You might do a double take seeing a bunch of ladies nursing snifters of strong whiskey instead of glasses of wine, but UrbanWire was at a luxury bento and whiskey appreciation ladies night out on 24 May, organised by The Macallan in conjunction with the World Gourmet Summit.

The Macallan is one of the world’s most admired single malt whiskies. In the Guinness Book of Record, for the most expensive whiskey ever sold at auction, it was also named the “King of Whisky” by

David Cox, a whisky connoisseur who’s been in the Scotch whisky industry for 31 years, began the session by describing how excellent whisky is made using a mixture of barley, spring water and yeast left in an oak cask. The secret lies between time and the contents quality. “The interaction between wood and spirit produces the beautiful drink,” he explained.

The ability to associate the smell differs from individuals, as they will pick up their most familiar one first, and as experience is always the best teacher. Which was why participants got to taste whiskey samples of various ages, starting from as young as 15-years-old and going as old as 63.

As with fine wines, the appreciation of whiskey began with sniffing a spectrum of notes. The olfactory journey was intriguing for whisky newbies, providing them with a whole range of unique smelling samples, including those with citrus, nutmeg and rosewater undertones, before participants got to taste them. After which, coffee beans were passed around to cleanse the nose.

Participants also had a taste of the Macallan Fine and Rare 1950 Vintage, the true star of the night. With only 450 bottles left in the world, the ladies got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to relish the fine, 63-year-old single malt.

The oldest of the whiskeys, the 63-year-old drink, was surprisingly similar in colour to the 17-year-old. Usually darkening with age, it startled participants with its colour, which had lightened due to deterioration. However, it left little damage to the taste, which was sheer pleasure that slipped down the throat.

“You can really smell it and get carried back into the making of whisky and the evolution of the scents of whiskies,” said Jenny Tan a participant at the event.

Besides whisky, participants were also given a hands-on, sushi making session by Chef Christopher Millar, who trained under celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson.

The intricate process of making sushi involves skill and paying attention to details, just like whiskey appreciation. Chef Millar was quick on his finger in rolling, slicing, and shaping the sushi to perfection.

The menu for the day was filled with gusto: Hand pressed nigiri, California Maki, Spicy Tuna Maki, Swordfish Miso Maki, Ebi Tempura Maki and selections of Sashimi.

“I never expected that there were so many layers to whisky and learned to appreciate not just the flavour of whisky but the entire experience of the aroma, down to the burn through your throat,” Ms Esther Lim, one of the participants, commented.