A new arrival through my door this week was a bottle of Speyburn “Brandan Orach” (Golden Salmon for those not familiar with the Gaelic tongue). I’m often confused by the choice of name for whisky, and this one joins those ranks- Golden Salmon? Is it to be considered as an indicator of the whisky’s quality or taste as surely this is what the drinker is looking for? Will this bottle burst forth with fishy freshness or perhaps a whiff of fisherman’s friend?
Either way, It was destined to be used at a forthcoming tasting I was holding and would be paired with a selected Charbonnel et Walker chocolate. But which one was the question now posed. Stopping off at the Liverpool Street branch of this rather fine chocolatier, I obviously had to let the staff try a little before helping me select the right accompaniment and they seems to have little hesitation. With the main character of the whisky seemingly light and fruity we played around with some citrus lead chocolates before finally, as the caramel notes became apparent, I pointed at the Banoffee truffle chocolate saying “let’s try this one!”
Surprisingly, or perhaps not, it was an amazing combination. The bursting freshness of the whisky tamed somewhat by the sweet, buttery chocolate but at the same time the banana element of the truffle amplified the caramel and tropical fruit note that wasn’t immediately apparent upon first tasting the whisky on its own.
Safe to say, the gathered 25 guests were more than happy to be guinea-pigs at the tasting an hour later and all agreed that the combination was surprising and a perfect partnership.
Speyburn Bradan Orach
Single malt whisky
No age statement
Appearance: Clear bright yellow gold.
Nose: rich note of malt new make and warm caramel, a high spirited start softened by toffee apple and lighter notes of unripe banana served on an oak stave.
Palate: Lively to begin with grippy tannic spice and assertive spirit before the slightly buttery apple and caramel strudel with banana parfait pops in.
Finish: Light and lively turns smooth and creamy with lingering buttery vanilla and toffee.
It’s not often I think about chilling whisky, but I reckon I might give this one a try. Popping it in the fridge for a few hours and getting it nice and cold might just be the perfect accompaniment to a summers day picnic in the park. With some banana loaf on the side of course – hey wait, maybe thats whats meant by the “golden salmon”? If you fancy trying some for yourself then you can buy it here.