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Issue 26 - From the horse's mouth

Whisky Magazine Issue 26
October 2002

 

This article is 11 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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From the horse's mouth

It's official Cooking with whisky is very much in vogue. Martine Nouet talks to experts on the subject and discovers a truly original new sauce

Some chefs are blessed. They can use the whisky produced or matured on the premises in their cooking. Both Arran Distillery and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society insist that whisky is as appealing on the plate as in the bottle; a story straight from the horse's mouth.

There is nothing like a restaurant to really whet the appetite of a malt aficionado visiting a distillery. I had a delightful experience a few weeks ago when visiting Arran Distillery.

This is not the right place to introduce Master Distiller Gordon Mitchell, but I will just say that he personifies Arran whisky: full of character but smooth and jovial. The restaurant, set above the distillery shop and visitor centre, overlooks an impressive rock and water installation. Pretty unexpected here, but charming.

The tasting we enjoyed in the morning introduced us to a multifaceted whisky. We sampled the infant, the young child and ended with the older child. A seven-year old Arran with a sherry finish proved quite mature with a rich creamy mouthfeel and luscious chocolate fudge along with spicy aromas. As we say in French: la valeur n'attend pas le nombre des années (quality doesn't have to be synonymous with age). We didn't realise how time was flying. We had a ferry to catch but how could one deter a French gourmet journalist from enjoying a good meal? There was no question of us skipping lunch after all we had heard about the Chef.

This is Darren McKinlay's second season at Arran Distillery Restaurant. Visitors ...

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