Whiskey & Food Pairings
We were so excited when asked to design a bespoke whiskey tour in Dublin City for the Brown Forman Team. If you are not familiar with that name Brown Forman they are a giant of the Whisky world. To name drop just a few of their brands almost feels like boasting, they are powerhouse behind, Jack Daniels, Woodford, Glendronach and of course Slane Whiskey here in Ireland.
This tour was designed to focused on pairing some of their whiskeys with local Irish produce. We wanted to focus on Slane Whiskey, so we looked to the locals producers in county Meath and their neighbours in the Boyne Valley for inspiration with our whiskey pairings.
Starters: Flavours of the Boyne Valley
To begin the tour we choose a venue steeped in history in the heart of Dublin City. Mulligan & Haines is a unique connection between the past and the present as it draws inspiration from Chapter 10 of Joyces’ Ulysses – a passage in which antagonist Buck Mulligan and his companion Haines entered this once Dublin Bread Company and enjoyed some tasty fare whilst engaging in a humorous exchange.
Slane Whiskey Deconstructed
We got our hand on 3 very unique bottles of Slane Irish Whiskey. Each bottle is sourced straight from the distillery in County Meath. And each bottle come from a single cask that has is own unique flavour and character. The liquid from each of these form the triple ask combination that are blended together to form the unique flavour of Slane Whiskey.
Virgin Oak Casks & Bán Goats Cheese
Barrels from the Brown-Forman cooperage are toasted and charred to Slane’s precise specifications. The medium char, heavy toast, barrels contribute flavors of toasted oak, vanilla, and caramel. Brown-Forman is the only large spirits company to own their own cooperage. And they have two! Barrels are 200 liters in size.
Boyne Valley Bán, the newest cheese in the range, is a semi-hard pasteurised white goat’s cheese. At two-three months old, the rind will be dry and white from mould. In regards to tasting, the cheese is rustic in appearance – a thick, sometimes fuzzy, grey rind.
Seasoned Casks & Boyne Valley Blue Cheese
Barrels previously used to make bourbon or TN Whiskey contribute perfectly balanced flavors of caramel, banana, and butterscotch to the whiskey. Hints of soft baking spice and light toasted oak on the taste. Barrels are 200 liters in size.
Boyne Valley Blue is similar to Bleu D’Auvergne in texture and taste – a brown rinded crumbly cheese with good veins of blue throughout.
Oloroso Sherry Casks & Garlic Salami
Our oloroso sherry casks are sourced directly from Jerez, Spain and contribute to the complexity and richness of Slane. Flavors of raisin, baking spice, and chocolate covered cherry are developed during maturation in the sherry casks. The sherry casks used for Slane are either 500 liter butts or 250 liter hogsheads.
Paired with The Wooded Pig Garlic Salami is made from Free Range pork and flavoured with black pepper. Best enjoyed at room temperature. Delicious on it’s own, it can also bring depth of flavour to any charcuterie board, be added to a fresh garden salad or be used as an accompaniment to hot dishes.
Aaron Carroll is the executive chef at by Oliver Dunne’s. Aaron held a Michelin star at Bon Appetit for years and was excited to be asked to work with us on for this unique tasting event. We were inspired by his use of traditional produce such as Fivemiletown, Dublin Bay Prawn & Irish Beef. I hope the menu below inspires you tom try some whiskey pairings.
Main Course: Surf and Turf
Powers John’s Lane & Dexter Irish Beef
Irish Pepper crusted fillet of Dexter Beef, Truffled Celeriac Puree. This pairing is complex with layers of intense and intricate flavours. The pepper crusted beef is spicy, rich and decadant. The full bodied oiliness of Powers complements the texture while the rich dark fruitiness gives the beef an unexpected twist on the palate. After the earthy flavors of beef fade away try another sip of neat Powers John’s Lane with a small bit of Truffled Celeriac Puree. This is a joyous fusion of flavour.
Teelings Brabazon 2 & Dublin Bay Prawn
Dublin Bay Prawn Brochette, Garlic and chive butter, parmesan crumbed potato croquette. We paired this delicious fish with Teelings Brabazon 2 a whiskey aged in carefully selected port casks that give a full flavoured body to this Irish Single Malt. The fish is complemented by the sweet characters from the port, vanilla, spice and citrus oil. The Brabazon Series 2 is bottled at 49.5% with no chill filtration allowing for all the natural flavours of this whiskey it has a slight hint of salt on the finish that helps the citrus enhance the fish.
Trio of Desserts Paired with Irish Whiskey, Scotch and Bourbon
We gave head chef Aaron of Cleaver East a sample of 3 of Brown Forman’s most popular whiskeys. He expertly paired them with this trio of desserts.
Woodford Reserve & 55% dark chocolate fondant, Woodford White Chocolate Glaze – We choose to pair this dessert with Woodford Reserve to cut the intensity of the dark chocolate. Leaning on the rich, full-bodied smoothness of this burbon we let the notes of dried fruit and sweet spice disolve into the rich dark chocolate. This is the perfect balance of sweetness and spice and all things nice.
Glendronach 12 Year Old & Hazelnut Chocolate Gnocci is all about texture and complex layers of flavour. The whiskey brings toffee sweetness, apples, a hint of vanilla. The influence of the sherry casks adds overtones of rich orchard fruit, but without diminishing the richness of the dark fruit hiding underneath. The hazelnut in this dish adds a element of seasonal autumnal freshness and complements the dark fruits.
Slane Irish Whiskey and Vanilla Semifreddo, Salted Caramel Chocolate Jelly. To finish we thought we would get playful and let the whiskey do the talking. Slane whiskey is a blended whiskey taking distinct elements and flavours from the triple cask finish they use. This combination of flavours adds layers for your palate to explore and this complex dish lets you do that. You can taste each element together or kust choose one… place the jelly on your tounge and let it melt on your palate while you sip Slane Whiskey.
Irish Coffee Making Class with Slane Whiskey
To finish we decided to teach our guests how to make the perfect Irish Coffee using Slane Whiskey of course. The group had to make everything from scratch. Brew the coffee, heat the glass, shake the cream, add the sugar and pour a generous measure of whiskey. The key to making the perfect Irish Coffee is to ensure that the cream floats… check out our pictures below to see who made the best brew.
To book your own private whiskey tasting Contact Us and we will make your next event something special to remember.
Every Whiskey Tells a Story, What Will Yours Be?Sláinte from The Whiskey Trail
#EatDrinkExplore – by Paul Kavanagh