Sneak preview of the Whisky Lounge

Whisky and food pairing, well executed, is a match made in heaven – or in this case Scotch Malt Whisky Society Edinburgh.

At the Queen Street premises of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society we were introduced to stars of Scottish cuisine and whisky making with chef Mark Greenaway and Morrison Bowmore’s Master Blender Rachel Barrie.

Mark spoke first and briefly (straight from the kitchen in his whites and apron) about next month’s #EdinWhiskyFest where he and Rachel will be running a whisky and food masterclass, touching very briefly on the culinary wizardry we might expect. No sooner had he arrived, he was gone again back to his kitchen.

Rachel then took the floor and led us through a tasting of the some of the Morrison Bowmore range with a food pairing – Auchentoshan Three Wood with 70% dark chocolate, Glen Garioch 12 year old with ComtĂ© cheese, and Bowmore 12 year old with smoked salmon.

These were what you might call classic pairings, but Rachel insisted that at the Whisky Lounge in April that the pairings would be a real eye-opener – there was mention of grass, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was served turf and all.

If you haven’t had whisky and cheese before give it a go, I’m especially fond of a sharp creamy blue cheese with a pungent Islay, seriously, do it…

The Society’s own chef put together a few pairing combinations which were really excellent, hardly surprising given the booze cupboard at the kitchen’s disposal.

What we had:

  • “Dappled smoke, meringues and macaroons” (Cask No. 4.173) with smoked haddock tartare on rye toast
  • “Rabbit in soured cream sauce” (Cask No. 41.56) with Ballontine of rabbit with compressed apple and celery radish
  • “Tantalisingly sweet and savoury” (Cask No. 78.40) with Rare venison loin with beetroot, creme fraiche and prune compote
  • “Rite of passage” (Cask No. 127.31) with Strathdon Blue & leek fritter with walnuts
  • “Sumptuous breakfast dram” (Cask No. 35.86) with Treacle ginger orange fudge with whisky soaked raisins

Exciting drams and excellent food, you’ve got a near perfect evening right there.

More info about The Whisky Lounge.