Food and whisky, single malts included, can be a perfect match. Here’s one simpler example; you and the boys (or girls) getting that “botee” with some ugali and nyam chom, right? We view this as just lacing our tummies as we pre game and frantically fuss over wine when having a fancy meal at home or in a restaurant but guess what, you can ditch the wine for some whisky every now and then.
We recently attended a whisky lunch at Kempinski’s Lucca Restaurant and sampled some sumptuous Italian dishes with Glenmorangie whisky.
The lunch was hosted by Hamish Torrie, who is Glenmorangie’s global brand ambassador. He took us through three of the single malts varieties; The Original, La Santa and the Quinta Ruban. Mr. Torrie was excited about his maiden visit to Kenya, saying Kenya had the potential to be their lighthouse market in East Africa. He advocates for this new trend of pairing food and whisky and shared some tips with us.
Voted Master Distiller of the Year twice in a row we were lucky to have it accompany our meals. Made through a process called reflux distillation, they also use barrels from different parts of the world like the States, Spain and Portugal. The barrels are used to make other drinks such as Borborn and wine before maturing the whisky.
Ok, back to pairing your food with whisky. Some tips that experts swear by include matching the aroma and feel of the whisky rather than the weights or flavours. Fatty foods are a good place to start rather than food that is overpowering in the spices department. Lastly, the dish should bring out the taste of the whisky for it to be considered a hit.
Here’s how the chef at Lucca paired the specific Glenmorangie varieties we sampled.
The starters which were a Caprese con Mozzarella and a Mediterranean seafood bisque was paired with “The Original”. It is light, fruity and creamy and therefore complemented both the cheese and soup well.
La Santa was the second bottle and there were three mains to choose from. A beef tenderloin, seafood, tomato concasse risotto and a spicy tomato sauce and garlic pasta. La Santa has a darker and richer feel and so do these meals. Some of the spices in the tenderloin may have been too much for it but the risotto was a hit!
Then there was desert and the Quinta Ruban and a delicious mouth-watering Tiramisu. This variety is not your ordinary single malt. It combines both sweet and dry flavours leading it to have a chocolate taste and orangey finish. Needless to say, it combined fantastically with the Tiramisu.
In case you are wondering the best way to have your whisky with a meal, we highly recommend (as demonstrated by Hamsish) to have it neat or with a few drops of water. ENJOY!