I recently attended a fabulous whisky tasting session with the Beam Suntory team, at Ottimo, the Italian restaurant at ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi. We tasted three premium labels from their repertoire- Laphroaig, Ardmore and Maker’s Mark. Read on to know about my experience.
Ranked third in the premium spirit companies of the world, Beam Suntory is known for its dynamic portfolio, which includes Bourbon and Japanese whisky, tequila, vodka, cognac, rum and cordials. Its global team is passionate about each label that retails under its banner, and aims to present the finest experiences to customers.
With Simon Brooking, Master Ambassador of Laphroaig Whisky
At the event, Simon Brooking, Master Ambassador of Laphroaig whisky, took the stage in traditional Scottish garb. He regaled the audience with ready wit and singing talent, along with a detailed power-point presentation. The evening’s focus was ‘The Ardmore’, re-launched in 2016 in India, after a four-year hiatus.
The Ardmore Distillery was opened in 1899 by William Teacher (also the proprietor of the Teachers brand). It is located in Aberdeen in the Scottish Highlands, a grain-growing region, which sources its water from the 15 springs of Knockandy Hills. The place was chosen for being a stop on the railway route constructed in the 19th century.
Mr. Brooking gave us some useful tips on tasting whiskies. These were:
- Always smell the whisky with your mouth open, in order to skip the overpowering scent of alcohol and really experience the notes.
- Take the first sip in the middle of your tongue. You’ll be able to savor the taste without the whisky burn.
- Another way to nose (smell the notes) of the whisky, is to cover your glass with your hand and turn it upside down to wet your palm. Then rub your palms together and smell. You’ll be amazed at how accurately you experience the notes!
- Ardmore is a full-bodied whisky. It doesn’t have a dominant smoky flavor, but has a sweet aftertaste.
- The Laphroaig is the smokiest of the bunch, heavy on the peat. It has tasting notes of seaweed, with hints of salt and sweetness.
- The Maker’s Mark has tasting notes of woody oak, caramel, vanilla and wheat.
The team at Ottimo, ITC Maurya, designed a delightful meal paired with the three whiskies. We began with a delicious ‘amuse bouche’. I chose the ‘cognac infused duck foie gras parfait, sour cherries, rich brioche crisp’ for my first course. This was paired with ‘the Ardmore Legacy Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky’. We were then served a creamy ‘tomato orange soup infused with hints of basil’.
For main course, I chose the ‘chorizo crusted sea bass, baby tomato, artichoke barigoule, fennel cream’; paired with the ‘Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky’. For dessert, we were served beautifully plated ‘salted caramel crescents, in almond rocher, vanilla anglaise’; paired with the ‘Maker’s Mark’.
I had a lovely evening with entertaining hosts, a fabulous meal, and world-class whisky. Do check out the Ardmore if you haven’t yet. You won’t be disappointed!
*All pictures are taken on my phone. Copyright belongs to nooranandchawla.
*I was invited to the event, but this is not a sponsored post.