Duration - 17 minutes
A perfect pair - a whisky and cheese tasting at London’s The Capital Hotel with Cesar da Silva.
Whisky tastings are not just for Burn’s Night - although tastings are ramped up around the world to celebrate the Bard’s birthday on January 25th. The Capital Hotel is one of the hottest destinations in London for an expertly tutored tasting under the guidance of Bar Manager Cesar da Silva, who loves to pair whiskies with beautifully aged cheeses - a real treat.
When Cesar and I met we found common ground immediately: we both love whisky and fine foods. Our tasting “We’ll try to keep it to about 20 minutes, Cesar” lasted about an hour and a half and was just as you would expect when two WhiskyHeads get together: sensationally good fun.
We tasted a Benromach Speyside single malt with an aged Gouda cheese, then a wonderfully mature Cheddar with The Dalmore’s King Alexander III, itself matured in six different woods including port - which is, I suspect, why Portuguese Cesar has an affection for the dram!
With a thought for your time and the sharing of this experience, I am inviting you to join us as we taste Cesar’s third selection, a whisky from Kilchoman, currently Islay’s newest distillery. I then return Cesar’s hospitality by introducing him to Flaming Heart from Compass Box and you can hear his thoughts on that on this podcast, as well as catching up on my own comments on this video tasting.
All the information on Cesar’s tastings are on The Capital Hotel’s website and, on my experience, I think they are completely absorbing, highly informative and good value.
Beenleigh Blue is a blue ewe’s milk cheese made in Devon by Ticklemore. Ewe’s milk cheeses are always comparatively rich in taste and texture, which is down to the structure of the solids in the milk which then become the cheese curds when the whey is drained away. Roquefort is similar but far more salty. Dunsyre Blue is a similar blue ewe’s milk cheese from Scotland. Although cow’s milk cheeses I would suggest Lanark Blue (from the makers of Dunsyre), Cashel Blue or Blackstick’s Blue if you are unable to source Beenleigh Blue.
PS You might notice that there's a word or to from me with very different audio ambiance when we are talking about Kilchoman: I was correcting an error that I made in the recording...
Photos courtesy of The Capital Hotel.