Following a long holiday weekend, it was with great surprise and delight that I received an e – mail from The Glenlivet inviting me to an unusual event – a dinner where various expressions of their scotch would be strategically paired with each course served throughout the evening. Unfortunately, the invitation arrived early that afternoon with extremely short notice – the dinner was to be held that same evening and if I wanted to attend, I had to RSVP immediately! Thankfully for me, I had nothing urgent scheduled for that night, so I was available – but would my RSVP arrive in time or would the event be closed by the time I responded? Needless to say, I lucked out and got a reply that a space had been reserved for me, so I spent the remainder of the day awaiting it with eager anticipation.
The event – called “Mark The Moment” – was a joint venture between The Glenlivet and Snooth, an organization that usually conducts such events with wine, not scotch. Mark The Moment was held at the hip and luxurious Soho House Of New York City, located in the trendy Meatpacking District of Manhattan.
Upon entry, we were immediately treated to a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres that were accompanied by rather freely-flowing drams of The Glenlivet 12 year old. I found that the duck and meatballs went particularly well with this scotch, which is something of an entry-level version to this brand. A gentle and almost compliant taste, The Glenlivet 12 year old serves as an excellent introduction to their spirit, offering nothing terribly challenging to the individual who might be new to scotch.
After socializing with other participants, I then followed all two dozen of my fellow gourmands to the long dining tables where we were seated and the meal officially began. Regarding the appetizers, I felt that both the sheep’s milk cheese and the red beets paired up rather nicely with The Glenlivet 15 year old. Aged in French Oak casks, this scotch has a hint of cream soda to it that makes for a perfect aperitif.
For the main course, The Glenlivet Nadurra 16 year old was poured– a cask strength scotch, this one is most definitely a stronger spirit and has a considerably higher alcohol content. Given the types of meats that were served to us on this course – both beef and lamb – Nadurra supplied an excellent companion. With a strong tasting meat – especially true for lamb, I think – you want to drink something that will stand up to its power and Nadurra certainly fills that role. Nadurra works best when paired with rich foods and fatty meats – you might even want to consider serving it at a barbeque. One caveat with this scotch: a drop or two of water added to your dram is absolutely recommended – otherwise, some might find it a bit overpowering, to say the least.
Finally, dessert. Here, The Glenlivet 18 year old was matched with chocolate and a citrus dish. The Glenlivet 18 is a wise choice as a digestif because it has a certain sweetness to its flavor; this comes from the scotch being finished in casks that previously stored Spanish sherry. While I thought that this scotch went well with the chocolate (the spirit has suggestion of a bittersweet cocoa taste), others preferred it with the citrus, which was served with caramel, another flavor that can be detected with this expression of the scotch.
The Glenlivet has been doing some rather aggressive upscale marketing the past several months with quite a few informative and unique tasting events; if you’re interested in learning about future tastings, you may want to consider signing up to be a member of The Glenlivet Guardians.