We were transported into a world of single malt scotch whiskey this week as Nicholas Pollacchi, Global Ambassador of The Balvenie introduced us to a range of Balvenie scotches accompanied by a five-course meal at Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse. The highlight of the tasting was the Balvenie 17-year old Peated Cask. This single malt whiskey came about when Malt Master David Stewart mixed a peat and barley mixture and then distilled it in oak casks. Then he emptied the casks and filled them with 17-year old Belvenie scotch. The whiskey took on a distinct peatiness. He mixed that with 17-year old Balvenie aged in American oak. The result is a whiskey that has a distinct peatiness that is not to the exclusion of other aromas and flavors. In the mouth, there is toffee and peat. In the finish a pronounced smokiness emerges at the back of the mouth. This is a complex and likable whiskey.
Another special member of the Belvenie family is the Belvenie 21 yr. Port Wood Cask. As its name suggests, this is matured for 21 years in barrels (known as pipes) that previously contained Port wine. The nose smelled of rose petals and oranges. The woody flavors in the mouth were explosive. This whiskey won Single Malt Whiskey of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Festival.
The evening started with an excellent Blood and Sand cocktail. You can ask for this made with Balvenie when you visit Nick and Sams. Recipe follows:
1½ Balvenie 12yr Double wood
¾ Orange Juice
¾ sweet vermouth
¾ cherry Herring
Shake ingredients and serve in a martini glass with a twirl of orange peel.