Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Moving on from distillery visits, this time I am bringing you all to a Whisky bar that I have long been waiting to go in Hong Kong -- Club Qing!
As usual, some background history about this place. Originally a Chinese restaurant, Club Qing has transformed into a bar that specializes not only in old and rare Scotch whiskies, but also has whiskies from all over Japan regardless of its age.
On top of that, Club Qing also does its own private bottling. This means they would purchase specific casks from distilleries that they consider to be in premium condition, and brand their own whisky. Sounds Fascinating?
All of the whiskies today have won certain awards in the whisky world. Believe me, you will be stunned after you try them out!
First off is Yamazaki 18. Winning three World Whiskies Awards in three years time, this classic from the renowned Yamazaki distillery is definitely one of the best single malt in the market. So how does it taste you may ask? The nose is quite think and oily initially. After a while, a scent of orange peel appears along with a hint of sherry and oak.
The palate is rather green and earthy and is quite strong me personally like if it is evaporating from my tongue. However, what's interesting during that process of 'evaporation', the scent changes and instead demonstrates a rather floral and woody tone. The finishing is fruity and is quite long as you could feel the scent still remains inside your mouth even after a long period of time.
Next off is the legendary Hibiki 21. While some people prefer blended whisky less than single malt whiskies because they are not 'original'; Hibiki 21 is definitely the blended whisky that silences all of them. Winning two World Whisky Awards and getting 96 points in Jim Murray's 2014 Whisky Bible. Dr. Whisky, Hibiki 21 is just perfectly balanced.
The nose is rather sweet and caramel like initially. It then develops into a rather fruity note with a hint of sherry spice. The Palate is perhaps my favorite part of the liquor. Very smooth and thick bodied, it is a perfect balance of floral and smoky. Afterwards a hint of woody spice starts to appear. It finally finishes with a hint of long and smoky note. If it is not because of the price, Hibiki 21 would definitely be added into my personal collection!
Moving away from the Suntory products is a 17 year-old blended whisky named after Nikka's founder. Again winning three World Whisky Awards, Taketsuru 17 is one of the most interesting blended whisky from the Japanese whisky market.
When you nose it, you would immediately get a scent of fresh fruitiness. What comes after is a woody and honey-like scent. The palate is quite different from the nose. Spicy and rounded with vanilla, it then develops into a hint of chocolate. The finishing I would say is in medium length. Beginning with a scent of cocoa, it then presents an oaky note and finally concluding with a fruity note.
However, the highlight of the night definitely goes to Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique. Being the very first Taiwanese whisky that I've ever tried, this limited edition liquor from Kavalan definitely did not disappoint me. What is so special about this whisky is that, unlike the majority of the whisky in the market that are matured in either European Sherry or American Bourbon cask, it is matured in casks that have contained red and white wines, and then re-toasted. Thus making the flavor very wine-like.
First off, the nose is definitely very wine-like. Fun fact, I seemed to have some difficulty finding a particular the nose of this whisky while tasting this. However, even my friend who initially argued that there must be a particular scent for me to call it very wine-like ended up agreeing it is just very 'wine-like.'
The palate starts off quite powerful. However, once it becomes more mild, a mixture of hints of honey, berries, and plums start to present themselves, becoming very delicate. The finish is quite short yet clean, leaving complex hints of chocolate and ripe fruits.
Club Qing is definitely one of the most interesting whisky bars I have ever been to! There are much more that I would love to try from here, especially its private casks that are limited in number. Hopefully their private bottling whiskies would still be available the next time I visit them!
More information about Club Qing
Address: 10/F, Cosmos Building, 8-11 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong 香港中環蘭桂坊8-11號昌隆商業大廈10樓
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 6:00pm - 1:00am