Last week I was invited to attend the DINNER WITH WHISKY event at Hotel Realm, hosted by renowned whisky personality Martine Nouet.
Wednesdays are date night in our house, so I was a little bit sneaky and told my boyfriend Mike that I was taking him somewhere special. He didn’t find out until later that I was actually going for work. Oops!
On arrival we were greeted with a signature whisky cocktail and introduced to other guests which included whisky lovers, whisky brand ambassadors and some of Canberra’s leading bartenders and bar owners. You might recognise some of these guys from your local watering holes!
After some time mingling we were seated for dinner, a four-course meal paired with four individual whiskies, created by Hotel Realm’s Executive Chef, Fabian Wagnon. We were told that the dishes were designed to enhance the flavours in the whisky, and the whisky to enhance the flavours of the food.
Our first course was a serving of 3 Laphroaig Quarter Cask (this is a type of whisky) oysters, with a cucumber and ginger granita. Not to turn you off, but I’ve had food poisoning from oysters twice now, so I was a little wary! But you can’t be rude when you’re at a dinner party, so I dug in. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the oysters were extremely fresh and they were still attached to the shell, which I love! I couldn’t really taste the whisky on the oysters but I did get a whole glass of Laphroaig Quarter Cask to sip with my meal.
Guests were given the history of each paired whisky before every course and we were told to sip the whisky before taking our first bite and during our meals, as the flavour changes on your palate.
Second course was Glenrothes Alba (another whisky) Pan-fried scallops, sweet corn puree, confit chicken wings, bacon veloute. I have to tell you, this was my favourite dish of the night and again, we were given a whole new glass of whisky, filled with Glenrothes Alba.
How cute are the whisky glasses by the way?!
Third course was Glenfiddich 15 years Solera (The worlds most favourite single malt whisky) duck confit and roasted Aylesbury duck breast, beetroot puree, root vegetables and Makers Mark 46 (more whisky) jus, also served with a glass of Glenfiddich. If I’m being honest, I didn’t love this dish. My serving of duck was too pink for my liking and it was tough and chewy. I left the duck and drank the whisky.
And of course, there was dessert. Chocolat fondant with caramélised banana and salted caramel cream. Dessert was a hit! Every single person demolished their dish within moments of it hitting the tables.
It’s safe to say that by the time we arrived at dessert, everyone was a little drunk. Some more than others!
The dinner was a success, with everyone seeming to have had a wonderful night … and if they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t remember anyway – there was A LOT of whisky! Even as a non-whisky drinker I certainly had a good time and learnt a few things about whisky.
The Dinner With Whisky event was a part of the two-day Whisky Live Show, which will be held in Canberra on 30-31 May.