I was delighted to be invited to co host a very special single malt whisky tasting at a large solicitors premises in London last week with the very talented patissier and chocolatier William Curley. It was a pleasure working with William in preparation for the event, especially the bit where I got to taste a lot of chocolate with a lot of great whisky!
Whisky and Chocolate Pairing
Finding perfect pairings of chocolate and whisky is great fun. At most of the whisky tastings that I host there is always a bar or two of dark chocolate being passed around, it is perfect with dark, sherry matured drams. Rather than a contrast, when pairing chocolate and whiskies it is more often similar flavours that complement one another that you are looking for. People are often surprised when I talk about pairing whisky with food, it isn’t just great with chocolate, there are drams our there that are great with cheese, great with puds and you only need to try Talisker with haggis or Caol Ila with shellfish to really to start to appreciate the versatility of Scotland’s gift to the world.
William’s career began when he worked as an apprentice at Gleneagles Hotel which lead him to train with some of the country’s greatest chefs including Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White, and Raymond Blanc. His ambitions lead him to become the youngest Chef Patissier in the history of The Savoy Hotel.
Since opening his business over thirteen years ago, William has achieved numerous accolades including four times winner of Britain’s Best Chocolatier by The Academy of Chocolate and a gold medal at The Culinary Olympics. In 2012 William became a member of Relais Dessert International the most prestigious association for Patissier – Chocolatiers. He also achieved the Master of Culinary Arts by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts. This is the highest accolade awarded to chefs in the UK.
Our Whisky Pairings
During this very special corporate tasting, our 50 guests enjoyed 6 wonderful single malt whiskies perfectly paired with William’s exquisite chocolates. The whiskies had a wide range of flavour profiles beginning with a light style from the Lowlands of Scotland, we then brought the guests together at the close of the evening to taste a heavily peated, cask strength, single cask whisky from the Highlands.
A fragrant citrus infused dark chocolate ganache with flavours of lemon, grapefruit, blossom and vanilla.
Auchentoshan is a Lowland single malt whisky from Glasgow. This bottling, the 12 year old is matured in both American and European oak. There are aromas of toasted almonds and caramelised toffee and the whisky is smooth and delicate on the palate.
Deanston 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Muscovado Caramel
A rich, dark vanilla infused caramel, encased in Toscano 70% dark chocolate. There are flavours of molasses, butter and vanilla.
Deanston is distilled on the banks of the River Teith near Stirling in the Highlands and is matured in American oak. The nose is reminiscent of days of haymaking with flavours that are creamy sweet with honeyed spiciness, vanilla and cloves.
Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Tayberry Toscano
A tayberry pate de fruits, topped with a dark fruity ganache.
This is the classic island whisky from the Isle of Skye, matured in American oak. Peat smoke and sea saltiness accompanied by red fruit and an explosion of pepper in the mouth.
Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Orange & Almond
A crispy base of roasted almond praline and feuillantine wafer, topped with vibrant orange infused ganache. Flavours of toasted almonds and orange zest.
Bunnahabhain (Foot of the river) is distilled in an extremely remote location on the beautiful Isle of Islay in the Hebrides. The whisky is rich and sweet with creamy vanilla and cinnamon with the faintest waft of peat smoke.
Caol Ila 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Richmond Park Honey
A smooth pure dark ganache made with Richmond Park honey. Flavours of meadow flowers and earthy woodland notes.
American oak maturation and slow distillation gives this smoky, oily, maritime whisky from the Isle of Islay gooseberry, lime and smoky flavours alongside aromas of tar and wet fishing nets. A natural choice given I was once the Distillery Manager.
Fraoch Mòinteach Edition IV Highland Single Cask Single Malt Whisky with Beurre De Sel
A punchy salted caramel, pure dark chocolate ganache. Flavours of vanilla and butterscotch, seasoned with a burst of sea salt.
Fraoch Mòinteach Edition IV by The Moorland Distiller, Highland single cask single malt whisky is a limited release straight from a bourbon barrel and bottled at 59.8%. This whisky is all about rich caramel sweetness along with masses of peat smoke.
We host corporate whisky tastings in London and all over the United Kingdom. If you are interested in learning more about our whisky tastings, or if you are interested in having a whisky and chocolate pairing please call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the form below and we will reply very quickly.