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FYI SOUTH Magazine, July 2007.

COCKTAIL - Single malt Scotch whisky served up at
Castro Tavern

Words and photos by Michael Lavoy Translate by Annie Liu

(07) 521-3936
49, WuFu 4th Rd, Kaohsiung City
Hours: 8 pm-3 am
Credit cards accepted.
10% service charge. Smoking allowed. Parking available.

Ushcae Baha. The water of life. Single malt scotch whiskey. Loved by some, hated by others. For those of us in the know, it is a drink that holds a near religious mysticism. Unlike blended whiskey (which accounts for about 90% of all whiskey), single malts are produced at a single distillery with a single batch of malted barley, hence the 'single'. It is diluted with local spring water and aged in oak barrels. Port, sherry, or bourbon barrels impart their own flavour and colour to the whiskey, as does peat burned in the distilling process and even salt from the sea air.

Those who are schooled in the ways of whiskey know there is only one way to enjoy Scotland's gift to the world—and that is with a wee dram of water. Water takes away the fire but leaves the warmth and allows all the flavors to come out. Garish drinkers who have it on the rocks are unaware that ice numbs taste buds and releases enzymes that alter the flavour, bringing a tear to the eye of the distiller.

A nice place to enjoy fine single malt in Kaohsiung is Castro's Tavern, a laid back, little lounge on Wufu 4th Road. They have the full line of Glenlivet and Glenmorangie single malts plus a few rarities like Ardbeg, Glenfiddih, and Laphroaig. Prices range from NT$250 to 350 for a glass (limited selection), or for NT$3,000, you can purchase a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year. A bottle of Macallon 30 year is NT$16,000

Alcoholic drinks are strictly prohibited for those under 18.

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