The Omni Parker House in Boston hosted their second to last whisky dinner this past Sunday. Yes, you heard that correctly, second to last whisky dinner as there is only one left. If you live in Boston and have not gone to these, I highly recommend going to the last one as it really is an amazing deal. You get a Five course meal, three of which include a whisky pairing and one a wine pairing for just about $65 a person (not including tip). It’s a top-notch deal if you ask me.
We spent the evening with Frank Weber from the Omni Parker House and Nick Taylor from Taylor and Taylor Whiskey Co. eating amazing food and tasting three of Balblair’s vintages, the 2005, 1999 and 1990. This was truly special because if you didn’t already know, Balblair is doing away with their vintage whiskies. Good luck trying to find these, but if you do, I suggest you consider getting one.
For those of you whom aren’t familiar with Balblair, this Highland Distillery was established in 1790, and was predominantly used in blended whiskies. In 1996 the distillery was purchased by Inver House Distillers Limited and soon after they began launching their vintages. This all changed in April 2019 when they decided to turn to core ranges instead. Their core range currently includes: 12-year, 15 year, 18-year and their 25-year. They also have a travel collection which includes a 17-year whisky.
Dinner and Reviews
First Course: Tomatoes with Grilled Cornbread and White Balsamic-Thyme Vinaigrette served with Balblair 2005
This whisky exclusively matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels.
Nose: oak, vanilla and fruit
Palate: vanilla, oak, spices and light touch of sweetness
Finish: light and full spice
This was a great dram to start with. It has a slight touch of sweetness without it being too overly sweet. It’s a light whisky that was very easy to drink. It starts off a little strong, but the taste then gently mellows down to a mouthful of fruit and spices.
Second Course: Pan Roasted Scallops with Olive Gremolata served with Maison JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc
Third Course: Champagne Sorbet (sorry, I ate it then took the picture)
Fourth Course: Watermelon with Avocado, Chèvre, Basil and Sweet Onion Vinaigrette served with Balblair 1999
This whisky is matured in a combination of American oak ex-bourbon barrels and Spanish ex-Sherry butts.
Nose: sherry, raisins and zesty notes
Palate: spices, fruit, vanilla and chocolate
Finish: smooth and full of spices
Before I get to the whisky let me share, I am not a watermelon fan whatsoever. When this course was served, I was not overly excited about it, but let me tell you, this course was out of this world. All these ingredients together made for an amazing bite. This is truly why this whisky dinner is one of the bests in Boston. You are not only getting great whisky, but you are getting an amazing deal at a price you won’t find anywhere else.
Now to the whisky, a bit stronger than the first one with a little more bite. It’s tastes a bit like Christmas. It’s packed with spices and although it starts with a bite it does go down nice and smoothly. It’s complex and simply delicious!
Fifth Course: Jacked up Devil’s Food Trifle served with Balblair 1990
This whisky is matured in ex-bourbon casks and Oloroso sherry butts.
Nose: spices, vanilla, toffee and chocolate
Palate: fruit, spices, cinnamon, vanilla and oak
Finish: sherry, rich and smooth
Wow! This was absolutely my favorite course and also my favorite whisky of the three. This whisky is truly special. It’s smooth, complex and full of flavor. There is a delicateness to this dram but yet it still completely warms you up. This whisky could easily replace those peaty whiskies I gravitate towards during sold winter days. I am so sad that this will no longer be available.
Overall a great night of drinking amazing whisky. Frank always does a great job of putting these together and Nick was extremely knowledgeable about the brand. He was able answer all our questions and helped us understand how special all these whiskies truly are. Next up Glenmorangie in December. Hope to see you there.
Note: The contents on my blog are solely my opinion. To me every palate is different! Although I may or may not like a product, I always recommend for people to try it and make up their own minds.