RAISING THE BAR
News on Sushi Kou's sommelier Makoto Iwabuchi; Chivas; The Balvenie; Hendricks Gin.
The Balvenie unveiled its exquisite 15-sets only The Balvenie x Royal Selangor Collector’s Box (starting from £41,800, inclusive whisky) in December. This work of art was designed from scratch, and is crafted from high-grade walnut wood and encased in Royal Selangor’s signature dimple design pewter. Each one holds three bottles, and the lucky owner will also be able to select from The Balvenie expressions which are aged 30 years and above to fill their box. For everyday budgets, a beautiful handcrafted pewterbased rocks whisky glass is available In a gift box that includes either the 12 Year Old Doublewood, 14 Year Old Caribbean
Cask or 17 Year Old Doublewood ($125-235 from tinyurl.com/ Wgslazmall). This collaboration falls under The Balvenie’s Handcrafted By platform, that highlights its celebration of craft. www.royalselangor.com/the-balvenie
There’s always experimentation in the whisky world, and Chivas is the latest to present its range of four Chivas Extra 13-year-old whiskies aged respectively in oloroso sherry, rum, American rye, and tequila casks. The vibrant artwork by street artist Greg Gossel melds the brand’s historic roots with a contemporary outlook, and a numerical nod to its emporium at 13 King Street in Aberdeen. Fans of sherry casks will know what to expect for the first: richer, rounded liquid with notes of ripe pears and vanilla caramel. The American rye cask finish is a little more rare, as the cask brings out a characteristic peppery spiciness, while lingering with orange and creamy milk chocolate notes. The first two releases are priced at $84 each and available on shopee.sg/pernodricard
Hendricks Gin makes a surprise limited-edition release in the form of the Midsummer Solstice. This is its first release from the Hendrick’s Cabinet of Curiosities, which is a real-life secret archive of distillates, ingredients and experiments kept by their master distiller Lesley Gracie. This release takes its inspiration from the blooming flowers of a midsummer day, though aside from the rose and lavender notes, it feels crisp with red fruit influences, while still remaining recognisably Hendricks. This marks the first of a series of annual releases to come, with each edition only sold in its release year while stocks last. Try it in a Midsummer Spritz with sparkling wine, tonic and soda water, or better yet, a highly aromatic dry martini. $111 from ishopchangi.com