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Glenlivet’s “The Guardians Chapter”

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Warning! While whisky inspired and definitely fuelled the evening, this post is actually not about whisky tasting. Instead it was a gathering generously hosted by Glenlivet in the gorgeous old Camelot Bungalow at Kemps Corner in Mumbai last month.

Camelot by night

Camelot by night (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

The evening’s main feature was the stories of fascinating authors’ and the convivial atmosphere engineered by the gorgeous and talented stage and film actress Lillete Dubey and others.

Glenlivet Guardians invite

Glenlivet Guardians invite

I understand the original concept was to pair each author with a different whisky to represent three distinct eras / characteristics of classic, revival and exotic. However thanks to the joys of Mumbai’s odd liquor laws, we were restricted to sampling only the Glenlivet 12 year. Also, unfortunately, Jerry Pinto couldn’t make it however it was a delight to hear from Naresh Fernandes with stories from his book Taj Mahal Foxtrot on Mumbai’s early jazz scene and the beautiful Tishani Doshi, author of The Pleasure Seekers.

Early jazz of Bombay brought alive with music clips and stories

Early jazz of Bombay brought alive with music clips and stories (yes we were waaaay the back!)

A few folks know of my whisky sampling journey which landed me that night with the unfortunate label of being introduced as the “Whisky Queen” (and here I thought I was merely a princess!). Put on the spot, I awkwardly admitted we had recently blind tasted the Glenlivet offerings and they simply aren’t for our group. One of the rep’s readily agreed that Glenlivet is for the masses – an entry level single malt for the blended whiskies drinkers. Put in that context, they do a marvellous job!

Chagrined, I tucked away my snobbery, dutifully sipped the Glenlivet 12 year – thoroughly enjoying the conversations with not only the Glenlivet folks but many of the other guests who were familiar friends. The pleasure of wandering around a bungalow in the heart of Mumbai alone would have made it a completely satisfactory evening. Throw in a couple of books and whisky? Instant success!

Can see from a distance the debonaire Dalip and lovely Lillete

Can see from a distance the debonaire Dalip and lovely Lillete (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

The ‘payback’ part came when our hosts requested we (Lillete, Dalip Tahil, my partner and I) go on camera to say a few words… Clearly time to ‘pay’ for our fun, we joked, spoke utter rubbish and a piece of footage was created that no doubt constitutes prime-time blackmail material!! What else could one expect after an evening where nary a glass was left empty even once!

Time to pay the price - a rather unique teacup clock!

Time to pay the price – a rather unique teacup clock! (Photo: Carissa Hickling)

So while we didn’t get to sample different whiskies, Glenlivet’s “The Guardians Chapter” certainly got off to a brilliant start in amchhi Mumbai!

For posts on our tasting sessions and whisky explorations… check out my other blog Whisky Lady.

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