Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Evening Of Scotch & Chocolate

The spread - photography by George Gensler

This event went down Friday March 1, 2013 and it was a tremendous success and a great time.

Two remarkable blog posts chronicle this event from the perspective of the blogger's table in the rear of the room where some real fun was going on:

Allison Patel's remarkable set of epiphanies and very interesting observations:

and Susannah Skiver Barton's epicurean perspective and razor sharp tasting notes: 

As for me - I can't do much better than to paste the comment I added to the bottom of Allison's blog post:

"OMG – you got so much out that event, Allison (a whole lot more than I did – but perhaps that’s to be expected). Thanks so much for sharing your deep insights. Perhaps modestly you forget to mention the peak emotional moment of the night: When I saw that there was going to be adequate time I pulled out a bottle of Brenne. Allison cautions the house that Brenne is a delicate flavor and that it’s actually not such a good idea to serve it after Ardbeg Uigeadail (a titanic heavily sherried peat MONSTER at cask strength – perhaps one of the most richly flavored whiskies in the world – a palate killer) and right before Balcones Brimstone – an even more titanic palate buster. But Brenne STOLE THE SHOW. The room exploded with excitement. Not just about the story, and about the beautiful woman who had created the brand sitting in their midst, but about how incredible the whisky tasted and how incredibly well it paired with Pacari 65% Manabi. It was a delicious and, frankly unanticipated pairing success. It was a spur of the moment thing – I hadn’t even tried it going in – but the lovely creamy floral bubble-gum esters and apricot tangerine citrus flavors locked in a sensuous French kiss with the luscious dark alkaline sweet of the rich dark Ecuadorian chocolate. Half a dozen people demanded on the spot to know where they could buy this astoundingly silky feminine and succulent drammage. Deep personal secret – of the two bottles I had on hand, I had selfishly chosen to share the cask #264 and keep the cask #257 to myself because in typical “color-ist” fashion I thought the #264, being a shade lighter, wouldn’t be as delicious. As amazing as the cask #257 is however, I think cask #264 might be even better. It was astounding. Anyway – the whole event was a huge success – but you guys were really having the time of your life at that back table with Clay. The rule clearly is: “having Chocolate? Bring Clay”. I’m jealous! I was too busy blathering on – and I missed some of the best fun at that back table with you guys!"

Here follows the blog post as originally posted on January 30, 2013 announcing the upcoming event which went down March 1st:

I've been preparing for months for my first public pro whisky event - a chocolate whisky pairing event with Pacari chocolate and some of my favorite drams to be held at The Morgan Library's Dining Room March 1st. The pairings went through a rigorous testing procedure to see what, in technical terms: "tasted good". The gist is that good whisky and high cacao dark chocolate have strong flavors. Many pairings of them can be dissonant, distracting, or just "ok". Some, rather unusual ones, however, can be genius. I wrote a bit in a previous post about the process of finding winners:

Chocolate importer / expert Francisco X. Vivar helped flesh out the concept and is providing material support and expertise for this event. He will be a "celebrity presence" at the event as well.

Pacari Chocolate's Francisco X. Vivar helps explore the concept.

There were additional sessions, including one with Susannah Skiver Barton, of the epicurean food and whisky blog and her husband Sanjay

Susannah Skiver Barton & Sanjay Barton working hard.

The spread. It's for research.
Susannah provided excellent and detailed feedback. She had a real impact on the selections.

I sadly didn't take pictures of the meeting where I demonstrated the selected pairings for key staffers of Restaurant Associates - the company that runs The Morgan Dining Room - the venue for the event. It was wonderful. At the conclusion, rapidly cleaning up, I took the unusual (read "desperate") step of vatting the dregs of all the selections except Hedonism. They were left to marry for a week. Tasting notes of this odd accidental vatting are posted on

Vatting all of them. Genius or idiocy?

The event is listed on - the essential resource for finding out about whisky events in NYC. The posted listing on nycwhisky reads as follows:

Notice - The event is currently SOLD OUT.

Friday, March 1, 2013 - 6:00pm
The Morgan Dining Room is delighted to present an evening of chocolate whisky pairing featuring award-winning gourmet Ecuadorian dark chocolate from Pacari and a carefully selected selection of fine whiskies curated and presented by Josh Feldman, blogger of The Coopered Tot
Friday, March 1st from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
The pairings are:

  • Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or – paired with Pacari Piura 70% regional varietal
  • Compass Box Hedonism – paired with Pacari Lemongrass
  • Glendronach 15 "The Revival" - paired with Pacari 65% Manabi regional varietal
  • Aberlouer A'Bunadh – paired with Pacari 65% Manabi regional varietal
  • Ardbeg Uigeadail – paired with Pacari Salt & Nibs
  • Balcones Brimstone – paired with Pacari Fig
This tasting takes place in an intimate venue in a historic New York City landmark. It will take place as a symposium and exploration with free exchange of impressions and experiences.
There is a fee for this event: $65 if reserved by February 20, $75 beginning February 21. Sales tax and staffing fee additional.
For reservations or inquiries please call 212-685-0008 x589
The Morgan Dining Room is located inside The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue, New York City

This event should be a TON of fun. If you are going to be in NYC March 1st - come on by and catch my act.


  1. Wow these are amazing! I don;t like the regular creme eggs so I used the chocolate filled and the caramel filled ones instead and they were to die for but I don’t recommend eating more than one or you may go into a sugar coma!

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