Age and pretentiousness aside, I still think the 12 Year Glenfiddich is a fine drink, and I would not hesitate to drink it on any occasion. You can imagine my elation and excitement when I received an invitation to the Glenfiddich's 125th Year Anniversary Celebrations, held at the KL Hilton, with a dinner spread prepared by celebrity Chef in Black, Emmanuel Stroobant. Good whisky, good food, could life get any better? Well, good company certainly would help, and at that point, I wasn't sure who I was going to meet , but that wasn't a major worry, coz nothing breaks the ice like a few shots of good single malt.
Distilled on Christmas Day 1987, as part of the single malt’s centenary celebrations, this special release marks 125 years of pioneering whisky making at The Glenfiddich Distillery. It was selected on Christmas Day 2012, the distillery’s 125th anniversary, by its founder William Grant’s great-great grandson, Peter Gordon and his son, Dougal.
It was almost like a shrine, and I had the audacity to place my glass of 12 year old on that table, which was hurriedly removed by a very concerned lady. Can't take me anywhere, I tell you!
While we mill around, waiting for dinner to start, we get to see Chef Emmanuel Stroobant in action. The venue, 7even in KL Hilton, is a great venue for this kind of event, coz we get to see the action, and it really fascinates me the love and effort that goes into the plating of each dish.
He also said that he will not say too much about the tastes of each whisky before we taste it ourselves, lest he influences our thought pattern. It was better for us to discover the subtle flavours ourselves.
As an experienced whisky educator, Matthew (who's actually Australian) enjoys nothing more than talking to people about the ‘Water of Life’, and maybe even sharing a dram or two. As he frequently tells guests at his tastings, with a sly grin, “Don’t worry about asking too many questions, you’ll get tired of me talking about whisky before I get tired of talking about whisky”.
Coinciding with the release of the Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage, a silent charity auction was held to raise funds for Oxfam International’s appeal for donations to Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines.
The Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage will be available from 20th January 2014 before the strictly limited bottles travel from the distillery to whisky connoisseurs and prestigious establishments around the world.
Each bottle will sell for a minimum of USD1,168 (Approx RM3,850..might as well round it off to RM3,888). Actually, there are only 286 bottles throughout the world, so they are pretty rare.
The silent auction required the well heeled guests and high net worth individuals (which excluded me automatically) to place their bids in a bowl. The auction wasn't really that silent, because results are shown on the screen, so that you can outbid the highest bidder.
Glenfiddich Cream Canachan, honey lime ginger custard, raspberry , toasted oatmeal and toffee dust, with the DRUMROLL.... the Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage!!! Out of 286 bottles in the world, we managed to get a shot...there were almost tears in my eyes.
Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage boasts complex and sensuous flavours that have been allowed to develop and mellow in oak casks for a quarter of a century. Rich fruit cake, toasted almonds and cinnamon flavours flourish on the nose, underpinned by a zesty citrus note enveloped in vanilla sweetness, allowing hints of hints of liquorice, leather and ground coffee. On the tongue it takes on a beautiful velvety texture, rich and spicy with a sweet sherbety flavour. The depth of oak tannin creates an intriguing balance of sweet and dry with a luxurious mouth coating oiliness, which is decadently succeeded by a long-lasting, sweet, oaky finish.
That was the description given anyway. Truth be told, it was really really good, and was a real fitting finale to the night, but it was difficult to pick up all the subtler nuances considering I'd been imbibing copious amounts of the 12,15 and 18 earlier on. Oh dear, this incriminating statement might just see me kicked out of any future guests lists.
The dessert was a lovely way to end that decadent meal. The tangy custard also gave that requisite kick to give a second wind to the senses.
Oh, and as for that quiet charity auction, I recall the highest bidder bidded USD2,888-00 if not more. I recall each bottle being roughly RM10,000, and five were sold here. It was wonderful of William Grant & Sons to do something like that for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Special thanks to Sarada Chellam for the invitation, and for the wonderful hosts at William Grant, (Jeremy especially, and Zhi), the PR guys from Text100 (Pashmina and Elya) who were such wonderful company.
Ooh, and I just found out William Grant & Sons Group makes Hendricks Gin, and Balvenie, two of my favourite drinks.