Whisky and Chocolate Pairing in London with William Curley

Whisky and chocolate william curley

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 Curley

William Curley

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.

Auchentoshan 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky with Yuzu

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.

Whisky and chocolate london

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

London whisky tasting

 

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.

 

Contact Us

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.

 

 

Whisky Tastings

Would you like a whisky tasting at your office or a whisky tasting at home? We host private whisky tastings for corporate events and for private parties anywhere in the UK.

Private Whisky Tastings

Our whisky tastings are different to those hosted by our competitors. Our whisky tastings are authentic. We’ve lived and worked at the coal face of spirit distilling. We’ve managed iconic malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, so when we talk to you about whisky, it is with passion and experience. We are not trying to sell you anything other than Scotland and its gift to the world, Scotch whisky.

We don’t work for any big brands, we are not sales representatives and we are not brand ambassadors but what we are is passionate about good single malt whisky. When we host your whisky tasting we’ll present to you whiskies that we love.

What to Expect From Our Private Whisky Tastings

  • Hosted by either David Wood former Caol Ila Distillery Manager and whisky bottler
  • A tasting of at least six single malt whiskies from around Scotland
  • You’ll hear about the history of the Scotch whisky industry
  • A look into whisky production
  • How to taste whisky and choosing glassware
  • A fun and factual event exploring Scotch whiskies whilst avoiding the usual anecdotes

Enquire About A Whisky Tasting

If you would like more information about our private whisky tastings, or if you would like a quote or to book us for your private whisky event, please don’t hesitate to call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the contact form below and we will get back to you very quickly.

 

 

London Whisky Tastings

Would you like a whisky tasting at your office or a whisky tasting at home in London? We host private whisky tastings in London for corporate events and for private parties.

London Private Whisky Tastings

Our whisky tastings in London are different to those hosted by our competitors. Our tastings are authentic. We’ve lived and worked at the coal face of spirit distilling. We’ve managed iconic malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, so when we talk to you about whisky, it is with passion and experience. We are not trying to sell you anything other than Scotland and its gift to the world, Scotch whisky.

We don’t work for any big brands, we are not sales representatives and we are not brand ambassadors but what we are is passionate about good single malt whisky. When we host your whisky tasting in London we’ll present to you whiskies that we love.

What to Expect From Our London Whisky Tastings

  • Hosted by either David Wood former Caol Ila Distillery Manager and whisky bottler
  • A tasting of at least six single malt whiskies from around Scotland
  • You’ll hear about the history of the Scotch whisky industry
  • A look into whisky production
  • How to taste whisky and choosing glassware
  • A fun and factual event exploring Scotch whiskies whilst avoiding the usual anecdotes

Enquire About A Whisky Tasting In London

If you would like more information about our private London whisky tastings, or if you would like a quote or to book us for your private whisky event in London, please don’t hesitate to call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the contact form below and we will get back to you very quickly.

 

 

Whisky Tastings Near You in Autumn 2018

Whisky Tasting

The air is getting cooler and the nights longer, all of a sudden it is feeling very much the time of year that lends itself to enjoying a good single malt whisky by the fire, or failing that 6 drams with us at one of our very special Single Malt Whisky Tasting Experiences at a venue near you soon!

Autumn 2018 Whisky Tastings

The diary is packed with private whisky tastings all over the UK this Autumn but we are also putting together a schedule of Single Malt Whisky Tasting Experiences for which you will be able to buy tickets for you and your whisky friends. We would love to see you at one of our whisky tastings.

 

Brighton – Southern Belle, Hove. 6pm Saturday 10th Nov – Click here for more info and tickets

Alton, Staffordshire The Bulls Head, 7.30pm Thurs 29th Nov – Click here for more info and tickets

Sheffield Picture House Social, 7pm Fri 30th Nov – Click here for more info and tickets

Stone, Staffordshire – Venue TBC – Thurs 13th Dec – Contact us for more info

 

Whisky Tastings

Our whisky tastings are different to those hosted by our competitors. Our tastings are authentic. We’ve lived and worked at the coal face of spirit distilling. We’ve managed iconic malt whisky distilleries in Scotland, so when we talk to you about whisky, it is with passion and experience. We are not trying to sell you anything other than Scotland and its gift to the world, Scotch whisky.

We don’t work for any big brands, we are not sales representatives and we are not brand ambassadors but what we are is passionate about good single malt whisky.

We regularly host both private whisky tastings and ticketed whisky tastings throughout the United Kingdom.

What to Expect From Our Whisky Tastings

  • Always hosted by either David Wood (formerly Distillery Manager at Caol Ila Distillery on Islay or Leonie Wood formerly Marketing and Visitor Centre Manager at Kilchoman Distillery on Islay)
  • A tasting of at least six single malt whiskies from around Scotland
  • You’ll hear about the history of the Scotch whisky industry
  • A look into whisky production
  • How to taste whisky and choosing glassware
  • A fun and factual event exploring Scotch whiskies whilst avoiding the usual anecdotes

Private Whisky Tastings

Wherever you are in the UK (or further afield) we can host a private whisky tasting for you. Whether it be a whisky tasting for your corporate events or a whisky tasting for your clients or a whisky tasting for your stag party, please contact us for more information or to book.

Tastings in The Peak District

We are based in the Peak District National Park. If you are having a family gathering, a stag party or a hen party in the Peak District and you would like information about having us host either a gin tasting or whisky tasting for you in your accommodation please get in touch. We regularly host tastings in large self catering accommodation in the Peak District, including houses owned and managed by Party Houses UK and Peak Venues.

We provide everything you need for your whisky tasting or gin tasting in the Peak District, all we need from you is an area within the property where we can host the tasting.

Contact Us

To get in touch, please complete the form below and we will reply to you very quickly. Alternatively please call David on 07875 405 980.

 

 

Gin Tastings in London

Gin Tasting Hen Party

Have Us Host an Exclusive Gin Tasting in London For You!

We host gin tastings in London and throughout the UK. We also host gin and whisky tastings for private parties and at corporate events in London. We’ll host a gin tasting in London at a venue to suit you. Whether the gin tasting in London is for your clients or as a treat for your team , we’ll bring the world of gin to you.

Gin Tastings

During our Gin Tastings guests taste 6 gins neat before preparing the perfect serve gin & tonic with garnishes as suggested by the distillers. Our gin tastings in London are all about the gin, we present gins that we love, gins that have been made properly by authentic distillers with passion and integrity, and above all gins that demonstrate provenance and placeness.

Our tastings are fun and informative and are enjoyed by those both new to the wonderful world of gin and by seasoned enthusiasts!

Private Gin Tastings in London

We arrange private gin tastings for private parties, stag parties, hen parties, corporate events and for special birthdays. We provide all the glassware, the garnishes, tasting notes and of course the gin!

If you are interested in learning more about our gin tastings in London, fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

 

Gin Tasting Hen Party

Our Gin Tastings

When you join one of our gin tastings you can expect it to be a little different. Having worked in the distilling industry for many years, we know that the distiller who has painstakingly crafted the gin before you, wants you to be able to taste the spirit and to appreciate the difference between their gin and those produced by their competitors. The spirit is the heart and soul of any distillery, whether it be destined for a fine single malt whisky or for a premium London dry gin.

Nosing and Tasting Gin

At the beginning of our tasting I talk guests through the rationale of the choice of glassware that I like to use in comparative spirit tastings. I then demonstrate how to nose, taste and evaluate spirit.  I then ask guests to spend a few minutes nosing the neat gins, and to make a note of any aromas that they detect, there are no right or wrong answers, what one person gets will be completely different to the next.

We nose each of the gins ‘blind’, I don’t reveal the brand name of the gin until later, we then go on to having a taste of each neat gin, again to see if guests identify any particular flavours. We then prepare the gin and tonic using garnishes as suggested by the distiller and enjoy our first drink.

corporate gin tastings

The Gin Garnish and Tonics

I prepare the garnishes as suggested by the distillers for the ‘perfect serve’ for each gin. I always suggest to guests that they should perhaps taste the gin and tonic before garnishing. I believe some garnishes can totally over power the flavour of the gin. I don’t see the point in spending £40 on a special bottle of gin only to mask its character by adding heavily flavoured garnishes or tonic. I think it is similar in a way to how we drink single malt whisky. There is nothing wrong with adding  a large dollop of coca cola to your £50 single malt whisky, it’s just that the end product will taste exactly the same as it would if you had used a £12 blended whisky from the supermarket.

I adopt a similar approach with the choice of tonic for my tastings. There are many tonics on the market to choose from and It is great that people have their own favourites and that it is encouraging consumers to explore the gin category. During a tasting however, it is important that each spirit is tasted in exactly the same way, using the same glassware, some would argue without garnish, and if tonic is being used, exactly the same product for each serve.

Once each gin & tonic has been prepared and tasted, I talk about the gin brand and the history of the distillers who make it. I’ll also talk about the production process and botanicals, both traditional and local, used to make each gin.

We hope to see you at a gin tasting in London soon!