APAVM Annual Dinner 2022: Whisky Pairing Dinner

APAVM Annual Dinner 2022:

Whisky Pairing Dinner

APAVM ended 2022 joyously in December, with a whisky pairing dinner on 7th in Hong Kong and 11th in Singapore.

A total 40 Patrons and friends attended in Hong Kong and 47 in Singapore. In addition 40 others logged in for the lecture on zoom before the dinner in Singapore.

The event in Hong Kong was held at the Michelin starred “The Square” Cantonese restaurant. In Singapore, dinner was at “Table at 7” restaurant, which features both Continental and Indonesian cuisine.

The evening started off with a whisky cocktail which patrons and friends sipped while nibbling on a selection of appetisers and catching up with each other.

This was followed by the lecture “Christianity and the Origin of Whisky” by Mr Robert Ross Alan, who spoke to us from Scotland via zoom. Mr Alan’s depth of knowledge stems from his study of Theology and Scottish history at the University of St Andrews, his long work experience in the whisky industry and his involvement in the Scottish History Society.

This lecture, full of interesting facts about the development of whisky and how it is intertwined with religion and politics, is not to be missed and may be listened to here.

Presenting the flight of whiskies selected for our dinner that followed, was Mr Archibald John Gracie, who has worked in the drinks industry for 30 years.

Mr Gracie expertly taught us how to nose the whisky, and what aromas and flavours to discover in each one of them. The whiskies presented during the dinners showcased different styles in whisky making with their resultant nose and taste. Each unique whisky therefore complements different types of food, heightening the flavour of the dish.

The flight of whiskies presented on both evenings were:

Talisker 18 year old, which was paired with sashimi in Hong Kong and house smoked salmon trout and ikura in Singapore.

Longmorn 16 year old, paired with Sichuan style smoked duck in Hong Kong and Balinese bebek bengil ( Balinese crispy skin duck ) in Singapore.

Oban 14 year old, paired with prawn laksa in Hong Kong and lobster and crab laksa linguine in Singapore.

Auchentoshan 31 year old, paired with baked Patagonian tooth fish in Hong Kong and crispy roasted suckling pig in Singapore.

Royal Lochnagar 12 year old, paired with roasted prime rib au jus in Hong Kong and slow roasted smoked wagyu sirloin M6-7 in Singapore.

During both dinners, we were all educated by Mr Gracie on the range of flavours and aromas in whisky that make it perfect to pair with various kinds of food for an overall flavour enhancement. The flavour of red meat such as a rich fatty steak is often complimented by the layers of flavour of a single malt. The sweet, hot flavour of a spice rub on barbequed ribs or the duck we had at dinner, will be amplified with the addition of a sweet sherry cask whisky. What is less known is that certain whiskies go well with a range of foods as diverse as salmon and lighter seafood including raw preparations like sashimi that pair well with light fruity whiskies. Smoky and spicy whiskies make a great pairing option with strongly flavoured cheeses and a variety of nuts. As for dessert, the complexity of a whisky can balance out the sweet richness of the cream, play up the fragrance of fruit or enhance the experience of the baking spices.

To exemplify whisky as a fitting pairing for dessert, the evening ended with Cardhu Distillers Edition which was served with dessert: Molten chocolate cake with orange jelly and ice cream in Hong Kong and Cherries Jubilee flambeed with Cardhu whisky and kirsch, served with vanilla ice cream in Singapore.

Resource: Archibald John Gracie

Archie is a Scotsman, who has spent 30 years in the drinks industry as Senior Director of Diageo the world’s largest drinks company, of which 20 years working on some of the world’s largest and most famous Scotch whiskies brands like Johnnie Walker, Talisker, Lagavulin and Cardhu.

He has run whisky tasting and whisky dinners in many countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, India, Japan and Thailand.  Archie has been living in Asia since 2005, he started in Singapore, prior to spending several years in Shanghai, he now lives and works in Thailand having been there with Diageo in a pan ASEAN role, he now works for Siam Winery company growing wine grapes and producing international award-winning Thai wines.  In addition to overseeing production he is also responsible for managing and growing the companies export sales to over 20 international markets.

Whilst food pairing is normally done with wine, Archie has used his skill and knowledge of flavours to showcase the diversity of whisky and pair it with great quality food dishes, that both complement and enhance the tastes in each.

Speaker: Bob Allan

An alumnus of:
George Heriot’s school, Edinburgh
University of St. Andrews
University of Strathclyde

Whilst at the University of St. Andrews he read: Scottish History, Geographical Studies and Theology, (at Scotland’s oldest theological college; St. Marys) gaining a Master of Arts degree.  Following his studies at the University of Strathclyde Bob received his Master of Business Administration degree after which he achieved a postgraduate diploma in Manufacturing Management from UMIST (the University of Manchester institute for Science and Technology).

During his time as a student at St. Andrews Bob held the position of Senior Vice President of the Student Union, was a member of the committee of the Canmore Roman Catholic Chaplaincy and was voted Senior student of St. Salvator’s hall of residence (1989) the hall attended by HRH Prince William.

Bob has previously worked for Diageo in Kilmarnock, (formerly the home of Johnnie Walkers bottling and blending plant) managing the production of Red label, Black label, Blue label, Green label and Gold label along with Dimple, J&B, Bells and  Cardhu 12 year old.  Whilst with Diageo Bob became a trained whisky quality assurer including nosing and verifying whisky against product standards maintaining quality assurance for Diageo.  He has also been employed by the Estee Lauder Company, BICC, Britvic Soft Drinks, Vosper Thornycroft and Holts Lloyd International (Prestone).

Currently Bob is the Managing Director of both The Spirit of Kilmarnock and The Spirit of Ayrshire companies creating the first distillery ever in Kilmarnock, distilling whisky and gin.  It comes a no surprise that Bob is  currently a member of the Scottish Malt Whisky Society.  Bob pursues his other  interests as a member of the Scottish History Society, he is a member of the General Council of the University of St. Andrews and is an Honorary lifetime member of the Student Association of the University of St. Andrews, also a member of the National Trust for Scotland and previously served on the members board of the Chartered Management Institute, Ayrshire branch.

APAVM Hong Kong Whisky Pairing Dinner – 7 Dec 2022

APAVM Singapore Whisky Pairing Dinner – 11 Dec 2022