. Bummer!

  28. Galvin,
    Slurps

  29. Whisky is whiskey, no matter how we spell it. I am fine with that. What’s really important is that we continue to discuss and share our passion for whisky–regardless of how it spelled. 😉

  30. Ady Tay,
    Very true 😉

  31. Just like to find out where can I buy Balvenie 15 years Single Malt Whisky ?

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