More than 15 submissions, 8 shortlisted bartenders, and 1 local champion
Malaysia, 28th November 2023 – Woodford Reserve continues to celebrate the artistry and skill of bartenders with its recent competition, ‘The Wonderful Race.’ After a rigorous selection process, 8 talented finalists from Malaysia’s vibrant bartending community were chosen to showcase their expertise and creativity in elevating the classic Old Fashioned Cocktail.
A distinguished panel of judges, including Nicholas Ng, a renowned Restaurant Critic and Food & Beverage Expert, Bannie Kang, winner of the Mancino Bartenders’ Bartender Award as part of Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2021, and Evgeny Yashkovich, Marketing Manager at Brown Forman Asia, were entrusted with the challenging task of determining the champion.
In a stunning display of creativity and flavor mastery, Koh Yung Shen from Backdoor Bodega as the victor, capturing the hearts and palates of the judges. His winning creation, aptly named “Winter Woodford-land”, dazzled the senses with a harmonious blend of Woodford Reserve bourbon and wintermelon sugar meant for the cold winter months in Kentucky. The judges were captivated by the cocktail’s intricate balance and its ability to enhance the premium qualities of Woodford Reserve.
As a testament to his exceptional skills, Shen has been awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the legendary Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky, United States of America. This extraordinary opportunity will provide him a chance to meet with Woodford Reserve’s esteemed Master Distiller and further deepen his understanding of the craftsmanship behind this iconic spirit.
Evgeny Yashkovich, Marketing Manager at Brown-Forman Asia, lauded bartenders for their talent, stating, “Our Advocacy mission is to unite the world’s best Modern Hospitality professionals, support them with their careers, and give them an opportunity to be recognized for their achievements.” He expressed a commitment to celebrating creativity and professionalism, with winners enjoying an exclusive trip to Kentucky, where they can “be immersed in our brand history, meet the master distillers, walk the distillery floor, and enjoy cool surprises.” This initiative aims to elevate the craft of hospitality and provide a platform for professionals to showcase their dedication.
Now, cocktail enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike have the opportunity to savour Shen’s competition cocktail, 1812, at Backdoor Bodega. Crafted with the utmost care and expertise, this artisanal creation harmoniously combines Woodford Reserve with nutmeg, a spice coincidentally or not planted in Penang in the same year Woodford was first distilled, resulting in a truly memorable drinking experience.
In addition to Shen and his exceptional creation, let us also celebrate the artistry and craftsmanship of the other talented bartenders who participated in “The Wonderful Race” competition:
|Bar Name Bar IG
|Ng Bee Yee
|Tiga Bar @bar.tiga
|The Nest Cocktail Bar @thenestcocktailbar
|Ikiya 2.0 @ikiya.2.0
|Good Friends Club Penang @goodfriendsclubpg
|Lim Shui Teng
|The Mandarin Bar @the_mandarin_bar
|Lim Tett Hin
|Baobae Penang @baobae.pg
|Koh Yung Shen
|Backdoor Bodega @backdoorbodega
Join us in raising a glass to these extraordinary mixologists, whose dedication and passion continue to push the boundaries of flavor and innovation. Their creations exemplify the unrivaled versatility and artistry of Woodford Reserve, leaving an indelible mark on the world of mixology.