If you think ‘scotch’ and immediately associate it with a mustachioed old gentleman in a high-backed opulent chair smoking a pipe while dressed in a plaid dressing gown or overcoat, you are quite possibly in my head. Now, I have neither a mustache nor a penchant for high-backed chair; I don’t smoke pipes and thank goodness I’m not into plaid (not yet, atleast). But not too long ago, I developed a taste for scotch when a friend presented me with a measly quantity stolen from her grandfather’s collection. Ever since, scotch and I have had this clandestine affair going on.
Last Sunday, I attended the Black Dog Scotch Appreciation event at Namche Bazaar, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon organised in conjunction with Ginger Claps.
Now, I’ve been a Scotch fan for quite some time now, and I went with the intentions of enjoying a nice evening, but it turned out to be much more than that. As Rohan, our host, started explaining the nuances scotch-blending, I found myself appreciating the delicate finesse with which a scotch blend is created. In fact, to truly appreciate this “Aqua vitae” or “water of life”, it is imperative to understand its rich history, which is precisely what this event was all about.
Here are some photos from the event.
Contrary to popular perception of drinking scotch from old-fashioned tumblers, we had regular wine glasses for the tasting. While the logistics of this worked out rather well – it was easier to identify and appreciate the different aromas and of course they made a rather pretty picture – I found myself drawn to the regular chunky glasses when it came to enjoying my scotch.
While scotch-lovers may dissuade you from adding a splash of water to your drink, our host suggested that it is in fact a good idea to add a couple of drops of water. This opens up the whisky and kills the hot fumes, thereby reducing the the well known ‘burn’ effect and allowing for more flavour to permeate the senses.
Pawan from indianfoodfreak.com asked a rather pertinent question about the the distinct smoky flavour of a scotch whisky which led to us learning about peat (partially decayed vegetation) and its importance in the process of creating a scotch. Did you know that a major part of the feeling of a particular whisky comes from the wood used to create the barrels? In case of Black Dog Scotch Whisky, this wood is oak.
It is said that in the year 1883 Walter Millard, a Scot from the British East India Company came searching for the perfect Scotch and eventually discovered the great taste of this whisky in these misty shores of Scotland.
Being a keen angler, Walter Millard named the whisky Black Dog in honour of his favourite salmon fishing fly used in the Spey and Tay rivers of Scotland since the early 19th century. (Source)
Snow Leopard of The Snow Leopard Shoots busy checking out the different varieties of Scotch on the menu. We ended up tasting the Black Dog 8, Black Dog 12, and Black Dog 18 varieties.
Dahi ke sholey (or dahi ke kebab): starters served with the Black Dog 8.
The Black Dog 12. Undoubtedly my favorite of the lot was also the best variety when it came to photography. Just look at that marvelous amber-coloured beauty. You can read more about the Black Dog 12 here.
Ekta, Pawan and Snow.
Blended scotch whiskies, as the name would suggest, require a mix of dozens of different malt whiskies combined with grain whisky and as each whisky lends its unique character to the blend, a remarkable new blend is created.
Rohan prepares the Manhattan.
Preparing an Old-fashioned.
The old-fashioned. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how I like my scotch.
The ice-cube made for an interesting photo-op
Once the spirits started flowing, so did the conversation and it proved to be an interesting, informative and a rather pleasant evening. Here are some more photos…
Our host for the evening – Rohan.
Black Dog Easy Evenings: https://www.facebook.com/blackdogeasyevenings