American Whiskey and Tapas Evening @ Fava

May 26 saw the advent of something new in the otherwise orthodox and formal evenings that Whiskey tastings are usually known for. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) in association with Chef Abhijit Saha hosted an evening of Fine American Whiskey paired with specially curated Tapas at Fava, UB City. Beam Suntory Inc., the third largest spirits company in the world showcased some of their exquisite brands from their American portfolio featuring Jim Beam White, Jim Beam Black and Maker's Mark. The evening was hosted by none other than Shatbhi Basu, Indian American Whiskey Amabassador in her own signature style of casual tete a tete with the audience. Her catchy one-liners and energetic execution of an otherwise overtly formal do added to the uniqueness of the evening. Not only was there never a dull moment in the house, but the audience interaction and Shatbhi’s sharp sense of humor turned an otherwise stiff event into one that was entertaining and enjoyable. The taste and strength of each pour of the various labels were accentuated by its accompanying Tapas dish and created a unique aura of fine taste hitherto unexplored in the genre of whiskey tasting.

Our evening started with a plane Cheese Straw served with Grissini and Lavosh, a spiced Tomato Dip to add that extra tanginess. The First Course was a unique blend of a cocktail made from the traditional house of Jack Daniels served on ice with Citrius Peach Foam paired with a Smoked Yellow Bel pepper Espuma with Row of Salmon. The strong taste of Sesame and cumin interspersed with the woodiness of the Traditional JD created an ethereal atmosphere to start our evening with a bang.

Iced Jim Beam White with a hint of Saffron was paired with Deconstructed Seafood Paella to add that extra punch to the Second Course of this progressive meal. The matured taste of the Jim Beam White and the flavors of the Paella complimented the taste buds of a matured food and whiskey lover. It also paved successfully the path to more serious and orthodox pours of other brands lined up for the evening.

The Third Course was the popular Cocktail made of fresh Pomegranate and Tennessee Sour paired with Chicken Agile Olio Pepperoncino. The spicy overtones of Pepperoncino and the bitterness of the whiskey sour blended just fine.

The penultimate course comprised of the Iced Jim Beam Black smoked with Apple Wood paired with Mountain Herb Grilled Lamb Chops. The latter was the star of the evening and the overtly matured taste of the Jim Beam rendered a unique blend of orthodox sophistication from the last century or so.

The Final Course comprised of actually 2 pours-Iced JD Tennessee Honey and the Iced Maker’s Mark sipped through Cinnamon sugar and dark chocolate. The resultant product was one that stood out amongst the various brands sipped this evening. The Duet of Petit Desserts consisting of Mango and passion Fruit Entrements along with Turkish Chocolate and Coffee Pudding Tart.

The elaborate tapas menu and the lively interactive session as conducted by Shatbhi is something that was unique and trendsetting in the tasting scene of Bangalore. I sincerely look forward to many such an event in the upcoming future to add a whiff of fresh air.

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