A dinner with 22 whiskies

Everybody has wine and food matching favourites but I have not come across a whisky and food matching dinner before. Until that is, Hobart-based writer, Greg Stanton reported on one he hosted.

We’re all doing well down here in Hobart although the cooler weather has hit with a vengeance. One of the things we decided to do to keep us warm was have a whisky-inspired dinner at home.

A few months back I bought a recipe book from the Laphroaig distillery online shop – The Whisky Kitchen: 100 Ways with Whisky and Food by Sheila McConachie and Graham Harvey.

I was hard-pressed to whittle down the diverse choice of recipes to a manageable three-course dinner.

The original idea was to match the dishes with the whiskies that were used in the cooking, but then there were some other fantastic choices in the cabinet that were difficult to leave out. It’s like choosing a favourite child, but then again an Edradour 10 year old doesn’t cry out in the middle of the night like a four month old.

There were eight of us and I pulled out 22 bottles of single malt, hoping that people would help me deplete stocks but also to taste ones they’ve never tried.

Entrees were either rich French onion soup with Cragganmore, or Bunnahabhain mussels with blue cheese. Both were served with a Glenkinchie whisky soda bread.

Main course was pork belly with crackling slow roasted on apples cooked with Cragganmore and served with winter veggies.

To finish we had warm fruits roasted with Glayva, honey and cinnamon. We didn’t make it to the chocolate digestif course.

So, that’s five recipes tested that I would love to get back to again. But then again… spicy Laphroaig smoked salmon pots or shellfish broth laced with Caol Ila or whisky poached salmon… I don’t do well with choices!”

MF: Just as I was wondering how much Greg had spent on those whiskies, I received samples of Australian award winning whisky from the Old Hobart Distillery.

Whiskymeister Casey Overeem has been creating Overeem Port cask matured and Sherry cask matured single malts since 2007 and won gold at the recent Australasian Whisky Awards.

I particularly enjoyed his Port cask brew – 43% alcohol, light and bright in the glass, hints of orange peel and malt on the nose, smooth to the tongue and with a likeable upfront aged wood character. Prices range from $120 to $180 per bottle and most have already sold out.

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