John Walker & Sons returned for its annual XR 21 Mastery, paying tribute to the rich history and culture in the island of Penang. The third edition of the XR 21 Mastery took place at the acclaimed Colonial Penang Museum, which is rated one of the top 10 museums in Malaysia featuring some of the oldest artworks and artefacts in the country – a standing testament to the over-pouring history the state has painted for itself.
The Western art pieces in the museum brought in by Chinese trade merchants back in the 18th century enabled guests to engage in the vibrant stories of the past. The heritage-enriched experience was also an extension of the successful XR 21 Mastery held in Khoo Kongsi last year.
The main event was held in a dome built around 20 Scottish iron pillars in the courtyard of the Colonial Penang Museum. Continuing on the journey of discovery with a gastronomical concept, XR 21 Mastery saw the presentation of authentic Penang cuisine reinterpreted by the Chef Andus Yeap of HH+ by Haven Harbour.
First off: Pasembur canapés made of cucumber, jicama, tofu and deep fried fritters were served alongside Lor Bak canapés, a local meat roll originating from Hokkien and Teochew cooking.
The culinary experience continued with inspired dishes comprising pegaga salad, wild boar stew, white curry mee, and nasi lemak – each reinterpreted in Chef Yeap’s contemporary influences. The dishes were paired with the rich and smooth craft of John Walker & Sons XR 21 blended Scotch whisky.
That evening, Brand Ambassador of Diageo Malaysia Jeremy Lee also introduced guests to a limited-edition blend – The 28-Year-Old Midnight Blend, which exudes notes of rice fruits, butterscotch, cream and a tinge of smoke. Crafted from the finest whisky casks of Johnnie Walker’s Private Collection, only 3,888 bottles were produced by Master Blender Jim Beveridge.
The XR 21 Mastery continues to venture around the idea of heritage and history across Malaysia, and we were told that the fourth edition will be something even more exciting and magical – perhaps in a different historical site.