Of Devilish Tendencies

 

Of Devilish Tendencies

Blogger and dear friend Sushmita Sarkar of My Unfinished Life at the Samsung Party Bloggers event at Underdoggs Sports Bar and Grill.

Advertisements

Black Dog Scotch Appreciation Event at Namche Bazaar

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.

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-lover 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 whiskey and kills the hot fumes, thereby reducing the  the well known 'burn' effect and allowing for more flavour to permeate the senses.

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 whiskey, and we learnt 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 whiskey comes from the wood used to create the barrels. In case of Black Dog Scotch Whiskey, this wood is oak.

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)

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 engaged in a conversation.

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.

Dahi ke sholey (or dahi ke kebab): starters served with the Black Dog 8.

The Black Dog 12. Undoubtedly my faovrite 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.

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.

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.

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.

Rohan prepares the Manhattan.

Preparing an Old-fashioned.

Preparing an Old-fashioned.

The old-fashioned. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how I like my scotch.

The old-fashioned. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how I like my scotch.

The ice-cube made for an interesting photo-op

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.

Our host for the evening – Rohan.

Ekta aka NumeroUnity.

Ekta aka NumeroUnity.

IMG_7987 IMG_7993

Black Dog Easy Evenings: https://www.facebook.com/blackdogeasyevenings

Philips Foodathon at V Spot Cafe Bar

Philips Foodathon promised to be a one-of-its-kind event. While it was certainly interesting, it wasn’t exactly the food lovers’ paradise it offered to be. The Venue, V Spot Cafe Bar, left much to be desired in terms of services and space.

The event got delayed by almost an hour and started off slow, but I wasn’t complaining because that gave me a chance to catch up with a lot of fellow bloggers. Sid from Chefatlarge.in opened with a general discussion about the influencing nature of bloggers in almost all walks of life and even more so when it comes to food.

This was followed by a lovely lady from Philips who showcased their latest range of air-fryers. Equipped with Philips’ patented Rapid Air Technology that uses fast-circulating hot air to create great-tasting fried food containing up to 80% less fat, Philips’ AirFryer  definitely found a fan in me. While my non-vegetarian friends told me the chicken-tikka cooked without oil wasn’t the best, the vegetarian me gorged on oil-free french fries.  The tasty fries even inspired me to do a short video-byte for Philips’ AirFryer. For the Indian cuisine, with its focus on oily, fried dishes, frying with air seemed promising and a healthy alternative to traditional frying.. You can read more about it here.

In the second session, a few presentations dragged on, fashion-photographer Hemant Sud made an appearance here as well (I blogged about meeting him at the last Fujifilm Meet), but it was Shangri-La’s Executive Chef and special guest Darren Conole’s quips that kept me interested. His lively sense of humour saved the session from dragging on. Post the presentation, Conole judged a special plating competition which witnessed two lovely ladies walking off with an AirFryer each: Deeba of Passionate About Baking and Priyanka aka TwilightFairy

The only thing that genuinely interested me was the food. Menu included fish, chicken curry, chicken & vegetarian lasagna,  rice,  wedges and a few salads and although there weren’t many options for vegetarians, I was duly satiated with the potato wedges and pudina-chutney and some well-cooked pasta. The brownies served for dessert were heavenly and when I was handed a box full of Dunkin’ Donuts as a parting gift, I was duly impressed. What a perfect way to bid adieu!

Sadly, what began and ended as a fantastic event, in retrospect seems to have been ridden with glitches. While I enjoyed the event and found it well-managed, the same cannot be said about everyone. The venue to begin with did not seem to interest the bloggers much. Simple things such as lack of drinking water and confusion over complimentary drinks turned an otherwise enjoyable event into a chore for some.

While I’d congratulate the 20:20 MSL team for a great effort, I do have a few suggestions. Hiring an emcee would be first on my list, followed by a smart choice of venue. But most importantly, avoid over-ambitious names as well as ones which come with a tonne of connotations attache.

Here are some photographs from the event.