What happens when world-leading spirits community Flaviar, powerhouse whiskey brand WhistlePig, and four all-star chefs join forces? The new WhistlePig x Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019, that’s what. Also known as Old World Cask Finished Rye, it’s a 12-year bespoke blend that’s been matured in four separate casks. As we layout in a separate review, this veritable sipper packs a bounty of sweet, fruity, and spicy notes within its chewy, classic body. Flaviar members and other whiskey lovers won’t be disappointed. Get it starting on 8 October.
Being that four chefs helped engineer this wonderful rye, it was only natural that the spirit made pitstops at the respective restaurants of its creators. That took it to a series of exclusive and complimentary tasting dinners, which paired choice cuisine with the new rye in both neat and cocktail form. Each dinner was attended by lucky Flaviar members along with (just as lucky) media representatives such as yours truly.
After stopping at Chef Michael Gulotta’s Maypop in New Orleans, Chef Jamie Malone’s Grand Café in Minneapolis, and Chef David Posey’s Elske in Chicago, the WhistlePig x Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 ended its North American tour at Justin Woodward’s Castagna in Portland, Oregon. It was here that we caught up with the heavenly spirit, which came joined by an equally delectable tasting menu.
An introductory cocktail of brown butter washed WhistlePig rye, Vermont maple syrup, lemon, and angostura kicked off the event. Soon after, guests were taken to their seats and then greeted by Haute snacks and another cocktail. It paved the way for a multi-course dinner of gastronomic brilliance, which included fresh oysters, housemade spreads, onion purée with garden herbs, steamed halibut, creamy foie gras with gelatinised huckleberry quickbread, beef zabuton, and potato skin ice cream. Yes, potato skin ice cream. It’s homemade, sweet, and insanely delicious. It also happens to pair perfectly with a Glencairn whiskey glass of the new Chef’s Blend Rye.
To call the night a success would be putting it mildly. Every bite and sip was truly spectacular. Heightening the atmosphere was a smattering of enthusiastic epicureans, all of whom share a taste for fine whiskey. If you want to hear more about the event, check out this video, in which Chef Justin Woodward discusses his trip out to WhistlePig farm, the tasting menu, and everything in between. Meanwhile, the WhistlePig x Flaviar Chef’s Blend 2019 is available starting 8 October. Should you get a chance to snag a bottle, don’t hesitate because it will be sold out in no time at all.