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Monday, July 4, 2016

Would you like to have your whisky with coffee?
The Singleton Presso-Tini comes with a marshmallow garnish that helps to balance out the bitterness and sourness of the drink perfectly. Photos: Diageo Malaysia
Single malt whisky brand The Singleton recently launched the Singleton Selects campaign, a unique and creative food and beverage movement that aims to create exceptional eat-drink experiences for Malaysians.
“Singleton Selects is a platform for us to welcome a new generation of whisky drinkers, particularly for those who are new to malt whisky,” according to Rajesh Joshi, marketing director of Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia for Diageo brands. “Through it, consumers can experience the versatility of Singleton through innovative pairings.”
For the first collaboration, Singleton worked with premium coffee roaster Coffex Coffee to come up with a whisky + coffee pairing unlike any other.
Coffex Coffee is an established and prestigious specialty coffee roaster that was first established in Melbourne in 1959. Known for its consistent and reliable blends, the brand first came to Malaysia in 1998, and has since grown into a major coffee and coffee equipment supplier.
The pedigree and quality of Coffex Coffee’s blends are the perfect match to the whiskies made by The Singleton, a range of single malt whiskies produced by Diageo that consists of malts from three distilleries – Glen Ord, Dufftown and Glendullan.
Glen Ord is the oldest (it was founded in 1838), and the only Highland distillery among the three. The Singleton Of Glen Ord is currently available in Malaysia, with four expressions: Signature, 12 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 18 Year Old.
For the collaboration, Coffex Coffee commissioned mixologist Kelvin Lee to create four exclusive cocktails by fusing its premium fresh coffee beans with The Singleton’s distinct expressions.
Each cocktail was designed to not only highlight the distinct flavours of both the whisky and the coffee, but also blend them both together to create a whole new experience altogether.
Besides using a different Singleton Of Glen Ord whisky for each of the four cocktails, Lee also chose two different coffee beans – Ethiopia Limu Agaro Yukro, and Ethiopia Limu Hunda Oli.
Besides using pure espresso in the cocktail, Lee found some different and unique ways to incorporate the coffee into the drinks, including using it to make syrup, and freezing them into ice cubes.
“It can be hard to pair coffee with whisky, because the coffee flavours might overpower the whisky. But we managed to research and slowly discover the best beans and best way to pair with each of the whiskies,” he said.
“The four cocktails each have their own distinct flavours: the first one is a more refreshing style to go with your appetisers, the second is a sour cocktail, then a sweet one, before ending with a strong one.”
The Singleton Ethiopia Style is a savoury, rich tipple that has layers of coffee, whisky, and honeydew flavours.
The Singleton Ethiopia Style
What’s in it: Singleton of Glen Ord 12 Years, homemade Coffex Ethiopia Limu Agaro Yukro syrup, honeydew fruit, chocolate syrup, lemon juice, and egg white.
The drink is a savoury, rich tipple that has layers of coffee, whisky, and honeydew flavours. Because the coffee is present in the syrup rather than from a direct shot of espresso, the coffee doesn’t overpower the more subtle flavours in the drink. Instead, the acidic, bitter coffee notes are present more in the background, melding together with the sweetness of the chocolate syrup, and the fruitiness of the honeydew and the whisky.
“The honeydew is there to enhance the Singleton. The 12YO is a light style of whisky, has a berry, fruity type of flavour, so the honeydew juice is meant to bring out that flavour,” said Lee.
The Singleton Presso-Tini
What’s in it: Singleton of Glen Ord 15 Years, Coffex Ethiopia Limu Agaro Yukro espresso, Earl Grey syrup, lemon juice, andmarshmallow to garnish.
This drink is where the true nature of the Ethiopia Limu Agaro Yukro comes out in full force. While the Earl Grey syrup adds a bit of tea-sweetness, it is the coffee that really stands out here, as the bitter but aromatic qualities of the bean pairs well with the slightly spicier notes of the whisky. The drink overall is a bit on the bitter side, but taking a bite of the marshmallow helps to balance it out more.
The Singleton Naughty Butter is one nutty cocktail, in all senses of the word.
The Singleton Naughty Butter
What’s in it: Singleton of Glen Ord 18 Years, Coffex Ethiopia Limu Hunda Oli espresso, peanut butter, macadamia nut syrup, agave syrup, and milk, with crushed peanuts and meringue garnish.
This is one nutty cocktail indeed, in all senses of the word. The Singleton 18YO on its own is already a decent dram – with lots of dark fruit notes, and some spiciness, though not as distinct as the 15YO. Lee, however, came up with a drink that enhances the dark fruit notes, while bringing out the nuttier flavours of the coffee by pairing it with peanut butter.
You may think the peanut butter flavours would overpower the coffee and whisky, but it actually helps to bind the bitterness of the coffee and the dark fruit notes of the whisky, while making for a drink that is as much a spectacle (and a meal!) as it is a drink. If you love peanut butter and coffee, you’ll love this.
The Singleton Kopi Ais is an after-dinner drink that reminds one of kopi O ais.
The Singleton Kopi Ais is an after-dinner drink that reminds one of kopi O ais.
The Singleton Kopi Ais
What’s in it: Singleton of Glen Ord Signature, Coffex Ethiopia Limu Hunda Oli espresso frozen into ice cubes, and agave syrup.
An after dinner drink that would remind most people of kopi O ais, but with an added whisky kick. The Singleton Signature is a medium bodied tipple that is good as an everyday session whisky.
Here, the focus is on making this a drink that one has after dinner, much like an after-dinner coffee. Instead of using pure espresso (and thus drowning out the whisky completely), Lee decided to freeze the coffee into ice cubes so that the coffee seeps into the drink as it dilutes. It’s an ingenious way to highlight both the qualities of the whisky and the coffee as well.