Sunday, 11 October 2015

The Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
The Whisky Bar, Kuala Lumpur

The Whisky Bar KL
Whisky Flights and the World's Best Whisky!


Words by Aisling Cullen
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

Strolling down Changkat Bukit Bintang, its hard not to notice The Whiskey Bar which has been a firm favourite over the years to both expats and locals alike. Comfortable tub leather chairs and a huge selection of bottles displayed on the walls are enough to entice any whisky lover in.  In fact, The Whisky Bar has close to 500 labels of whisky in this bar, the majority of which are available by the glass. That’s easily the biggest collection in Malaysia and one of the largest in South East Asia.

The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
The Bar
The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Seating by the Bar

I’m here with Monica and Caning to enjoy some ‘whisky flights’ which consist of carefully selected tastings, thoughtfully grouped together by category.  Andy, the bar manager, is at hand to take us through the drinking process.  A round golf ball of ice and water is supplied as part of the tasting experience, and we’re told that the whisky opens up when a few drops are added.

Firstly we start with the Scottish Malt Whisky flight (RM89.90) which is made up of labels from six different regions in Scotland.  From the Lowlands to the Highlands, Speyside to the Moor Isles, the variety of whiskies in this range will give any budding enthusiast a good overview of what Scotland has to offer.  Monica picks out the Glenkinchie Whisky from the Lowlands as her favourite.  This whisky is light and fragrant with a soothing honey warmth.  

The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Scottish Malt Whisky Flight 

Next up we go on a Whisky Journey (RM99.80) all around the world. This flight has an exciting line up from Taiwan,  France, USA, Ireland, Japan and India to name but a few. There is a total of eight different drops to taste in this flight. Caning enjoys the Canadian whiskey the most, and with a volume of 60% alcohol content, we can understand why! This one has a definite kick to it and we all enjoy the sweet flavour of grapes in the finish. 

The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Whisky Journey

Moving on to the next flight – 21, Harmony of Creations (RM139.80), we are ready to enjoy five premium whiskies. This range is definitely the fuel that topples us over the edge of exuberance! This flight consists of Scottish whiskies at their finest. If you are worried that after the first two flights, we’ll miss out on some of the subtleties of these elegant spirits, then don’t – beneath each glass are tasting notes on a printed mat which allows us to brush up on our taste description skills – and as you might imagine by this time, we’re in full ramblings.

Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
21 - Harmony of Creations
The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Tasting Notes Below a Whisky Flight

Taking a break from our flights, Andy, our expert guide, pulls out what has been voted the best whisky in the world by the World Whiskies Awards - Kavalan Solist Vinho, a single malt from Taiwan (RM60 per shot). This is a treat that we joyfully relish – the scent is like milk chocolate and it has a long aftertaste. It has a complexity and elegance that our taste buds should remember for quite some time to come. 

Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Ka Va Lan Solist - Number One Whisky in the World

If whisky isn’t your thing, you are probably in the wrong bar. But for those who enjoy the delicate taste of whisky in a cocktail, there are some good ones to choose from. 2 Souls (RM41.90) was my favourite. A delicate drink in a martini glass with citrus flavours and a good kick of both gin and whisky combined. Interestingly, both whisky and gin come from the same distillery called Bruichladdich. 

The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
2 Souls

The Hakashu Hills (RM39.90) is an infusion of whisky with mint leaves, soda water and a pear puree. This cocktail was light, refreshing and not overly sweet. 

The Whisky Bar, KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Hakashu Hills 

The Whisky Bar also has a selection of nibbles to choose from. We have the Calamari with Aioli Sauce (RM20), Cajun Prawn Skewers (RM24), French Fries with Black Pepper Gravy (RM13), Sauteed Mushrooms with Garlic (RM20), Charcoal Grilled Prawns rolled with Beef Bacon (RM26) and Breaded Beef Strips with Minted Cucumber Dip (RM26). All of these nibbles were very tasty and good to share among friends.  But to me, the standout is the Seafood Pizza (RM45) with it’s light biscuity base and loaded topping of prawns, squid and crab meat. 

Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Charcoal Grilled Prawns rolled with Beef Bacon 
Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Cajun Prawn Skewers
Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Sauteed Mushrooms
Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Calamari 
Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
French Fries
Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Breaded Beef Strips
Whisky Bar KL, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Seafood Pizza

Mark Twain once said that ‘Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whisky is barely enough.’ After trying 20 whiskies, I’m beginning to understand what he meant by this! 

Reasons to visit: huge selection of whiskies, well thought out tasting flights, cosy and stylish décor, a chance to try the number one whisky in the world, a good place to have fun with friends. 

The Whisky Bar
46 Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur 
+603 2143 2268
Open Sun – Thurs : 4pm – 1am
Fri – Sat: 4pm – 3am

17 comments:

  1. Nice. Beef bacon? I wonder why...since they've alcohol and liquor, anyway. Still busy this area? Haven't been for a while - used to be the place to be, the most happening hangout spot at night. Moved back to Bangsar, the crowd?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, beef bacon just does not taste good.

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    2. This area is still busy. There's a number of new spots that have opened up in adjoining streets too.

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  2. Oh Aisling, Monica and "Caning Cordobes Jnr" (?? for latter).
    Pure alcohol heaven and the delight of the liver transplanting medical fraternity.
    Scotch is scotch and bourbon is bourbon and NEVER the twain should meet.
    Mix at even greater delights for the medical fraternity!!!!

    I must say that the chips as shown pass my test.
    The Cajun prawns look interesting - but again I see those plastic rings
    whom some refer to as Calamari. Yucky yucky.

    Less than 48 hours now and counting and it's Terrigal and Bateau Bay, here I come.
    If I manage to get to the beer garden at the Crowne Plaza at Terrigal, I'll give you a
    toast for years past when you were a Uni. Student chocolate buffett fan, Monica with eyes
    glued on life savers!!!
    Cheers
    El Colin Cordobes - the aging Life Saver of years ago - make that MANY years ago.

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    Replies
    1. When on holidays - I am computer and e-mail FREE ie: NO LOOKIE!
      Colin

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    2. Happy travels Colin. You must report back and tell if they still have the choccie buffet!

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  3. The hardware is good although the most important aspect should be the service which unfortunately, makes the atmosphere feel like a cheap pub instead of a whisky bar. Perhaps the staff is not adequately trained?

    By the way, the Kavaln Solist that won the best whisky award is the Vinho Barrique which is shown in the photo. There are other Solists such as Sherry Cask and Bourbon Cask which are entirely different.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Boon, Have you experienced poor service here? This is the third time I've visited - once with my dad, once with a friend and this latest time as The Yum List for review. We've had friendly and knowledgable service on all visits. Did you express your dissatisfaction with the management? Sounds like you're a whisky fan! I'd love to visit the Kavalan distillery. Have you been?

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  4. The decor and ambiance are warm and friendly, the lighting is perfect for a romantic dinner or just plain relaxing and unwinding! I like the shapes and labels on the various bottles, and they have the liquor very well organized from what I can see. The sauteed mushrooms look so delicious! :)

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    Replies
    1. The labels on spirits are fascinating I think. There's so much effort that goes into creating labels, I think them worthy of at least a few minutes contemplation.

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  5. Amazing, all Whiskey is the one place...ok for those that like the taste.
    Food looks nice, Calamari I hope is just cooked so it's not tough!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, this is certainly a dreamy place for whisky lovers.

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  6. Not a drinker, but those foods are just amazing! I love those bacon wrapped prawns.

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    Replies
    1. The prawns were a fav amongst us too.

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  7. Those breaded beef strips do look super crunchy....and those Cajun prawn skewers, I'm sure they're super yummy too! ;)

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  8. What a perfect place for whisky connoisseur like you!

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  9. You're not going to believe this!
    Japanese whiskies are getting so popuar in England these days.

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