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Issue 111 - A Spicy Experience

Whisky Magazine Issue 111
April 2013


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A Spicy Experience

Elbow deep in rices, spices and whiskie.

Requiring a suitably robust pairing, Indian food is not the first place one would expect to see whisky at the top of the list. So let's explore some revolutionary flavour partners. Ok, I'll be honest with you. While it may sound especially sceptical, I've often found it really hard to buy into the notion of whisky-themed dinners or food combinations, which pair a whisky alongside. So often they seem artificially bolted together, in the hope that the diner will discover a magical (and often subliminal) lexicon of flavour, if they search hard for it. But let's face it, outside of some fairly traditional pairings (blue cheese, dark chocolate and at a push, shellfish) whisky is frankly too powerful a spirit to comprehensively enjoy when paired over a multitude of courses. Similarly, outside of the already self-confessed whisky lovers, are the palates of the general public really ready to commit to consuming numerous neat whiskies alongside their haute cuisine?

This was the conundrum, which recently faced both myself and my Caskstrength colleague, Joel Harrison. Having been commissioned by highly renowned London Indian restaurant Moti Mahal to come up with a whisky pairing flight, themed around a special six course seasonal menu, it got us thinking about the sheer difficulty of simply picking six neat whiskies to throw into the mix. Under the stewardship of head chef Anirudh Arora, Moti Mahal has become well known in its own right for a comprehensive whisky menu, with a strong s...

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