Our Whisky Ladies in Mumbai’s February session had a bonus – chocolates specifically designed to pair with whiskies. One set of pralines were meant to pair best with a mild and soft, delicate whisky. The other set were meant to pair with smokey or sherry cask matured whiskies. Each lady also shared a little insight into the bottle she brought….
Delicate – Hibiki Harmony NAS 43%
A few of us initially sampled this delightful whisky as a soothing balm after a romp through seven Paul John whiskies – yes in addition to the quintet reviewed, there were two bonus samples direct from the master distiller! Our contributing whisky lady shared how she loves the delicate nuanced balance Harmony achieves with its three component whiskies – Yamasaki, Hakushu and Chita.
What did we discover with Harmony?
- Whisky – The nose was indeed delicate, nuanced, flowery, honey sweet. The palate was soft, very well constructed. In short, an exceedingly civilised dram to kick-off our evening!
- Chocolate – Paired with pralines having caramel ganache, caramelised hazelnuts or toasted almonds or a smooth, rich creamy single origin Javanese cocao milk chocolate
Peaty – Lagavulin 16 year 43%
Our contributor confessed this was her ‘go to’ dram during her London student days. For many this was a familiar friend. The kind of peaty ‘curl up by the fireside’ quality you turn to for comfort. For a few, it was a first introduction to this classic Islay dram.
What did we find with the Lagavulin?
- Nose – Peat, split pea with ham soup, forrest, moss, then sweet honey, vanilla, warm toasted sugared almonds, finally a curl of cinnamon spice
- Palate – Spicy, smokey, ‘tarka’, a buttery quality, keeps getting sweeter, rich, powerful
- Finish – Long and dry, moss, smoke, vanilla
- Quote – “I feel like I just took a drag from a cigarette!”
For chocolate, we paired similar to the sherry bomb…
Sherry – Abelour A’bunadh batch 46 (2013) 60.4%
Our whisky lady picked up this particular gem in the US at a speciality whisky store. She shared she wanted something distinctive to bring back to India and was directed to this gorgeous cask strength sherry bomb. She opened it prior to our session, fell in love and with great difficulty was able to keep it reserved for our tasting pleasure.
So…. how was this A’bunadh with chocolate?
- Whisky – Gorgeous sherry notes of plums, figs, raisins, burnt sugar. Cherry berry sherry bomb on the palate full of rich flavours, well rounded and robust. The finish closed with long drawn out rummy raisins.
- Chocolate – Paired with pralines having more of a deeper, bitter or more intense single origin chocolate from Peru, or ones containing speculooos or puffed rice to add texture and balance the smokey peat or christmas sweet of sherry
Some may recall we sampled batch 35 at a Whisky Ladies ‘Cask Strength Diwali‘ and for comparison, it was pulled out revealing juicier fruits.
Without a doubt, pairing whiskies with chocolate was a smashing success!
Other Whisky Ladies of Mumbai evenings:
- Whisky Ladies go American! Jack Daniels Old No 7, Hudson Single Malt, Jim Beam, Knobs Creek 9 yr (with Shatbhi Basu of DISCUS)
- Whisky Ladies go Goan! Paul John Brilliance, Edited, Bold, Classic & Peated
- Whisky Ladies World Tour – Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve, Nikka Blended Whisky, Oban 14 year, Sheringham William’s White Double Distilled Grain 2015
- Whisky Ladies with Karen Walker – Caorunn gin, Balblair 03, Old Pulteney 12 year, Speyburn 10 year,AnCnoc 12 + 22 year
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