Taco & Whisky pairing with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Wow that was a great evening! I teamed up with the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the Tortilla Guy and The Gone Away Bar to offer a Taco and Whisky pairing.

Big thanks to everyone who was involved including Tanja Hall for the photos.

For the nerds here’s what I paired with what and why:

51.7 - Come in from the Cold

Pairing method: Contrast

Pairing: Salmon Tostada, chipotle mayo and home cured salmon.

Idea: Although Bushmills is close to the sea it doesn’t have any maritime notes. It

does have an intense fruity lightness. The idea here was to bring the sea to

the distillery. A good introduction to those who haven’t taken part in a food &

whisky pairing before.

Effectiveness: 7/10


100.20 - Kermit’s kale knackwurst

Pairing method: Complement

Pairing: Vegan, mole árabes, dukkah and braised carrot.

Idea: This was crying out to be mirrored with sweetness, spices and Mexican/north

African inspired flavours.

Effectiveness: 9/10


36.147 - Midnight Contemplation

Pairing method: Contrast

Pairing: Chicken tinga tostada, avocado leaf and black beans.

Idea: I decided that the flavours were influenced by the woody jammy notes in the

whisky. These matched very well to the crispness of the tostada, sweetness of

the chicken and earthy qualities of the black beans. Each one alone had very

mellow flavours but combined created an intense explosion.

Effectiveness: 8/10


70.28 - A Seashore Sunrise

Pairing method: Contrast and Complement

Pairing: Slow cooked beef brisket, salsa negra and onions.

Idea: Sometimes more is more! The idea here was to take the flavours and multiply

them. This was the first real introduction of smoke to the evening, perfect to

match with the syrupy smoky spicy flavour of the salsa negra. The sweetness

of the white maize and the coastal sweetness of the whisky were perfect

companions. This divided the group as the flavour combination was extremely


Effectiveness: 10/10 for 70% of the guests 6/10 for the rest. My personal favourite.


10.146 - Sweet smoky succulent sensation

Pairing method: Contrast

Pairing: Mole poblano and mole árabes served with a bundle of warm tortillas, freshly

pressed and grilled while the guests waited.

Idea: Festival whisky with the traditional festival food mole. The idea here was that

the flavours are so intense that harmony is the only way to go. Chocolate and

smoky whisky is almost a no brainer, so this was an easy pairing to set up but

probably the most well loved and




What an evening! 6 Whiskies, 6 Amazing things to eat or drink... all from the smoker or barbecue! Ewald Strömer from Bruichladdich was there six of his finest single malts. The only rule was that every food course we paired with the whiskies had to come from the smoker or barbecue. As they a piture speaks 1000 words so have a look at the picks and we’ll see you next time.



“Salt Sugar Smoke” Whisky Tasting with Blackline coffee, Hamburg

Peolple say that parents don't have a favourite child but if whisky events were children then this was my personal favourite from 2017.

The theme was salt, sugar & smoke and that we had! Whenever we do a tasting at Blackline then we put in a little extra effort with the food. I started the evening by smoking some walnuts to accompany the crispy winter salad to go with Jansson's temptation. If you've never had it, it's loaded with potatoes and anchovies and then baked in the oven until the anchovies start to melt. Amazing with a whisky or beer. Sweet? Nope but the dessert was: plum and apple compote with whipped cream, meringue, star anise and clove.

This set us up well for the whiskies that followed: 

We started with the 10yo from Teaninich, which is located in the Northern Highlands close to the shoreline of Cromarty Firth. - Fruity and exotic with a  salty finish and a hint of smoke. A big up to Michael from Borco for Prophecy from Jura that came next - heavily peated and very costal. We mostly found sweet and nutty notes in the background but in general it gave us a shape of things to come. Whisky number three was the 2016 edition of Longrow Peated, which I bought ages ago for the next time we had a smoky tasting in Eppendorfer Weg. The fine Campbeltown malt was very complex, lots of fruitiness, green apples and the freshness of mint. But what about the smoke? oh yeah there was smoke! Peat and tar in the mouth with sea salt, black pepper and candied pears to remember it by.

A big thanks goes to Ewald from Bruichladdich for our finale: Octomore 08.1.  Animal like in it's intensity and definitely one for people looking for a light whisky. As all with all the other Octomores the 08.1 is incredibly peaty and very complex. Tobias from Barleymania described it as: "A wealth of malty, grainy and meaty flavours as well as hints of light fruits and chewy fudge." We paired it with some really well made Beef Jerky from Grizzly Snacks.

A great evening and if you are thinking of joining us in February for the next Tasting I may have an event that tops this one!

Some friends:



December Whisky Tasting with Kittels Hamburg

Kittel's Fine British Goods whisky tasting  - Lowlands vs Highlands

We had a great evening here and it's always a pleasure to work with the Kittel's team.

On the evening we focused on Highlands and Lowlands Whiskies and there were some great drams on offer. I liked the Auchentoshan as usual it's a great lowlands solid. I also used my own lowlands blend as of late I've been blending even more of my whiskies and am really enjoying it. We're offering our first Blending Seminar in march and I can't wait. The Highlands that stole my heart was the Deanston 15 year old organic. What a whisky, the definition of a slow burner. It's starts off a little shy but with every sip you take it unfolds into a very complex yet easy to drink scotch. Beautiful. We also had the Teaninich 10 which we really enjoyed and then the Gerston from The Lost Distillery as a smoky finish. I loved it but it really split the crowd. The power of Whisky!