Thursday, June 25, 2015

Glenlivet Winchester 50 Year Old - Highest Price Paid For A Single Malt in Malaysia

About a month ago, I was thumping my chest and wailing, because I had to decline an invitation to Glenlivet Guardian's special event, whereby I read they were unveiling a 50 Year Old ... of course I didn't read the fine print and thought we might get to have a drop of this precious liquid, but I was greatly relieved, as I followed friends on instagram, to realise that of course, the 50 year old wasn't served.  Well, I did weep a little to know that I had missed out on the 25 Year Old Glenlivet.

Fast forward, a month later....

Kuala Lumpur, 14 June 2015: History was made on 12 June 2015 by The Glenlivet for clocking in the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of single malt whisky in Malaysia at a price tag of RM96,000.

The Glenlivet Winchester Collection is a series of 50 Year Old single malt Scotch whiskies, which will be released over the next few years, starting with Vintage 1964 in 2014. Taking its name from current Master Distiller Alan Winchester, this exquisite collection of rare whiskies represents the legacy of a generation of men whose unparalleled craft and skill created this, the rarest of whisky.

To start the evening, as usual, our host Lionel Lau introduced the event, with his usual savoir faire, and introduced the Scottish dude,  Darren Hosie, Chivas Brothers’ Regional Mentoring Manager.  “Malaysia is an important market for The Glenlivet. It is an honour for us to have a Malaysian Guardian add Bottle No 3 of Vintage 1964 to his collection,

At 8pm sharp on 12 June 2015, a 50 day online auction that started the hunt for a buyer and a home for Bottle No 3 from The Glenlivet Winchester Collection Vintage 1964 came to a close on a high.

Bidders had to register as a Guardian on the online bidding site which at the end of the auction, had over 200 registrations.  WOW, there are certainly a lot of rich fellas around...!!!!

In the end, the coveted bottle went to not one but four esteemed Guardians. Brought together by a common love for whisky, they decided band together and pool their resources to win the right to own one of the rarest bottle of single malt whisky ever produced.

It was definitely a tight race. We knew there were several others vying for it. It is a great bottle, a rare collector’s item and we are extremely pleased to have won it. We do not know when we will be opening it so for now we would like to savour the thought of being the ‘Guardians’ of this special bottle. When we do actually open the bottle, it will definitely be a unique occasion,” said one of the four Guardians, whom all declined to be named.

“With a few rare bottles, we can’t exactly call ourselves collectors. Perhaps this Bottle No. 3 is a good start. It’s not often that Malaysia is presented with such a unique bottle of whisky so when we heard that it was coming to Malaysia, we thought we ought to go for it. Maybe 1964 being the auspicious year of the Wood Dragon had something to do with it too!” said another.

On the dinner table, we looked at our dinner companions and swore we were all hanging out with the wrong people...  I want friends who could afford at RM96,000 bottle, shallow as that may sound.  And to make things WORSE, the winning bidders all looked so young!!!! Sobs, I have failed in this life.

Actually, it wasn't a bad deal if you ask me.  The winning bid gets a trip for two to the distillery of Glenlivet, in Scotland, courtey of Pernod Ricard Malaysia, AND should they wish never to open the bottle, they were given a small bottle of 5 cl for tasting.   Just think of the bragging rights!!!

Meanwhile, the ordinary folk were content to have the usual 12, 15 and 18 years, paired with various kinds of food from 5senses at the Westin Kuala Lumpur.  Not that I am complaining mind you, I love all the Glenlivets, regardless of age.

This is the usual star of the Glenlivet Guardian events, but tonight, this gorgeous 18 Year Old would certainly be upstaged by its older counterparts..

The first course, the herb braised whole abalone, paired with the 12 year.  The texture of the abalone was totally unlike what I was accustomed, it was almost soft, and insipid, which was a pity.

The second course of steamed black cod, mandarin peel and black bean paste and spring spinach fared a little better, and of course embellised with what seems to be a unanimous favourite, the 15 year Glenlivet.

The finale, the Foie Gras and Roast Duck Roulade, paired with the 18 year old, which is usually the highlight, but we were in store for a pleasant surprise.  Fortunately the lovely 18 year old made up for the shortcomings of the dish, where the foie gras had been cooked to death...poor duck or goose that died in vain.

Chilled Osmanthus CakesWith Wolfberry and Avocado Mocchi...

Everybody raise a glass....

We may not have gotten to taste the 50 year old, but this 25 Year Old was so so good.  Smooth, elegant, floral, strong, truly a masterpiece, and really was the highlight of the evening.

And it's always nice to see an old familiar face...

Additional Notes For Information:

About Vintage 1964

· Tasting Notes
This cask of exceptional quality, made of American oak seasoned with Bourbon, has created a symphony of distinctive flavours, full of the signature fruity notes of The Glenlivet, intensified with age. Ripe pears, oranges and black cherries create an intriguing flavour, while smooth, creamy toffee notes give a rich, velvety texture. In the background, hints of caramelised sugar entice the taste buds and endure on the palate, creating the sort of whisky that legends are made of.

· Packaging
Acclaimed Scottish glass artists Nichola Burns and Brodie Nairn (GLASSTORM) have created a decanter design, inspired by The Glenlivet’s glorious history. Completing the decanter is a jewel-like stopper, designed by internationally acclaimed silversmith Richard Fox, whose past commissions have included Formula One and Rolls Royce. The design combines precious materials such as rose gold, and is crowned with a ‘Cairngorm Stone’, often known as “The Whisky Stone” as a result of its unique colouring.

Completing the craft and expertise for Vintage 1964 is a presentation cabinet designed by award-winning furniture maker, John Galvin. Galvin has applied traditional cabinet-making techniques to a contemporary design, resulting in a beautiful, bespoke piece that will stand the test of time, just like the rare and precious liquid that is housed inside.

About The Glenlivet
The Glenlivet is the No. 2 single malt Scotch whisky in the world. Crafted in the remote Livet Valley since 1824, it is the only whisky with the unchallengeable right to be called The Glenlivet.

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard - the world's co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine's, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

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