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  • The 5 Best Whiskies For Your Boss and Business Associates

    5 best whiskies for your boss

    As we near the end of the year, we often try to do a small gesture to recognize the efforts that our bosses and business associates have taken to groom the next generation. F&B is often the gift of choice as it is not polarizing or too personal, because everyone eats & drinks. Chocolates are pretty popular but the shelf life is really short!

    Whisky is a great gift for bosses and business associates or basically anyone senior that you want to show appreciation for. It lasts forever so the giftee will be reminded of your gesture for a period of time. Whisky is often shared so others will know of your generosity. This sounds calculative for a gift but let's be honest here, these gifts are often for brownie points. Lastly, the price point is pretty wide so you can get great value and look good on ANY budget.

    So here we go for the Bootleggers' pick for the top 5 whiskies.

    1. Lagavulin 16 - S$154.90

    Lagavulin 16 Year Old by Bootleg Brew

    The Lagavulin is such an iconic whisky that EVERYONE must give it a try. It is the whisky that is often featured in films and TV shows. So, if the gift-ee is not a whisky drinker, this is a good dram to get into. For those that are whisky drinkers, this is always a good choice.

    For the tasting notes, check out our page here.

    You can read more about the Lagavulin with our posts here: Lagavulin & Johnny Depp, Lagavulin on the Whisky Flavour Map.

    2. Glenlivet 15 - usual $155, now $145

    Glenlivet-15-year1

    The Glenlivet 15 is also a whisky classic. It is one of the best selling whiskies in the world and so it is a bottle that everyone would appreciate receiving.

    It has a lighter taste, without the strong smokiness of the Lagavulin, that is both floral and nutty.

    3. Laphroaig 18 - $250

    Laphroaig 18 Year Old by Bootleg Brew Singapore

    Now we are moving into the big leagues, where we really aim to impress. The Laphroaig is a well known brand that incites crazy reactions from people. So, this will be a talking point when the gift is open and drams are poured. Nothing is worse than a gift that is actually a non-gift that is so lame that you might as well have not bothered at all.

    This 18 Year Old expression of Laphroaig is made in limited quantities each year and savoured by a fortunate few. A soft, sweet and spicy Islay peat smoke greets you when you first open the bottle. The immediate taste is an oak sweetness, from 18 years in the barrel. A faint hint of the sea can be detected, testimony to its time maturing on the remote island of Islay.

    4. Bunnahabhain 18 - $310

    Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old by Bootleg Brew

    Buhhanhabhain is one of the lesser known Islay whiskies so this would be a great gift for those who know a little about whisky. It has a hint of peat which we

  • Our favorite beer and whisky quotes

    October 6, 2015 News, Whisky Wisdom

    beer and whisky quotes

    We've been posting a series of our favourite whisky and beer quotes on Instagram and thought that we should have a snapshot of the series in here to showcase the sometimes weird and funny things that famous people have said about whisky.

    It has been pretty funny seeing the love and craziness of whisky-drinkers. It's kind of hard to take out the sexist quotes though. So, we've only highlighted the positive ones!

    Let us know what your favourite quotes are!

    Stephen King

     

    Haruki Murakami

     

    George Bernard Shaw

     

     Knute Rockne

  • We now have whisky tasting cards!

    Macallan Tasting Note by Bootleg Brew

    We are now including a whisky tasting card with our deliveries so YOU know exactly what you are getting from us.

    We first developed these notes as part of our tasting sessions as a reference point vis a vis the other whiskies. Then we realised that even when sharing a dram with our friends, it was a helpful guide, especially for the newer whiskies such as the Yamazaki Distillers Reserve for us to have a reference.  So, by printing it out and including it in ALL our deliveries, we hope that this small gesture will improve your whisky tasting experience as you compare the mouthfeel when drinking to the notes of the master blender and us.

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    Do give us feedback if you feel like the notes differ from your tasting experience as everyone has a valid opinion. This will help us refine the descriptions to capture the wide range of tastes or even feelings that the whisky evokes.

    For example, if the Macallan reminds you of your KTV days singing Jay Chou, let us know! Or if you feel like the Deanston tastes like the Glenmorangie that tastes like the Johnnie Blue. Hopefully, we will be able to collate the responses and put something awesome together.

    So, drop us a note at hello@bootlegbrew.com.sg or just ping us on any of our social media platforms - Facebook, InstagramTwitter.

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    The card may sometimes come with a whisky quote or a short note of thanks from us! So, if you are giving the bottle away as a gift, you can use it as a gift card as well.

     

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    For those newer to whisky, you can refer to our Whisky Wisdom Page for some whisky 101 on how to taste whisky. Alternatively, check out our video below for a quick guide.

  • A peek into BenRiach

    Speyside Series - Benriach12

    We are featuring the BenRiach as they have won the Global Whisky Distiller of the Year, World Whiskies Awards 2015. It was built in 1898 and the BenRiach we now know was developed by Billy Walker (a former operations manager with Burn Stewart) and two South African partners (Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter) who purchased the Benriach distillery in 2004. They resumed production after it was moth-balled by its previous owners and launched the 12, 16 and 20 year expressions. The group turned it into one of Scotland's most admired distilleries and followed their success with purchases of the GlenDronach, Glenglassaugh distilleries and a large five-line bottling plant at Newbridge.

     The Distillery

    The BenRiach distillery is located in the "Heart of Speyside", near Elgin in the north eastern part of Scotland. It is differentiated from the vast number of distilleries in the area by its distinctive pagoda style chimneys above the floor maltings. This enables the distillery to produce peated, malted barley to obtain that elusive taste of peat reek in their special bottlings.

    BenRiach Pagoda Chimney

    The Whisky

    The rich history of the distillery is a key factor in it being able to produce a wide range of expressions. It has the flagship range that features the classic Speyside style that is smooth, complex and full flavoured with notes of honey, spices, toffee and apples. It also has the peated BenRiach range that blends the fresh taste of the Speyside flavour with tones of peat. With names like "Birnie Moss", it brings the whisky drinker to the surrounding moorland near BenRiach distillery.

    For Bootleg Brew, we've chosen to focus on the wood finished expressions. These whiskies were originally matured in the traditional style in American oak barrels, and then finished in different wooden casks to get additional flavours specific to the cask. Within this range, there is the Sherry Cask, Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask and the Madeira Cask. We currently have the Sherry Cask as it has been proven to be the best received, consistently winning awards in the International Wine & Spirits Competition.

    BenRiach in Singapore

    “Taiwan is the number one export market for our single malt brands but we have a wide customer base and currently ship to over forty countries. However, there is still potential for growth in the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea and much of South America…and you’ve also got untapped Africa waiting in the wings. I see it as our duty and responsibility to develop all of these new markets.

    “We are a privately-owned, independent, creative, boutique business. We see each distillery as having ‘Grand Cru Chateau’ provenance. Our people are totally passionate. We recognise the privilege that we enjoy by owning three very historic distilleries and that we have the freedom to express the personalities of these distilleries in the marketplace.”

    - Billy Walker, Master Blender and Master of the Quaich of BenRaich 

    With this quote from Billy Walker, we believe that the great guys at BenRiach are truly committed to making a great product and the consistency is just amazing.

    Since we are the topic of Sherry casks, remember this? We weren't blown away and it was a little hit and miss amongst our tasters. Apparently each batch has pretty different. Either that or it is pretty sensitive to what you eat and drink with the whisky! Anyway, it was a really interesting taste test. Let us know if you really like it!

  • Speyside Series: Is there a Speyside Flavour profile and what is it?

    September 15, 2015 News, Speyside Series

    Speyside Series - Glenfiddich 12

    Speyside has the highest concentration of whisky distilleries in Scotland due to its killer combination of an excellent climate for whisky maturation, quality of water supply and the short distance to the barley growing areas. The total production from the area is almost 50% of the entire production of Scotch!

    The distilleries range from the most famous in the world, such as the Macallan and Glenlivet, to the smaller boutique ones like Tomatin (which contributes to the Tomintoul brand). Taste-wise, it typically is more mellow and fruity compared to the richer Highland whiskies like Glen Garioch and Deanston. Depending on the maturation - sherry/bourbon/rum casks - the typical flavours for Speyside whiskies are toffee, spice, zesty apple, almond, vanilla, and dried fruits.

    At this point, it is important to note that there is an ongoing movement that is gaining much traction in the whisky community to remove this whole idea of flavour profile of an area as it over-simplifies the diversity in whisky. As such, the whole idea of a Speyside flavour is irrelevant. There are merits in that train of thought (especially when Campeltown gets removed as a whisky region) but for simplicity in communication, we still use the whisky regions for reference. When the differences between whiskies in the same region (e.g. Highland whiskies) are too large, we will not run a series on them. But so long as our collective impressions of whiskies still run along these lines, we will continue to highlight whiskies by their regions - Japanese whisky anyone?

    For the Bootleggers, the whiskies from this region (specifically, the Macallan, Glenlivet and Glenfiddich), hold a special place in our hearts. These were the first whiskies that we ever tasted and we always have a stash of them somewhere in our whisky cabinets for a chill-out dram. Hence, we are extending a Speyside Special promotion for the whisky tasting glass - so you enjoy the drams the way it was meant to! Speyside small banner v2

    Cheers, 

    The Bootleggers

  • Hakushu - Japanese whisky with a peaty kick

    Hakushu 12 YO

    The Hakushu Distillery

    Built amidst the deepest forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps, the Hakushu distillery is without question one of the highest in the world (700 metres above sea level). The majestic forest that surrounds the distillery shelters some six thousand varieties of plants – almost twice the number found in Western Europe.

    The Hakushu Whisky

    Hakushu is the Japanese connoisseurs' choice. The malt whiskies born there are simultaneously blessed with a very special microclimate, luxurious forests, and water offering a rare softness and purity, only made possible by filtration of rain and snow through thousand-year-old granite rocks. Furthermore, because of its high altitude, distillation is at a lower pressure, which creates a lighter whisky. It is thus no wonder that Hakushu is known as a "green and fresh" whisky, praised by the most curious whisky connoisseurs and lovers of gastronomy. Its crisp and vibrant feel, unique in a single malt, enlivens and liberates one’s senses.

    Hakushu 12-Year-Old

    Colour: Pure gold.

    Nose: Caramelised oranges with hints of liquorice and smoke. With water the smoke aromas expand.

    Taste: Warm caramel with liquorice, ripe fruit flavours and big waves of smoke.

    Finish: Dry finish, with smoke and caramel lingering in the mouth.

    The Hakushu 12-year-old was awarded the Gold Medal (Best in Class) at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2007 & 2010, the IWSC Trophy at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2010, and the Gold Medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2006, 2009 & 2013. It has a rating of 91.5 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012.

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