SIN­GLE, BUT STRONG

A sin­gle malt drawn en­tirely from the same cask, The Glen­livet Sin­gle Cask Edi­tion is as rare as the doomed Su­ma­tran rhinoceros

AugustMan (Malaysia) - - Liquid Assets - WORDS BY JUSTIN NG PHOTO BY THE GLEN­LIVET

A FEW BLUE moons ago, I caught up with Ian Lo­gan, The Glen­livet’s brand am­bas­sador at La Cave, Medan Da­mansara̶not to be con­fused with an­other es­tab­lish­ment bear­ing an iden­ti­cal name in Bangsar. It took me some time to as­cer­tain that I hadn’t gone to the wrong place. Se­questered on the third floor of a row of shop of­fices whose ground floors were lit­tered with posh wine bars, the stair­case that led up to it was unas­sum­ing. Only a tow­er­ing, thick wooden door hinted at some­thing more.

The bub­bly Lo­gan has a larger-than-life per­son­al­ity to match his stature. In a dimly lit room, seated on a plush leather sofa were us, en­gag­ing in a tête-à-tête about the brand. He broached the sub­ject of the dis­tiller’s ef­fort to adorn its whisky a more per­son­alised touch. Lean­ing back on the sofa, re­laxed and oc­ca­sion­ally mo­tion­ing his arms up and down his sides, he spoke about how the brand was go­ing down the lo­cal­i­sa­tion route, ex­pound­ing how it was con­nect­ing with its au­di­ences due to shared val­ues.

Fur­ther build­ing on that no­tion, the dis­tiller has made avail­able only for

Malaysia The Glen­livet Sin­gle Cask Edi­tion. Aes­thet­i­cally, it bears no re­sem­blance to

The Glen­livet’s more af­ford­able core range, in­stead it shares plenty of sim­i­lar­i­ties with other spe­cial re­leases. On the hand, there is a sat­is­fy­ing heft to it that of­fers re­as­sur­ance and al­ludes to ex­cel­lence.

A birth cer­tifi­cate-like la­bel de­tails which cask The Glen­livet Sin­gle Cask Edi­tion was aged in, the type of oak casks used, the du­ra­tion, the al­co­hol con­tent, the date it was bot­tled, a sig­na­ture of the mas­ter dis­tiller and, most im­por­tantly, the birth or­der for brag­ging rights. It’s like a ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion num­ber. Nonethe­less with only 174 bot­tles pro­duced, ex­clu­siv­ity is as­sured. Get­ting your hands on your pre­ferred num­ber may prove trick­ier than bid­ding for a ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion num­ber, how­ever, as The Glen­livet Sin­gle

Cask Edi­tion is sold on a first-come-first-serve ba­sis. Even a Glen­livet Guardian is re­stricted to only a sin­gle bot­tle.

The Glen­livet Sin­gle Cask Edi­tion was aged in cask num­ber 906283, which is Amer­i­can oak. It had been aged for a pe­riod of 15 years, be­fore the whisky was bot­tled through non-chill fil­tra­tion. Typ­i­cally, whisky is chill fil­tered prior to bot­tling as it re­moves com­pounds and im­pu­ri­ties such as es­ters, proteins and acids pro­duced dur­ing fer­men­ta­tion and mat­u­ra­tion. The re­sult­ing clar­ity is de­sir­able. How­ever, some per­ceive the fil­tra­tion di­min­ishes the over­all rich­ness

“THE GLEN­LIVET SIN­GLE CASK EDI­TION WAS AGED IN CASK NUM­BER 906283, WHICH IS AMER­I­CAN OAK. IT HAD BEEN

AGED FOR A PE­RIOD OF 15 YEARS, BE­FORE THE WHISKY WAS

BOT­TLED THROUGH NON-CHILL FIL­TRA­TION“

and flavour. Al­though to the naked eyes, a chill-fil­tered whisky and a non-chill-fil­tered whisky ap­pear in­dis­tin­guish­able, upon adding wa­ter or ice, a non-chill-fil­tered whisky will gain a de­gree of murk­i­ness.

Fur­ther­more, and un­like other whiskies, The Glen­livet Sin­gle Cask Edi­tion wasn’t wa­tered down to a more cus­tom­ary 40 per­cent al­co­hol by vol­ume (ABV). It boasts a po­tent 59.7 per­cent ABV, which is cask strength. With it, the ini­tial whiff slaps you in the face un­apolo­get­i­cally like an ex-part­ner you once caught cheated on. It hits hard and if you nose it long enough, you may even be in­tox­i­cated by al­co­hol vapours. At this stage, there is not much that can be de­scribed ex­cept it smells of in­tense al­co­hol. But add a few drops of wa­ter or drop in a cube of ice, swirl it, let the ice thaw and the bou­quet will grad­u­ally un­ravel it­self, re­veal­ing sweet­ness of pears and hon­ey­dews.

On the palate, it is vig­or­ous yet smooth. A dom­i­nant vanilla note jolts the senses, but un­der­neath it, lies a faint layer of gin­ger.

The fin­ish is lengthy, con­tin­u­ing to linger long after it has trick­led down the lar­ynx. It is one you would have read its tast­ing notes time and again but never will you un­screw the cap be­cause you never did have the op­por­tu­nity to splash out on ‒ it has al­ready been sold out by the time you read this ‒ or you would rather save it for a bet­ter cel­e­bra­tory rea­son. Some­times you wish you can have your cake and eat it too. But it is never too late to save the rhino. AM

in­flu­enced decor. Those themes were great for a cer­tain pe­riod of time, but chal­leng­ing to sus­tain, es­pe­cially with these ar­eas of fo­cus we want to de­velop. We have stopped the ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns with the pin-up girls and the flight suit girls. These cam­paigns don’t ac­cu­rately re­flect to­day’s so­ci­ety and the women of to­day. We have to be more con­sid­er­ate of the di­ver­sity in so­ci­ety.

So to sum up: the words we use; the prod­ucts we make and the ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns that we cre­ate. We have a clear strat­egy but the im­ple­men­ta­tion is as im­por­tant. A smart strat­egy with­out the right im­ple­men­ta­tion will not work and im­ple­men­ta­tion with­out a vi­sion is use­less. You need both and I think in the six to eight months that I’ve been at Bre­itling, never in my whole ca­reer have I ex­pe­ri­enced so many changes at such speed.

Will in-house move­ments see more rep­re­sen­ta­tion?

We will grow our in-house move­ments, of course. Ev­ery­thing we launch will see some rep­re­sen­ta­tion with Bre­itling move­ments.

The tri-com­pax (3, 6, 9 on the dial) that now comes in a bi-colour de­sign will be a sig­na­ture of that pres­ence. It’s a his­tor­i­cal Bre­itling look of the mid-cen­tury era and we want to pre­serve that her­itage.

Bre­itling-mod­i­fied move­ments will al­ways be mono­tone. It’s like hav­ing a Porsche 911 or buy­ing the 911 Turbo. It’s the same car but at a dif­fer­ent price point. Go­ing from $5,000 to $7,200, it’s a price bar­rier we need to counter with an al­ter­na­tive of­fer. But my pri­or­ity is for Bre­itling to be­come a very leg­i­ble brand. With the new col­lec­tion, it’s very easy to read. It’s clear and seg­mented. We’ve stopped all the vari­a­tions of these rub­ber straps and will keep just one ver­sion. Di­lu­tion of a brand comes when you have one line but you make it in 100 ex­e­cu­tions, not when you have four lines in 20 ex­e­cu­tions.

Bre­itling is (or, was) es­sen­tially an aviation brand and it has cap­tured that niche. Is there a risk that the brand takes in chang­ing that up?

Of course not. What worked yes­ter­day doesn’t mean it will work to­mor­row. I re­mem­ber when Spain was a Euro­pean cham­pion and a world cham­pion. But when they came to the next World Cup with the same team, coach and sys­tem, they didn’t win one sin­gle match.

You have to evolve with the mar­ket. You have to ad­just, in all these el­e­ments I’ve men­tioned. I’m not here to keep the sta­tus quo. You don’t need me for that; you can take any­body. We are here to el­e­vate the brand to a global level, to bring back el­e­ments that made the brand very suc­cess­ful in the ’40s to the ’70s.

Take Range Rover for ex­am­ple. When Tata bought over the com­pany, Range Rover had al­ways made four-wheel drives. Then a new guy walks in and sud­denly they did Evoque and Evoque Con­vert­ible. Re­mem­ber, when Porsche launched the Cayenne and peo­ple said the com­pany would go bank­rupt? Then after that they launched the Panam­era, the Ma­can, and ev­ery­one said it would fail. Guess what is the best­selling car at Porsche? The Cayenne.

And what are they say­ing now about Bre­itling?

Here’s an in­ter­est­ing point for all the peo­ple fix­ated on the big state­ment Bre­itling watches with the wings and mo­tifs (AM: Kern is re­fer­ring to the naysay­ers). On a very ra­tio­nal level, I ex­am­ined which Bre­itling line sold the most over the last 18 months. It’s the Su­pe­r­o­cean Her­itage. It’s the mesh band, clas­sic, beau­ti­ful, no wings, retro, back to the root­s̶re­as­sur­ance, beauty, good taste (AM: The Su­pe­r­o­cean Her­itage also hap­pens to be one of the more af­ford­able watches). I say, let the con­sumer de­cide. I al­ways stand by my choices in taste. I can­not change that. And if by chance, I have the same taste as the con­sumer, we are in per­fect har­mony. AM

“THE (COM­FORT) STRAP’S UN­PRECE­DENTED LIGHT­NESS MADE IT POS­SI­BLE TO BRING THE WEIGHT OF THE RM 67-02 DOWN TO 32G, MAK­ING IT THE LIGHT­EST AU­TO­MATIC WATCH IN THE RICHARD MILLE COL­LEC­TION”

ma­chined from a block of red Quartz TPT®, a com­pos­ite ma­te­rial us­ing the same process as the Car­bon TPT® but based on sil­ica threads. It is com­posed of over 600 lay­ers of par­al­lel fil­a­ments ob­tained from sep­a­rat­ing sil­ica threads no thicker than 45 mi­crons. The cre­na­ture along the curved edges, a char­ac­ter­is­tic of Richard Mille sports pieces, dis­tin­guishes the watch from the life­style mod­els while strength­en­ing its struc­ture.

DY­NAMIC CORE

At the heart of the watch, ready for ev­ery pos­si­ble con­tin­gency of high-level ten­nis prac­tice, beats the brand’s sev­enth in-house cal­i­bre, the CRMA7, with its es­pe­cially taut, finely honed lines. The fil­i­gree ro­tor, crafted of Car­bon TPT® and white gold, drives the grade 5 ti­ta­nium move­ment. The base­plate and bridges crafted in this ma­te­rial are given a black and grey DLC coat­ing. Fol­low­ing the sev­eral hun­dred hours re­quired to pro­gramme and cal­i­brate the ma­chines, a min­i­mum of two hours of milling is re­quired to cre­ate the ex­treme skele­ton­i­sa­tion of a sin­gle base­plate.

The teeth of its gears em­ploy a highly orig­i­nal in­vo­lute pro­fil­ing that pro­duces a 20-de­gree pres­sure an­gle and guar­an­tees op­ti­mal trans­mis­sion of power from the bar­rel to the vari­able-in­er­tia bal­ance wheel for the en­tirety of its 50-hour run­ning time. The lines of the move­ment are com­ple­mented by the dial, which is ma­chined from a sheet of ti­ta­nium just four tenths of a mil­lime­tre thick, then fin­ished with a black DLC coat­ing and painted by hand in colours rep­re­sent­ing the sports­man’s na­tive coun­try.

SEC­OND-SKIN COM­FORT

A real game-changer of the RM 67-02 is the brand’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary elas­tic strap known as “com­fort” band, devel­oped es­pe­cially for watches worn by the sports­men of the Richard Mille fam­ily. It’s an al­ter­na­tive to Vel­cro with even more light­ness, re­in­forced with elas­tic­ity and seam­less, non-slip qual­i­ties that per­fectly fits the con­tours of the wrist like a sec­ond skin for su­pe­rior com­fort and move­ment. This strap’s un­prece­dented light­ness made it pos­si­ble to bring the weight of the RM 67-02 down to 32g, mak­ing it the light­est au­to­matic watch in the Richard Mille col­lec­tion. AM

The Navitimer Su­per 8 is a fine ex­pres­sion of Kern’s new di­rec­tion—a cleaner, more prac­ti­cal aes­thetic that cor­re­sponds to the fuss­free a itude of mod­ern times, com­ple­mented with a retro-in­dus­trial, life­style-driven com­mu­ni­ca­tion style that re­flects the neov­in­tage zeit­geist of the era.

To­day, Bre­itling is fo­cused on pre­serv­ing the most iconic fea­tures of its her­itage, such as the tri-com­pax, now in bi-colour, and a more un­der­stated de­sign ap­proach, as seen in the new Chrono­mat B01 Chrono­graph 44 in satin-brushed steel.

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