If you love single malt scotch and have tried (or haven’t tried) the different barrel expressions this was a great example of how different a scotch can taste not just by the age, but by how it was finished in the barrel.
Glenlivet and the 2014 US Ambassador of the Year, Rick Edwards will be guiding LA Scotch Club (LASC) through their Nadurra and Glenlivet range at Willie Jane’s of Venice Beach. We’ll even have the rare Glenlivet XXV and the new Nadurras (they have a peated whisky!) This is your chance to not only have a magnificent dinner but also experience eight different single malt scotches.
Acclaimed chef Govind Armstrong has put together a menu for the LA Scotch Club’s Glenlivet whisky tasting. Chef Govind has worked in restaurants around the world and is the author of Small Bites, Big Nights: Seductive Little Plates for Intimate Occasions and Lavish Parties. He has appeared often on television, including as a guest judge on Top Chef.
Willie Jane, which Govind co-owns with restaurateur Brad Johnson, specializes in Lowland Southern cuisine blended with California’s love of elite farm products.
Glenlivet and Nadurra Tasting (I had a small spot to jot down notes as my spot was framed by 8 glasses, silverware and the coming and going of dining plates – so my notes are mostly “quotes” from Edwards.)
Glenlivet 12 – The #1 whisky in the U.S. with both fruity and floral notes. Considered “soft”, this was an easy drinker for me.
Glenlivet 18 – My favorite of the tasting, and what Edwards said was the most popular. It had a sherry cask finish that lent itself to a good choice for an “after dinner dram.”
Glenlivet 21 Archives – Finished in both Bourbon and Sherry casks that gave off notes of “Crème Brûlée.”
Glenlivet XXV – Oloroso Sherry finish after select barrels are then married together. This worked well with Edwards’ suggestion of giving it a kiss” where you allow the scotch to just touch your lips, then you lick your lips to savor.
Glenlivet 15 French Oak – Edwards said that this scotch had notes of honey, vanilla, hazelnut and cinnamon.
Nadurra 16 – Nadurra is pronounced Nat-Ur-Uh and means natural, so nothing has been added or removed. This one was finished in a Bourbon barrel. Tried Edwards’ other method for tasting. Take in a small amount, tilt your head down and allow your own saliva to wash over for ten seconds, then taste and swallow.
Nadurra Oloroso – This was finished in 100% Sherry cask, a bit too hot for me even with a few drops of water (to open up aromas but to also calm the alcohol a bit).
Nadurra Peated – This was my second favorite of the night. For a peaty whiskey there was very little peat on the nose. Then in the mouth I didn’t get the peat until it hit my back palate, and then in an incredibly long finish. There was no peat in the barley, the scotch had just spent two years in a peated barrel for the finish.
Menu by Chef Govind Armstrong
Appetizer: Warm greens with cracked walnuts, spiced quince paste and Point Reyes blue cheese. (This was interesting with both soft and crunchy textures, sweet and salty flavors.)
Entrée: Braised Beef Cheek, garden roots with a chestnut puree. (Never had this before, a slight gaminess that was a good match for the scotch.)
Dessert: Deep Chocolate Dobosh cake with pink peppercorn gastrique. (Enjoyed this with the last of the 18 YO. Very tasty!)
Eve’s Wine 101 Event Picks: Sangers and Joe “Keys to the Kitchen” on select dates Dec-Jan, Wine LA has continuous classes and events including, LA Scotch Club also has great events, Paso’s Winter Wine Stroll is 1/16, Sonoma Winter WINEland 1/16 – 1/17, and LA Rail’s Vino Train travels to Santa Barbara.
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com