Challenge or not, Scotch can make excellent paring with meals. Here’s a helpful hint, serve your single malt neat, with the lightest splash of spring water. Toning down the alcohol this way allows the Scotch’s aromatic complexities to shine through and makes it easier to achieve a food and Scotch balance. Some things to take into consideration are the background nuances of the Scotch. Creamy, mature cheeses and rich cream dishes are rich enough to balance the alcohol. Smoky flavors in the Scotch add another dimension to the richness and flavor of salmon. Red meats, especially the gamy ones, or dishes like Lamb Chops with Coffee-Chocolate Sauce make great partners with Scotch. So does chocolate. The dark, rich espresso and chocolate flavors will match with similar flavors in the Scotch. For dessert you could continue the chocolate-coffee-Scotch theme or try a rich dessert such as Crème Brûlée.
The menu for the evening takes the above suggestions into account and will be starting with a selection of Scottish and English Cheese selected some choice cheeses that are guaranteed to pair beautifully with the evening’s Scotch tasting.
The first Scotch to be tasted on December 6th will be Glenmorangie The Original (10 Year Old). This is the velvety textured Scotch that most associate with Glenmorangie. The Original has delicate, honeyed overtones and a burst of citrus that softens into vanilla and almond flavors. There is just a touch of smokiness in the background to remind you of warm winter nights in front of the fire.
Branches’ chef will be pairing The Original with Crab Rangoon with Tamarind-Ginger Chutney. These delicious crispy dumplings filled with scallions & crab meat and the complex, tart citrusy chutney are designed to complement the Scotch. Scallops wrapped with bacon add a richness and a complimentary smoky quality while samplers of lobster and cream cappuccino will be rich enough to balance the alcohol and satisfy the diners.
The second single malt of the evening will be Glenmorangie The Lasanta (Sherry Cask Finish). Glenmorangie Lasanta is an elegant and full-bodied single malt whisky that has been matured in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks after a minimum of 10 years in ex-bourbon casks. This Scotch is luscious, mouth-filling, with deep, enticing, sweet aromas of spiced orange and chocolate-covered hazelnuts. Any chocolate lover will instantly see why this single malt is a sure-fire favorite. It has the full, sweet flavors typical of Spanish sherry: oranges, sultanas, toffee, and walnuts. The satisfyingly long spiced orange and chocolate nut finish should pair beautifully with the menu’s offering of Chicken Mole’ where the savory combination of chocolate and peanuts in mixed with fresh chilies and spices make for an enlightened pairing.
Once we’ve tried the Sherry cask can a Port cask be far behind? With Glenmorangie the next scotch is a velvety-textured single malt transferred from the original ex-bourbon cask and then extra matured or “finished” in port pipes, shipped from the wine estates of Portugal.
Glenmorangie The Quinta Ruban (Port Cask Finish) is a voluptuously smooth complex balance of sweet and dry flavors. Oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts tossed with Garbanzo Beans, lemon and grated Parmesan will be the first pairing for this intriguing single malt’s balance of smooth velvet and crisp, cooling textures. The velvety Quinta Ruban offers a swathe of rich, dark chocolate nuttiness and sugar-coated crystallized orange segments countered by crisp mint chocolate. The chiffon-like texture and lingering chocolate notes should balance nicely with the second pairing, Entrecote of Beef rubbed with smoked paprika, served with creamy peppercorn sauce.
For Dessert, Branches will be pairing Glenmorangie The Nectar D’Or (Sauternes Cask Finish) with Crème Brûlée flame-torched in the room. The Sauternes wine barriques infuse the Scotch with the signature honey, citrus and spice aroma of the Sauternes dessert wine that lingers in the wooden casks. The Scotch takes on the pale, lemony, gold transparency and honeyed taste that inspired the name, Nectar D’Or. This is a favorite sophisticated complex whisky and a perfect pairing for this sensuous custard.
With each whisky exquisitely paired with a different course this should be a delicious and luxurious Single Malt Scotch Whisky dinner experience. Bottles will be available at the end of dinner for purchase.
A selection of Scottish and English Cheese from
‘Cheese on Main’ in Ocean Grove
Glenmorangie the Original (10 Yr.)
Crab Rangoon with Tamarind-Ginger Chutney
Scallops wrapped with bacon
Samplers of Lobster Bisque ‘Cappuccino’
Glenmorangie The Lasanta (Sherry Cask Finish)
Glenmorangie The Quinta Ruban (Port Cask Finish)
Entrecote of Beef rubbed with smoked paprika, served with creamy peppercorn sauce
Oven-roasted Brussels Sprouts tossed with Garbanzo Beans, lemon and grated Parmesan
Glenmorangie The Nectar D’Or (Sauternes Cask Finish)
Crème Brulee flame-torched in the room