However, we'll also need to eat. Any suggestions on what we should have? A bunch of blokes with big appetites can't subsist on Doritos alone, and after a lot of tasting I think the munchies would strike; snack foods like Doritos would ruin the flavour
prawns (that's shrimp for our American colleagues!).
My advice would be to simply avoid foods that are falsely flavoured with additives and stick to food that has natural flavour.
Water on hand is a good idea, and something like oatcakes as a neutral palate cleansing kind of food is also a good idea.
That said, my favorite food with whisky is hamburgers, so maybe don't listen to me...
I would however suggest big-eaters line their stomachs before the tasting and not really let food interefere the tastings. Nothing quite like complementing whisky with more whisky.
For a fun tasting, enjoy both the food and the whisky and don't worry too much about the interactions, or have the whisky first and the food last. Islay is best with seafood but not essential. Food and whisky matching is a whole different ballgame and while good will not really allow you to appreciate the whiskies properly.
Since people are bringing their own bottles, planning of the dinner to match will be impossible so just make what food you think they'll like and enjoy yourselves!
As luck would have it we settled on fruit cake, (mildly) smoked salmon, french bread and some mild cheeses with plenty of water to cleanse the palate. Tasting paused for the food and resumed afterwards. We spent three or four hours trying about fifteen different whiskys (note: just small puddles of each!) using tasting notes sheets and also doing some blind tasting. After which I decided tasting wasn't keeping to strict scientific method and my head was starting to throb.
Very pleased that, in blind tasting four different Glenfiddichs, I ranked them in the order in which one would expect them to be marked: 12yr, 15yr, "Special old reserve" and 18yr old.
Most popular were Aberlour, Dalwhinnie 15yr and Lagavulin special reserve; least popular was Jim Beam by a country mile Well, one needs to set the boundaries!
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