Did you know in matters whisky, age is just a number?
Well I was equally clueless but thanks to Alex Kavita the Diageo Brand Ambassador I learnt a thing or two about whisky.
Anyway turns out the age of the whisky doesn’t really matter, what matters is what has been achieved, flavour wise.
Earlier in the week I had the privilege to attend a fine dining experience that involved pairing different single malt whiskies with different meals. Being a teetotaler I wondered how that would go but I love learning and I was excited.
The View restaurant at Movenpick hosted the exclusive tasting and we got to enjoy a stellar five course meal prepared by the Executive Chef, Aris Athanasiou.
To prepare us for the meal an amuse bouche (mouth pleaser) was served.
Norwegian smoked salmon roulade, remoulade sauce, capers and lime.
For the first whisky, we sampled Cardhu a 12 year old single malt whisky. This is a special whisky as the distillery was founded by women, two cousins actually.
It has sweet notes hence the reason Chef Aris paired it with the Ham prosciutto with pear compote, honey mustard dressing and dried apricots.
I tasted a sip of the Cardhu and boy I almost fell over, should have mixed it with water. Lol and that was the end of my tasting.
Attending a whisky tasting when you are a teetotaler is quite interesting. Just like wine, it’s advised to get a whiff of the notes of the whisky before enjoying it. Simply place the glass a few inches from your nose and swirl the glass.
The second whisky was the Cragganmore.
This was paired with a hot starter of Fried Camembert, hazelnut dust, blueberries marmalade, rucola leaves with rock salt and chilly olive oil.
The creamy and smooth cheese paired beautifully with the rucola leaves and the sweetness of the blueberry marmalade provided a beautiful contrast.
The third scotch whisky was the Singleton Tailfire.
The Tailfire as many other Singletons is aged in cherry cask.
Notable flavours are red fruits think plums and strawberries. It also works well with chocolate, Alex recommended having it with Cadbury Fruit and Nut chocolate.
Also makes an awesome Manhattan.
The Tailfire was paired with a salad.
Baby spinach and rucola leaves, dry aged parmesan flakes, roasted pine nuts, glazed balsamic dressing fresh strawberries and almond dust.
The salad was beyond amazing the nuttiness from the parm and pine nuts to the sharp taste of the rucola leaves and the freshness of the strawberries. Simply delightful.
For the main course, the whisky of choice was the Talisker.
For the main course the chef served,
Double cut beef tenderloin, potatoes croquette, grilled asparagus, roasted almonds, carrot puree, dark chocolate – merlot sauce
What I enjoy about fine dining is the combination of different tastes and textures to make a delicious meal.
Drizzling the dark chocolate-merlot sauce over the beef tenderloin married the two flavours beautifully. Imagine rich chocolate taste against the tenderness of beef. Yum.
Then came the final whisky, not a stranger to anyone the Johnnie Walker 18.
The Johnnie Walker is a blend of 18 different whiskies the youngest of which has been aged 18 years hence the name. Alex described it as the master of smooth. It has notes of toffee and citrus.
This was paired with the dessert.
White chocolate djanduja, orange parfait sorbet, butterscotch sauce, vanilla and cocoa truffles.
I’m a serious sweet tooth so I may be biased when I say this was my favourite course. The cocoa and vanilla truffles were delightful, not too sweet and the orange sorbet was refreshing. The white chocolate djanduja was creamy and smooth and oh so heavenly.
Overall, the meal was delightful and the courses that stood out to me the salad and dessert.
A few tips when tasting whisky
- Stop and smell the whisky.
- Roll the whisky in your mouth before swallowing.
- Water is your friend. Add a splash of water to enhance the flavour
General rule of thumb when enjoying any drink thanks to Alex
“Nothing should be taken as a shot”
You too can get to enjoy this five course fine dining experience with whisky pairing at the View Restaurant at Movenpick for Kshs. 7000 per person.
The View restaturant is at the top floor (23rd) of Movenpick Hotel. The restaurant slowly revolves as you dine, offering 360-degrees views of Westlands and its environs.
The View restaurant,
Next time you are out for dinner how about a single malt pairing with your meal.
Thank you Diageo and Movenpick for hosting me.