The Balvenie Whisky Dinner @ Wilhelmina’s Balmain

Wilhelmina’s in Balmain hosted a long table Balvenie Whisky Dinner presented by Laura Hay, Whisky Ambassador for William Grant & Sons.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerWilhelmina’s

Five courses by Head Chef Yulan were paired with the core range of The Balvenie single malt with The Balvenie 12 yr old Double Wood, The Balvenie 14 yr old Caribbean Cask, The Balvenie 15 yr old, The Balvenie 17 yr old Double Wood and The Balvenie 21 yr old Port Wood.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerLaura Hay, Whisky Ambassador for William Grant & Sons.

With an extensive career in whisky that started in her home country, Scotland, Laura Hay took guests on a historical history tour into the history of whisky and in particular William Grant & Sons. Each pairing with the food was introduced and highlighted the match between the whisky and food profiles plus a little on the process of The Balvenie Malt Master, David Stewart.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerGoats Cheese Panna Cotta, Rye and Smoked Honey

First course brought a Goats Cheese Panna Cotta, Rye and Smoked Honey paired with The Balvenie 12 yo Double Wood. The Panna Cotta is light and airy with the creaminess of the cheese complementing the honey and sweet fruit notes of whisky.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerSmoked Mullet Brandade, Cured Mullet, Pickled Octopus, Radish and Nasturtium

Next was Smoked Mullet Brandade, Cured Mullet, Pickled Octopus, Radish and Nasturtium matched with The Balvenie 14 yr old Caribbean Cask. This was an incredible match as the flavours of the dish complemented so well with the flavours  of the whisky. There was sweetness from pickled octopus, spices in the food as in whisky with the smoky and briny flavours of the fish complemented by the smokiness in the whisky. The Caribbean Cask has been aged 14 years in traditional oak casks and  finished in casks that held rum from the Caribbean and it is from here that those spices emerge.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerCharred Kangaroo Loin, Braised Roo Tail Dumplings, Beetroot and Pear Chutney

The main course was a Charred Kangaroo Loin with Braised Roo Tail Dumplings, Beetroot and Pear Chutney which paired beautifully with The Balvenie 17 yo Double Wood.  The Charred Kangaroo Loin was cooked to perfection matching well with the richness of the 17 yo Double Wood, which has been finished sherry casks. The turnips and radish added an earthiness to the Polish style dumpling of braised roo tail.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerPickled Carrots

Accompanying was a salad of pickled carrots and grain s which refreshed the palate.

The Balvenie Whisky Dinner
The Full Malty

The Full Malty a dessert of parfait, biscuit, malt crumb, chocolate crisp and date jam paired with The Balvenie 21 yo Port Wood was again a perfect textural and flavour match. The smoothness of the parfait matching the creamy finish of the 21 yr old with the malt grains on the plate nodding to the malt in the glass and the date jam hinting to the fruit, spice and honey notes of the whisky.

The Balvenie Whisky DinnerWhisky, Chocolate Truffle and Salted Popcorn

To finish, a Whisky and Chocolate Truffle and Salted Popcorn was paired with The Balvenie 15 yo Sherry Cask. This little morsel had a lovely richness to the chocolate while the 15 yo delivered rich dark coppery notes and spicy dried fruits which came from its maturation in the ex olorosso sherry butt. The finish is long with its 47.8 ABV in evidence but not dominating.

The Balvenie Dinner was an education in the ways that by identifying the nose and taste of the whisky and matching ingredients of the same or similiar profile into the dishes that an exciting and flavoursome experience is to be had.

Wilhelmina’s will be hosting regular events showcasing the link of Liquid and Larder as well as the regular monthly Wilhelmina’s Feast where the best of seasonal ingredients is prepared for the Chef’s table.

332 Darling St
Balmain NSW 2041


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.