It's now just over a week since this event but today is my first chance to report on it.
These gourmet evenings just get better and better!
Firstly, I will report that the Glenlivet French Oak was voted the best whisky of the evening.
As for the best whisky - food combination:
They were all brilliant, the Glenlivet and lamb was even better than the same Glenlivet with duck last time, which I wouldn't have believed, as that was also fantastic.
Matt - the 'erbs were not very powerful. The lamb had a mustard crust which contained some herbs, but the herbs were not prominent or overpowering which made the combination so good.
Anyway, the best combination was undoubtedly the Benrinnes and strawberries!
The dessert comprised whole strawberries coated in bitter (dark) chocolate, accompanied by a strawberry and balsamico essence sauce, with green peppercorns.
The Benrinnes was the 1972-1996 (Old map label) G&M CC and was fantastic. With a nose of what I can only describe as "Alcoholic apples" and a taste of leather, apples and very gentle pepper this made for an exquisite combination which I shall remember for a very long time.
Other notes and comments include:
Nose: Fruit with a little prominent lime
Palate: Smooth, very silky with a mixture of apricot, pear and redcurrant.
This offered a slightly bitter after-taste which reminded me a little of gin.
Ardbeg Still Young
This is altogether much more pleasant and more rounded than the very young.
This has what I call the true Ardbeg character - smooth, rounded with lots of peat and smoke.
Rather than serve this with the usual fish, it worked extremely well with the smoked cheese which was accompanied by an asparagus salad and pumpkinseed oil.
I used the Macallan 10 CS as the after-dinner dram and with a nose of sherry, slight orange peel and cereal, followed by the taste of orange, sherry & nuts, which turned a little more spicy and more nutty with just a drop of water, this made a perfect finale to the evening.
For one last comment I return to the Benrinnes:
We have often discussed the merits of G&M Connoisseur's Choice bottlings and in this case, the Benrinnes is an excellent dram with lots of flavour and body which I would happily recommend.
As i write this, I also remember the 1974 Ardbeg from the CC range which is one of the finest Ardbegs I have tasted, so as far as I am concerned, G&M CC offer some great drams - or at least in the older "Map Label" bottlings.