Wine tastings are all in vogue, but move over and try some stronger spirits. Whisky Samba recently hosted a whiskey tasting masterclass with Ashish Dev Kapur at Whisky Samba. To make whiskey more experiential, Whisky Samba is set to host Whisky paired evenings every month.
Chef Akshay Bharadwaj has paired some of his exquisite creations with each whiskey. Whiskey Samba not only offers the widest range of malted spirits in the city but also some superbly done dishes.
Coming to Whisky tasting itself, it was a small affair with peaty whiskeys and someone like me who doesn’t love peat that much it was an amazing introductory session. As Ashish aptly mentioned, the flirtatious affair for us novices. The analogy is drawn to chillies in your food, some people love them, some hate them, some, on the other hand, some have a love-hate relationship with them. Peaty whiskeys are often talked about in the world as a mark of an individuals tolerance level and in this tasting session I ended up finding mine level.
Starting off the Ardmore Legacy Highland, while for me this was highly peaty with initial sweet notes of vanilla and homey but after advancing through the tasting and after trying the Laphroaig 10 Y.O, Ardmore was actually sweet. This is the thing with tasting, you often find one whiskey peatier than the other and similar was my case. Coming back to Ardmore legacy, with hints of honey and spice and adding a little water gives way to some smoky, charcoal notes.
The Bowmore pronounced bum-more, this one was definitely on a level above the Ardmore. Bowmore 12 Y.O is an Islay Malt, meaning made on the coast of Scotland. If you ever see Islay Malt written on a whiskey, you will know that it is a peaty, smoky whiskey being the central characteristics of the island.
Bowmore 12 Y.O. was warm and felt like smoky honey in my mouth. It’s said that Bowmore is balanced which I found to be true, some chocolate notes towards the end and a dash of water brings out the smokiness and the mellow finish.
After this was the turn of the king of peaty whiskeys, the Laphroaig 10 Y.O. This one hits you with a lot of smoke, after this, every other whiskey would seem sweet. It’s bold, peaty and a couple of rolls in the mouth makes you realize its got some sweetness. I also found a hint of oak with a long finish that makes you think you have had a big sip but its actually just the whiskey.
Comparing the Jim Beam Black to the Jim Beam Original, Black has fewer sugar tones and a nice charred finish, it might be enjoyed very well on the rocks. Some caramel and oak notes give way to some fruity notes too.
Makers Mark, a long-necked squarish bottle which is sealed with a red screw cap closure which is dipped in red sealing wax. Bill Samuels’ wife, Marjorie “Margie” Samuels, not only gave the whiskey its name, but she also drew up the label and came up with the idea of using the sealing wax to give the bottle its unique look. And she succeeded, makers mark is truly a unique whiskey. (For all the whiskey fanatics, ‘Bourbon’ and for those who don’t know, Bourbon is a style of whiskey produced in the U.S. using corn instead of Barley).
A dry spicy oak and sandalwood spices give way to a hint of butterscotch and some oak. This peppery spice seems to dry and pucker the mouth and taste buds and this might not be the best neat drink. Fortunately, a soft butterscotch follows the dry spice and the combination of dry spice with lightly sweet butterscotch is quite nice. It’s moderately complex and with each sip, with or without water a different combination is felt.
Truly an enlightening experience, Whisky Samba is all set to host Whisky Tastings every month coupled with Tapas.
For more info, stay tuned here.