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I’m a whiskey girl, and everyone knows it. So when Teeling Whiskey, a family-run Irish whiskey brand that has received several notable awards in the spirits industry, recently held an event nearby in Venice Beach, Calif., there was no way I was going to miss it.
The Tasting Kitchen, a staple on the Abbot Kinney Boulevard food scene since 2009, played host to the whiskey-tasting and dinner extravaganza. The night began with small bites such as beet salad, squab spiedini and whiskey-brined pork belly, along with creative whiskey cocktails with names such as “Trial by Fire” (with whiskey, vermouth, green chartreuse, cacao and chai) and “Hammer ’N’ Nail” (whiskey, sherry, lemon, tobacco, black pepper and passion fruit). My favorite, by far, was “Story Horse” (whiskey ginger, apple cider, rosemary, cardamom, lemon juice and orgeat).
Over several hours — and three food courses — Alex Chasko, master distiller for Teeling, walked us through six of the company’s whiskeys, including single-grain, small-batch and single-malt varieties.
In between bites of The Tasting Kitchen’s innovative dishes — like bitters-braised beef cheeks, fish sausage, wild mushroom rigatoni, and boar and persimmon ragu, we sipped Teeling’s hyper-limited Vintage Reserve Collection 24-Year-Old Single Malt. The spirit was awarded World’s Best Single Malt at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards in March, marking the first time an Irish whiskey has achieved such an accolade. We also tried the company’s new Single Pot Still and soon-to-launch chestnut-cask-rested Single Cask.
We finished the night supremely satisfied (and round as whiskey ice balls) with profiteroles and torta della nonna (with ricotta, chestnut honey and pear).
Note: Teeling Whiskey is available year-round at The Tasting Kitchen, and while the cocktails mentioned in this story were for the special event, I’d suggest slipping the bartender a short list of ingredients for the Story Horse and asking him or her to whip you up something intriguing.
The DetailsThe Tasting Kitchenwww.thetastingkitchen.com