Spirit Forward: Deacon Whisky, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and Monkey 47 Barrel Cut

Something old, something new, something borrowed—this edition of Spirit Forward has something for every discerning palate. From the brand-new Deacon Whisky to the prestigious Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami edition, here are the latest in spirits available to Malaysia.

Monkey 47 Barrel Cut

You may not be able to buy the 300-bottle-worldwide exclusive Monkey 47 Barrel Cut bottle, but you can certainly “borrow” a taste of it in Malaysia. But first, a little insight into why it’s so exclusive that you need to visit one of the 10 cocktail bars in KL to try it: this bottling of the Monkey 47 gin is aged in mulberry wood barrels. Not only is mulberry wood rare, but it is also highly aromatic, yielding a deep golden yellow and a hint of subtle sweetness when maturing spirits. As for the Monkey 47 Barrel Cut editions, the mulberry barrels are 100% handmade by a traditional cooper and lightly toasted on the inside; only new barrels are used to store and age the gin for 180 days. The resulting spirit is complex, unique, and full of depth.

Try the spirit for yourself in the form of some seriously delicious cocktails at these 10 bars around Malaysia: Tickets Bar, Astor Bar in The St. Regis KL, Three X Co, Jann in Four Points Sheraton KL, Chinatown, G-String, Backdoor Bodega (Penang), The Mandarin Bar (Penang), Tiga Bar (Ipoh), Budi (Melaka), and Haiiro Usagi (Johor Bahru).

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami

You’ve heard of a four-hands collaboration at restaurants, but what about the creation of whisky? The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami is one such limited edition release, the result of a collaboration between Johnnie Walker’s master blender Emma Walker and the three Michelin-starred Restaurant Kei founder-chef Kei Kobayashi.

“When Chef Kei and I set out to capture the essence of umami, we knew we were taking a step into the unknown by embarking on an exciting journey of flavour exploration. Together, we wanted to push the boundaries of what Scotch could be and bring a truly innovative offering to the world of whisky and flavour,” said Walker.

Both she and Kobayashi scoured the Johnnie Walker reserves for casks to create an umami flavour profile for this whisky, which is innovative, to say the least. The scotch presents balanced sweet and savoury flavours, featuring notes of blood oranges, red berries, sweet wood spice, a touch of smoked meat, and a hint of salt pepper. Bottled at 43% ABV, the Blue Label Elusive Umami is now available in Malaysia at RM1,730.

Deacon Whisky

It’s not often a brand-new whisky enters the market, and the launch of The Deacon scotch whisky is certainly an exciting prospect. The premium blended scotch is made by combining whiskies around the Islay and Speyside regions, resulting in a blend that has the smoky mainland and peaty Islay malt whiskies characteristics. On the nose, you get charred orange, sweet malty biscuits, and woodsmoke, which then develops into a juicy orange and delicate spice. Peaty whisky might throw some off, but rest assured that The Deacon is mild on the smoke and big on the flavour, boasting 40% ABV. The shiny, embossed bottle itself is also eye-catching, taking inspiration from the copper pot stills traditionally used in the whisky distillation process.

The Deacon is priced at RM355 and is available at selected retail stores and outlets.