The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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Page 105 of 140

october 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  105 L ast year's Kindred Spirit competi- tion was full of unique takes on a serve of Glenfiddich. Whether it was ice, cigars or food, creativity was in abundance as bartenders vied to be one of the finalists who would wing their way to Scotland, where they presented their serves to a member of the Grant family. For the second annual Glenfiddich Kindred Spirit contest, bartenders are pulling out all the stops to top last year's winners and win a trip to the Glenfiddich's distillery. Over the next couple months, we will be checking in with accounts all over the country who are hard at work on their serve. This month we're stopping by cocktail lounge Ward III in Manhattan, where the bartending teams have channeled Glenfiddich's motherland as inspiration for their serve. Head Bartender Ken Gray and bartender Sarah Theilkuhl drew from popular Scottish tea rooms in the United Kingdom for their take on tea service with a twist: The Glenfiddich 12 Year is paired with apple and peach tea and a honey "oatie," a traditional tea- time cookie made with rolled oats. "The stone fruit and the apple notes of the 12 Year really pair well with the apple and peach tea, and the plain oatie balances everything out," Theilkuhl explains. The Glenfiddich 18 is then paired with a fruit and spice tea, with a banoffee (banana and toffee) oatie, while the 21 Year is paired with caramel tea, and a maple and pecan oatie. "Banoffee oatie has banana notes that complement the 18 Year's richness, which can handle the extra spice from the tea, and the 21 Year, which is finished in rum barrels, giving off a toffee taste and pairing well with the caramel tea," Gray notes. The tea, whiskies and oaties are served with sides of marmalade, honey, sugar cubes and maple syrup, completing the "spiked" tea service. "We wanted to make it interactive," Theilkuhl explains. "It's deconstructed so you can taste a little bit of this, sip a little bit of that, maybe pour the whisky into the tea and make a hot toddy. We added the oaties so you'll pace yourself, and have something to snack on while you drink!" Struan Grant Ralph, the Glenfiddich's East Coast Brand Ambassador, is a particular fan of the serve. He first stopped in for Ward III's tea service back in July, and appreciates the nod to his native Scotland. "Tea and whisky tend to go well together, and it's appealing to me, being from Scotland. There's a lot in common with tea and whisky, as both have an art to blending and creating flavors." And while tea may seem a traditional choice, Ralph is quick to point out the serve's ingenu- ity: "Tea is an afternoon occasion, and whisky has always been marketed as a late night digestif. By pairing the two together, whisky is presented as more of an aperitif." The tea, whiskies and oaties—a traditional tea-time cookie made with rolled oats—are served with sides of marmalade, honey, sugar cubes and maple syrup, completing the "spiked" tea service. Kindred Spirit 2.0 Think you can beat Ward III's serve? Join THE TATING PANEL in the Kindred Spirit competition and show us your best serve by e-mailing to enter today!

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