l’Ordre Mondial at Buchanan’s
November 1, 2008
Juergen Bahr, Vice-Chargé de Presse
Carol and Michael Buchanan were our hosts for a regal tasting of five great Whiskies from Scotland and a beautiful three (well – it was actually five – to match our five tastings) course dinner that was served during an evening entitled “The Beauty and the Peat Monster.”
We were greeted by our convivial host in the private dining room. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the wall behind Michael where they feasted on the bevy of Scotch Whiskies magnificently presented.
The evening started with a reception featuring perfect finger-sized appetizers served with a class of NV Canella Pinot Nero Rose-Venezia. Unfortunately, the Vice-Chargé de Presse was lax in executing his duties and we are unable to post any pictures of these delights. A small slap on his wrist will be delivered by our hostess at the next function for this oversight.
The table was set in a gorgeous centrepiece with a Fall Highland theme. This was highlighted by the fall leaves, squash, flowering Kale and Pheasant feathers. The tablepiece was neatly wrapped with a piece of Tartan and underlain by a lid from a Whiskey cask on one end and a malt turning shovel on the other. At each setting was the menu, a glass of the first Whiskey to be tasted and a demi-pitcher of water for use with the Whiskey.
Before each beverage was tasted, Michael passionately described the distillery, its background, the taste characteristics and some of his personal encounters with the owners.
The first taste was the Auchentoshan 12 year-old which was served with a simple yet tasty terrine of Atlantic Lobster and Salmon. As the evening progressed, Michael described the unique methods of tasting Scotch Whiskey. It is a procedure somewhat different than that used when tasting wine. If you wish to know the intricacies, I would suggest a “private lesson” from Michael some evening at his establishment.
The pairing of scotch and food progressed with the Springbank 15 year-old and ‘Barbecued’ Young Duck. The guests were amazed at how well the pairing of scotch and food complement each other, especially as one generally thinks of scotch to be enjoyed by itself in front of a peat burning fireplace.
The highlight, if one can select one Whiskey from others that are certainly its peers, was the pairing of the cask strength Highland Park 25 year-old with the roasted Lamb Loin Medallions. My mouth drools with the memories of that pair!
We were then treated with the very peaty Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 4 year-old at its cask strength of 63.5% and matched with the dessert consisting of a Dark Chocolate & Mocha Mousse topped with a Whiskey Liqueur foam served in a demitasse. This Whiskey is the one that should be taken slowly and enjoyed in front of the aforementioned peat fire.
Our tasting finished with a Dewar-Rattray cask selection. This was a bottling of a single cask (#2819) that had been obtained from the Macallan Distillery and was bottled at age 7 years. It also was served at cask strength of 58.4%.
The accompanying cheeses were served au natural on a flattened Whiskey bottle tray. Our Bailli Provincial des Prairies would certainly approve of the presentation.
The next event was the singing of the OM Celebration Song by the OM Choir. Again I must apologize that neither the resounding voices nor the Choir itself was captured on film or on tape. (One sometimes wonders if this is an unfortunate oversight or a fortunate one). Our Vice-Echanson penned a special verse for the event.
The accolade was delivered by Vice-Echanson Jürgen Bahr to the serving staff and kitchen staff. Receiving the honours were Phil Ng – Chef de Cuisine and Marc White – Sous Chef.
I leave you with a photo of the five featured “Guests” that were the highlight of the evening.