WhiskyPLUS, Malaysia’s Premier Whisky and Spirits Tasting Event, held its 2022 edition on November 26 to the delight of hundreds of whisky aficionados.
Returning to Malaysia for its fifth edition, WhiskyPLUS was held recently at the beautiful Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
This year, as over 70 brands joined in, complemented by an eclectic range of excellent supporting partners, WhiskyPLUS 2022 welcomed hundreds of enthusiasts to enjoy themselves in Eastin Hotel’s spacious 7,200-square foot grand ballroom on Saturday, November 26.
Organised by TEG Media, the single-day event included two terrific sessions for eager guests, with each session offering a tremendous range of whiskies and other spirits from brand owners and many of Malaysia’s top spirits importers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.
Brands featured in this year’s edition included global favourites like Dewar’s, Bruichladdich, and The Glenlivet, along with such Scotch whisky treats as BenRiach, Aberlour, Glenfarclas, Old Pulteney, Royal Brackla, Port Charlotte, Balblair, Tobermory, Ledaig, and many more. Apart from Scotland, other whisky-making regions were represented as well, including whiskies from Ireland, Taiwan, South Africa, and the United States, along with two different brands of Japanese whisky.
A FIRST FOR MALAYSIA
Octomore, a firm favourite of peat-loving whisky aficionados, debuted its brand-new series, Octomore 13, which made its very first appearance in Malaysia at WhiskyPLUS. This Scotch whisky is released by the Bruichladdich distillery just once a year in limited numbers, and fans are always eager to get their hands on the different expressions of the world’s most heavily peated whisky. Attendees of WhiskyPLUS were uniquely privileged to be the first in Malaysia to be able to taste the three newest Octomore expressions – and buy bottles of their favourite.
Indeed, throughout the tasting hall, guests were also able to purchase bottles of whiskies or other spirits that they liked, and with the special WhiskyPLUS event pricing extended by exhibitors, many guests took full advantage and added to their own personal collections.
Those selecting the VIP entry pass also enjoyed sampling from an expanded range of premium whiskies offered in the main tasting hall. Additionally, they gained exclusive access to not one, but three VIP Lounges, each offering special treats. In one lounge, for example, Royal Salute was pouring a full range of its stellar blended Scotch whiskies ranging from 21 to 30 years of age.
Though whisky of course comprised the bulk of the brands on offer, guests really savoured the PLUS in WhiskyPLUS this year, with a selection of outstanding spirits from around the world. In a first for WhiskyPLUS, all six of the world’s distilled base spirits were offered – whisky, rum, gin, Cognac (brandy), vodka, and tequila. In fact, it was the first time at WhiskyPLUS for any tequila to be exhibited, and it’s hard to imagine a more impressive brand stepping up.
A FIRST FOR WHISKYPLUS
Taking over one of the VIP Lounges was the ultra-premium tequila, Clase Azul México, whose experts were on hand to guide dozens of lucky guests through an experiential masterclass exploring the brand and tasting two of its expressions, the Reposado and the Añejo.
Presented in stunning handcrafted and hand-painted decanters, this was a showstopper event that was widely praised by the VIP guests who were quick enough to secure one of the 64 slots spread across four masterclass sessions. It’s safe to say Clase Azul changed a lot of people’s perceptions about tequila with their superb tasting masterclasses at WhiskyPLUS.
SINGULAR SENSATIONS, INDEPENDENT SPIRITS
Undeniably, much of a large whisky event’s appeal is the opportunity to be introduced to new and unfamiliar spirits, and guests had a number of options here, from blended malt whiskies to an impressive array of independent and single cask bottlings.
Indeed, the independent bottlings made one of the biggest splashes at this year’s WhiskyPLUS, with well over a dozen independent bottlers exhibiting. Popular labels The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and The Single Cask both returned for this year’s edition, joined in by several others, including Blackadder, Edradour, Fourstyles, Mac-Talla, Auld Goonsy’s Malt, and more.
Once again, an especially popular area at WhiskyPLUS was the Collector’s Corner, a remarkable gathering of 40 rare, old, or collectible whiskies representing a unique offering at a Malaysian whisky tasting. Guests purchased tokens and then consulted with the experts to select a dram from the menu before getting their coveted pour.
With whiskies encompassing hard-to-find offerings like a handful of Springbank single cask bottlings, a wide range of private and independent bottlings, and some seriously aged liquids in the 32- to 46-year-old range, the Collector’s Corner afforded connoisseurs an uncommon opportunity to enjoy rare and old whiskies by the dram.
BEYOND THE SPIRITS
It wasn’t all just whisky and spirits, either. For guests wanting to take a breather from whiskies and spirits, a team from Monin was on hand mixing up delicious and refreshing mocktails with their premium imported flavour syrups. And returning again to the delight of guests, a barista and his team from Mister Coffee were busy grinding beans and serving superb coffee drinks, made to order. And to quench their thirst in a super-refreshing way, guests enjoyed complimentary ice-cold bottles of Spritzer sparkling water!
Additionally, in collaboration with La Habana, the official cigar partner of WhiskyPLUS, this year’s edition boasted an indulgent cigar booth with an outstanding selection of hand-rolled cigars, both Cuban and New World, on offer for enthusiasts to purchase, ranging from the affordable to the extravagant. A Habanos-certified senior cigar sommelier was also on hand to answer questions and guide enthusiasts through the intriguing world of premium cigars.
WhiskyPLUS was also generously supported by Bluestar AMG, whose booth saw plenty of action from guests keen to win one of two lucky draws for a brand-new iPad. Goodie bags were provided to VIP guests, packed with samples of Mister Coffee sachets and Monin syrups, as well as numerous cash vouchers for whiskies and other spirits.
According to Event Director Chad Merchant, who is also the Group Editor of TEG Media, WhiskyPLUS 2022 was another successful edition of Malaysia’s premier whisky and spirits tasting event, which was launched in 2018, and has seen events held in both Kuala Lumpur and Penang in previous years. “Once more, it’s clear that people in Malaysia are increasingly sophisticated and enthusiastic in their embrace of whisky and premium spirits,” he said, referencing the outstanding response.
“We delivered some special firsts this round, and for this, our fifth edition, nearly 800 guests enjoyed unlimited tasting of dozens of brands. In all, a whopping 75 different whisky and spirits brands were exhibited. Some imitators recently tried to copy our success, but all that’s done is help cement WhiskyPLUS as the real deal. This is Malaysia’s biggest and best whisky and spirits tasting event.
“We had a beautiful, spacious venue at Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur and received invaluable support from the whisky and spirits industry. We are pleased to be working with all these great industry players to grow and enrich the appreciation and enjoyment of whisky in Malaysia. A sincere thanks to all the terrific exhibitors and event partners, as well as the hundreds of whisky enthusiasts who joined in this year’s WhiskyPLUS!”
In addition to the event’s participating whisky and spirits principals, importers, and retailers, partners for WhiskyPLUS 2022 included: Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Bluestar AMG, Spritzer, Mister Coffee, and Monin. Contributing partners also included: Whisky Bar and Director’s Cut, Drinkies.my, Samadhi, Limóne Café, Whiskery.com.my, and Lavo Gallery.
If you want to be sure to get notified about future events and also receive periodic whisky-related news, head over to www.whiskyplus.my and sign up for the WhiskyPLUS mailing list (sign-up feature coming soon).
"ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "