Monday 21 October 2013

Glenfiddich - "Celebrating 125 years of pioneering spirit" dinner

Last Monday night those fine folk over at William Grant & Sons Australia held another fantastic event, this time a dinner to celebrate the (very limited) release of the 125th Anniversary Vintage.

Hold up...125th Anniversary Edition? Didn't I cover that already, back in January? That release (whilst bloody good) was a travel retail special (soon to be available off-premise for around $150AUD). This release is somewhat more special, with only 286 bottles available worldwide, 9 of which are available in Australia (8 after the night was over...) and a price tag of $1,250AUD.


Slightly more special, then, and that's not even mentioning the fact that it was casked on Glenfiddich's 100th Anniversary (Christmas Day, 1987), and bottled exactly 25 years later, when Glenfiddich's Malt Master Brian Kinsman selected just one cask (a European oak sherry butt) from the small selection of casks all laid to rest on Christmas Day 1987. Bottled at 55.2% and with an intensely rich, copper colour, it was pretty obvious we were in for a treat.

So how was this incredibly rare whisky celebrated? With a suitably impressive 3 course meal at Centennial Parklands Dining - an appropriate choice of venue it turns out, given Centennial Parklands are also celebrating their 125th anniversary this year.

The sound of bagpipes made the venue a breeze to find, and the "And see my baby" cocktail (Adam Bastow's finalise cocktail from the recent Pioneers Cocktail Competition) was a welcome refreshment. After meeting both friendly and new faces, we were given a brief rundown of the park's history (did you know it was the site of the last officially recorded duel in Australia? Nor did I. #youlearnsomethingneweveryday) while enjoying a 125th Anniversary Edition (yes the one I wrote about in January). James Buntin (regular readers of this blog will probably know who he is by now!) then talked us through the whiskies, before the 30 or so of us took our seats for dinner, which included:

Glenfiddich 12yo cured salmon, beetrooth relish and citrus aioli
Served with Glenfiddich 12yo
Notes: Absolutely fantastic match this one, with the whisky bringing out sweet candied / boiled sweet flavours. Delicious and gone way too soon.

Oregano & Glenfiddich 18yo glazed chicken breast, potato fondant, sautéed spinach and roast wine cherry tomato
Served with Glenfiddich 18yo
Notes: Another excellent match, with the whisky ramping up the sweetness but also the spice.

Vanilla créme brulee, orange chocolate & raspberry garden with a honey & Glenfiddich 21yo infused ice cream
Served with chilled Glenfiddich 21yo
Notes: Not my favourite match, but the Glenfiddich infused ice cream was fantastic, and the chilled 21yo was an interesting and fun twist.

Tea, Coffee & dark chocolate truffles
Served with Glenfiddich 30yo
Notes: You know it's going to be a good night when the 30yo Glenfiddich isn't the last whisky of the night!

With dinner cleared and the taste of Glenfiddich 30yo still lingering, head chef Paul Kavanagh said a few words about the pairings, before it was time to taste the main event - the Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary Vintage.

...which I've decided to save for its own tasting post (because it's just that good). Long story short - I've given it my equal highest rating ever.


A huge thanks has to go to the William Grant & Sons and Weber Shandwick crew (especially Mark, James and Steve) who did another fantastic job. The next event is already locked in the diary and we can't wait!

 - Martin.

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