On Invitation Whiskey

An evening with Jack Daniel and Eazydiner at Uppercut at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru

Thursday, October 04, 2018Me! In words

I will be honest. Getting me to Whitefield takes a lot, seriously  lot - In a year probably I will find all of 2 reasons that are good enough to make the trek. This year, one reason was to watch Thaikuddam Bridge play live and the second was to celebrate Eazydiner's association with Jack Daniel's at Uppercut at Sheraton Grand Bengaluru. This was to be a sit-down dinner showcasing the best of the restaurant as well as the bourbons from Jack Daniel's. Now as the Bangalore critic for Eazydiner, this couldn't be a meal I could be miss. And the whiskey paired meal proved to be worth every bit of the 1.45 hour long journey to get there! Take a look!

The evening began at Chime - the lobby bar of the hotel. Teas infused with Jack Daniel's was the offering. I managed to get myself one of the last teacups that were served thanks to being a bit late - Bangalore traffic can be really jinxed when you have to get somewhere, no matter how early you leave your home. The cold teas and the infusion can play a heady number on you, but they are oh so good!

Dinner was set under the stars, by the poolside at Uppercut - a beautiful table setting and individual wait staff for every guest. Now that is called being welcomed, wined and dined in style!

This was to be a whiskey sampling and paired dinner and we were to try 4 variants. As a brand Jack Daniel's is amongst the oldest around and has a good share of the market, with good reason too. Over the years they have sold around 14 million cases worldwide and have been in the Indian market for a good 18 years now.

 This Herbed Butter made such a delightful nibble along with the bread sticks on the table. Truth be told, I didn't touch for quite while thinking it to be a beautifully potted microgreen.

The evening for me began with a lovely cocktail with JD No. 7 as a base. The charcoal mellowing is what makes all the difference between a Tennessee Whiskey and Bourbon. There were other cocktails around but I choose to stick to one kind before getting into the tasting

 The first whiskey of the evening was what I was nursing by way of a cocktail till then -the Jack Daniel's No. 7 - Matured in handcrafted barrels, this is a charcoal mellowed whiskey and that is the primary difference between this and the Tennessee. The flavours are a balance of sweet and oak. The oak in fact becomes much more pronounced when you swirl it a bit and then nose your whiskey again.

This Whiskey was brilliantly paired with the first course - White Asparagus with Parmesan and Spiced Hollandaise. The White Asparagus too me back to a brilliant meal at the Hofmeisterei Hirtzberger in Vienna in 2015 where white asparagus was the star of a course. The spiced hollandaise is what elevates the white asparagus and the parmesan gives it that touch of richness. The whiskey opens the palate well enough to appreciate all the textures and flavour profiles that the meal offers.

Course two continued with the same whiskey and this time it was paired with the Pan Roasted Scallops with Textures of Cauliflower honey and truffle dressing. The scallops were treated with a lot of love (something the really need when being cooked) and with the cauliflower textures the course was a lovely play of textures. All through, the scallops remained king. The whiskey moved really well between a mildly heavy vegetarian course to a fish course, making for a subtle pairing.

 This course for the vegetarians was titled A Walk in the Garden - Root Shaving citrus Chantilly. Served up in a pretty looking wooden tray, surrounding by delicate plates and topped off with edible flowers.

The second whiskey for the evening was the Gentleman Jack - this is a double mellowed whiskey and opens with an aroma of orange, vanilla and some hints of mint. This is a full-bodied whiskey, light on spices. The finish is quite smooth, gives you a lingering feeling of warmth going doing and is very pleasant.

 This was paired with the Lamb Agnialotti with Arugula Apple Wood Cloud - This pasta course was a good match to the bolder whiskey considering the sheet pasta used and beautifully spiced lamb on the inside. Unlike most foams/clouds, this one actually had a lovely lingering flavour that combined well with the pasta.

 For the vegetarians was the Wild Mushroom Agnialotti  with Arugula, Sage and Pecan Nut Butter

 Then came the Boston Sour Sorbet - nothing like a whiskey infused sorbet to be the
perfect palate cleanser

The main course of Lamb Chops Grilled Tomato and Traditional Chateau Potato with Bearnaise Sauce was served with the Woodford Reserve. Having already enjoyed this whiskey from my personal bar on many a night, I knew it would be the ideal pairing with the lamb course that was served. The smokiness level of this whiskey is significant and that is perhaps what makes it the best one to go with a red meat like lamb.
The encrusted lamb is possibly one of the best renditions of lamb I have come across in a very long time. Succulent, moist, easily yielding to the knife and done perfectly to a medium. The accompaniments of the bearnaise sauce and the grilled tomatoes and chateau potato made this a dish that I finished right down to the last crumb.

The vegetarians had the Spinach Coulibiac Pearl Barley Risotto with Saffron paired with Woodford Reserve. The heaviness of the risotto and the layers of the pastry are what brought it all together with this pairing.

The dessert platter was with an infusion of the Jack Daniel's Honey and was a great way to end the meal. But what made it even more special was the shot of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire!

 A look at all the whiskies we sampled. 

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