Eventually, everyone who drinks alcohol will graduate to Whiskey – at least that’s the general consensus among the drinking population. I’m not a Whiskey drinker, give me a Gin and Tonic or a nice glass of Wine any day. The husband on the other hand, swears by his single malts and his peaty blended Whiskeys. Every trip abroad is a happy occasion because he gets to bring back his loot of interesting Whiskeys. So of course the Double Black Event at Blue Ginger was welcomed with much enthusiasm.
When the world’s No.1 Blended Scotch Whiskey – Johnnie Walker Black Label, brings out a deeper, smokier, more intense version, you stand up and take notice. The Johnnie Walker Double Black gets its characteristic taste by blending carefully selected smoky whiskeys and being matured in charred oak casks. If peaty appeals to you – you have a winner in the Double Black.
The event was hosted by Diageo and had their reserve brand ambassador and master mixologist Zibigniew Zapart (Zibi) guiding us through a tasting session that highlighted the individual elements and aromas that made up the complex flavors of the Double Black blend.
Four cocktails were created, to let us identify the underlying tasting notes of the Double Black – Raisins, Apples, Berries and Spices. Each cocktail was creatively paired with its complimenting course by Chef Sandip Narang and we were off to a wonderful visual and olfactory journey.
The Double Black Raisin Sour was paired with a simple Cheese Platter that was a perfect partner to the sweet raisins and sour lemon. The Double Black Oaky Apple with its complex vanilla and woody aromas paired beautifully with the Smoked Ham. Perfectly grilled Lamb Chops complimented the Double Black and Berry cocktail. The Ginger ale and orange twist made the lamb come alive. My favourite cocktail and pairing of the night however was the Double Black Maple Masala Old Fashioned. Maple Syrup infused with Garam Masala and classic bitters. Complex, heady and wonderfully weird. Paired with an exquisite Galouti Kebab on sheermal – this one hit all the high notes. The subtle spices in both the whiskey and the kebeb made for a unique experience.
The four cocktails were mere subjects when it came to the Double Black and Water. This was what it was all about – Smoky, Intense, complex and all the time being wonderfully balanced. We did a little exercise to unravel the tasting notes that we had picked out earlier in the evening. The Apples and spices came the easiest to me, whereas I had a hard time nosing down the raisins and berries. Zibi paired this with a German Chocolate Cake and it was a match made in heaven. I’m telling you, this is probably the only way I’ll have whiskey going forward!
We ended the night with a wonderful spread of breads, cheese boards, cold cuts, live grills and Asian food. Multiple rounds of Double Black were definitely the norm here and Zibi keeping us entertained with his stories just added to the magic. Like he said “Drink less but drink better; choose better places, better situations, better booze and most of all great company and wonderful food”. Amen to that!
Here’s a list of the recipes for your own Double Black escapade!
And Tasting notes … if you’re into that sort of thing. Enjoy!