An Evening Of Fine American Whiskey and Tapas
Celebrity Chef Abhijit Saha in association with (DISCUS) The Distilled Spirits Council of USA, presented an evening of specially curated Tapas paired with fine American Whiskey at Mediterranean all-day dining restaurant and lounge Fava, Bangalore. A pioneering spirits company, Beam Suntory Inc., featured some of the exquisite brands of their American Whiskey portfolio at the event, offering Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam White & Maker’s Mark.
Tanya Dhar with India American Whiskey Ambassador Shatbhi Basu
Tanya Dhar with Celebrity Chef Abhijit Saha
Tanya Dhar with Celebrity Chef Abhijit Saha and Mrs Shruti Saha
Hosted by India American Whiskey Ambassador, Shatbhi Basu, the evening offered an interactive session to understand the nuances of American Whiskey. This unconventional style of sipping whiskey in unique formats, combined with Chef Saha’s signature gastronomy took the edge off the usual staidness that surrounds whiskey tasting. The evening was punctuated with fascinating facts & fun anecdotes about the assortment of whiskeys on offer and the people behind them.
The evening began with Shatbhi Basu’s ‘rub test’ – requesting us (her guests) to take a few drops of Jim Beam on the palm of our hands and rub them together – allowing us to grasp what four-year-old whiskey in American terms actually means. I for one was quite impressed with the gorgeous flavours resulting from this ‘rub test’, making me wonder that if only a few drops could result in such huge flavours, what a whole glass would have in store.
American Whiskey & Tapas Evening Menu
1. Smoked Yellow Bell Pepper Espuma with Salmon Roe with Sesame paste, togarashi (a Japanese spice), cumin, roasted almond & sesame oil, paired with Jack Daniels on ice with sweet & sour citrus peach foam.
Cocktail: Jack Daniels on ice with sweet & sour citrus peach foam
Shatbhi wanted to provide a cocktail that would be deep enough to match the smoked bell pepper, yet fresh enough to cut down the heaviness of the salmon flavour, while retaining the integrity of the whiskey. Sipping the whiskey through the foam gives you a clean sweet & sour flavour that I found worked really well with the tapas on offer.
2. Deconstructed Seafood Paella, an imitation of Sushi (all elements of paella & suchi brought together in this amazing variation), paired with Iced Jim Beam White with a hint of saffron and thin whisper of Aam papad.
Iced Jim Beam White with a hint of saffron and thin whisper of Aam papad
Shatbhi tells me that she considers the Paella as such an iconic Spanish dish – made with seafood, tomatoes, rice & saffron – that she wanted to create an equally outstanding pairing, by using just a touch of saffron cream flavour & a few saffron threads with aam papad thrown in for fun!
I thought that the aam papad with the Iced Jim Beam provided a rather unique sweet & sour touch to the Paella.
3. Baked Spinach and Feta Filo Triangles with Bravas sauce, paired with Fresh Pomegranate and Tennessee sour.
Cocktail: Fresh pomegranate and Tennessee sour
After being served two whiskies straight, resulting in a saturated & heavy palate, I found that the freshness of the pomegranate provided a much needed break.
4. Mountain Herb Grilled Lamb Chop (seasoned with mixed herbs – thyme, rosemary & sage) served with a vegetable & saffron couscous and red wine foam, paired with Iced Jim Beam Black smoked with Apple wood.
Iced Jim Beam Black smoked with Apple wood
Jim Beam Black being a sweet intense whiskey was cooled down and then topped with smoke and covered, giving us Shatbhi’s “Barbeque in the whiskey”. Quite the concoction!
5. Duet of Petit Desserts: Mango and Passion fruit entremets + Turkish chocolate and Coffee pudding tart, paired with Iced JD Tennesse Honey + Iced maker’s mark sipped through cinnamon sugar and dark chocolate.
Iced JD Tennesse Honey + Iced maker’s mark sipped through cinnamon sugar and dark chocolate
I found that the Tennesse honey served in little shot glasses worked really well with the passion fruit & mango, without overtaking the dessert. While, the hand-crafted intensely sweet flavoured Maker’s Mark paired quite beautifully with the Turkish chocolate.
“It feels so great to share my love of American whiskies. They have such outstanding flavours and nuances, and each one of the whiskeys our company is showcasing has its own unique character,” Shatbhi Basu said. “This event has become a great opportunity for the brands to reach out to their consumers. I am delighted with the response.”
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Shatbhi tells me that she is not as social as she looks (!), and is happiest when she is alone. And, although she loves meeting people she finds she needs to get away (from concrete and people) every few weeks, and connect with nature. When in Mumbai, she loves driving down to her friend’s place in Karjat, surrounded by hills and a river…
About Beam Suntory Incorporation
As the world’s third most significant premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is creating Spirits Brands that ‘Stir the World’. Customers from all corners of the globe necessitate the company’s brands, including Suntory Whiskey Kakubin, the iconic Jim Beam & Maker’s Mark bourbon brands, as well as celebrated premium brands including Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Yamazaki, Knob Creek bourbon, Teacher’s, Laphroaig & Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Courvoisier cognac, Canadian Club whisky, Pinnacle vodka, Midori liqueur and Sauza tequila.
Beam Suntory was developed in 2014 by combining the pioneer in Japanese whiskey and the world leader in bourbon to form a new company with a progressive spirit, deep heritage, passion for quality and commitment to Growing for Good. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands & its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamsuntory.com and www.drinksmart.com
My photos have been retouched by Vidhya Sakar
*Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.