The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2011

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Page 109 of 120

visiting each culinary department, restaurant venue and individual chefs. I like to be on the floor, communicating and collaborating with the food and beverage teams.” Three-star Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire is another culinary celebrity who has added his name to The Strip’s fine dining scene. Having firmly established his three Michelin- starred Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in Paris and as Head Chef of Sketch in London (both voted one of the top 50 restaurants in the world), in December 2009 this pioneer of the fusion food movement launched Twist, located on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental in City Center. Open only for dinner, Twist does indeed put a new twist on French cuisine, combining flavors and textures to create a perfect plate that goes beyond the visual. At a recent launch of the new Glenmorangie 1981 Pride, Chef Gagnaire paired Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban with Glenmorangie-scented peppered opaline turnip, pear and dried apricots stewed in port. He also pan-seared langoustine in curry and coconut milk, with cauliflower tips and mange tout julienne, matching it with Glenmorangie Original. Pierre Gagnaire, Executive Chef of Twist at City Center’s Mandarin Oriental. Sauterne of Fate G Every course was perfectly paired with expressions of Glenmorangie— just as some of the world’s greatest chefs are now pairing their culinary excellence with a stimulating city. GLENMORANGIE LAUNCHES ITS SAUTERNE-CASKED 28-YEAR-OLD EXPRESSION AT TWIST AT VEGAS’S MANDARIN ORIENTAL Glenmorangie’s Pride 1981 is presented in a specially- designed wooden chest that opens to cradle a Baccarat crystal decanter. lenmorangie—the San Francisco World Spirits Competition’s 2010 Distillery of the Year that also pioneered the art of “finishing” whiskies—has created its longest extra-matured single malt to date with the introduction of Pride 1981. Aged for the first 18 years in a small quantity of exceptional ex-bourbon casks filled in 1981 that had yielded whiskies with remark- ably complex flavors, 30 percent of those spirits were then transferred to casks that formerly held Château d’Yquem Sauternes, the only Bordeaux white wine to be awarded a Premier Cru Supérieur rating in 1855, and consistently renowned for its complexity and concentration. “I felt the flavors I had found thus far in the whiskies—silky vanilla, citrus, pineapple, coco- nut and almonds—would marry very well with the beautiful flavors from the Chateau d’Yquem wine,” said Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Master Distiller and Head of Whisky Creation. The 18-year-old whiskies in both the ex-bourbon barrels and in the newly-filled Château d’Yquem barriques were then aged for an additional ten years. By the end of the 28th year, Lumsden felt these whiskies had reached their peak of perfection. Consequently, they were vatted and bottled. Indeed, the rich amber Glenmorangie Pride 1981, with its thick, aromatic bouquet, fills the mouth with creamy chocolate, toasted oak and tingling spices. Bottled at a cask strength of 113.4% and non-chill-filtered, it is a serious dram, one that Lumsden does not recommend diluting with water, believing it would take away from the character of what he says is “one of the more unusual whiskies I’ve created during my 17 years with Glenmorangie.” At the April 26, 2011 launch of Glenmorangie’s Pride 1981, held at Chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Twist at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, are Richard Carleton Hacker (left) and Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Master Distiller and Head of Whisky Creation. Only six costly Château d’Yquem barriques had been obtained, just enough to fill 1,000 Baccarat crystal decanters, the work of talented French designer Laurence Brabant. Each is cradled in a bespoke wooden chest conceived by Dutch craftsman Wouter Scheublin. Priced at $3,600 each, approximately 300 bottles of Pride 1981 have been allocated for the United States. —R.C.H. july 201 1 / the tasting panel / 109 PHOTO: COURTESY OF MOËT-HENNESSY USA

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