Old Pulteney single malt Scotch whiskey has partnered with top Manchester chef Aiden Byrne to serve up a new take on whiskey food pairing at this month’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival (26-29 August). Style Etc were kindly invited to an intimate evening of whiskey tasting and food pairing at Manchester House in advance of their joint appearance at this years food and drink festival.
The space for the evening was the contemporary Manchester House Lounge on 12 which transforms into a glamorous and lively bar over the weekend. The intimate setting for the evening offered more privacy and ambience with a small group invited to preview Aiden’s delicious canapés served with Old Pulteney’s 12, 17 and 21 year old expressions.
Aiden believes that Old Pulteney is the perfect whiskey for pairing with food due to its distinctive award winning flavours and faint hint of the sea. With this in mind, we couldn’t wait to try out the flavour combinations created by Aiden and to see how this seasoned spirit accompanied the menu.
Our first taste of the maritime malt was a beautifully curated sweet cocktail which was two part’s Old Pulteney 12 Year expression and one part Stroma liqueur. The “Rusty Sail” which is a play on a traditional Rusty Nail cocktail, is a nice pun on the ocean flavours. This allowed us to sample the sweet, floral and citrus flavours of the 12 year expression whilst taking in the beautiful views of the Manchester skyline.
The first pairing that we sampled was Old Pulteney 12 year old alongside a nori rice cracker with cured salmon and seaweed salad. The citrusy and salty notes of the 12 year old were perfectly complimented by the seaweed, citrus fruits and small burst of seafood from the salmon caviar. The canapé flavours were distinctive and well balanced and the Old Pulteney 12 year perfectly washed down the second nori rice cracker that we sampled.
With the next Pulteney pairing came the 12’s complex older brother: Old Pulteney’s 17 year old expression. The canapé designed to compliment the woody and smokey flavours consisted of chicken liver and wild sugar parfait, tobacco scented chocolate and spiced plum puree.
The 17 was my personal favourite, from the smell which is slightly woody with a hint of butterscotch to the sweet taste with a dry and spicy finish. The 17 was easy to drink and I think that lies with the maturation of the second fill American oak and first fill Spanish oak.
The final pairing was constructed to compliment the vanilla and smoky toffee apple notes in the Old Pulteney 21 year old. Aiden’s third canapé consisted of poached lobster with smoked apple puree and vanilla oil, served on teaspoons designed to taste the flavours in one mouthful. The final of the Pulteney pairings was ideal to conclude the tasting in advance of Aiden and Old Pulteney’s appearance at this months Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
The whole taste journey enabled us to enjoy the dishes delivered with great imagination, flair and technical skill but also to bring a fresh taste of malt whiskey to the experience and the Manchester foodie scene. There are so many opportunities to be explored with Old Pulteney whiskey particularly for people who enjoy pairing spirits with food and are keen to expand their knowledge.
The Bolton Food and Drink Festival takes place from Friday 26th to Monday 29th August 2016. The Old Pulteney Drift Bar will be at The Vaults, Market Place Shopping Centre, Bolton, BL1 2AL throughout the festival. Aiden Byrne will appear in the Festival’s Regional Chef’s Kitchen and the Old Pulteney Drifter Bar on Monday 29th August.