I’VE been gifted bottles of whisky much of late. No, not just convenience store variants packaged with a logo shirt but high-quality, name-brand whiskies, some of which are even hand-carried from abroad. I’ll admit I’m quite flattered my friends see me as a person of much and sophisticated taste. Or so I assume from such gestures.
Truth be told, my mother had me genetically engineered to be allergic to alcohol. While I can hold my drink, all the symptoms of a reaction line up for a roll call just a few sips into any. I still drink but along the lines of flavor appreciation and for food pairing. As mothers know best then it is best for mine not to know at all.
Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky offered an opportunity to understand their line of fine spirits in what promised to be a very educational evening through a whisky-tasting and food-pairing dinner at the Pig & Palm. We began with a brief history of Glenmorangie highlighting the whisky masters’ dedication to their craft. It was then on to the tasting of the original whisky and three other variants. As with wine, we were to swirl, smell, sip and swallow.
The 10-year old Glenmorangie Original registers a pleasantly sharp citrus to the nose followed by gentle peach and even more subtle vanilla. Inversely, the last note registers first on the tongue before unfolding into delightful fruitiness echoing into the clean finish. The fruity character of the whisky holds up to the fatty one of the fish and the earthiness of the beets in the Salmon, Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese dish. The bite matches the tart in the cheese made creamier by the suggestion of vanilla.
Aged 12 years and finished in sherry casks, the Glenmornagie Lasanta naturally hints at fruit macerated in that wine with blend of spicy, nutty, buttery, even chocolatey flavor and the aroma introducing all that. The warm spice cuts through the thick, rich, extra-creamy Truffle Mac & Cheese. Its complexity balances the creamy cheese and complements the unique flavor of truffle.
The aroma of citruses blends with dates, coconut and nutmeg in the Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or. The gold in its name is in the taste of golden fruit, nuts and honey with a long, zesty, syrupy-sweet finish. This warm, rich flavor goes perfectly with the weight and intense flavors of the Beef and Foie Gras Mini Burgers. Bacon and cheese add more weighty flavor punched by the pungent sweetness of onion and the sweet sourness of tomato relish.
The Quinta Ruban gives off a chocolatey-orange fragrance wafting woodsy with that of sandalwood and nuts. The scent extends into the sweet taste and velvety mouthfeel lingering as dark chocolate after-dinner mint would. The almost syrupy liquid holds parallels in the sticky sweetness of the moist, date sponge cake covered in the smoky toffee sauce of the Sticky Toffee Pudding.
“As with everything in the world of Glenmorangie, they’re not rushing themselves. In the marriage of intuition and science, of wood and whisky, time brings out the best in everything.” At that culinary-whisky appreciation dinner, the only thing the marriage of good company, great conversation, fine food and magnificent whisky begged for was even more time to enjoy more of all that.