Last week saw Australia’s most important vote. And it wasn’t the federal election.
The Glenlivet: The Guardians’ Chapter
The Glenlivet has launched a new initiative called “The Guardians Chapter” where consumers are asked to select the next limited edition of the Speyside whisky. Australia was the first to take part.
The Glenlivet: The Guardians’ Chapter
At a seven course dinner was held in a private room of Tetsuya’s in Sydney, a select group of media and guests had the opportunity to taste and vote on their favourite expression.
Laura Hay, Chivas Brand Ambassador, led the tasting before the voting took place. Three new expressions from the distillery’s cask collection were introduced, all non-chill filtered and bottled at 48.5% ABV. No age statement was given but each whisky was matured in different casks.
First was Revival, pale in colour which is attributed to maturation in mostly ex Bourbon casks. On the nose and palate, it has strong vanilla, honey, with notes of crème brulee along with baked apple and apricot on the palate. A short finish, with the flavours at the front of the palate make it a lighter style of whisky.
Next was Classic, matured in a combination of ex American oak and ex sherry butts, almost in equal ratio. Darker in colour from the sherry maturation, this expression has more dominant spice and dried fruit with a different texture from the sherry cask tannins. With cinnamon and burnt toffee on the nose, this whisky has a lot more spice, raisins, dried fruit and is more chewy on the palate. Overall, a most enjoyable dram to sip on any occasion.
Last was Exotic, matured in mostly sherry casks. This expression is darker, heavier in style and has a lot more layers and complexity. With notes of clove, cinnamon and star anise and notes of Christmas cake, this whisky still retains the apricot undernotes of The Glenlivet. Rich in texture with a warm finish, this is indeed a special and indulgent expression to enjoy at the end of the night or sip by the fireplace.
When the voting was tallied, Revival came in third place, Classic was second and Exotic was voted as the favourite. No information has been made available yet as to the outcome after the votes were collated.
The Guardians’ Chapter voting is set to continue around the world. The compilation of votes globally will take place early 2014 and the new Limited Edition is set to be released in March 2014.
The Glenlivet Dinner at Tetsuya’s
Prior to the tasting of the new expressions, six savoury dishes out of an eight course menu were served, each pairing The Glenlivet with food prepared by renowned chef, Tetsuya Wakuda at his Sydney restaurant.
Salad of the sea
Light and fresh, Salad of the Sea is essentially an adaptation of a Japanese seafood salad made of risoni, flavoured with lemon, rice vinegar, seaweed, preserved lemon, radish and dried tuna, scampi marinated in vanilla and smoked roe. The dish was matched with The Glenlivet 12 yo. Both were enjoyable on their own, but the fruity character of the whisky with pineapple, pears and vanilla was in stark contrast to the acidity and vibrancy of the dish.
Foie Gras with Dried Fruits
Next came an unctuous slab of delectable Foie Gras with Dried Fruits, nuts and a small pool of honey. The silky smoothness of the foie gras with the honey and dried fruit complement made a perfect match with the rich fruit and spice character of The Glenlivet 18 yo.
Ostrich with Dwarf Truffled Peach
Beneath a mound of rocket lay lightly seared slices of Ostrich with Dwarf Truffled Peach, a tiny fruit that resembles an olive. Not gamey in flavour as expected, this elegant dish was matched with The Glenlivet 15yo French Oak Reserve. While the pepperiness of the rocket cut through the meat, the pepper overpowered the fruity and subtle oak character of the whisky.
Marinated Salmon with Miso, Orange, Garlic & Ginger
A perfectly cooked Marinated Salmon with Miso, Orange, Garlic and Ginger – trademark Tetsuya flavours – was well paired with The Glenlivet 12 yo.
Loin of Venison with Beetroot & Pomegranate
Presented as a striking palette of deep crimson, the Loin of Venison with a fine beetroot puree and pomegranate seeds was a dish you first eat with your eyes. The flavours sang in harmony but this piece of venison was a little tough on the knife. The dish was paired with The Glenlivet 15yo French Oak Reserve.
Cape Grim Beef Short Rib with Apple and Eggplant
The last dish to be served before The Guardians’ Chapter tasting was a melt-in-the-mouth, 20 hours slow-cooked Cape Grim Beef Short Rib with apple, eggplant and green pepper which gave the dish a little kick and was paired with The Glenlivet 18yo.
Lychee Granita with strawberries and Coconut
After the voting, a palate cleanser of Lychee Granita with Strawberries and Coconut was served,
followed by a sensational finale of Chocolate Cake, with an outer layer hiding a light and airy chocolate mousse paired with The Glenlivet 18 yo.
After petits fours and coffee, The Glenlivet XXV 25 Year Old was an apt finale to a fine evening.
The Guardians’ Chapter by The Glenlivet is a world first, an initiative that uses global “crowd sourcing” to select the next limited edition expression. Consumer in Australia can book for tastings of the three expressions from 20th September 2013 with tickets available for purchase from Vintage Cellars.
At present, the next steps in the journey of The Guardians’ Chapter have not been communicated. And we await the next chapter.
Tetsuya’s is featured in our guide to Sydney’s Best Japanese Restaurants.
529 Kent St
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