The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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Page 90 of 136

90  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 COMPETITIONS I n many ways, Glenfiddich is a victim of its own success. The iconic green, triangle-shaped bottle is a staple addi- tion to just about any backbar—so much so, that in some cases, patrons need a little nudge to be reminded of such a faithful old friend. "People often comment that it was 'The first whisky I ever tried,'" says Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador David Allardice. "And sometimes, people need a little guidance, and might not think to order an appetizer or main course with Scotch—we are just trying to expand ways people can enjoy it." As part of THE TASTING PANEL's Glenfiddich Kindred Spirit competition, Allardice jumped at the chance to highlight The Emory in Ferndale, Michigan—a bar just up the way from rapper Eminem's famed "8 Mile"—which is taking Scotch and food pairings to fun, unexpected new heights. "It's a great community of whisky lovers," he says, "and everyone I spoke to was really excited about their serve. They put a lot of effort into the contest and have a different mentality going into this than those in the bigger markets—who might feel a bit more entitled." Recently, Allardice joined up with the bar's Manager and Beverage Director, Dustin Leslie, who presented their serve to Allardice. "It was a different take—they went ahead of it all, above and beyond, and got really creative with the presentation element," said Allardice. Leslie's serve—a collaboration with Chef Courtney Witter and Michael Pierce, Manager and co-Beverage Director— offered up a plate of three cheeses—blue Stilton, blueberry white cheddar and mango-habanero cheddar—fresh Michigan honey, honeycomb and rounded out with sous-vide Bing cherries, infused with Carpano Antica Vermouth. In addi- tion to tasting Glenfiddich's 12-, 15-, 18- and 21-year-old offer- ings neat along with the food pairing, Leslie's team tossed in a curve ball: a cocktail they named Il Roy, made with Glenfiddich 15, Carpano Antica, blood orange bitters and muddled apple and pomegranate spices—a spin and mash-up of the classic Rob Roy (a Manhattan made with Scotch) and the Whiz Bang (a Scotch cocktail flavored with grenadine). "It gets cold here in Michigan, so we wanted something that was slightly warmed, but still balanced and fresh," said Leslie. What was unique about this cocktail, he continues, was the effort put into "enhancing" the aromatics of the Glenfiddich 15, while maintaining the heat of the whisky—"a critical element of a well-made whisky cocktail," says Allardice. AT THE EMORY IN MICHIGAN, THE GLENFIDDICH KINDRED SPIRIT CAMPAIGN CONTINUES TO PICK UP HEAT by Jonathan Cristaldi / photos by Marvin Shaouni The Emory Beverage Director Dustin Leslie and Manager/Co-Beverage Director Michael Pierce. Rekindling an Old Friendship

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