Whisky Ladies visit the Far East – Kavalan + Nikka

Our whisky ladies tend to travel – both for business and pleasure.

This is a huge bonus when you are a whisky fan based in Mumbai as our local offerings are relatively limited.

When one member was stopping at Singapore airport on her return from a conference, she asked for suggestions and ably rose to the assignment to acquire a whisky from Taiwan.

Another runs her own travel adventure company plus her spouse shares her passion for exploring whiskies. Compliments of their procurement prowess, we already sampled the yin yang contradictory character of Nikka Blended Whisky. So when a theme of ‘anything but Scottish whisky’ morphed into the ‘Far East’…. naturally she had a whisky from Japan to share!

We began our evening with an experiment… our host infused grapefruit and rosemary with a local gin to create a highly refreshing aperitif – delightful!

Kavalana Concertmaster, Solist + Nikka Coffey Grain

Kavalan Concertmaster, Solist + Nikka Coffey Grain

We then moved on to our main focus where we contrasted and compared:

From the shores of Taiwan and Japan, we hit mainland China to try a country liquor that was much more fun to puzzle out how to open than taste! It was, in short, undrinkable.

Finally closed our evening with a thimble of JD Tennessee Honey liqueur to go with our chocolate pizza – yum!

It was a delightful change to explore whiskies beyond Scotland for an evening and a reminder that there is a very good reason Kavalan attracts attention for its Solist range.

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Whisky Ladies go American! JD, Hudson, Jim Beam, Knobs Creek

In January, the Whisky Ladies went full-on all-out American!

We were joined by a special guest – Shatbhi Basu – bartender, cocktail creator and Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) whiskey Ambassador to India. Guided by Shatbhi, our merry whisky ladies tried each sample ‘blind’ with the great reveal only after tasting all four whiskies.

Whiskies Ladies go American!!

Jack Daniels Old No 7 40%

  • Nose – Holy banana cream pie! Caramel, apple, cinnamon, toffee, Christmas, hint of licorious, as it airs souring a little
  • Taste – Flat, light, easy to drink, hint of vanilla, a little oily, benign
  • Finish – Slight char at the back
  • Overall – Pronounced rather ‘watery’, completely ‘entry level’

Best comment on the JD was “It is like the vodka of whiskies!” as it is the kind of whisky you would enjoy in a long cocktail.

Hudson Single Malt 46% 

  • Nose – Apple, like snapple ice tea, vanilla, paper and cardboard, grains, mud earth, hint of oranges?
  • Taste – Grain, yeast, varnish, pasty
  • Finish – Sweet spice and a bit bitter
  • Overall – Nose far nicer than palate

Um…. not quite sure what to make of this one! One comment “Well, at least it isn’t completely watery!”

Jim Beam 40%

  • Nose – Cotton candy, fruity, pineapple, toffee, butterscotch, dried fruit, creme caramel, vanilla
  • Taste – Bitter, banana pepper, goes down a little to easy, tiny hint of burnt caramel
  • Finish – Peppery
  • Overall – Easy drinking, nothing distinctive, for most ‘still too watery’

One comment that resonated with the group was that it is a “Happy feel good whiskey that is a little too easy to drink!”

Knob Creek 9 year 50%

  • Nose – Very sweet, perfumy, caramel, fresh, tropical fruits, crisp green apples, ripe bananas, citrus sweet lemon
  • Taste – Bitter, tart, orange peel, cheese, chocolate, toffee, honey on the tongue
  • Finish – Smooth, sweet with a hint of spice
  • Overall – Finally something that isn’t watery! Sense of being older, definitely the most enjoyable of the four sampled.

From the 1st whiff you could hear a collective “Finally!  Now we are talking whiskey!”

The most fun of the evening was making three fresh flavourful cocktails using the JD, Jim Beam and Knob Creek as whisky base. It was an enjoyable experience however it is interesting to see how many of our whisky ladies have clear palate preferences emerging and expectations of their whisky.

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