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An Exquisite Evening with The Balvenie & Chef James Won

The Balvenie collaborated with renowned Chef James Won of Japanese fine dining elevated Yōshoku restaurant SHIN'LABO, to take guests on an inspiring journey that brings whisky and fine dining cuisine to a new level.

By Dining Editor

The Balvenie 30-Year-Old is one of The Balvenie’s rarest single malt whiskies. Created by Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE who has hand-selected only exceptional casks that were laid down over thirty years ago. By marrying Traditional and European oak casks that have been matured for decades, he crafts a liquid with incredible sweetness and complexity. 

The 30-Year-Old Balvenie is every bit as smooth as you might expect, with a warm, honeyed palate and a long, fruity finish. The resultant union creates a rich, mellow whisky with unusual depth and complexity. On the nose, it is silky smooth and honeyed, with oaky tones and hints of candied orange peel. The taste is deep with rich dark chocolate, hints of plum, marzipan and caramelised pear. The finish is exceptionally smooth and warming with gentle spice and lingering sweetness.

In celebration of The Balvenie’s pursuit for ultimate craftsmanship and its 30-Year-Old expression, The Balvenie collaborated with renowned Chef James Won of Japanese fine dining elevated Yōshoku restaurant SHIN'LABO, to take guests on an inspiring journey that brings whisky and fine dining cuisine to a new level.

The exclusive affair mapped out a gustatory journey with the open kitchen showcasing the team at work in full view. The showcase also presented new dimensions of flavour; a result of where passionate cooking meets The Balvenie’s distinctive character and heart.

With Chef Patron of SHIN’LABO, Chef James Won’s dedicated focus on innovative gastronomy, SHIN'LABO imbues a shared philosophy with The Balvenie that revolves around craftsmanship and heritage.


The Balvenie Caribbean Cask, Aged 14 Years

Paired with:

Tsukemono pickles

Salt based pickles with lighter tuber vegetables compliments the sweet and creamy notes and refreshes the whiskey like adding a dash of water to the single malt. Saltiness and coolness of the cucumber and Kabu introduces a subtle amami lightness to the high percentage of alcohol.

Soy based pickles like the cherry tomato introduces a burst of umami to the whiskey and the shallot and garlic brings more body and earth shades to the otherwise sweeter body of the Caribbean Cask.

Amuse bouche

The selection of amuse bouche of elevated Yoshoku dishes like Omurice made with chicken skin and topped with Demi glacé enhances the oak barrel nose with the savoury rich slow reduced Demi glacé. Coffee notes and vanilla will be more forward in the mouth when paired together with the duck confit hambuga topped with Sevruga caviar. Finishing the pairing with wild yam Korokke topped with seasonal truffle compliments the toffee and fruity notes.

The Balvenie Double Wood, Aged 17 Years

Paired with:


Selection of aged seafood served as sashimi and lightly treated with heat and oil or fat compliments the honey and nuttiness of 17 years Double Wood. Being a subtle whiskey with sweetness; it would welcome bold flavours of fatty seafood enhanced through aging. Uni’s deep oceanic iron flavour and scallop sweet notes heightens the umami of 17 and balancing the Umami and Amami of the whiskey.

Oyster with the Balsamic and Soy spheres or we like to call them man-made caviar is a true tango partner of the The Balvenie Double Wood. The flavours dance back and forth as it swirls around the palate with this whiskey after a mouthful of oyster. Tango because it is an aggressive yet sexy expression which is bold but controlled. A craftsman’s delight. Subtle but food pairing flexibility

The Balvenie Port Wood, Aged 21 years

Paired with:

Binchotan BBQ mains selected to fully appreciate the 21 years dry and nutty expression; one may fret that BBQ smokiness may dominate and shadow the subtlety of the 21. Not with Binchotan ambers as it’s smokeless and clean burning only, allowing the natural taste of the food to be the hero. 

Bold roasted 7 days cured lobster in goose fat crunchiness and sweetness is an absolute complement to 21’s elegance: showcasing the rich notes of honey light spice. The silkiness of the Ora King Salmon and the slight smokiness lingers with the notes of raisins and dry fruit, making the entire palate silkier and creamier. 


The Balvenie 30 Years

Paired with:

Chef James Won’s signature rice dish pairs with the ultimate 30 years expression with slowly roasted concoction of shellfish with saffron and tomatoes, but only serving the essence with pieces of deep BBQ roasted mussels topped with Sevruga caviar. The chocolate caramelised fruit notes complement the complexity of this rice dish by balancing the savoury tones of the dish with the bold sweetness of the 30 years.  Kiku petals and chives with the onsen egg adds additional creamy herbaceous textures to elevate the existing bold notes and bouquet of 30.

This main dish is as complex and elegant as the The Balvenie 30 Years. 

Single Malt whisky connoisseurs who are looking to indulge in The Balvenie 30-Year-Old, one of the world’s finest creations or are interested in joining future culinary collaborations, can get in touch with Joo at: erngjoo.law@wgrant.com