SMWS London – Whisky Tasting & Food Pairing
After arriving safely in London last Thursday afternoon, I was ready and prepared (as well as I could be) for 3 days jam packed with Whisky tastings, events and chat.
First on the agenda was an amazing SMWS Whisky and Food tasting at the Bleeding Heart Restaurant in Farringdon – next door to the SMWS London venue. It was a full table of 10 in attendance including, Matt & Karen from Whisky for Everyone, Joel & Neil from Cask Strength, Alwynne from Miss Whisky, Darren Rook from The Whisky Guy, Charly from The Whisky Squad, Cat from Master of Malt, Helen Stewart from SMWS and of course our host Joe McGirr from London SMWS.
The Bleeding Heart Restaurant is situated in the courtyard just outside the front doors of the London Venue, making this hidden (deceptively large) French Restaurant an excellent choice to host this event. Dark furnishing and decor, intriguing basement layout, with almost private dining areas in every nook and cranny, I had high hopes for the delicious cuisine we were about to sample to compliment our whiskies.
After an introduction to the evenings events from Joe we got straight down to the whisky tastings and food pairings.
Smoked Isle of Lewis Salmon with Leek Mousseline, Salmon Caviar and Home-made Blinis – SMWS 50.47 / Sweetly appealing and refreshing – Lemons and limes, lemon puff biscuit, maybe a hobnob, fizzy tropical mushy friuts mango and banana, an absolute delight when drank alongside this delicate salmon mouse… yummy fresh tingle.
Terrine of Foie Gras with Port Jelly, Fig, Apricots and Almond Compote and Home-made Pistachio Brioche – SMWS 82.19 / “Stunning” – this single cask bottling is what it says on the bottle, truely stunning, a firm favorite at the table. Lending its full body and fist full of flavours to the tasty Foie Gras, I got toffee notes, dark bitter chocolate, walnuts and port soaked raisins, stewed apples, slight hint of charcoal and burnt oranges.
Haunch of Scottish Venison with Juniper Braised Venison Cheeks, Ruby Plums, Roasted Red Chicory and Elderberry Sauce – SMWS 73.44 / Old Friends Remembered – Salted wood, hot and steamy, mouth watering dried figs and raisins, a punchy wee fresh ashtray note at the back, vanilla, honey and sweet pipe tabacco lingered on. A perfect match for this rich venison .
Pineapple fritter, in coconut brulee – SMWS 9.53 / A Peppery Explosion – I got a huge hit of citrus squash, boot polish, eucalyptus, tropical fruits, dry bark, hot cinders, turkish delights and red fruits. It really brought crashing towards me the pineapple, a fabulous combo that I will for sure try to replicate, whooow
My mouth is salivating just remembering and writing this now… mmmm…
Luckily the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has a calendar full to the brim of Whisky Tastings around the country, including their venue in London and at both their venues in Edinburgh. These events are well worth a visit.