Film Stars and Squid

9 September 2011

This month, I kicked off my busy season with three planned trips abroad. I first visited Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the launch of the Glenfiddich 40 Year Old. It went brilliantly, but the temperature in Kuala Lumpur is always between 27°C and 33°C. It's fine for a couple of days, but I would seriously miss the Scottish rain, which is of course perfect whisky-drinking weather!

The 40 Year Old is particularly special, as it’s created using the remnant vatting system.  Each year, our Malt Master hand selects truly exceptional casks and marries them with the remnant of previous 40 year old vattings. This unique process results is a peerless single malt Scotch whisky of infinite richness and harmony.

After a weeklong stint in Australia, I flew to Japan where we carried out three large master classes in three cities over three days, Nagoya, Tokyo and Sapporo. The master classes were for the 400-strong Japanese bartenders association and the Glenfiddich Rich Oak was the tipple of focus. It’s a unique single malt delicately finished for up to 12 weeks in brand new American and new Spanish oak casks after being patiently matured for 14 years. I managed to avoid sushi (not my favourite snack) until we hit Sapporo where we started with squid legs or tentacles. I was taken with the table centrepiece, which appeared to continually change colour until my hosts explained that this was the rest of the squid, so basically he was watching me eat his legs. Yum yum.

On the last night I was driven to a Scotch Malt Whisky event where they had finished a tasting event. During their event they also viewed a film where I was interviewing a Korean film star at the Glenfiddich Distillery so I was given instant film star status as I walked into their tasting, weird but kind of nice…