Whisky Tasting with Ashish Dev Kapur

Wine tastings are all in vogue, but move over and try some stronger spirits. Whisky Samba recently hosted a whisky tasting masterclass with Ashish Dev Kapur at Whisky Samba. To make whisky more experiential, Whisky Samba is set to host Whisky paired evenings every month. Chef Akshay Bharadwaj has paired some of his exquisite creations with each whisky. Whisky Samba not only offers the widest range of malted spirits in the city but also some superbly done dishes.

Coming to Whisky tasting itself, it was a small affair with peaty whiskies and someone like me who doesn’t love peat that much it was an amazing introductory session. As Ashish aptly mentioned, the flirtatious affair for us novices. The analogy is drawn to chillies in your food, some people love them, some hate them, some, on the other hand, some have a love-hate relationship with them. Peaty whiskies are often talked about in the world as a mark of an individuals tolerance level and in this tasting session I ended up finding mine level.

Starting off the Ardmore Legacy Highland, while for me this was highly peaty with initial sweet notes of vanilla and homey but after advancing through the tasting and after trying the Laphroaig 10 Y.O, Ardmore was actually sweet. This is the thing with tasting, you often find one whisky peatier than the other and similar was my case. Coming back to Ardmore legacy, with hints of honey and spice and adding a little water gives way to some smoky, charcoal notes.

1 Ardmore legacy highland

Paired with Lamb loin, fermented with flora jus and served with a smooth carrot pureé

Next up the Bowmore, pronounced bum-more, this one was definitely on a level above the Ardmore. Bowmore 12 Y.O is an Islay Malt, meaning made on the coast of Scotland and if you ever see Islay Malt written on a whisky, you will know that its a peaty, smoky whisky because its a central characteristic of the island.
Bowmore 12 Y.O. was warm and felt like smoky honey in my mouth. It’s said that Bowmore is balanced which I found to be true, some chocolate notes towards the end and a dash of water brings out the smokiness and the mellow finish.

2 Bowmore 12 yo Islay Malt

Paired with pineapple jerk pork star anise Porchetta style

After this was the turn of the king of peaty whiskies, the Laphroaig 10 Y.O. this one hits you with a lot of smoke, after this, every other whisky would seem sweet. It’s bold, its peaty and a couple of rolls in the mouth makes you realise its got some sweetness, I also found a hint of oak with a long finish that makes you think you have had a big sip but its actually just the whisky.

4 Laphroaig 10 yo Islay Malt
Laphroig 10 y.o. Islay Malt
4 Silken Tofu

Paired with Silken Tofu garlic crisps with wasabi mayo and when you say silken tofu, it is literally melt in your mouth silken tofu

Out of these 3, I personally loved the Ardmore and appreciated the Laphroaig 10 Y.O. I may love the peat smokiness one day but not today.

We also tried the Jim Beam Black and the famous Makers Mark, Comparing the Jim Beam Black to the Jim Beam Original, Black has fewer sugar tones and a nice charred finish, it might we enjoyed very well on the rocks. Some caramel and oak notes give way to some fruity notes too.

3 Bourbon Jim Beam black

Jim Bean Black and also a paired cocktail with a lot of citrus tones

3 Borubon Jim Beam Black scallops

Paired with Scallops and Chorizo. One of the most artful preparations by Chef Akshay Bharadwaj, the freshest scallop flavor was infused perfectly with the chunky chorizo texture.

Next up the Makers Mark, a long-necked squarish bottle which is sealed with a red screw cap closure which is dipped in red sealing wax. Bill Samuels’ wife, Marjorie “Margie” Samuels, not only gave the whisky its name, she also drew up the label, and came up with the idea of using the sealing wax to give the bottle its unique look and I say she succeeded, makers mark is truly a unique whisky.
(for all the whisky fanatics, ‘Bourbon’ and for those who don’t know, Bourbon is a style of whisky produced in the U.S. using corn instead of Barley).

A dry spicy oak and sandalwood spices give way to a hint of butterscotch and some oak. This peppery spice seems to dry and pucker the mouth and taste buds and this might not be the best neat drink. Fortunately, a soft butterscotch follows the dry spice and the combination of dry spice with lightly sweet butterscotch is quite nice. It’s moderately complex and with each sip, with or without water a different combination is felt.

5 Makers Mark premium Kentucky Bourbon

Paired with duck pate with lavaash and nuts

Truly an enlightening experience, Whisky Samba is all set to host Whisky Tastings every month coupled with Tapas.

For more info, stay tuned here.