Saturday, August 30, 2014

After Six at The Malt Room

It was a little past six in the evening. The cases were unpacked, revealing countless bottles of Scotch whiskey in different shapes. And no, these were not your usual bottles of whiskey. Not tonight. It's a Single Malt Scotch Whiskey Tasting Night, with six of the best, at The Malt Room...

A good friend and fellow blogger once described the joys of a perfect single malt as sipping liquid sunshine captured in a shot glass, and for one evening at The Malt Room, the evening skies lit up with six of the best single malt whiskeys for one of those memorable experiences that linger long after the last toast.

Located at the basement of Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City, The Malt Room is one of the metro's best kept secrets. As you walk down the steps, the warm glow from The Malt Room draws you in...

Inside The Malt Room, one finds classic leather, dark wood, and elegantly upholstered seating evoking old world formality and grace, yet there is a cool and contemporary vibe that just makes you feel  so at home. It's the kind of place where the bartender, and everyone else, knows everyone that comes in.

All around The Malt Room, one can find the best premium spirits, alcohol, and fine wine. Just ask Jem what you feel like drinking, and she'll whip it up for you in no time. And if you know Jem, she'll probably know your favorite drink. It's that kind of comforting familiarity that keeps you coming back for more. 

And The Malt Room is just the perfect place to sample the best Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys. Diageo shared six of their cherished and iconic single malt brands from centuries old Scottish distilleries for one night at The Malt Room. And sampling six distinct single malt whiskeys is quite an experience, allowing you to savor the subtle and distinct notes of each fine spirit, each shot of liquid sunshine. Time to raise a glass and toast "Shlante" at The Malt Room, and it just seemed fitting and proper to toast in Scottish...

The evening's pairing at The Malt Room included an assortment of cheese and a sharp prosciutto for each of the fine single malt Scotch Whiskeys presented by Diageo.

Diageo's Hanna then goes through each brand, with a brief background on the distillery and distinct tasting notes.

Six fine Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys, neatly arranged, and you're just about ready for the The Malt Room's unique single malt tasting and pairing...

Our Single Malt Tasting began with the Singleton of Glen Ord 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, with its deep amber color and light fruity aroma rounded by a light, almost vanilla-like note. A perfectly balanced and smooth whiskey, easy to sip with a pleasing sweetness, almost like toffee and caramel. Clean, pure, fresh, and easy, it's the perfect Scotch whiskey to start your single malt experience. And there's more...
The Glenkinchie 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, with a light, almost floral yet creamy flavor with its rich malty note. The blend of fruity and creamy malt notes give it a balanced and smooth flavor, with a more pronounced sharpness. An equally sharp slice of parmesan brings out even more notes as you take another sip, with a mellow smokiness rounded by just a light hint of spice to finish.   
A bold flavored single malt with just a hint of the sea from the Isle of Skye, the Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey is said to be one of the favorites of novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as Ian Fleming's famous spy when he's not sipping his martini, shaken, not stirred of course. Peaty, smoky, with a distinct peppery note, each sip is smooth as silk with that distinct bite at the back of your mouth. A bite of sharp cheddar followed by another mellow sip...pure bliss.
The Caol Ila 12 year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskey (pronounced "Cull Eela", the gaelic name for the Sound of Islay), a pale amber single malt with smooth and pronounced smokiness, with hints of floral and peppery flavors combining for that unique shot of distilled elegance in a glass. Definitely one of the rare gems in single malts, Caol Ila is one of those new personal discoveries to add to your single malt experience, and a personal favorite. 
The Oban 14 Year Old Scotch Whiskey delivers a rounder, fuller flavor with a wide palette of subtle notes, from the sweet and fruity layers with just a hint of salty mist and a deep layer of smokiness for delicately balanced flavors in every sip. Distilled where the West Highlands meets the sea, one can almost taste the subtle cold briny mist in every sip. Bold, yet smooth and refined, with a depth of flavor and another of my personal favorites.  
The Single Malt Tasting ends with the  Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, another exquisite and smooth spirit with bold malt and smoky notes playing with the distinct deep honey sweetness and sharp citrus fruits. Distilled in one of the coldest regions of Scotland, it has that clean and fresh flavor evocative of the Scottish Highlands. Sourcing its water exclusively from the Loch of the Green Thicket high above the Drumochter Hills, each sip brings a mellow sweet finish with a purity that can only come from the Highlands.

And after the tasting portions, it's time to get better acquainted with each of the Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys, with a proper shot on the rocks.

I find myself leaning toward the smoky and floral hints of the Caol Ila 12 Year Old and the bold yet balanced notes of the Oban 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whiskeys, but each brand made a lasting impression.

A final round for the road...

...and things to start to pick up at The Malt Room after six. Special thanks to The Malt Room's Donny Elvina, Tony Meehan, and Philip Goco, and to Diageo's Luis, Mara, and Hannah for an awesome single malt experience.

The Malt Room is located at the basement of Hotel Rembrandt, 26 Tomas Morato Extension, Quezon City or call 373-3333 for inquiries and reservations.

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