Looking to splash out on exceptional whiskies or cognacs for either gifting or self-indulgence? Some of the most prestigious brands in the business recently took the lid off their latest expressions and designs. From whiskies almost as old as grans, which cost north of a hundred grands, to an igneous-form decanter designed by a 91-year-old architect, there is something for every connoisseur.
Royal Salute The Time Series 52-Year-Old Single Cask Finish
Expertly crafted by Royal Salute master blender Sandy Hyslop, the Time Series 52-Year-Old Single Cask Finish makes exceptional use of some of the oldest and most valuable whiskies in the Royal Salute collection. The limited edition is available in only 106 bottles.
The Time Series 52-Year-Old is a single cask finish blend with a remarkable balanced character, exhibiting a creamy sweet finish. Intensely fruity on the nose, boasting notes of ripe plum, toffee red apples and dark chocolate covered hazelnuts, the whisky delights with flavours of sweet orange marmalade with a hint of ginger and scented cloves intermingled with soft ripe pears in syrup and a tantalising touch of liquorice. Out of the 52 years of patient maturation, the final 14 years were spent in a single cask, resulting in the whisky’s velvety and creamy texture.
“It’s a personal privilege to create such an outstanding whisky for Royal Salute. The longer the whisky matures, the more intricate it becomes and with 52 years of ageing, the delicate balance of some of the rarest of our whiskies has created an unrivalled depth of flavour and unbelievably complex characteristic, making for a remarkable expression that perfectly shows that time is a key element of our creations,” says Hyslop.
For the Malaysian market, only the bottles engraved #37 and #38 of the all-new expression are available for purchase. Each bottle is housed in a hand-blown Dartington Crystal decanter engraved with a unique number. It sits in an exclusive box featuring five layers of wood, each representing a decade of the blend. A true collector’s whisky, each purchase comes with complimentary services, including a private dinner for 10 in the form of Royal Salute’s multi-sensorial Olfactory Studio experience in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru or Penang. A global Royal Salute ambassador will also make a special surprise virtual appearance to commemorate the occasion.
Apart from a personalised certificate, the collector will also receive a complete and complementary set of Royal Salute serving ritual keepsake. Guests of this intimate celebration may partake in The Quaich Ritual, a traditional Scottish ceremony cementing a bond of friendship.
Sale of the Times Series 52-Year-Old Single Cask is only available via private enquiry at email@example.com
The Macallan Double Cask 15 Years Old and 18 Years Old
The maker of record-breaking single malt Scotch whiskies, The Macallan, follows up the Double Cask 12 Years Old launched in 2016, with two new, expanded aged expressions. The Macallan Double Cask range harmoniously conjugates the best of two worlds to create a distinctive single malt, whose depth and breadth of flavour and aroma are influenced by European oak from the forest in the north of Spain and the French Pyrenees, and American oak from the picturesque Ohio, Missouri and Kentucky.
New oak is then transported to The Macallan cooperage in Jerez to be made in barrels. To ensure the exacting standards, they are toasted, air dried and seasoned with sherry for months. Once they are ready, these barrels are relocated to The Macallan Estate in Speyside where they are filled with new-make spirit.
The result is a perfect union, with the sherry-seasoned American oak imparting delicate flavours of vanilla, while the European oak delivers the subtle and unmistakable spice and classic style of The Macallan.
“Bringing together American and European oak sherry seasoned casks to achieve the perfect balance of flavours is incredibly exciting for the whisky mastery team, and we are proud to offer two new expressions to this distinctive range for The Macallan Double Cask fans to explore.
“With Double Cask 15 Years Old, the delicate and indulgent flavours of American oak including honey, citrus and chocolate balance The Macallan’s more traditional characteristics of rich fruits, sherry and wood spice.
“The Macallan Double Cask 18 Years Old offers slightly more complexity, with rich raisin and sultana subtly balanced by warming oak spice. Oak influence is the single greatest contributor to the quality, natural colour and distinctive aromas and flavours at the heart of The Macallan’s single malts,” says Kirsteen Campbell, The Macallan master whisky maker.
Purchase can be made at The Macallan’s E-boutique.
John Walker & Sons XR21 The Legacy Collection
Celebrating Malaysia’s rich, diverse Chinese community, John Walker & Sons presents the XR21 The Legacy Collection. Designed in partnership with local creative duo, Loka Made, the unique collection features, on each respective bottle design and its packaging sleeve, attributes identifiable with major Malaysian Chinese clans: Cantonese, Hakka and Hokkien.
The history of Chinese in Malaysia dates as far back as the 15th century. Assimilated into Malaysia, the Malaysian Chinese were also steadfast in ensuring their dialects and cultural nuances in art, craft and cuisine were passed down and practised by each new generation, thus shaping their unique identity over the centuries.
The Cantonese pack contains illustrations of the famous Guangdong lion dance, dim sum, tea and the carp. The latter implies the adage “a leap to a dragon gate, worth a hundredfold” – the expectation of the diligent business of Guang Dong businessmen.
The Hakka pack showcases Hakka staple lei cha, as well as traditional practices of the Hakka people in Malaysia, such as the Pi Xiu dance.
The Hokkien pack is derived from the Hokkien clan’s survival from persecution back in the Ming Dynasty by seeking refuge in sugarcane plantations, paving way for sugarcane to become a form of offering to the Jade Emperor known as “Tian Gong,” as a token of gratitude and worship. The design also draws inspiration from Hokkien Opera and Penang’s Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi.
“Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia aspires for this to be the one of many relationships with the local Malaysian Chinese communities, as we look forward to celebrate their rich cultures and traditions, through the introduction of John Walker & Sons XR21 The Legacy Collection,” says Thomas Bouleuc, Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia managing director.
Hennessy X.O 150th anniversary Frank Gehry’s Masterpiece
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Hennessy X.O, the cognac maker unveils a limited-edition decanter designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Famous for his idiosyncratic architecture such as the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Gehry dresses the Hennessy X.O bottle in a fabulous sleeve of 24k gold-dipped bronze, evocative of the radiant movement of water reflecting the light and echoing the glistening Charente river in Cognac, where the maison is located.
The limited global run of 150 extraordinary numbered decanters are imprinted with Frank Gehry’s signature. Five of which are reserved for the Malaysian market, which will be auctioned off. Meanwhile, a wider release of limited-edition Hennessy X.O bottles also created by Frank Gehry are available for the retail market.
To commemorate Hennessy X.O’s 150th anniversary celebration, Hennessy commissioned artist Cai Guo-Qiang to create daytime fireworks on the Charente river, which courses through the town of Cognac on September 25. At the event, Cai who rose to worldwide fame for his extraordinary show during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics composed a spectacular 15-minute fireworks event in three acts, launched from 150 oak barrels floating on the river.