Whiskey author, writer, and connoisseur, Ray Pearson, holds whiskey/whisky education courses across Southern California, with the most recent event at San Diego's Barrelly Made it, a funtional art design studio in cooperation with Planet Rooth Design Haus. Quite fitting that it be there, as Barrelly Made it creates functional art from wine and bourbon barrels that exhaust their lifespan in the libation arena. Master craftsman and owner, Gustaf Rooth Junior, along with his father and team members, resuscitate the barrels by creating beautiful furniture that is worthy of being declared art.
It was not just a whisky tasting, but a pairing, matched with Executive Chef Robert Conaway's culinary creations. Chef Robert took the challenge head on. In keeping with the theme, the pairings were delivered on wooden planks that were previously barrel staves.
Maker's Mark Bourbon was matched with shrimp mousse and caviar. The shrimp cuts the heat of the whiskey while the caviar added saltiness and body.
A chicken liver and truffle pate with pickled onions worked nicely with the Maker's Mark 46 Bourbon. As the 46 is a more refined whiskey so is the entree.
The Woodford Reserve Bourbon paired with a caramelized apple tapenade with hazelnuts, marinated black cur rants, and a fruit crisp topping. Acharacteristic of the Woodford Reserve is that it has a hazelnut note and fruit finish, making it an excellent pairing.
The Balvenie Single Malt had a Morroccan chicken salad with marinated currants for its partner. The spiciness of the salad matched the spiciness of the Balvenie.
Auchentoshan Single Malt was quite smooth, and Chef Robert had no doubts in pairing it with Gruyere cheese with a Turkish fig honey.
The overall favorite of the night appeared to be the bourbon barrel braised pork with peach chutney and fried shallots. It hit it's mark with the Arizona High Spirit Single Malt.
This was the inaugural event for the Planet Rooth Design Haus. Bob Asfari, Director of Sales, said that they plan on having many more events such as this in the future, to include: book signings, food and wine events, the increasingly popular pop-up kitchen dinners, music, and many others. At the time of this event they were working on the completion of a commercial kitchen located inside Planet Rooth.
3334 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103