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Whisky Lady – December Delights

Just wanted to raise a virtual toast and wish you all a very Happy New Years!!

As I was away in Indonesia for most of December, my Whisky Lady posts were mostly catch-up on earlier tasting experiences…


Once again the Bombay & Malt and Cigar gentlemen managed to accommodate my mad travel schedule and arranged our night to coincide with my limited dates back in Mumbai. The theme was Berrys’ and a blend featuring:

Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore, Hampden

Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore, Hampden

The Whisky Ladies may have skipped the December session, however I published the tasting notes on our November trio of ‘contributors choice’ whiskies plus an experiment comparing Glencairn and Norlan tasting glasses featuring:

Knowing I would be pre-occupied with traveling, brushed off from the archives some earlier tasting sessions:

2016-11-12-whisky-collectors-roomDecember featured the first of several forthcoming posts from Whisky Live Singapore:

Plus a sprinkling of other posts:


I also shared notes from the 2016 Winnipeg Whisky stash samples:

My original plan was to continue sipping, sampling and sharing the balance Canadian stash on my return… however a wicked cold had other plans for me and one should never waste good whisky on a stuffed up nose!

So once again – raising a virtual toast to friends near and far – may 2017 be full of merriment and more!

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:

You can also find my Whisky Lady in India avatar on:

Everyday Asia 2016 – Happy New Year!

It is a time of celebration. It was a year of change. From some nerve wracking months when I didn’t know whether I could remain in India to manic work back in one of my favourite places – Jakarta – 2016 had lows and highs and many moments in between.

Blogging honestly hasn’t been a priority.  From September, I was more in Indonesia than India. Even when home, my focus was on the project. However I didn’t just work in Jakarta. I did manage an escape to Bogor to breath in oxygenated air at the Botanical gardens and even attend a Christmas fair in Kemang.

Did you want this box?

Did you want this box?

In India, our wee Zoe continues to amuse us everyday with her kitten antics – thankfully we’ve managed to curtail her escape artist tendencies! We attended innumerable performances – occupational hazard when your partner is an actor… And finally after a year of construction fully got our home back.

International travels had more trips to Singapore than I could count. Partly for business, mostly for pleasure, often as pitstops between Mumbai and Jakarta, Singapore remains my alternate home – in large part thanks to dear friends who have become family over the years. I’ve even added a new reason to travel there – Whisky Live Singapore – which I hope will be an annual highlight!

Gimli (Photo: Clarina Taylor)

My June jaunt to Canada was a much needed chance to catch up with family and friends – witnessing the pride preparations in Toronto, celebrating a 50th anniversary, 60th birthday, day trip to Gimli, and most of all – success in obtaining my Indian employment visa!

On the writing front, I published my 1st article in an online newspaper I admire tremendously – Scroll.in. It was called: A foreign woman’s response to Mahesh Sharma: It’s got nothing to do with dressing modestly (When you can’t keep silent).

As always, life in India continues to confound, amuse, and remain above all my home.

Here is wishing you a fabulous 2017!

Pssst… Guess which were my top 3 posts for 2016?

2016-04-13 Walking

Sunday at Como Park, Kemang… Jakarta adventures

Everyday Asia has been quiet for an understandable reason – I’ve been pre-occupied with a project in Indonesia for a couple of months. When not in Indonesia, I have  either been in Singapore or Mumbai or somewhere in between.

There has been lots of activities and not much “down time.”

Even weekends have been packed with things like Whisky Live in Singapore or cramming four social events into a single evening home in Mumbai.

Until the long weekend. In Jakarta.

Naturally I had delusions of being able to go on adventures outside of Jakarta… maybe Yogyakarta and Borobudur or other places…

Naturally I also did not book anything in advance… So by the time I tried to fix on a plan, most places that looked reasonable were full.

I knew better. A couple of years ago I attempted to travel out of Jakarta last minute during Lebaran. After some half hearted attempts, I simply gave up.como-park

So why not explore more in this fabulous city Jakarta?

Why not indeed!

Which brought me to Sunday afternoon in Jakarta. More specifically to a Green Love A’Fair… and art / craft / community happening at Como Park in Kemang.

The original plan was to catch up with another friend there however ironically just as we were stepping out the door, she cancelled.

Still game, we ventured forth… looking forward to seeing what arts and crafts and other goodies could perhaps be purchased for Christmas gifts…

It was great to see a patch of green, families, kids and dogs enjoying time together. Food, crafts and activities, music and more.

Como Park

Como Park

It was easy to see this is a community. Naturally my friend knew others there and it is terrific to learn this is becoming a regular Sunday event.

The Merchant Cafe, Kemang

The Merchant Gourmet Cafe, Kemang

One change I’ve noticed most over the years is how so many places, cafes and more have become pet friendly. There were lots of dogs frolicking about, enjoying attention being petted by admirers young and old.

Amusingly, not long after we reached it was rained out! But still good fun.

We shifted from outdoors to indoors at The Merchant Gourmet cafe and then, as the rain eased from downpour to drizzle, made our way home.

We decided to walk and 30 minutes later, rather damp but happy, we treated ourselves to a hot cup of tea and brownies purchased from one of the fair kiosks.

If you happen to find yourself in Jakarta with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon… check to see if Como Park and/or a Green Love A’Fair is having an afternoon gathering!

Santa at The Merchant, Kemang

Santa brightening our day

Christmas greens, Como Park

Christmas greens, Como Park

Como Park activities

Como Park activities

PS Next weekend is booked for Bogor… then it will be home to Bombay for Christmas!

Related posts:

Whisky Lady – November novelties

My Whisky Lady posts kept speed with lots of activities in November despite being away in Indonesia most of the month with a short detour to Singapore for Whisky Live.


Before flying off, managed to sneak in a session with the Bombay & Malt and Cigar gentlemen which was a quest for quality affordable cask strength whiskies:

Our original tasting group carried on to sample an interesting assortment of Teeling whiskies – which I also tried at Whisky Live in Singapore… so didn’t feel completely left out!

Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore, Hampden

Old Pulteney, Benromach, Bowmore, Hampden

The Whisky Ladies kindly waited for my return to Mumbai so we could enjoy a trio of ‘contributors choice’ whiskies plus an experiment comparing Glencairn and Norlan tasting glasses featuring:

  • Old Pultney 21 year 46%What a treat and a perfect start to the evening!
  • Benromach 10 year 100′ proof 57% Subtle smoke combined with light sherry spice – yum!
  • Bowmore Blackrock NAS 40%A peatier bolder whisky…
  • And a special treat from my Whisky Live Singapore adventures – Hampden 2010 Jamaican Pure Single Rum HLCF, 6 year 68.5%

(Tasting notes coming in December)

Nordic Whisky Set

My Nordic Whiskies – Explorers Edition continued its journey with:

I also shared a few additional musing such as:

Westland, Pine Barrels, Stranahan's, Four Roses, Woodford

Westland, Pine Barrens, Stranahan’s, AD Laws, Woodford

And published the previous Whisky Ladies tasting notes from our American adventures:

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:

You can also find my Whisky Lady in India avatar on:

Music Musings – Emel Mathlouthi

Emel Mathlouthi performed at Mehboob Studios as part of the first Johnnie Walker – The Journey festival – and part of reviving my old Music Musings series!

Emel seduced the audience with the powerful emotions her voice emitted… punching through with passion, protest, shifting from lilting to wrenchingly raw.

After the show, Emel shared how much she enjoyed their short stay in India. Yet after extensive touring also appreciated a chance to relax in the hotel, swim outdoors…

She shared that they had been to Vancouver and Montreal and enjoyed their Canadian tour. I later met the guitar player who talked about being busy working on their new CD, soon to be independently released – Ensen.

Emil Mathlouthi – Ma Lkit

Want more? Check out:

I’ll admit I’d never heard of her before the event… and yet for much of December, Christmassy music was replaced by the haunting sounds of Tunisia.

Related articles

Whisky Lady – October offerings…

Happy Diwali and Hallowe’en everyone!!!

As the lights glow, firecrackers pop and people get dressed up in silly costumes, time for my monthly Whisky Lady round up! Even being away in Jakarta for a good part of September and early October did not deter sampling adventures….

Nor an opportunity to share an extract of an interview with Inver House (AnCnoc, Balblair, Old Pulteney, Speyburn, Hanky Bannister, Caorunn) Master Distiller Stuart Harvey on whether “Single Malt drinkers are promiscuous.


All three Mumbai tasting groups packed their sessions into less than a week:

*Tasting notes to follow next month


There was also an opportunity to explore Miniatures

These sessions were augmented by a few more sampling experiencings:

From the archives, I unearthed:

Togouchi, Nikka, Yoichi, Kavalan

You can also find a few more pages:

Finally, last but not least, my travels included an opportunity to explore whisky haunts in Jakarta, Indonesia… you may hear more on that post project.

Come join me in the continued whisky and other adventures!

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:

You can also find my Whisky Lady in India avatar on:

Saying farewell too soon…

Saying farewell is never easy. And when it is too soon, even more so.


We said farewell to a friend. We celebrated his life. We remembered first moments, great moments, mad moments and more. We were reminded how life takes us on many journeys with twists and turns.

Farewell my friend, may your journey continue…



Spinach head + pissing milk

A sometimes amusing thing about having a smattering of more than one language is how what you hear pops something completely different into your head courtesy of another language!

It can result in some rather odd brain combinations…

The 1st time I was asked if I wanted ‘susu’ in my coffee in Indonesia… had a quite gross image of a kid pissing into my sacred morning ritual with a heavily caffeinated brew!

Cus ‘susu‘ in my Hindi-colonised brain now means… well… taking an erm…. leak.

Whereas in Bahasa it means milk!

Last trip to Jakarta during my stay-cation massage, I thought the girl asked if I wanted a palak massage too.

Now palak to me means spinach…. So I instantly had bizarre cartoon images of spinach dancing in my head!

Turns out she was actually saying kepala i.e. head but obvious my ear was wired to food!

I wonder if others have this strange experience of hearing (or mis-hearing) one thing which bears zero relationship to what is ACTUALLY being said?

BTW… if you haven’t yet checked out Simone (Lady of the Cakes) new blog on Multilingual by Choice yet, do….

Related posts:

Zoe Moonlit Zapa’s 1st Birthday

So we don’t actually know when Zoe’s first birthday really is. The vet’s estimate post rescue was likely October…. sometime…

Me?? I would NEVER get into trouble!

Baby Zoe…

See our precious little princess was a stray. Initially brought home by one person, then adopted by another before prancing and pouncing into our home as a gangly pre-teen on Boxing Day aka 26 Dec 2015.

We adore her to bits… and there is little doubt when she comes to curl up for a cuddle, Zoe kinda likes us too.

What we've dubbed the Zoe "look"

Dubbed the Zoe “look”

We survived her escape artist phase, lived through her hilarious heat stage, and her drugged out recovery from a little operation to ensure there would be no baby Zoes.

We’ve weened her off her whisky and beer habit. Don’t ask.

We’ve come to accept that paper bags and cardboard boxes will be destroyed.

Did you want this box?

Did you want this box? (see… the ‘look’)

We even forgave the water mishap that led to the demise of my much beloved Macbook Air. Oh that was an expensive frustrating accident that derailed many things!

In turn, she lives with being picked up and being put in front of her scratching post when attempting to shred the ironing board or chair.

She does her daily duty gently tapping her lazy humans to get up in the morning. No alarms required, no siree! Not on Zoe’s watch!

She puts up with our occasional absences where another human pops over to say hello, dump a little food and leave… or seems to quite like her ‘cat sitter’ companion because she plays with her!

And gives her ‘fan club’ of various delivery men the gift of her haughty door greetings… or occasionally climbing up the door railing to their astonished eyes at her acrobatics (show off!).

Like most felines, she enjoys watching her world from ‘on high’ and decided a basket with spare clean kitchen cloths on top of the fridge would be her throne. She particularly enjoys avidly watching play rehearsals from her perch.

Watching on high

“Try that line again…”

She has no interest in people food, so a crazy thing like a birthday cake is nonsense.

However today we say thanks for our little fur ball. We share a home and daily routines. She’s our little munchkin. We are her pet humans. It works.

Related posts:

Whisky Lady – Speedy September

My Whisky Lady posts kept speed with lots of activities in September… including celebrating the 300th post!

The month was supposed to welcome the return of all three tasting groups… However my Jakarta trip derailed our Bombay Malt & Cigar night… oops!


The Whisky Ladies of Mumbai enjoyed a delightful trio of contrasting whiskies:


Our original tasting group returned after a two-month hiatus to explore:

Nordic Whisky Set

Our Nordic Whiskies – Explorers Edition began its journey with:

  1. Sweden’s Smögen Single Cask 7/2011 4 year 57.3% – Superb and left us wanting more!
  2. Sweden’s Smögen Sherry Project 1:4 57.2% – An interesting experiment with Sherry…
  3. Sweden’s Box Whisky The Festival 2015 54.5% –
  4. Sweden’s Box Whisky Shareholders 2016, 3 year 52% – Privelege to partake

Which prompted publishing a new European whiskies page…


These lovelies were followed by tasting notes from another miniatures session featuring:

Plus I shared insight behind how we organize our tasting groups – “Whisky clubs revealed!” And a wee prattle on “Whisky nosing…” plus a revisit of a yummy Paul John Single Cask Peated.

Whisky Ladies 1st Anniversary - Padmini

With all my travel and work focus in the next couple of months, behind the scenes had a flurry of advance informal tastings with more miniatures plus made a dent into the Canadian collection. Notes on these experiences will hopefully keep Whisky Lady moderately active!

Curious to know more? Check out recent Whisky Lady’s monthly missives:

You can also find my Whisky Lady in India avatar on:


Carissa Hickling

Carissa Hickling

Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, has called India home since 2003, working in Asia Pacific and traveling all over! She's also a bit of a 'Whisky Lady' too!

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