Time for Whiskey


Hendy from the Hong Kong and Australian whisky blog TimeForWhisky.com, recently wrote a smooth blog piece on Whisk(e)y after attending a “Smoked Meats & Whiskey Tasting” where he tasted some of the best and smoothest Whiskey’s around including (of course) the range from Kentucky’s legendary Buffalo Trace Distillery. Here are some of the highlights from the tasting and you can catch the full blog post by Hendy HERE.
“When I first heard of this event, I got curious as I’d never paired or even thought about pairing whisk(e)y with meat. Though when you think about it, it does make sense to pair a smokey charred meat dish with, perhaps a peaty, smokey whisky…

... a rather interesting night, as it introduced what is, in my view, the contrasting nature of different whiskies; low parts per million (ppm) to crazy phenol-laden mega-ppm, Islay to Kentucky, barley to grain, whisky to whiskey.” Including, “…four bourbon whiskies from the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky, USA:

  • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Eagle Rare 10yo
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel
  • William Larue Weller Bourbon
The night began quite nicely with the original Buffalo Trace bourbon, also once known as George Stagg. This original feature bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery was rather enjoyable, exhibiting sweet flavour notes including toffee and caramel – a good start to the night.
One interesting fact with this bourbon and the distillery from which it came – the name of the bourbon and the distillery have both been adapted from the group of buffaloes that would migrate through the Kentucky river close to the distillery, leaving their marking ‘trace’ or trail. 

Throughout the night, different meat dishes were served including cold meat platters to begin, smokey and sweet BBQ NZ Greenstone Creek short ribs, slow cooked (read:18 hour) shredded Berkshire pork shoulder, and buffalo chicken wings (Ed: I’m getting hungry…). All the dishes were there to get our palates excited, whilst also being designed to complement the drams being served (the focus of the night was clearly on the whisky).

It was towards the end of the night, when the decadent slice of chocolate cake was served that I encountered my two favourites – the Elmer T Lee bourbon from Buffalo Trace and the Bruichladdich Black Art (3). Both of these whiskies are wonderfully creamy, rich and complex. The Elmer T Lee was able to carry the sweetness from the oak from the nose through to the palate and beyond. I did wonder whether I was devouring an ice cream from the glass – quite wonderful. 
As with all good things, they must come to an end. The end of the night was capped off with a slice of a sweet decadent chocolate cake along with a dram of William Larue Weller bourbon. Both, I have to say, were intensely rich. The bourbon, big and long on the palate and the cake intensely rich and sweet.
So, after all the pairing, was I sold on the pairing between whisky and meat? Yes and no. I still prefer my dram nice and neat, perhaps a pairing with a cigar? Though the line up tonight was indeed very sweet, quite literally for a number of the drams.”
Buffalo Trace Distillery tasting Notes:
Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon (40% ABV, NAS, Kentucky, USA, $350HKD)

Nose: Toffee, caramel, very sweet
Palate: Very rich, smooth, caramel, toffee, there’s a bit of toasty char in there
Finish: Peppery, long and smooth
Rating (on Hendy’s very non-scientific scale): 92/100.

Eagle Rare 10yo (45% ABV, 10yo, Kentucky, USA, $550HKD)

Nose: Caramel, honey, sweet dessert wine
Palate: Peppery, vanilla, fruity, you can taste the maple wood
Finish: Quite a long and dry finish
Rating (on Hendy’s very non-scientific scale): 90/100.

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel (45% ABV, NAS, Kentucky, USA, N/A)

Nose: Vanilla
Palate: Sweet, honey, vanilla, almost like eating ice cream
Finish: Long, dry and sweet
Rating (on Hendy’s very non-scientific scale): 93/100.

William Larue Weller Bourbon (67.5% ABV, 12yo, Kentucky, USA, N/A) (7yo available, $350AUD)

Nose: Very rich, vanilla, sweet
Palate: Very big hit of peppery spices with a bit of char (almost need that dash of water)
Finish: Very, very long and sweet and rich finish
Rating (on Hendy’s very non-scientific scale): 91/100.



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