I love a good food festival and we are so lucky in Manchester to have different towns and villages that run their own. They range from small and intimate to large and bustling with the latest being somewhere in between.
Bolton Food and Drink Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever with over 180 food, drink and craft traders taking place between 26th and 29th August. Old Pulteney are sponsoring the festival in the bar area on Oxford Street and have teamed up with Manchester House’s Aiden Byrne to show how the flavours of this award winning single malt can be brought to life with the perfect food pairing.
Seated in the beautiful Manchester House I was lucky enough to be invited to try the Old Pulteney range with brand ambassador Andy Hannah. Overlooking Manchester from the 12th floor still takes my breath away no matter how grey and drizzly the day may be. The three single malts had been paired with canapés designed to bring out the flavours of the malts perfectly.
You may remember my previous post about the 12 year old whisky which somehow manages to encompass the sea air of its origin in Wick but in liquid form. A little salt with a sweet finish the smooth whisky has a little spice in the long lasting finish.
Aiden paired the 12 year old with a nori rice cracker with cured salmon and seaweed salad. The umami flavours of the nori rice cracker helped to mellow out the saltiness of the whisky whilst the fattiness of the salmon brought out the sweetness of the single malt allowing the smooth and creamy flavour to shine through. It was delicious and if I could have gotten my hands on more of them I would have without question.
The 17 year old is a single malt I hadn’t tried and I have to say, although I am not really a whisky drinker, this one was my favourite. Aged in both American and Spanish casks this whisky there is a definite taste of butterscotch with apple and tropical soft fruits. Paired with chicken liver and wild sugar parfait, tobacco scented chocolate and spiced plum puree, our senses were really dazzled. At first taste the parfait was overwhelming thanks to the richness of the chicken life and plum puree but once introduced to the whisky, both the flavours melded together perfectly. The tobacco scented chocolate brought out the smoky notes in the whisky that weren’t there when sipping alone. The chicken liver smoothed out the malt beautifully and the plum helped to highlight the soft fruit flavours. A good whisky is designed to be enjoyed sip by sip and so is this canapé, small spoonful at a time so as not to be overwhelmed.
Last up was the hard hitter of the three, the 21 year old. Matured in ex-bourbon casks with spirit from ex-Oloroso sherry casks that creates a much richer and more spiced flavour with a hint of smoke and a much drier finish. The canapé pairing of poached lobster with smoked apple puree and vanilla oil worked perfectly with the smoked apple puree highlighting a baked apple flavour in the single malt and the fresh tasting lobster highlighting the richness of this fine single malt. Whilst it wasn’t my favourite I felt able to appreciate an impeccible single malt whisky.
You can catch up with Aiden and Old Pulteney at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and, having sampled these delights ahead of the busy weekend of festivities, I can guarantee you will see me there. You could always kick off the bank holiday weekend in style with the gala dinner where you will find some of the finest chefs in the UK cooking up a dish including Aiden, who will be making the main course.
If that is a little extravagant you can take in food and drink from four corners of the globe with your favourite traders in the market or find a new favourite, be sure to pop by Old Pulteney whilst there!
Thanks to Carl Sukonik for the incredible images featured in this post and to Manchester House for hosting a wonderful evening. I will see you at the Festival, with a dram in hand.
I was invited as a guest of Old Pulteney and Aiden Byrne and was not asked to pay for the evening.