Mark Twain reckoned that ‘Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.’
If you share Mr Twain’s enthusiasm for the water of life then you will love today’s Big Deal on a whisky blending dinner at Arisaig in Merchant Square.
Under the canny supervision of the Whisky Ambassadors, guests will learn about the art of blending before enjoying a delicious two course meal.
Once the plates are cleared, guests can blend their own whisky to take away in a 100ml bottle.
What whisky lover wouldn’t want the opportunity to offer friends a dram of their very own blend?
Running on four evenings in the early part of 2014, this offer would make a brilliant Christmas present for a whisky fan.
Art of the blender
The events take place from 7pm on Friday evenings – the 24th of January; the 7th and 21st of February and the 7th of March.
The entertainment starts with a succinct and amusing history of whisky from the Whisky Ambassadors. Of course, there’s special reference to the role that blending played, and still plays.
The two course dinner will demonstrate the Arisaig chefs’ clever take on classic Scottish dishes.
The kitchen team uses locally sourced, seasonal Scottish ingredients and they take great pride in preparing as much as they can from scratch.
Individual dishes will depend on what is in season. Typical starters might be the Arisaig fishcakes served with sweet chilli salsa or the smoked cheese and leek tart with rocket and roast tomatoes.
Popular main courses at Arisaig include the chicken breast with haggis, mixed greens and whisky sauce or the game sausages with creamy mash and onion gravy.
Nose and blend
After dinner, the real fun begins when guests begin to blend their very own whisky.
Each guest is given four bottles of malt whisky components (Lowland, Highland, Speyside and Islay); pipettes; a mixing beaker; tasting notes and a 100ml bottle half filled with a base single grain whisky.
Armed with these, guests can mix away, adding small quantities of the whisky components to the base whisky. Through swirling, nosing and gradually building up your preferred flavours, the aim is to create a bespoke blend which is individually tailored to each guest’s taste.
At the end of the evening, guests can take home the whisky they have created.
We should mention that Arisaig has a fine collection of around 200 malt whiskies – always handy if you need some inspiration.
Arisaig’s entry on 5pm has plenty of enthusiastic reviews. This one gets straight to the point: ‘Lovely venue and service very good.’ Rating 4/5
With vouchers valid for four dates in the early part of 2014, this Big Deal would make a brilliant Christmas present.
Finding a bottle of Scotch in your stocking is always good. Having the chance to blend your own is better.