Held at Boneta restaurant in Gastown, this was a fantastic evening. A four course meal in the trendy Boneta restaurant......and six delicious Macallan whiskies! Wow.
We were greeted at the door with the Macallan 10 year old Fine Oak. This is a young-tasting whisky, and didn't taste much like you expect from a Macallan. It was slightly smokey and sweet on the nose, and not very smooth on the palate. Adding a splash of water mellowed it out a little. Jackie gave it 81/100
The first course was tuna tartare with house-made Ponzu, cucumber and smoked Yukon Gold chips. It was paired with 12 year old Sherry Oak cask. The whisky had oranges on the nose, and a sweet sherry nose (as would be expected!). It was spicey and fruity tasting, and much mellower than the 10 year old oak cask. It was a bit sweet to be paired with the tuna, but both the whisky and the tuna were excellent. Jackie gave the 12 year old 88/100.
The second course was a fabulous smoked bison carpaccio with Macallan sherry dressing, a mixed spice dry rub and oven roasted tomato. This was an exceptionally good dish. It was paired with the 15 year old Fine Oak. A better match than the previous course. And an outstanding whisky - fruity and spicy...like spice cake and raisins...on the nose. The taste was orangey and oaky, and not too sweet. Jackie gave this 92/100.
The "Intermezzo" consisted of a 10-12 year old Sherry Cask Strength. This needed a splash of water.....it was very sweet and syrupy, with hints of vanilla. Jackie gave it 85/100.
Mark, the Macallan rep for Canada, gave us a talk in between each course, and made a point of visiting every table. He also brought round a 55 year old Macallan, one of only 420 bottles world wide. The whisky is in a Lalique crystal decanter and features a bottle stopper shaped like the Lalique Tiara perfume’s bottle stopper but is colored the same dark amber as The Macallan single malt contained within the decanter. It retails for $12,000....and one will be coming to BC for sale in BCLDB.
The third course consisted of pork belly (which was nice and crispy), ling cod, roasted root vegetables and a red wine jus. The food worked really well...both the pork and the cod were nice and salty. This was accompanied with the 21 year old Fine Oak. A very good food-whisky pairing indeed. The whisky was light and citrusy on the nose, not sweet, and had notes of vanilla and grass. It was sweet on the tongue, but smooth with vanilla coming through. It had a nice long finish, lingering delicately. Jackie gave it 95/100.....and would like a bottle for Christmas please, Santa (retails for $350 in BC).
The dessert was phenomenal.......Chocolate terrine, which was exceptionally smooth and not too sweet, with pear compote, olive oil peanut crunch and Macallan brown butter sultana puree that was out of this world! It was served with the 18 year old Sherry Oak Macallan. Again, an excellent match. Notes were taken before dessert was tasted so as not to influence my taste buds! The nose was sweet with some vanilla and raisins. It was a creamy smooth whisky, with a long, sweet finish that reminded me of Christmas pudding and custard. It scored 88/100, but only because Jackie is not a huge fan of the sweet sherry whiskies.
The staff were excellent, and Jackie spent some time at the bar meeting Mark and Steve. The bartenders have a great philosophy - and it is not just stocking the bar with good booze....but with booze you can't normally get in BC. The beer on tap is all Brooklyn beer...brewed in Brooklyn NY. As far as Dipsophilia knows, they are the only place in town that regularly has Brooklyn beer on tap. They stock rare or hard to find bottles of vodka (with only russian on the label!), four or five different Grand Marniers, Boubons that would please any collector, and a bitters from a small village in Italy that was so aromatic. Oh yeah, and a great Macallan selection, and a couple of Bruichladdich whiskies, one of which I had never seen and was a peaty delight...named after the retired guy that took in the peat.
This would be a great place to bring a date....it gets a bit loud because of the high ceiling, but it is a wonderful spot. Pull up a seat at the bar, Dipsophiles, we'll see you there!