Jessy and I headed over to Li Restaurant in Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya on 24 June 2016 for the The Glenlivet Guardians – Comfort. The Guardians of The Glenlivet is a global community of whisky lovers that has proven to be one of the most innovative consumer engagement programmes rolled out by brand and this was my second outing with them.
The Malaysian chapter of The Guardians of The Glenlivet began in November 2013 and all members to-date are selected by invite only. The Glenlivet, the single malt that gives its name and purpose to this exclusive community, began the Malaysian chapter with 42 privileged Malaysian Guardians coming together in November 2013 to join thousands of other Guardians across the globe spanning 37 countries to vote for what will become The Glenlivet’s next limited edition bottle.
From November 2013 onwards, members got to enjoy some unique experiential events for The Glenlivet Guardians in Malaysia, on top of exclusive privileges and programme rewards with at least one unique event a month. To date, The Glenlivet has hosted over 40 private pairing events for the 800 strong community of Guardians, with numbers growing each month.
The Glenlivet Guardians Malaysia is the country’s most active whisky society currently, and some of the much talked about whisky pairings events amongst the Guardians include the pairing of fresh oysters from around the globe – different flavours, sweetness and umami levels from Irish Premium, Sydney Rocks, Traghenna Bay – paired with The Glenlivet, blending different coffee beans in between sips of whisky, having a haircut and grooming tips while enjoying a dram at the world’s oldest barber, and learning about different cuts of a diamond while savouring canapes and whisky.
This time round was a pairing of elevated traditional dishes with The Glenlivet 12, 15 and 18 at Li Restaurant, a neighbourhood cafe in the suburbs where I grew up, which is run by three (3) young and enterprising individuals who decided to give traditional Malaysian dishes a modern twist!
Entree – Cherry Tomatoes, clams, cured egg yolk, pickled shallots, clam garlic ginger broth
The four (4) dishes above were paired with The Glenlivet 12.
The Glenlivet 12 is Glenlivet’s signature style, with the classic malt matured primarily ex-American Oak casks. These impart notes of vanilla and give the whisky its distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavours during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character.
Colour: Bright, vibrant gold
Nose: Fruity and summery
Palate: Well balanced and fruity, with strong pineapple notes
Finish: Creamy, smooth, with marzipan and fresh hazelnuts
Enjoy with Seared scallops
The Pork Toast with chili mayonnaise and cilantro is essentially a modern “Roti Babi” but taken to a whole new level altogether! The Rice Crackers were a nice play on keropok while the sourdough toast with butter was so good I inquired about purchasing the bread to bring home. However they only had a couple of loaves and I was too late as there were guests at the dinner who already bought them!
The entree was fragrant and the broth was immensely tasty! The strong Asian flavours that went well with The Glenlivet 12 which to me is an easy drinking whisky that is great for having at the bar or at home with a couple of your friends.
Main – Spiced Braised Pork Belly, baked potato puree, ulam salad
This was paired with The Glenlivet 15
The 15 Year Old gets its distinctive rich and exotic character from a process of selective maturation in which a proportion of the spirit is matured in French oak casks. Glenlivet was one of the first whisky distillers to use French oak for making whisky, a technique that has since been imitated the world over.
The Limousin oak used is cut in France’s Dordogne region, where it’s often used to mature cognacs. Its low density allows whisky to sink deep into the wood, and Glenlivet carefully controlled how long the whisky matures in the casks so as not to overpower the desired result: a unique, pleasing spiciness.
This process increases the intensity of the whisky, creating a rich, creamy finish, with buttery notes. The 15 Year Old is deep gold in colour, and leaves behind traces of sweet almond and spice.
Colour: Deep, intense gold
Nose: Creamy, rich, buttery
Palate: Fruit and nut
Finish: Lingering, sweet almond and spice
Enjoy with Full-flavoured venison dishes
Oh my! The pork belly was really melt in the mouth and although I noticed some of the female guests cutting away the fats, to me pork belly must be eaten with the fat otherwise it’s such a waste! This dish went beautifully with The Glenlivet 15 which lent some fruity and nutty flavours to balance out the richness and sweetness of the pork. An inspired pairing!
Dessert – Soy Milk Panna Cotta, pineapple, gula melaka, sago, mint
This was paired with The Glenlivet 18.
Over the course of 18 years, The Glenlivet’s Master Distiller, Alan Winchester, took this expression through a combination of cask types, including both first and second-fill American oak (for tropical fruitiness) and ex-sherry oak (for spicy complexity). The result of this is a gorgeous single malt that is complex, yet elegant and balanced.
Colour: Old gold, apricot
Nose: Rich fruit, toffee
Palate: Balanced, bursts of sweet orange
Finish: Long, with raisins and spice
Enjoy with Fillet mignon and foie gras
A modern interpretation of Sago Gula Melaka and it worked very well with the rich flavours of The Glenlivet 18. In my books, this was the ultimate pairing of the night as the balance of sweetness, richness, piquancy and flavours of the whisky went so well together I finished every last bit. And I’m really not a dessert person.
Another good night with The Glenlivet and lots of good food and warm company. Till the next The Glenlivet Guardians event!
More info at https://www.theglenlivet.com
Photos shot with the Fujifilm X-A2.
More info at http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/x/fujifilm_x_a2/