Friday 27 November 2015

This week in whisk(e)y #26 - Bowmore Mizunara HK release, Christmas Whisky Dinner at Tokyo Bird Sydney, New Hong Kong Bar "Foxglove" & Master of Malt's "Build your own" Advent Calendars

As you might know if you read this blog regularly, we get a fair few interesting press releases and news articles here at TimeforWhisky, and usually try to feature them with our own spin, experiences or comments. Sometimes though, they come thick and fast, and we just don't have time to do them all justice.

So we've decided to take a leaf out of some other excellent whisky blogs, and feature a "PR roundup" every now and then - basically a wrap-up of relevant press releases we've received in the previous week or so (including other interesting whisk(e)y news Steph, Hendy & or I think you might enjoy). So on with it then...

Bowmore Mizunara to launch in Hong Kong
You've no doubt heard about it, read about it, maybe even tasted it - Bowmore's recent Mizunara release, limited to 2,000 bottles globally. NAS (though widely known to contain malts between 15 and ~25 years old), it's created a significant amount of discussion in recent months, partly because it's a little bit unique, being the first single malt Scotch to be finished in Mizunara, aka Japanese Oak (as far as we're aware, Chivas Regal is the only other commercial Scotch whisky release to spend some time in a Mizunara cask, and that's a blend), but mostly because it's really very expensive - £750 to be precise (of course, it's mostly sold out everywhere now, and selling for more at auction...)

Hong Kong will see an on-premise release only, to be available by the glass and bottle from Island Shangri-La's excellent (and recent award-winning) Lobster Bar. 

How does it taste? We'll let you know next week...

Tokyo Bird's Japanese Christmas whisky dinner
Sydney bar and good friends of TimeforWhisky Tokyo Bird (whom Hendy visited back in May) are holding a unique Japanese Christmas whisky dinner on 22nd December, pairing five courses with five Japanese whiskies, spanning different styles, ages and distilleries.
"Over two sittings guests will be served a degustation of five unique Japanese blended and single malt whiskies which are not available in the local market, matched to five courses of izakaya-style food with a festive focus.
The Tokyo Bird bar team has selected five Japanese whiskies from Tokyo Bird’s extensive back bar from both major distilleries – Suntory Whisky and Nikka Whisky – and independent Japanese whisky distilleries to feature at the Christmas Whisky Dinner.
“We wanted to treat our loyal customers and Sydney’s whisky lovers with this unique menu of Japanese whiskies, which you probably wouldn’t see anywhere else in Australia,” said Tokyo Bird bar manager, Yoshi Onishi.
“We’ve picked a varied range which showcases the breadth and depth of Japanese whiskies; including a buttery soft blended whisky from an independent distillery, a uniquely Japanese grain whisky, and then moving on to some heavy hitting pure malt and single malt whiskies, including a World Whiskies Award 2015 winner,” said Yoshi."

Sounds like a pretty great dinner to us.

Date: Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Sittings: 6pm or 8.30pm sitting (6pm sittings must vacate tables by 8.15pm)
Tickets: $135 per person; available via Bookings are essential.
Menu / whiskies / further details:

New Hong Kong Bar - "Foxglove"
We received an invite to a whisky event a few weeks ago, and were told it would be at a new, secret bar in Central. The event, to be held next week, is not for your average whisky (fair to say it'll be one of the rarest / most expensive we've tried this year), so we knew the bar was going to be impressive.

Turns out, that bar was "Foxglove", a new bar in Icehouse / Duddell St Central, modelled on a "drinking den of the 1950s", from the Ming Fat Group (known for the excellent "Mrs Pound" in Sheung Wan).

"Set within 4,300 square feet on one floor, Foxglove is one of central Hong Kong’s most exclusive venues.  Travel back in time with our selection of rare cognac and spirits, bottled in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s and aged for as long as half a century. Bottles from defunct distilleries as well as Japanese cask-strength whiskies are also available.
Journey through the decades and taste our iconic cocktails from each era, dating as far back as the start of the 20th century. A carefully crafted cocktail menu pays homage to a bygone time when spirits were king and bartenders revered. Kick back with one of our classic cocktails – the Sazerac – or sip a rare, vintage brandy bottled in the 1930s paired with fine European cuisine. 
The main lounge area is spacious enough to accommodate 80 guests seated. The focal point of the room is a stage, where Foxglove’s resident jazz band and special acts performs live sets every week. For intimate gatherings, a VIP room, inspired by first-class train cabins, offers seating for up to 32 guests."

We love Mrs Pound and we also love old, ancient spirits bottles, so this sounds right up our alley. Full review to follow in December.

Master of Malt Advent Calendars - now you can create your own
We mentioned a few months ago that Master of Malt's Christmas advent calendars were back with a vengeance, and now they've taken it one step further with the ability to "build your own".

With 4,000 drams to choose from, this sounds like a bloody good way to design a custom Christmas present for any whisky lovers you might know (or you know...yourself). Add a few cheapies you've been meaning to try, a few special occasion drams...add it up and away you go.

We had a play with the interface and it's slick, fun and somewhat addictive. Check it out here.

Thats all for this week. Until next time...


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