On a drizzling mid week November evening, a small gathering of interested or “would-be” single malt whisky aficionados came in from the rain to the warm hearth of the Timothy Oulton store on Gough Street in Hong Kong. With music going, and the candles lit, it felt cosy – a good place to be, and the perfect atmosphere for some serious whisky tasting. We’d invited some of our most valued customers, as well as some new friends too.
We were joined by Mr. Johnny Roberts from Berry Bros and Rudd – Englands oldest wine and spirit merchants (they were established in London in the 1690s!) – who through the course of the evening toured us through 5 different Speyside malts in The Glenrothes collection.
We learnt how the bottle was fashioned after the sampling bottles used in the distillery, and how the labels were inspired by the labels used to capture tasting notes so that the malt masters could keep track of the distilling processes. And that’s important, because at The Glenrothes, they don’t bottle their stuff at some predetermined age, they bottle it only when it’s ready, at its own unique age, the peak of its maturity.
Glenrothes is a town in East central Scotland. To make scotch whisky only requires 3 simple ingredients – sugar (from barley), yeast and water. The distillery takes its water from 2 natural flowing springs nearby, and then works its magic to turn that liquid gold we were sampling is no mean feat.
As we sipped our whisky from specially designed tasting glasses and let it roll around our tongues as we’d been taught, we settled into the Bensington sofa and started to ponder how much The Glenrothes has in common with our own ethos – care and attention, the natural source of pure water, the simple ingredients, the desire to capture each batch when it’s just right, rather than preordaining some age which might sound good for an ad campaign… We reflected on how much this reminded us of our approach to hand craftsmanship at Timothy Oulton – pure materials, the natural character and individuality of each piece, and care and attention required to turn simple materials like timber and leather into timeless and classic pieces: the similarities are many.
But then we stopped reflecting, as we were gently interrupted and offered the next sample to taste. Was it just me, or did each tasting seem to improve over the least one?
As we finished up the evenings formalities, and quietly finished off the bottles that had been opened that evening, all agreed that the British antiques inspired décor at Timothy Oulton provided the perfect backdrop for such an evening of whisky appreciation, and that it had been so enjoyable, that we’d better do it again sometime … soon! Stay tuned …
If you are interested in attending the next whisky tasting, or other events in Hong Kong, please send us an email.