One of my latest discovery with whisky is – Johnnie Walker & Sons XR 21 Whisky Food Pairing. One of a more unique whisky that I came across where I always thought Johnnie Walker is only Red, Gold, Green those series only.
The pairing event was held at The Library – Ritz Carlton, KL.
About XR 21 : This bottle is actually a special edition release of Johnnie Walker, this 21 year old expression was inspired by the blending notes of Sir Alexander Walker. Featuring whisky from the extensive Johnnie Walker stocks, the XR 21 Year Old is rich and multi layered blend vanilla, golden honey with sherry oak finish for end taste. Best to have it neat or chill water.
On that night, King George V is one of the best series I have tried under Johnnie Walker & Sons or Johnnie Walker. Indeed it is an expensive bottle and it sure do lift up the expectation on the tasting note.
All of us were pampered with XR – 21 before dinner start.
With the ambiance all sent in place and a great menu to be tasted in the next 5 minutes, I am all excited to begin with. The menu is designed to awaken our senses with Chef Phoebe had created a unique blend of contemporary French and a twist of Malay flavors using local produce. Bringing all of these flavors together, we use some key elements of the original whisky blending process; BARLEY_SEA SALT_OAK_PEAT/SMOKE_RARE BLENDS_RICH FRUIT & SPICES
Kick start off with one of a premium grade whisky – King George that have rich brewing history that had made it now in a limited edition bottle and also limited quantity available. The taste is pungent, smokey oakiness, smooth, full bodied easy to drink. Loving it.
Start off – Barley Pair with XR21 – The natural minerals of ocean notes of the oyster along with the toasted barley brings out the best of characteristics of this John Walker & Sons XR 21 whisky. To enjoy this oyster, we were told to push a pump of XR 21 into our mouth, follow by the oyster and end it with the remaining pump. To finish it bite the fried barley at the side and indeed, it does enhance to sweet aromatic note of oyster and fragrance of barley.
Sea Salt – XR21 Glazed King Scallops with Nasi Lemak, Fish Sambal, Cucumber & Olive Oil Powder. This is a very interesting dish where scallop is pan seared to perfection, with a clever presentation of local Malaysian infusion – nasi Lemak with the spiciness of chili is not overpowering yet a sip of XR 21 is able to pull the right balance of sweetness of scallop and sambal together.
OAK – Pan-Seared Rougie Foie Gras, Duck Rillette, Ginger Pickled Cheeris, 10 years Barrel Aged Modena Balsamic, Okra Paper. Among the series, this would be the dish of the night. Foie gras is cook to perfection that it just melt in your mouth and in love with the pungent taste of balsamic sauce in the pump, with just a little drop, it enhance the flavour of it. A sip of XR 21 add on the smokiness of the taste of it.
Peat/Smoke – Hickory Smoked Eel, Green Tea, Bamboo Shoot Pickle, Aromatic Pepper Oil, Squid Ink Crackling. A beautifully cook eel and the little saltiness of squid ink that gives you the little crunch of texture in mouth is what we need. The flavour is nicely balance up with green tea.
To begin with, The RARE Blend – Pan-Seared Cod, Taro Rots, Parsley, leek Ash, is spread with XR 21 Mist, where it created the aroma of the alcohol. A little hint of bitterness do take over on first taste yet freshness of cod came after that.
The dinner was hosted by Chef Phoebe where she began her career in the culinary world after successfully securing a 4-year apprenticeship, with her base training being French and later on, expanded her culinary knowledge in various countries from all over the world including Scotland, France, Spain, England, Thailand, Japan, China, South America and more. In 2012, she joined Johnnie Walker House to establish the Beijing House and lead three Johnnie Walker Houses in China for three years, which helped her opened up a whole new world of flavours and pairing possibilities with whiskies, that has changed her approach to creating and innovating unique menus since then.
To finish off, the note – Rich Fruit & Spice – XR21 Nitro Ice Cream, Coffee Soil, Spiced Raspberries, Honey comb. Love their sweet ending as the texture of honey comb is perfect, crunchy and not too sweet to pair with the soft berries and the sandy coffee soil built in the bitterness of it and a pull of sweetness from the cotton candy is just nice.
Enjoyed the dinner that Chef Phoebe had created by using some of the local ingredients especially for a foreigner to come out with Nasi Lemak. It is a great experience and get to know another range of great whisky.
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