What do you get if you combine fine dining at respected southside steak restaurant The McMillan with one of the best single malt scotch whisky distillers in the world?
One seriously excellent Wednesday is what.
As I discovered after attending The McMillan's recent 4 course whisky tasting evening in partnership with Macallan Whisky. The set up was simple. 4 courses of amazing food paired with 4 of Macallan's finest single malts. Each dram was chosen perfectly to compliment every course. All I had to do was turn up. And when my date for the night (the lovely Michelle), agreed to be photographer for the evening, well you didn't have to ask me twice.
We were greeted with a whisky cocktail and a smile from our host for the evening who had joined us from Macallan to talk us through the whisky. We were seated in the private dining room, the party was small (around 8 people I think) and the atmosphere relaxed. It was the perfect set-up. And I couldn't wait to get started.
The food was delicious. A small salad of home cured salmon paired with some pickled veg and herby croutons was the ideal thing to start us off and for such a simple dish, it worked fantastically. And just so you know from now on I will only be enjoying my smoked salmon with pickled vegetables.
We moved onto a haggis, neeps and tatties dish that was produced to resemble a classic Scotch egg. A brilliant idea (I love me a Scottish theme), but while aesthetically it was pleasing there was something missing from the actual dish itself. Possibly a little seasoning, perhaps a touch more sauce. However it was far from bad and still tasty enough that I gobbled the whole damn lot.
Then there was the steak. One very, very nice bit of steak. Cooked medium rare it was served alongside a delicious little ox cheek bon bon that I could have happily eaten a hundred of and a deep and delicious red wine jus. The knife slid perfectly through the steak, the potato fondant was cooked (and seasoned) to perfection and all in all this was a bloody nice dish.
But these guys don't get steak wrong now. Do they?
I would be lying if I said I loved the deconstructed Cranachan cheesecake. But that's simply because I didn't taste it. Still being 'aff the dairy' I chose to give it a miss but I can confirm by the faces of my fellow diners that it was pretty sensational. So well done again.
Now let's talk about the whisky. I love whisky. I started developing a bit of a taste for it around the time I started developing a bit of a taste for the great Scottish outdoors and I consider myself to be on a bit of a whisky journey right now. I love a warming but burning nip when I'm halfway up a hill on a blustery day and I adore a soft single malt sipped after dinner next to an open fire when I go away up north. But I had never managed more than a nip or two at a time. So this was going to be interesting.
Our host talked us through all of the whisky on the night, periodically breaking up the education with a quick quiz question or a funny whisky anecdote. It was a genuinely fun night and really well done. From the Macallan Gold, the Macallan Amber, the 12 Year Old Fine Oak & the 12 Year Old Sherry Cask I was able to discover that I prefer a light to medium finish with definite hints of fruit. Not only that, but I'm a sherry cask girl every day of the week.
These are all good bits of information people.
We finished off a lovely evening with a small bottle of The Macallan Gold to take home alongside some chocolate made by the acclaimed Iain Burnett: The Highland Chocolatier and produced to match it's taste with the whisky perfectly.
The happiness continued when we were politely asked on the way out of the door what kind of tasting night we would like to see next. Would it be wine? Gin? Perhaps more whisky? This is an exciting question. Because it means they are planning more. And I will most definitely be attending. As I urge you to do also.
If you fancy going to one of The McMillans tasting evenings then keep an eye on their Facebook page which they always keep updated with their events.
I was invited as a guest of The McMillan. You can read more about my disclosure policy here. One more shout out to Ananyah and her photo taking skillz. Thanks to her I was left with both hands free in which to sup my whisky. That's a pal right there.