Last week, I happily found myself back at Next Wood Fired Bistro, for a third Scotch tasting dinner. While anxiously waiting for the evening to begin, I snapped a few photos of the enticing line up of rare whiskies, by William Grant & Sons.
Kininvie 23 Years Old – The Annasach Reserve 25 Years Old – Balvenie 30 Years – Old Glenfiddich 40 Year Old
To our delight, David Allardice, the Glenfiddich Ambassador, was back to guide us through an incredible array of whiskies. David’s Scottish accent, charming personality and witty humor led us through a wonderful evening of exploring my favorite golden liquid. But once again, no kilt!
Our tasting began with the introduction of Kininvie 23. This little gem was pulled from the first casts produced at the Kininvie distillery, which was established in 1990. It might be considered a mere infant when compared to Balvenie and Glenfiddich, although I would say William Grant & Sons’ talents, seem to be timeless. I found Kininvie 23 to be light, silky and floral with a delicate long finish.
Our first course was a delicious and artfully scored smoked sausage, served atop creamy mashed potatoes. I was so intrigued with David’s history lesson, that I didn’t realize until half-way through the first course that I forgot to snap a photo of my plate! My mother always told me to slow down, and not eat like a ranch hand. It seems that I temporally forgot my manners while plunging into the bangers and mash. David praised them as the best bangers and mash he had ever had, and I must agree.
Second in the line-up was Annasach 25, also known as the Ghosted Blend. The particular blend we tasted was created for Specs in Dallas. The master blender created Annasach 25 from some of the finest aged single malts pulled from storage at the William Grant & Sons’ warehouse.
Annasach 25 accompanied Chef Ying’s Coffee-Crusted New Zealand Elk Tenderloin with carrots, which by-the-way, I have added to the top of my favorites list.
Coffee-Crusted New Zealand Elk Tenderloin with a Blueberry Gastrique and Chive Oil.
The Balvenie 30 was smooth and deeply complex. The more I learn about whisky, the more I realize how much the pairings influence the taste. The more sophisticated the pairing, the more distinct the flavors of the whisky will appear on the palate. When paired with the smoked Salmon, I could detect a hint of peat, as suggested by David.
Shrimp Crepe topped with Smoked Salmon and Onion Jam.
The grand finale of whisky was the Glenfiddich 40. It was served alone, so we could thoroughly experience its deep complexity of heavy oakiness and rich dark fruit. I especially enjoyed the long smooth finish, which seemed to go on forever. A whisky of this magnitude was a rare treat indeed.
As we were finishing our dessert, David ended our enchanting evening with a toast.
“Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting and drinking. If you cheat, may you cheat death. If you steal, may it be a woman’s heart. If you fight, may it be for a brother. And if you drink, may it be with me.”
Ying’s Chocolate Bouchon Dessert
A perfect toast, for a perfect evening.