Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A night with Singleton

When it comes to drinks, I always prefer to opt for a whisky, why? Well unlike beer, it's doesn't make me full or bloated and theres always a story to tell in any whisky you have. Growing  up we've come accustom to calling whiskies "Scotch" as many preferred the Scottish variants but slowly the Irish, Japanese and even Taiwanese distillers got into the act and in SA right now, we have access to a variety of whiskies from around  the world. A newish brand to our shores is Singleton, a brand that's here to re-establish the Scottish Scotch.

Last week I was invited to an evening of whisky tasting with Singleton, the venue, Durban's  hidden gem, the  Chariman Jazz Lounge in Point Road. If you haven't been before, the decor is very rustic and indicative of a time past by, a typical jazz lounge with low lighting, lots of antiques and a theme straight  out of Dick Tracy, all that's missing is the Piano and Jessica Rabbit sitting on top of it singing in her sultry voice. 

Back to the reason I was there, Singleton were hosting  a night to introduce themselves to the market, whilst their 12 year old Single Malt of Dufftown was available in SA for about a year now, and has been doing rather well, the brand felt there was a need to protrude the market as they felt their whisky deserves more attention that it's getting. And I tend to agree with them, it's priced well and the 12 year old is a brilliant single malt, with it's golden colour, naturally balanced and exceptionally smooth texture. A great addition to any ones whisky collection. 

On the night though Singleton introduced a new addition to their collection, joining the 12 year old single malt from Dufftown was the Tailfire. An interesting addition, I ordered a double with  couple blocks of ice before I could head into the tasting, it was very smooth on the palate, nice texture, not as heavy as the 12 year old, a very easy drinking whisky but there was just something about it that  made it seem different. As we found out later in the tasting, the Tailfire has no age distinction, its less that 12 years old but more than 3 years old in maturity.

With its unique distilling process, it makes the whisky perfect for mixing, now I'm not a fond of whisky in cocktails but the two that were on offer that night may have changed my mind on this. I can't  recall what they were but both refreshing and provdided different accents to the whisky, enhancing flavours you wouldn't normally taste if drinking it neat or with some water. 

At the tasting we were asked to pick up the various tastes and flavours of the whisky, it's  not that easy for the untraind tongue but our host Greg Willmore laid out some items to enhance our senses for us to pick up the flavours blended in, for the sweet caramel we melted sugar onto an apple, the smell of treacle helped in this aspect, the next was a light strawberry chocolate which accentuated the cocoa flavours in the whisky. 

The night had some activities in store for guest with  mock casino in place where you were handed funny money for every drink you ordered and were able to gamble  it on the tables. The  person with the  most amount of funny money won themselves a nice hamper from Singleton, unfortunately it just wasn't my night. 

Overall it was  a great experience, sampling what Singleton have to offer, it's a unique whisky in its own right and a must have for the bar at home, I've already added the 12 year old Single Malt Dufftown to mine.

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