Thursday, 9 August 2012
Whisky and Chocolate Part 2...he says
He says…Last time I left you as Johanne and I dove head first into research for a whisky and chocolate pairing event we will be helping to host at the Ganong Chocolate Festival on August 10. Over the course of two separate sessions we managed to work through over 88 potential chocolate and whisky pairings to create a short list that we would discuss to narrow the field to just three whiskies and two chocolates per whisky.
Johanne and I both took samples for testing and but used opposite methods for testing to insure consistency and confidence in our results. I went by one whisky at a time and paired each chocolate with each whisky. For instance I poured a sample of Auchentoshan Three Wood and tried that sample with each chocolate we had on offer. Johanne took the opposite approach and would try one chocolate sample at a time and would try that chocolate with each whisky sample. In theory, this would eliminate the possibility of clouding our pallet due to mixing chocolates or whiskies together (assuming we both arrived at a similar short list!).
As we moved through the process several common themes became very clear. Firstly, the sour, tart nature of a wine finish whisky or a citrus based chocolate makes finding an ideal pairing for each quite difficult. In each case we were able to completely eliminate both the Arran Sauternes Cask and the Ganong Dark Key Lime Chocolate entirely as neither paired well in any combination and in most cases were down right awful (which is too bad because on their own I quite enjoy both). Second, when it comes to chocolate, darker chocolate seems to work much better as do simple flavors. So a straight piece of dark chocolate or a dark almond bark scored consistently higher then a lot of the more complex chocolate flavors.
In the end we did arrive at very similar results and after plotting those results found there was almost no need for discussion, the table spoke for itself! We had narrowed the standings to three whiskies and two chocolates for each whisky. The results are as follows:
1. Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve (Canadian whisky) paired with Chocolate Biscotti and Dark Almond Bark.
2. Compass Box Spice Tree (Blended scotch whisky) paired with Dark Chocolate covered Brazil nut and dark chocolate covered candied ginger piece.
3. Auchentoshan Three Wood (Single malt scotch whisky) paired with as Dark Chocolate Signiture Piece and Dark Chocolate Truffle.
I’ll be posting some picture of the event and some of the reactions to the pairing some time after August 10. Stay tuned!
Note: We received a call from the organizers asking us to narrow our selection to two whiskies and we have decided to go with Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve and Compass Box Spice Tree.