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An Audience with a Legend

An Audience with a Legend
April 4, 2017 Jackie Teo

The Balvenie will always be a distillery that’s close to my heart and funnily, it was through my penny pinching ways that I first got acquainted with it.

I was on a golf junket a few years ago. If my memory serves me right, it was a trip to Sabah, East Malaysia. I thought that it would be great to bring a bottle of whisky to the golf course. The liquid would loosen my swing and help me forget the triple bogeys and double pars that I’d probably score.

At the duty free shop, I spotted The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 and the one-litre bottle was going for just S$59! (We can only reminisce about those days.) I’ve read great things about the expression and at that price, it was a no brainer.

On the plane, I met a fellow journalist, Justine, who was on the same junket. The great thing was that she’s an avid whisky drinker as well, so I had somebody to share the DoubleWood 12.

The golf resort was about two hours away from the airport. To beat the boredom and to make the van ride a little jollier, I suggested that we open the bottle of whisky and drink it.

“Now, where can we get glasses?” I asked.

We looked around the van and could only find bottles of mineral water.

“We can finish the water and use the bottle!” suggested Justine.

We were just 15 minutes into our journey and I was concerned about my bladder filling up to embarrassingly dangerous levels. Mind you, it was all jungle between airport and resort.

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 – lovely, even when it is not from a copita glass.

Before I could finish considering the pros and cons, Justine finished her water, and I followed suit. We poured the whisky into the empty plastic bottles, drank it, and it was delicious! The sweet liquid went down the throat smoothly and it had the lingering finish of honey and vanilla, even from a plastic bottle.

After finishing a quarter of the bottle, we reached the resort. Once the van’s doors opened, we dashed to the restroom, of course. It was a rewarding ‘trade-off’, so to speak.

The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 tasted equally great during lunch, at night and on the golf course. That was when I realised how versatile and approachable the whisky is. From that junket on, The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 has always been my go-to dram.

So, it was really a real honour to meet the person who created the expression, The Balvenie Malt Master Sir David Stewart. He was in town for the DFS Masters of Wines and Spirits event.

The folks from William Grant and Sons managed to arrange a media meet-and-greet with the whisky legend and we all had an enlightening time listening to the whisky legend.

To Sir David Stewart, thank you for creating wonderful whiskies. Slàinte!

This is me, having a fanboy moment.

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