Now my wife and I were attending a series of whisky and chocolate pairings at Helvetica, the local whisky bar. This was fairly amusing because I didn't care for chocolate, but did love whisky.
I've been interested in pairing whisky with food for sometime as a way to maybe help introduce more people to the awesomeness of whisky.
What better way then through a good food combination?
My wife and I had tried a Dalwhinnie 15 yr old with a honeycomb combo which was PERFECT! And then we tried a combination of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban with a mint chocolate. This combination was good, but not brilliant.
Next to taste was Jameson 18 yr old with chocolate chip cookies.
Now I'm familiar with Jameson, it having been my Irish whisky go to choice for years, but that was always the basic bottle. Never the 18 yr old. Having heard nothing, but good things about Jameson 18 yr old I was excited to try it.
So as the same with the last two whisky pairings I had decided that I would try the whisky first and then try it with the chocolate.
As I nose the glass of Jameson the first thing I get is oak. But there is also vanilla and honey in the nose in decent amounts. The strongest aromas were of vanilla and oak.
I have to be honest, I kept expecting more to the nose and felt somewhat disappointed when I was able to pick up anything else.
I decide that maybe a taste will lift up my expectations!
What a hard duty I have. Tasting whisky and getting to tell other people what I thought....:D
So I take a sip out of my glass and the first thing that I get is oak. Lots of oak. Very very rich oak. There is also the vanilla and the honey with some sort of subdued spice, but oak is the star of the show.
It's not bad, in fact it's very well balanced.
The finish is medium length with the oak standing out, but you also get the malt and a hint of the honey following it all down.
This was a very good Irish whisky, but somehow I was hoping for more. I felt a little bored for lack of a better word.
I decide to try it with the chocolate chip cookies. Maybe it'll bring out something different!
So I take another sip of my Jameson's and then I take a bite out of my cookie.
It's an ok combination. Neither really overpowers the other, the vanilla can still be picked out in the whisky and the oak shines through clear as day.
As our hostess is walking around, she stops at our table and we chat for a bit. She asks me what I think of the combination and I let her know that I think it's an OK combination, but not phenomenal like the first one.
She explains that she got the idea from her father always eating chocolate chip cookies while drinking Jameson 18 yr old.
We talk a little bit more about the whisky and I decide that I have to be honest when she asks me what I think of the Jameson.
"It's a good whisky, but I never would want to see it at 30 yrs old."
"The oak is very strong at 18 yrs old. At 30 it would completely dominate the whisky and ruin any balance in my opinion."
She smiles and nods and continues on.
This is a good Irish whisky, it's not bad in any shape or form, but it is not an exciting whisky in any shape or form.
My whisky score can be found down below.
My score for the whisky and chocolate combination for this one would have to sit at around 65 out of a 100.
Again it's not a bad combination, but not one I would choose.