Absolut Masterclass Malaysia 2011 – I am now officially an ABSOLUT Connoisseur!!

I would have thought I’ll be a certified baker, a Le Cordon Bleu chef or even an acclaimed food critic (disclaimer: ok, all these are ‘syiok-sendiri’ dreams) before I would be certified anywhere near as “an alcoholic”.

Instead, last week I got myself certified a drunkard as a haughty vodka-sipping connoisseur, right after I swallowed 9 different types of vodka & sat through an educational but surprisingly entertaining 3 hours with Mr Matthew Pomeroy, Brand Ambassador of Absolut.

Mr Matthew Pomeroy; charismatic, cheeky & jovial.

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-08

Pristine liquid in a row. None labelled. Sip to find out!

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-06

We tasted a total of 9 different vodkas, determining the aroma, feel, taste, texture & finish of each. From there we were ‘required’ to describe the taste & ascertain the type of vodka.

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-03

The Importance of Taste & Smell.

“Your sense of smell is 10,000 more powerful than your sense of taste”.

But first we did a little test of how our smell sense affects our tastebuds. Covering our nose with a clip, we were told to taste a bit of these crystals in a little tube & then describe what we think it is.

rebecca - absolut

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-05

With our nose covered, almost all of us said this was sugar. Once the nose clip was off, we found out that it was cinnamon! So that little exercise was to reinforce the relation of the effect of smell to our sense of taste.

That done, our masterclass commenced with some very interesting videos of Sweden, depicting the history of Absolut followed by the process of making of all their vodkas as well as the “unique” concept that’s the core of all Absolut products, from their advertising campaigns to the design of all their bottles.

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-02

Assessing Vodka: Aroma
Swirl & Settle.
Introduce vodka to your nose slowly to avoid intense alcohol release.
Fruity ; Neutral ; Spicy ; Floral ; Grainy ; Butterscotch ; Solvents

Assessing Vodka : Taste & Texture
Creamy ; Sweet ; Dry ; Spicy ; Aggressive ; Oily ; Rich ; Silky

Assessing Vodka : Finish
Peppery ; Burn ; Bitter ; Smooth ; Sweet ; Balanced

rebecca - absolut vodka

So here we go…

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-04

We started with the “B” row – a total of 4 glasses.

A sip, swirl it in the mouth, swallow. Identify the Vodka BRAND.
My notes:
B1sharp solvent smell. Reminds me of acetone/thinner. Ashy. Aggresive. Strong. Chemical . Taste- urghhh!
Result? Smirnoff!
B2Almost of the same, but dare I say less offensive?
Result? Skyy.
B3still sharp but less than B1. Buttery. Coats your throat after the swallow.
Result? Absolut Vodka Original.
B4 – Spicy. Peppery.
Result? Russian Standard (this is new to me! Haven’t heard of it). I thought this one has an interesting taste overall.


Next. Row A.
Exercise: A sip, swirl it in the mouth, swallow. Identify the Absolut type/flavour.

Citron means lemons and it is launched in 1988.

Absolut Citron

The mandarin fruit originates from China and doesn’t contain any added sugar. It was launched in 1999. I loved this! Bold, strong & lovely fragrance of mandarin oranges. Reminds me of Chinese New Year! Gong xi gong xi! :P

Absolut Mandarin

Introduced in 1992 , with a taste of fruity black currant character & hint of tartness.
My thoughts: This one smells really good as well, one certainly can’t go wrong with berries. Know what I’ll do?
Enhance it with some Ribena for a sweeter finish.
Weird? Nahh.. one enjoy your drink how you like it right?

Absolut Kurrant

Launched in 2004 , its rich and intense with the fresh and fruity character of ripped raspberries.

Absolut Raspberri

It was introduced in 2005, sophisticated and fruity character of peach.
My thoughts: Again, lovely smell. Much mellower in taste. Lovely finish but artificial.


Absolut Peach


The Story of Absolut.

Absolut logo
One of the most well-known vodkas in the world, the main ingredients in ABSOLUT VODKA are water and winter wheat. ABSOLUT VODKA was first launched in New York in 1979 but even before that, ABSOLUT was already in production for a hundred years.

Meet the self-made man who started it, Lars Olsson Smith.


DIY Recipes……………….

Some examples of Popular Drink & Cocktails Recipes.

40ml ABSOLUT VANILLA, 10ml Kahlua , 10ml Sugar syrup, 1 Espresso
*Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.Garnish with 3 coffee beans.

Espresso Martini

Matthew shaking up the masterclass with some cocktail lessons.

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-07

35ml ABSOLUT VANILLA vodka, 25ml Kahlua
*Throw with ice between shakers, Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, Garnish-orange zest and discard.

Vanilla Black Russian

50ml ABSOLUT ORIGINAL , 6 Fresh Raspberries , 12.5ml Sugar Syrup, 10ml Lemon juice, 12 Fresh mint leaves.
*Muddle raspberries in boston glass with mint. Add Absolut , lemon and sugar syrup and shake. Strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Raspberry Smash

The mixer went round to the participants who got a short glamour moment in doing the “tarik” – pull.

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-11

Yen Nee does it nice & steady. Go gal!

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The set up of the masterclass at Wei Ling Contemporary at the Gardens, Mid Valley.

Absolut Masterclass Msia 2011-13

Getting my cert after the event.

Skal!! :P


Thanks Donovan Chan for getting me certified a drunkard Vodka Connoisseur! Never thought this day would happen! LOL ! 🙂

More info:
Website: http://www.absolut.com/my
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/absolut.my

All pictures are: (except where the watermark are different)


This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Sean

    very interesting lesson! i dunno how to tell the difference between smirnoff and skyy, so this is an education that i might find handy, heheh 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hahah, next Masterclass (if any ) you’ll have to join me yea!

  2. Isaac Tan

    you alcoholic!! Lol.. kidding. Pretty good lessons in progress from your photos, and that cert is really huge! Awesome, now hang it where the kids can see them 😛

    1. rebeccasaw

      Uummm wine course would include such spirits?

  3. Ciki

    What an absolutely delightful post on absolut vodka! very entertaining – did not know that the sense of smell is stronger than taste.. but I guess it’s true, coz I cannot make out anything I’m eating or drinking, when I have the flu;)

    1. rebeccasaw

      Haha.. I was surprised too!
      I was so sure it was sugar!

  4. Shelly

    Wow! I didn’t know there was such a thing!
    A liquor masterclass, do you get notes & etc?
    How often does this happen?

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hi Shelly, this was a one time off affair but I’m sure the PR might look into running these masterclass more often if there is a demand for it. Will keep u updated if there are such?

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