What happens when the best fiesta celebration food of the Philippines–the Lechon–is paired with the best celebration drink in Scotland–the Scotch whisky? We were able to find out in the first Glenfiddich Lechon dinner in Manila.
It was very intriguing, to say the least. Here’s our Glenfiddich Lechon degustation experience…
The Great Filipino-Scottish Feast was held at The Commissary at Whitespace, with Cibo di M and Pepita’s Kitchen providing the Lechon…
…and Glenfiddich providing the world’s most awarded single malt Scottish whisky (with 12, 15, 18, and 21 year old variants).
Chicharon Curls with Laguna cheese mousse and salmon roe or adobo flakes.
The meal started with pass-arounds of gourmet chicharon.
A taste of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old in a nosing glass to prepare the appetite.
Loved the live acoustic guitar performance of classic Filipino songs, serenading us while we feasted.
I liked this gourmet appetizer of breaded quail eggs (kwek-kwek) cut in half.
Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, William Grant & Sons Southeast Asia Brand Ambassador.
Matthew conceptualized this dinner when he realized in one of his visits to Manila that Glenfiddich could pair perfectly with the fat and pork flavor of our lechon.
The Glenfiddich lechon degustation starts with a pairing of the various parts of the lechon with the different Glenfiddich whisky variants.
The Glenfiddich 12 Year Old is paired with a fatty slice of pork. We ate the small slice of fatty meat and sipped on the whisky, which has fruity notes. We noticed how the whisky matches the flavors of the fat and breaks it down, resulting in an explosion of flavors in the mouth.
The pork fat and whisky combination works, but I did not enjoy eating that portion of the lechon. It would have been better paired with the fat and meat layers in the lechon belly.
Glenfiddich 12 Year Old. The Glenfiddich 12 year old is the true pioneer of the prestigious single malt Scotch whisky category and is enjoyed by more people around the world than any other single malt Scotch whisky. Aged for 12 years in American and Spanish oak casks, this multi award-winning and globally renowned whisky celebrates the sense of adventure which underpins Glenfiddich.
Tasting Notes: The nose of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old has a delicate balanced fragrance, with distinctively fresh and fruity notes and a hint of pear. Its taste is characteristically sweet with fruity flavours, which then develops into elements of butterscotch, cream, malt and subtle oak flavour. The finish is long, smooth and mellow.
The Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is paired with the lechon skin. The full-bodied Glenfiddish 15 with a darker color complements the flavorful and satisfyingly crunchy lechon skin with a strong whisky finish.
I like this…it provides a different experience to enjoying lechon skin.
Glenfiddich 15 Year Old. Made using a pioneering distillations process unique to Glenfiddich, Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is the true expression of the brand’s adventurous and forward thinking approach to whisky-making. Having matured in three types of oak cask; sherry, bourbon and new oak, the whisky is left to marry in a handcrafted Solera Vat until its distinctive notes of rich fruit, spice and honey are realised, making it a truly original whisky.
Tasting Notes: The nose of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old is intriguingly complex with sweet heather honey and vanilla fudge combined with rich dark fruits. Its taste is silky smooth, revealing layers of sherry oak, marzipan, cinnamon and ginger – reminiscent of Christmas Cake. Full bodied and bursting with flavour, the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old has a satisfyingly rich and lingering sweet finish.
The Glenfiddich 18 Year Old is paired with the lechon ribs, infused with flavors of Glenfiddich 12. The baked apple and cinnamon notes provided a synergistic flavor to the yumminess of the pork in the ribs.
This was fun to eat. How I wish I could get a few more of those whisky-infused ribs. 🙂
Glenfiddich 18 Year Old. Glenfiddich 18 Year Old bears testament to the skill, sense of adventure and pioneering spirit of the distillery’s craftsmen. Produced in small, individually numbered batches, Glenfiddich 18 Year Old combines a touch of fruity sweetness from the Spanish Oloroso wood and an oakiness from the traditional American casks. After being married in wooden turns for at least three months, its rich, mellow flavours come together to create an exceptionally smooth and remarkably deep single malt Scotch whisky. Each batch is unique and is of an extraordinary quality.
Tasting Notes: The nose of Glenfiddich 18 Year Old is remarkably rich, with ripe orchard fruit, spiced apple and a robust oakiness. Its taste richly delivers luxurious dried fruit, candy peel and dates overlaid with elegant oak notes. With a warming finish, the Glenfiddich 18 Year Old is a rewarding and distinguished whisky to enjoy.
The Glenfiddich 21 Year Old is paired with Pepita’s Lechon with Truffle Rice. The strong but smooth rum and whisky flavor of the 21-year old matches nicely with the truffle flavor. I like the sweet finish of the whisky, which complements the pork lechon flavor and cleanses the palate at the same time, making you excited for the next bite.
This is my favorite!
Glenfiddich 21 Year Old. The exceptional Glendiffich 21 Year Old is testament to Glenfiddich’s inspiring, adventurous and pioneering approach to whisky-making. Uniquely finished for up to four months in hand-selected bourbon barrels that once contained rum from the Caribbean, the whisky is infused with a rich and indulgent toffee sweetness.
Tasting Notes: The nose of Glenfiddich 21 Year Old is intense and sweet, with floral hints of banana, figs and rich toffee. Its taste is initially soft, then brisk and vibrant, peppery, with a touch of smoke, vanilla, ginger, lime, spices and new leather. Glenfiddich 21 Year Old has a very long warming and spicy finish.
After the lechon-whisky appetizer pairing, we helped ourselves to more lechon!
I now know how to enhance and enjoy our classic lechon dining experience with a pairing of either Glenfiddich 15 Year Old or 21 Year Old.
The lechon and whisky also paired nicely with this signature sweet santol-calamansi lechon sauce by Cibo di M.
Negros Txistorra-Queso de Bola Flan, Txistorra Crisp Field Greens, Watercress, Palm Heart, Edible Flowers with Guava Jelly Balsamico Vinaigrette.
After the Lechon pairing, we balance it out with something healthy…
Pan-seared-pampano “Pinais sa Tampipi” with Tagaytay Fennel & Davao Pomelo Confit with Calamansi-Carabao Butter.
…and something light and fishy.
Tenderloin Medallion with Mais & Sigarilyas Guisado, Heirloom Brown & Red Rice Sinangag.
This piece of tenderloin meat was a bit out of place and out of concept, but nevertheless yummy.
Argellanitas Torta, Silay Dulce de Leche with Cebu Mango & Jackfruit Compote and Sampaguita Perfume + San Miguel Bulacan Pastillas and Batangas Chocolate Lava.
All of us agreed that the dessert was the best and a fitting end to this Great Filipino-Scottish Feast!
Thanks to the Glenfiddich team, Pepita’s Kitchen, and Cibo d M for an educational lechon-whisky pairing.
It would have been nice if the lechon and whisky pairing was integrated into the main meal and not as an amuse-bouche. If I may suggest, we can make a part two of this event entitled…
8-Course Awesome Lechon-Glenfiddich Feast at Pepita’s Kitchen
- Amuse Buche
- Glenfiddich 12 Year Old paired with Lechon Belly Sisig appetizer
- Scottish Salad
- Glenfiddich 15 Year Old paired with Eat-all-you-can Lechon skin
- Scottish Soup
- Glenfiddich 18 Year Old paired with Pepita’s Lechon Lechon Ham
- Palate Cleanser
- Glenfiddich 21 Year Old paired with Pepita’s Lechon Truffle Rice
- Cheese course
- Glenfiddich 30 Year Old and Filipino Dessert to end the meal
Since 2000, the Glenfiddich range has received more awards than any other single malt Scotch whisky in two of the world’s most prestigious competitions–the International Wine & Spirit Competition, and the International Spirits Challenge.
About William Grant & Sons and Glenfiddich
William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grand in 1886. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s favourite single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s third largest blended Scotch Grant’s® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Heindrick’s® Gin, Sailor Jerry®, Milagro® Tequila, and most recently, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey.
For more info visit http://williamgrant.com/
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Glenfiddich. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. I’ve added a visit to the Glenfiddich Distilery in Scotland in my travel bucket list for 2015! 🙂