Guest article written by GreatDrams reader, Jelena Vuksanovic who hails from Bali, working in a bar called Single Malt Bali.
From the tropical heat coming inside the Single Malt Bali, to a chilled space arranged for Whisky tasting with food pairings immediately brought me and other guests to another atmosphere.
Gordon Dundas, Whisky ambassador of Morrison Bowmore Distilleries introduced three brands for the tasting on that night: Glen Garioch, Auchentoshan and Bowmore. Being from different regions each Single Malt Whisky has distinctive characteristics and traditions.
Gordon’s experienced words, charming and easy to approach explanations, images from Distilleries and Scotland created the feeling of a laboratory in which we are doing amusing experiment.
Impressions of smelling, tasting the first dram, taking the first bite, than sipping whisky again, and the explosion of flavors started. So, you have to take your time, enjoy every moment of it, while exchanging the experience with fellow enjoyers.
This Highland Single Malt Whisky has long tradition, and the edition of 12-year-old Glen Garioch is nectar produced from marriage between Bourbon and Sherry casks. The soft and creamy texture of ravioli was opposed to the sharpness and richness of Glen Garioch.
The next indulgence was Tuna Steak Florentine, paired with Bowmore 12 years old, the classic from region of Islay.
The fish combined with lighter version of Bowmore, kept in Bourbon casks, very light in color, and peaty notes, slightly salty seemed like a perfect match for each other.
It was the first time that I could feel the seaweed, and that was the glorious moment of revelation. It was like finding the key to a locked door, and made the love for Bowmore greater in that moment.
Earlier that day, I asked Gordon about the pallets, and how the Whisky reviewers define all these tastes. Simply, he told me to relax, continue to taste what I like, and the impressions will come.
It is a natural process in which you as a whisky drinker discover your own pallet, maybe you drink the same dram for 5 times, and each time it can taste differently.
For me, on that night, the new sensation was there.
For the finish, we had chocolate fondant, flourless cake with melted rich chocolate paired with Auchentoshan Three Wood.
This Lowland Single Malt has been kept in three different casks: Pedro Ximenez Sherry, bourbon casks and Oloroso sherry, not stating the years, since for this edition of Auchentoshan the Whisky maker decides for how long it takes to keep the distilled barley in the casks, with only criterion to keep the standard of the taste.
With notes of sherry, toffee, rich and liquorish the chocolate fondant was melting and merging with whisky flavors. It created such a fusion in the mouth and senses, that I didn’t want it to end.
You take a small bite, with a slight sip, and do it again and again.
Overall experience, as for myself and other guests on that night made a feeling that there’s so much more to discover. And such experiments can be infinite considering the vast selection of amazing Whiskies and food ready to be paired.