A couple of days ago on an afternoon I sat together with WIB, an importer of great fine whisky, to tryout some pairings with chocolate. So far I only did once a pairing with chocolate and wine, which was really fun, but whisky was really an unexplored space for me… and that had to change!
Bart is an exclusive importer and brought a fantastic Vintage Collection of 24 different small whisky bottles, and the first thing I have to say is that he made me (re)discover whisky! Just like I share my passion to help you discover great chocolate, this kind of whisky stands out from everything I had so far, because I just didn’t know better so far!
Given the idea that this pairing was new for both of us, we just started tasting some bars and bottles, all of them were wonderful, but off course finding a good match takes some more tasting along. The first thing to do to match alcoholic drinks and chocolate is to find the right tasting technique. I think enjoying chocolate with wine is very different from pairing it with whisky. With wine you’d melt a piece half in your mouth and sip in some wine, with whisky however it soon became clear we had to seek a different approach because of the strong character and the alcohol.
What did work was sipping the whisky first, swallow and only then join in the chocolate chunk. The melting chocolate then eagerly mixed with the evaporating flavours of the whisky that last long in your mouth, and that’s a ticket for some nice experience!
Before, I assumed whisky would need by definition a strong chocolate bar, high in cacao percentage like a Michel Cluizel Infini 99%, or a Pralus 100%. But it unexpectedly got a lot more interesting and pleasant to discover that with these particular bottles from a Carn Mor ‘Vintage Collection’, any chocolate had a chance to match. We sipped from exquisite single cask whisky distilled by Balmenach, Clynelish, Glenn Ort, Glengoyne, Glen Grant,… and munched mainly on Pralus with his bars from Trinidad, Equateur, Madagascar, Indonésie, Papouasie, a lovely Brésil and Dominican Republic!
Just as with wine some made war, some separated ways only halfway, and some made love from the start! But above all it was a great discovery to have this sensation of whisky and chocolate finding each other on a long adventure of flavours, and from both ways enrich each other’s aromas and sensations.
To our own pleasure, and because we were really enthusiast ourselves on this experience, our final winning pairings are going to be launched in a limited box, so let me know if you may be interested in this as well!