Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami Restricted Version

This restricted version launch has been created to encapsulate the enigmatic flavour of umami – a Japanese phrase used to establish the ‘fifth style’ – and has put the artistic mastery of Johnnie Walker Grasp Blender, Dr Emma Walker, and Chef Kei Kobayashi to the check. And we’re delighted to say that the much-anticipated unveiling has undeniably been definitely worth the wait.
Learn on to find extra.

Setting the Scene

It appears fairly ironic that I’m leaving the house of Scotch whisky to board a flight to Paris (the capital of a rustic well-known for its bubbles not whisky!) for the unique launch of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami Restricted Version in collaboration with famend Chef Kei Kobayashi.

Located on Place Vendôme, considered one of Paris’s most well-known and exquisite neoclassical squares, Pavillion Vendôme is the stage for the thrilling showcase of this world-class artistic collaboration.

Blue is most undoubtedly the color of the night because the notorious striding man welcomes us earlier than we stride out onto the inviting blue carpet the place we’re greeted with a refreshing ginger, honey, and lemon tea (no whisky – but!).

We obtain our ‘component passport’ – extra to be revealed later – and revel in sounds from the stay DJ to the backdrop of the rolling blue waves which completely set the scene for this thrilling immersive expertise.

The lights dim and our extremely educated Johnnie Walker Ambassador welcomes and introduces us to Johnnie Walker Blue Label, recognized to be an extremely uncommon mix, which is elevated to a different stage of complexity on this Elusive Umami Restricted Version. He teases us with snippets of the sensory journey that lies forward.

The sound of the gong and it’s time to transfer on.

The Creators

With the strike of a gong, we embark upon the following section of this really sensory journey. Right here we meet Grasp Blender, Dr Emma Walker and Chef Kei Kobayashi and see for the primary time the superbly bottled ‘Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami’ packaged with a hanging oriental design and a texture that stimulates the sense of contact.

We be taught extra about how the ‘fifth style’ is a flavour that possesses mysterious qualities and the way just one in 25,000 casks within the Johnnie Walker unparalleled reserves (of greater than 10 million maturing casks!) made the lower when the duo painstakingly searched the reserves for that elusive flavour profile.

Dr Emma continues to inform us that “every expression of Scotch whisky was hand-picked to create an umami profile, similar to substances for a recipe, permitting us to carry the distinctive character of this modern whisky to life.”

Impressed by three of nature’s parts; earth, water and wind, the elusive mix presents a rolling wave of flavour that completely balances savoury and candy qualities, with vivid bursts and depth of flavour that give a lingering dry end.

We nostril it. We style it. We adore it.

The mission to raise the complexities of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label, push the boundaries and create an modern and distinctive mix has nicely and really been completed by these two masters of flavours.

However the story doesn’t finish right here.

A Feast for the Senses

Though not an apparent drink to pair with meals, Chef Kei Kobayashi has expertly created a sequence of dishes that completely complement each the candy and savoury notes of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami. No imply feat for even probably the most artistic culinary expertise.

The primary dish we uncover on this journey to ignite the senses is a buckwheat waffle with Kaviari Kristal caviar, bitter cream, and smoked salmon. The bursts of slight saltiness of the caviar and salmon on the fluffy heat waffle softened by the bitter cream is a welcomed pleasure on the palate and if that is the benchmark for the following seven dishes we’re in for a culinary voyage like no different.

The gong sounds once more and our ‘component passport’ comes into play. Water, Earth and Air passports dictate which route visitors comply with to pattern the remainder of the menu.

Water. The depths of the aquascape current saline and umami notes that mix with minerality, savouriness and sweetness.

Stepping out onto a floating boardwalk, the darkened area has a tranquil atmosphere. Company take their seats, highlighted by a personalised menu, on the clear desk and chairs which creates an additional connection to the water under.

Our host is the Common Supervisor at Kei restaurant who talks us by way of the following two dishes and guides us on how finest to savour each the whisky and the delicacies introduced earlier than us:

  • Gillardeau Oyster Confit, Sea Water Jelly, Shallots Braised in Pink Wine and Kaviari Kristal Caviar.

  • Hay-Smoked Lobster, Mushroom Fricassee, Homardine Sauce.

The textures had been as thrilling because the flavours for every of those dishes; contemporary apple and peachy notes burst into life with every sip of the dram.

The sound of the gong and it’s time to transfer on.

Earth. Elusive notes of umami, harking back to the depths of the earth mix with pure smoky undertones to offer heat of flavour.

This area presents a chabudair and is adorned with inexperienced and blue foliage with barely rousing background music and right here we meet the sommelier from Kei restaurant who’s our host for the following two dishes:

  • ‘Kara-Age’ Free Vary Rooster Spiced Candy and Bitter Sauce.

  • Mizo Glazed Pigeon from the Vendee French Area.

Each dishes had been meaty but delicate but hearty with flavours that shocked my tastebuds. A slight spicy kick from the sauce of the rooster and the candy savoury miso flavour introduced out the candy wooden spice notes of the Blue Label Elusive Umami.

The sound of the gong and it’s time to transfer on.

Wind. The winds of time that matures whisky in its casks. Paying homage to the pure air of the gorgeous mountains in Nagano the place the scent of the bushes lingers.

Right here we embrace an autumnal-like atmosphere with a standing bar arrange connecting us to the air above and we meet our closing host for the night, Kei restaurant’s maître d’.

  • Japanese Curry.

  • Gorgonzola Foam, Muesli and Honey Infused Whisky.

  • Melting Chocolate Tart.

The transition from a deeply flavoured curry to a wealthy cheese dish after which a velvety chocolate dessert paired with notes of blood orange and purple berries from this superbly blended whisky was the right end to the expertly and completely created menu.

It was completely fascinating to note, expertise and benefit from the altering traits of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami with every completely different dish. I actually didn’t need this to finish.

Sadly, the sound of the gong and it’s time to transfer on.

Closing Ideas

Wow. Wow. Wow.

The invitation to this occasion introduced little element and now I perceive the thriller. The very essence of nature’s wonders is a thriller to mankind. The mix of whisky and French delicacies is a mysterious union.

However the thriller isn’t any extra. Because of the craft, experience, precision and keenness of Dr Emma and Chef Kei these two unlikely companions can stay in excellent ‘elusive umami’ concord for the world to get pleasure from. I actually did.

The rarity and craft of Johnnie Walker Blue Label mixed with Chef Kei Kobayashi’s beautiful and delicate delicacies, was a really distinctive expertise and one I’ll always remember.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami is out there completely at Johnnie Walker Princes Road in Edinburgh from September 18, 2023, earlier than pre-sales launch globally on October 2, 2023, and available for purchase globally from October 16, 2023

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