Tim has a favorite bar in town. I would say a new favorite bar, as its only been open a couple months, but the truth is we didn’t really like any bars in Penang before this one. Mish Mash is a really good bar.


Being good customers (or at least tagged as ones who would actually buy something), Tim scored us an invitation to a recent tasting of Japanese whiskey. I learned a lot about a booze I didn’t think I liked, and took away a few tips.

  1. Look not only at the color of the drink, but check the viscosity of the booze by swirling it and watching the “legs” down the side of the glass.
  2. Experience the aroma in an enjoyable way.  Instead of sticking your nose in and snorting in (sure to result in a burned nasal passage), waft the glass back and forth in front of your face and breathe in through your mouth.  Try this!
  3. It takes 3 sips to enjoy the flavor.  The first is the handshake, the next the friendship, finally the love affair.  Give yourself time in between for your palate to prime.
  4. Water is good.  There are some enzymes that are only soluble in water and would not be noticed in neat whiskey.  Yum!
  5. A new session drink for me: 1 part whiskey to 4 parts water over ice.  When I searched for the name of this I couldn’t find it, but it seems to be a “no gas” highball.  Refreshing and perfect really.

So, were we good people to invite to a tasting?  They probably think so, we ended up taking home a bottle of Japanese whiskey!