A couple of weeks ago, Joyce was down with something. Like I told her on Saturday, I felt bad that she was sick, but I was happy that she passed me her invite to the Glenmorangie dinner at Westin KL. I had a most enjoyable time — brought Lainie with me, met familiar faces at the dinner, had some nice whisky, a nice dinner and great conversation as well as random motivation to be a millionaire so I could afford to stay at the Westin KL Chairman’s Suite.
Actually it was an event that made me think, still. If I am not mistaken, they rented the suite for two nights. No doubt it was used for assorted sessions, but the fact that they allocated one dinner (that’s one evening/ night already) for 4 bloggers (that’s 8 people including an invite for their partners. So I guess that made Lainie my partner for that night :D ) was… generous? No matter who the invitees, I’m (always) slightly astonished that companies are willing to… I guess the word is converse, with those with blogs. Because honestly if it were up to me, I’d be smooching with noted pub and club owners ;)
Guess I should shut up now before I shoot myself in the foot.
Upon reaching the venue, we spotted Kim Ong with her dad. I was surprised to learn that the Elaine who did the inviting was *the* Elaine I met 2 years ago at a bloggers’ meet. Now she’s all grown up and working already, heh. There were also Fireangel, Bob, Patrick and Min. Our host for the night (other than Jeff and Elaine) was Annabel Meikle, a lovely lady who is Glenmorangie’s whisky creator and sensory expert.
As Glenmorangie whisky’s distillation process is done by a staff of 16, they are known as ‘The Sixteen Men of Tain’. If you are a bit slow, no they are not the *same* 16 men through the years… Nick Lees from The Edmonton Journal thinks that it should now be ‘The Sixteen Men of Tain and A Woman’ to reflect Annabel Meikle’s contribution to the assorted whisky blend and taste as well as its branding.
Indeed Annabel was a most charming host — refined but not in the least uppity, classy but not snobbish, humourous and witty but not crude. You know, someone my mother had hoped that I’d be someday. Let’s get that disappointment out of the way, shall we?
Notice the different whisky colours in the photo above? Well Annabel can tell you what they are just by a sniff or two, as well as what type of casks they were matured in, what they are associated with and how they remind you of certain stuff such as chocolate, cinnamon, mint or apples. Let her sniff a while more and she might even tell how its age. Very powerful nose, that one. I was most impressed because the result of my sniffing the whisky was painful nostrils and near tears in my eyes. I probably should not have stuck my nose that close to the liquid.
On the way home:
Lainie: So could you smell and distinguish all those different tastes and what not?
Me: No, I had painful nostrils and near tears in my eyes.
Lainie: You probably should not have stuck your nose that close to the liquid.
Dinner was soon served, each course to be paired with the 4 different type of whisky in front of us. Like wine. The Original with 40% alcohol content (and matured in ex-Bourbon casks) was my favourite. If I could tell you how it felt going down my throat ala Annabel’s rich running commentary, I would; but I can’t so I won’t. The Lasanta with 46% alcohol content was matured in sherry casks was… spicy. The Quinta Ruban, matured in port casks was… even more spicy and my 2nd favourite. The Nectar D’Or, matured in Sauternes casks was the spiciest. I am rather useless at this, aren’t I? Good thing you can find out more about them at the Glenmorangie website.
Patrick brought up a few very good questions, such as how are they going to market the Glenmorangie whisky range in a country where most of us can’t properly pronounce ‘Carrefour’ (I made up the ‘Carrefour’ comparison but it was something like that) and whisky appreciation is defined by age and price. I think Patrick should go back to radio or something along the lines of ;)
Me with Elaine, Lainie, Kim, Min, Patrick and Annabel. Click on the photo above for a larger version
Well, it was very fun and enjoyable. Good whisky, good food, great dinner companions. Thanks for having us :)