Am I becoming a food blogger?
What are they called? Foodies? I don’t know cause I’m not one. Also, I won’t be talking about food. Even though I ate food. And oh boy…it was good food. Actually I might talk about the food, but anyway.
No, I’m talking about…LEGENT.
What is Legent? And just how do you say it?
Well it’s a “unique bourbon that brings together the best of the East and West.” And that’s because the Master Distiller for Jim Beam, and the Chief Blender for Suntory have come together to create this incredible new brew.
“It’s a flavour profile never before tasted in New Zealand and we are ready for this premium bourbon experience.”
Bold words from Ben Andrews, Marketing Manager for Beam Suntory New Zealand. Also bloody stellar buzzwords, I’m fizzing.
“Two great cultures have come together as one for this unique drop.”
And these two cultures are represented by Fred Noe and Shinji Fukuyo. Noe is a seventh-generation distiller and the great grandson of Jim Beam himself, so he might know a thing or two about the business. Fukuyo is the fifth ever person to become the Chief Blender for Suntory, which is impressive for a business established in 1899.
“As a bourbon distiller, I enjoy breaking rules and creating new traditions. It was a real honour collaborating with Shinji on what I think is different from anything out there in the bourbon world.”
If someone knows, then Noe knows.
“Using this historic bourbon receipt of Fred’s family as a solid foundation, I was able to explore new taste profiles and reach a final product that reimagines what the future of bourbon can be.”
Fukuyo-san assuredly speaks like someone who knows how to blend flavour, and I tell you Legent showcases that.
Pronounced ‘lee-jent’, the bourbon is a unique innovation that starts its life as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon with the Beam classic family recipe, and is then aged in wine and sherry casks. Blended once more with Kentucky Straight Bourbon, it results “in a perfectly balanced yet complex and layered whiskey.”
Now I don’t know what that’s like. I should drink more, but also that very same thinking is dangerous. But I’ll worry about that when it’s not 12 o’clock somewhere in the world.
Imbibeologist Rory Donnelly guided us through the gift of the drink at the event. Apparently I’d been doing a tonne of sh*t wrong. Did you know you breathe it through your mouth?! I didn’t and it was wholly different experience as the scent drifted through my olfactory holes.
‘Copper sunset’ is the color you should look for in a drink, and Rory had us hold our glasses high, letting the light lick the drop ever so gently. I thought it more an ‘autumnal magenta’ but really I was just throwing out words that sound cool and flighty.
As the liquor touched my mouth canal, the experience was indeed premium. Apparently our per capita for Jim Beam drinkers is insane, which makes sense if you’ve ever been to a party in the wops. But Legent aims to be MORE than that bottle you enjoyed while sitting on a hay bale.
Accented by an incredible meal prepared by Ricky and the team at Cocoro, the flavoursome Legent would wander amongst the tastes delivered by this feast. Canapés that started us on this fused journey, with East and West clashing via pork belly kakuni meets yellow mustard tartar.
Crayfish moromi-miso gratin charred in shell, paired with an incredible salad and BBQ-style onigiri rice ball.
A Legent-infused yuzu-miso creme brûlée that did cause me to dance like I wouldn’t stick to the status quo.
And a piece of Legent chocolate ganache, partnered with a waft of manuka smoke that amplified its flavour to no end.
I believe Belinda Carlisle said heaven might be a place on Earth and maybe I was in it.
Letting all of this work together, it was hard not to be impressed by the endeavour of Beam Suntory. Legent looks to offer something new to bourbon, in a spectacularly designed bottle that portrays the partnership in grand fashion.
Legent would be one to toast if you ever needed a drink to do so, and to that I raise a toast to them.