Friday, March 23, 2012

Smoke and Barrel: Whiskey Story Hour II

The other night we went to Smoke and Barrel for their second "Whiskey Story Hour". At these events they serve whiskey and small plates. They have a whiskey expert, Mike Goss, talk about the whiskeys and give some of the history behind them. This event was focused on Irish whiskeys, with Irish food accompanying them. We both like Smoke and Barrel, and we love whiskey, so we were really looking forward to this event.
The food was all really good. They first served PEI mussels with bacon and pepperoncinis. The peppers were fairly spicy and stood out, but the rest blended together quite well. The second dish was a Gorgonzola boxty with fried cabbage and chipotle aioli. There wasn't much gorgonzola, but the potatoes were nice and fluffy. The final dish was the corned beef brisket. Since this was five whiskeys in, I don't remember the details, but it was very tender and tasty, which is a nice combination to have.
They served eight different whiskeys at the event, seven that were included and an eighth as a bonus add-on at the end of the night. I enjoyed all of them. I'm not going to talk about all of them, but one of the highlights was the Jameson Gold. Aged in bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak, it was complex and sweet with hints of stonefruit. The Redbreast 15 was incredible, all toffee and caramel, and the Connemara had a hint of peat, but was far smoother than any Islay I've had. The Middleton Very Rare was fabulous, as was the Green Spot.
We had a really great time at this event. The other people at the table were great, and Mike Goss was very helpful. However, it was a bit disorganized. Most of the whiskey was out before the first food dish was; it would have been nice to have had food a bit earlier to soak up the whiskey. And Mike didn't say very much after the Jameson came out. But we'll definitely be back for Whiskey Story Hour III!

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