Sipping Malt Whisky 微醺之醉 威士忌

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Posted by on 08/20/2015

世界上最快樂的威士忌 The World’s Happiest Whisky


環球美酒盡在 Sipping Malt 微醺之醉

English Version at page bottom

很多人(包括我)認為有事業有錢有樓有名車有女人(男人)就最快樂,但對不丹,一個位於中印之間的佛國,快樂是以國民幸福指數 Gross National Happiness (GNH) 來計算的。

不丹是全球快樂指數最高的國家。國民幸福指數 Gross National Happiness (GNH),由不丹國王吉格梅·辛格·旺楚克於1972年提出,並非純以金錢物質作為指標,而是參考四大支柱,分別是環境和資源保護、公平和可持續的經濟發展、傳統文化的保留和優良的管治制度。之後於 2010 年演化為九大領域,包括心靈快樂、精神健康、時間平衡、社區活力、文化活力、生態活力、教育、生活標準及良好管治理,再定下 33 個"指示器",如心靈快樂領域內的生活滿足和靈性,時間平衡領域內的工作和睡眠。

對崇尚物質生活的城市人來說,GNH 真的是不可思議。但不丹人民就是認為自己最幸福,每人每地的背景不同,正是你有你快樂,我有我幸福,滿足就好。有關不丹和 GNH 的詳細,有興趣請到谷歌或維基看看。


酒肉穿腸過,佛國不丹有釀酒賣酒的,不要大驚少怪,不丹的旅遊業很不錯的,有酒賣合理不過。除了進口酒精飲料外,不丹也有自家生產的土炮如威士忌,Rum, vodka, brandy 和 Gin 酒等。就說威士忌,出名的品牌有 Black Mountain,Royal Supreme,Changta,K5 Himalayan 和 Special Courier。

這些眾多的威士忌品牌,與及提及過的Rum, vodka, brandy 和 Gin 酒等,其實都是由同一間公司生產,Army Welfare Project Limited(AWP),光看名字就覺得和阿公有關。Army Welfare Project Limited 於 1976 年成立,於不丹國內有多個廠房,威士忌是於 Gelephu 的廠房生產。

值得一提的是,這些威士忌是生產出來,並非釀製出來的。AWP 旗下的威士忌,都是由進口威士忌調合自家的穀物蒸餾酒而成,未有資料顯示那些的穀物蒸餾酒有否經過木桶陳年,又或調配後的"威士忌"有沒有進桶作"後熟"。以我所知,好些南亞國家酒廠如印度等,其威士忌也是如此生產的,不是新鮮事。


Special Courier Whisky, Gelephu Dstillery, 700 ml, 42.8% Bhutan, MFD 9/6/14

AWP 的威士忌生產原來頗認真的,他們獲得 ISO 22000:2005 食品安全管理。雖則 ISO 認證於酒質無直接關係,但或多或少給予飲家一定程度的信心。

這款 Special Courier Whisky 有調入蘇格蘭麥芽威士忌,且看看喝起來如何。

氣味: 燕麥,烘焙穀物,煙燻,啡糖
口味: 拖肥,多士,香烟,乾草,香料
餘蘊: 中等長度,藥草,焦木
結論: 很不錯的香氣,很有老式蘇格蘭威士忌風味,頗喜歡淡淡的煙燻和穀物香氣。酒體柔和,仍然有些煙燻,焦香多士,乾燥草本,辛辣香料,新酒氣息,中等長度有近似藥草和焦木的苦味餘蘊。意想不都的很"蘇格蘭",頗有煙燻和烘焙穀物的味道,加上些烟草,喝起來應該調入好些不錯的蘇格蘭麥芽威士忌。雖則簡單及有新酒的感覺,但沒有奇怪或難喝的味道,以威士忌來說是及格的。


English Version of Tasting Note

Most people (like me) take social status, career, money & etc. to judge the extent of “happiness". Bhutan, a country of Buddhism situated in between China and India, determines the “happiness" by Gross National Happiness (GNH).

Bhutan is the most happiest country in the world in accordance with the GNH. GNH was bought up by the King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck in 1972. GNH is not based on money and material things but to four pillars, which are conservation of the natural environment, fair and sustainable development, preservation of cultural values, and good governance. They have been further developed into 9 domains in 2010, namely psychological well-being, mental and spiritual health, time-balance, social and community vitality, cultural vitality, ecological vitality, education, living standards and good governance. 33 inductors have been developed thereunder, for example, life satisfaction and spirituality under psychological well-being domain, work and sleep under time-balance domain.

GNH may be inconceivable to city people who are pursuing for material well-being life. Bhutan people just satisfy their life in their soils. Please go to Google or Wikipedia for further information about GNH.

Back to the subject, the so-called “The World’s Happiest Whisky" means the whisky from Bhutan.

It is not surprised that alcoholic beverages selling in a Buddhism country as tourism is one of the important industries in Bhutan. In addition to imported alcoholic beverages, Bhutan has local production of spirits such as whisky, rum, vodka, brandy, gin and etc. For whiskies, there are famous brands such as Nlack Mountain, Royal Supereme, Changta, K5 Himalayan and Special Courier.

Interestingly that all these different brands of whisky are produced by the same single company, Army Welfare Project Limited (AWP). AWP was established in 1976 and she has multiple plants in Bhutan. Whiskies are manufactured in Gelephu’s plant.

One more interesting fact that AWP whiskies are not “brewed" but to “manufacture". AWP whiskies are in fact blended form imported whiskies and local distilled grain spirits. There is no information about aging of local new make and wood finishing to whiskies being blended. However, this kind of whisky making is common in some South Asian countries, e.g. India.

Now let’s taste a Bhutanese whiskiy. Sample is provided a friend of mine. Thank you buddy.

Special Courier Whisky, Gelephu Dstillery, 700 ml, 42.8% Bhutan, MFD 9/6/14

The production of whisky by AWP is quite serious, they are accredited of ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management. Though ISO accreditation deal nothing about “tasting quality", it bring people confidence in certain degrees.

This Special Courier Whisky is blended with Scotch Malt. How does it taste likely?

Nose: Oat, toasted cereal, smoke, brown sugar
Palate: Toffee, toast, cigarette, hay, spicy
Aftertaste: Medium  length, herb, burnt wood
Comment: Pretty good smell, very Scotch old fashion blended, lovely smoky and grain. Soft and mild at palate, still some smoke, a bit toasty, dried plant and herb, hot spicy, element of new spirit, bitterness of herb and burnt wood in medium length aftertaste. Unexpectedly very “Scottish",  quite smoky and toasted grain, little bit tobacco, seemed blended with considerable fine Scotch malts, though simple and feeling of young spirit, very drinkable as to a whisky, neither odd nor offensive favor, passed.

(Having a dram of this Bhutanese whisky, my GNH rises!)

Special Courier Whisky, Gelephu Dstillery

Special Courier Whisky, Gelephu Dstillery

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