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Stellar guest shifts, bourbon pairings, and more at the Woodford Reserve Café

Woodford Reserve Cafe

It isn’t everyday when the who’s who of Asia’s bar trade all get to gather in one place. During BCB Singapore which took place earlier this month on Nov 6-7, that’s exactly what happened, and we were so glad to have been there.

Top bartenders, brand representatives, and those in all sectors of the drinks industry descended upon Pasir Panjang Power Station for a two-day gathering that sought to uplift and connect the trade.

One particularly standout showcase in our books was the Woodford Reserve Café. Going beyond simple tastings of their top shelf bourbons, Woodford Reserve decided to offer a fuller experience in the form of a Flavour Wheel. 

The Flavour Wheel Experience at the Woodford Reserve Café

Being served with each neat pour of their award-winning flagship Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a tasting mat with five pastries meant to bring out and enhance the over 200 detectable flavour notes in the aged spirit.

Prepared by the talented chefs from Burnt Ends, each of the bite-sized morsels – Maple Financier, Beef Fat Chocolate, Orange White Chocolate Tart, Hazelnut Bon Bon, and Parmesan Cheese Choux – brought out different nuances in the whiskey.

We especially enjoyed the Maple Financier and Hazelnut Bon Bon pairings. The former complemented well with the honeyed caramel notes of the bourbon, while the latter’s toasty nuttiness contrasted nicely with the woody spices of the liquid. 

Over the two event days, not one, not two, but three prolific guest shifts also took place behind the bar of the Woodford Reserve Café.

The first day saw Ong Jun Han from Plume and Holly Graham (who is also Woodford Reserve’s brand ambassador) from Tokyo Confidential shaking up a storm. Jun Han went for classics (Old Fashioned and Mint Julep) done to exacting standards, which showcases how well Woodford Reserve performs in drinks we all know and love.

Holly Graham doing what she does best behind the bar

Meanwhile, Holly served up two creative tipples – a Tokyo Banana Colada and a Cheong Fun Old Fashioned. The latter was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. Inspired by her time in Hong Kong and the titular Cantonese dish, the drink, made using atypical ingredients like peanut butter, sesame, tahini, and soy caramel, is a great balance of savoury and sweet.

Day two saw none other than Sugarhall’s Raz Ng reprise her competition-winning Not Too Conventional cocktail. Fresh from Woodford Reserve’s Old Fashioned Month where she won the Singapore leg of The Wonderful Race, her winning concoction is a Tex-Mex inspired smoked wagyu fat-washed drink full of red cheddar and pickled jalapeno flavours. Yes, it is as enticing as it sounds.

Impressed as we were with her prized cocktail, her other cracking addition just for the guest shift, the Not Too Salty Highball, was also an amazing tipple. Not your average highball, the thirst quencher hit the spot with saline notes that complemented the warm creaminess of the Woodford Reserve bourbon used.

Alas, BCB Singapore is over and the Woodford Reserve Café’s time has elapsed. But if you, like us, can’t have enough of their bourbons, head on down to Sugarhall where Raz is still serving up her winning drink. Enjoy it while you can.

Or for those looking for something out of the norm, Plume (say hi to Jun Han while you’re there) will be offering the world’s most expensive Old Fashioned cocktail. Made using the Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition (each bottle costs around S$2000), this will be one cocktail you won’t soon forget. Talk about a real treat.

Sponsored by Woodford Reserve