Once and awhile, I have the pleasure of joining special evenings… this was one such night!
TheWestin partnered with Nick Ord from Diageo‘s TheSingleton to host a private pairing of whisky and fine cuisine. It was very clear the chef and team spent considerable time and effort experimenting to find just the right combination (and perhaps imbibing along the way too!).
We were greeted by the poolside with a glass of Singleton, served as we wished. It was a hot muggy dark evening but the company was refreshing, the breeze delightful and the experience worth braving Bombay’s traffic to join!
Warning – my camera photos simply do not do justice… even still, you are liable to become rather envious of those lucky enough to be part of the evening.
With that caveat in mind, read on…
Glenkinchie 12 year
- Whisky – Aromatic, vanilla, cut flowers and creamy
- Salad – Green and white asparagus, burrata with a quinoa chip
- Pairing – An excellent starting combination, complimented well, whetted the appetite for more to come…
- Whisky – Subdued, citrus fruitiness, a fresh and appetising nose, almond oil and after a while a pot pourri
- Appetiser – Stuffed Kashmiri morels, mushroom puree
- Pairing – Outstanding! Simply superb! Each on their own excellent but combined was easily one of the best pairings I’ve sampled so far. There was simply something about how the feta stuffed morel merged with the Caol Ila to bring out even more in each. Like taking something already fabulous and bring out something even more spectacular. It was that good.
Talisker 10 year
- Whisky – Powerful peat-smoke with just a hint of the sea-water salt of fresh oysters, with a citrus sweetness
- Option 1 – Panseared scallops, air dried prosciutto, cauliflower and truffle puree
- Option 2 – Corn fed chicken smoked in clay oven, spiced yogurt, raw mango and pineapple chutney
- Option 3 – Variation of the chicken dish with smoked paneer instead
- Pairing – Folks raved about the scallops, spoke well of the chicken and my vegetarian fare was well balanced with the Talisker. Pleasant, worked well but not out of this world like the morel and Caol Ila.
Here Nick Ord from Singleton interjected that we should savour the Talisker 10 as stocks are running low – what is here today may be gone tomorrow.
- Whisky – Intensely flavoured, peak smoke and a rich, deep sweetness
- Option 1 – Australian lamb loin with madeira sauce, milanese risotto, truffle
- Option 2 – Indian lamb shank with a signature ‘tear’ sauce and biryani
- Options 3 – For vegetarians, broccoli on a mustard infused mash
- Pairing – Though by all accounts the Australian lamb was excellent, however as a pairing it simply didn’t hit the high notes. In the case of the vegetarian version, the dish brought out spice in the Lagavulin instead of complimenting. However, by contrast, the Indian lamb biryani was apparently spot on! It was yet another reminder, to not be afraid of bringing more desi flavours into the foreground with whiskies – particularly those with a bit more oomph!
Singleton by Glen Ord 12 year
- Whisky – Toasted nut, rich fruit and aromas
- Desert – Delightful assortment of mignardises from fresh raspberry to a melting almond ganache to a crunchy ball bursting with flavours and more…
- Pairing – Pure joy! After dutifully sampling a nibble of one with the Singleton, I gleefully abandoned all pretence of sticking to one whisky alone. A small bite of pure sin would tell me which whisky might work best… Fantastic way to close the evening!
While these single malts are all ‘standards’ – even familiar friends – it is always a pleasure to revisit… particularly with such carefully planned pairings.
TheWestin Mumbai team clearly put a lot of effort into playing around with possible options. Bravo to the organisers, TheWestin team and Nick!
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