It was my first evening strolling around Seminyak when I ended with an oval blue building in front of me. IZE Hotel, a young spirit hotel located at the heart of Nakula Street. It has a nice restaurant at the first floor and a bar at the second floor. Stepped up to the second level, a great Gatsby inspired room welcomed me with a big black sofas and a wooden glass door next to it. I could clearly read S and M symbol at the door, titled Single Malt.
SINGLE MALT BALI: AN OLD VINTAGE WHISKIES HOUSE
How this bar named is a clear signed that I would find varieties of whiskies inside, especially those Single Malt — distilled whiskies made from malted grain. The bar was not that big, separated into indoor and outdoor area. The indoor room was designed with an old-vintage interior. Wooden floor and bricks wall were covering the place. Monochrome photos and old Persian rugs gave touch of bygone and threadbare to the ambiance. Coupled with dark furniture and dimly lit, the room was perfectly rustic and masculine. Outdoor area faced to the hustle bustle of Seminyak nightlife. Instead of rustic, the ambiance was more playful with contemporary blue wall and ceiling, pool table in the middle, and lounge chair around.
THE COLLECTIONS: 70 SINGLE MALT AND WHISKIES AROUND THE WORLD
The bar completed with various collections of liquors arranged on the shelf alphabetically. The collection includes 70 Single Malt and whiskies in different ages from different distillery around the world. Named some of the collection; a 30 years Glenfarclas and 21 years Old Malt Cask from Scotland, 17 years Hibiki from Japan, 21 years old Bushmills from Ireland and others from Taiwan, Sweden, Czech Republic and Australia. These collections made Single Malt become the first whiskies bar at the island.
THE ART OF DRINKING WHISKIES
“Drinking whiskies has it’s own art”, explained a short hair Lady who was the Marketing manager at the bar.
Same like having a glass of wine, those who passionate in whiskies have a drinking culture to enjoy this distilled fermented grain. She then showed me the appropriate way to enjoy the drink. Whiskies lovers enjoyed their glass in three ways; aroma, palate, and after taste. I never thought that my visitation to Single Malt has turned into whiskies short course. I started my practice with a 30 years old Glenfarclas.
It was my first time smelling a whiskies and I couldn’t really identify the aroma that got into my nose. All I could describe was general, sweet and stingy. What I knew later was the sweets come from sherry, while sting come from the zesty and smoky.
“You gonna drink whiskies in a whiskies glass. Whiskies glass designed purposely to let you get the aroma of the drink. Different glass will lead to different aroma”, she said. It was surprisingly true. I got a same brand of whiskies poured in two glass but smelled bit different in the aroma. One with whiskies glass was strong and other one was bit less.
Done with the smell, it’s time to taste. I took a sip of Glenfarclas and let it washed my tongue before swallowing. The taste was just complex for beginner like me. Indeed, it was sweet just like how it smells and refreshing rather than stink. The after taste was strong and sticked for a while in my throat.
I took my second glass, it was a 21 years old Glennfiddich. I could smell the vanilla, it was sweet. Took a sip, the sweetness turned into something earthy that I couldn’t identify. It was tastes of oak, lime, ginger, and spices. While the after taste was smooth compared to Glenfarclas.
“Adding ice cubes to the whiskies also not a basic thing to do for whiskies lovers”, explained her. She then took two glass of whiskies, one with ice while the other not. I took a sip for both glass and the one with ice was less tasty. It’s a bit watery and those water killed the character of the whiskies.
OTHER GOOD SIP: VODKA AND COCKTAILS
Beside whiskies, varieties of cocktails also available at the bar. Single Malt has a classic one, gin based, rum based, whiskies based, tequila based, and others that you wished for. I got to taste one of their vodka based cocktails named When In Rome and totally fall in love with it. The marriage between vodka campari, sugar syrup, citrus, and caramelized fig made this drink fabulous in sweetness. Served with flamed fig in cointreau, it gave me twist of warm and sourness. Just a perfect match. Single Malt mixologists explained, their secret to made a very good cocktails lied on the fresh ingredients they used in every cocktails recipes. No wonder it tasted so refreshing. To accompanied the drink, the bar also offered tapas menu from Western choices to Asian influenced ones.
THEME NIGHT at SINGLE MALT BALI
Single Malt Bali open everyday started from 18.00 – 01.00. What make it special to spend a night here is not only because whiskies, but also the theme night they pulled out for each day. Either it’s a jazzy night, acoustics, pool competitions, whiskies tasting, even workshops from whiskies societies, they schedule it up to live up the night.
Single Malt Bali
JL. Kayu Aya, No. 68, IZE Hotel, Kuta, Bali 80361
Operational time: Everyday,
Tax: 10% government tax, 7% service tax
Smoking room: Yes
Other facilities: Pool games (Pool competition monthly)
Music: Piano, Rock, Percussion
Parking lot: Hotel parking lot and very limited