Let's get this out of the way. I'm not a big fan of whiskey. I KNOW, I KNOW. A lot of people will be like "What are you thinking, whiskey is the best" and I have to agree to some extend, I'm just more of a wine or bourbon girl. So we were invited to the Glenfiddich Live Tasting, I was pretty intrigued. Also there was free food so I was like.
But seriously though, the live tasting session was a real eye opener to me to the world of whiskey. In my mind, whiskey has always been an atas drink that old people (and bankers or evil villains) drink by the fire place. At the end of the session, it's pretty clear that I'm wrong (as usual). So without further ado let me hook you guys up in the world of Glenfiddich so you too can sound BOUGIE AF.
Let's get to sipping.
1. "Welcome to the Valley of the Deers"
Here's a fun trivia to throw in your next conversation with that smug guy next door. "Did you know that Glenfiddich is old gaelic for Valley of The Deer. Oh you don't? Mm Funny how."
Glenfiddich has been owned by the same family since it's conception, which help ensures that the taste and profile of the whisky stayed the same since 1886. That's pretty amazing, that's literally a 131 years old business that has gone through 7 generations. Like the Targeryens of the whiskey world.
2. "I'll have a Highball please"
I learned the hard way in the tasting session that Highball wasn't the fancy ice ball that people put in their whiskey glass. A Highball is when you mix whiskey with soda. It has 8% alcohol, like a strong beer and tastes pretty refreshing. During the tasting session we tried three different types of highballs.
Whiskey Highball with Szechuan Pepper
The spicy notes of the pepper blends well with the spicy tasting notes that exists in the whiskey. The pepper is also something that is easy to keep in your kitchen and you can just pop it in anytime you wanted a kick in your drink.
Whiskey Highball with Star Anise
Similar to the Szechuan Pepper, the Star Anise brings out the spicy note of the whiskey. This was a really unexpected use of the spice (at least for me) I've only ever seen it in cooking and not in cocktails. Maybe I need to drink more, ammirite.
Whiskey Highball with Cinnamon
The Glenfiddich ambassador told us during the tasting session that it took them 90 tries to find out that the 18 year old whiskey pairs perfectly with cinnamon. To be honest it was all worth it because this mix was my favourite. The cinnamon highball tasted sweet yet spicy, and brings out the woody notes of the whisky.
3. "Older doesn't always mean better"
My younger sister will definitely agree with this statement and it's especially true in the world of whiskey. The best tasting whiskey is the one that you love, and not because how long they sit in the cask. During the tasting we tried three different ages of whiskeys and here's some tips as to how you can tell the diff.
12 years old Glenfiddich
The strongest notes in the 12 years old whiskey is the oak and vanilla, which it gets from the cask.
15 years old Glenfiddich
Decidedly rounder and bolder, the 15 years old Glenfiddich whiskey is slightly different from the rest of it's siblings. Ok to be honest, a lot different. Fun fact, the current batch of 15 years old whiskey is sitting in the same cask as the first very batch that was produced. Making time one of the most important ingredients.
18 years old Glenfiddich
Personally my favourite out of the three selections of whiskeys, and not because it's the most expensive (lol) It was love from first whiff, the 18 years old Glenfiddich whiskey aroma is a lot sweeter and deeper compared to the others. It's taste profile is the closest to the 12 years old whisky but a lot more refined, like a hotter older brother.
4. "It's all because of the cask"
This phrase actually came directly from the whiskey ambassador who led the live tasting. When we were tasting the different ages of whiskey, we detected a multitude of subtle tastes profiles like woody notes and fruits, like peach or green apple. Considering that the three main ingredients of whiskey doesn't even remotely include fruits or woods, where does the taste comes from? Well firstly, during the process of making the whiskey, the yeast inside becomes very uncomfortable and started to make a sugar like chemical component that is found is most fruits, giving the whiskey those fruity flavours.
Secondly, most of the casks that were used during the whiskey making are imported from the US, where they used it to store bourbon. The majority of the woody notes comes from being stored inside the cask, while some minor notes such as the vanilla comes from the previous host of the cask. This is one of the reasons why whiskey actually pairs very well with fruits or citrusy garnish.
5. "Want to release the flavour of the whiskey? Pair it with fatty food"
Ever wondered why fried chicken wings pairs so well with alcohol? Well, it's because the fatty food helps release the full flavours of the alcohol. One day after the live whiskey tasting, we headed down to Lad & Dad, a homegrown spot that serves up delicious Irish beef stew. Every bowl of Beef Stew ($10) comes with a selection of three base, rice, pasta, or mashed potato.
The meat in the bowl was so juicy and tender, you can imagine it just falling off the bones during the cooking period. the stew itself is not overwhelming, but rather extremely comforting. Like being wrapped with ten thousands blankets on a rainy day.
You also have an option to swap the base with hot homemade english muffins. The muffins were so fresh and soft, then when dipped and coated in the stew it was honestly so #PERFECT. Overall, the stew from Lad & Dad is definitely a must try. It's an authentic Irish stew place with very good quality beef at such an affordable price. Pro tip: have a bowl on a rainy day, confirm #SHIOK and IRISH-SISTABLE. Personally, this is definitely my go to food after a good cup of whisky.
How you should toast your whiskey from now on, it means "To your good health!" in Scottish Gaelic.
Lad & Dad
Maxwell Food Centre, Stall 79, Singapore 069184
Operating Hours: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm (Closed on Sundays)