Balvenie Masterclass: A Scotch and Seafood Pairing at Sea Salt St. Pete

11/12/2015 10:22:00 PM

I was lucky enough to attend an Balvenie Master Scotch class with David Larid as our wonderful teacher.  He is a very witty and funny man with many stories to tell.

The class started us off with a simple cocktail.  I can't tell you what's really in it except of course Balvenie scotch, bitters, Grand Marina and a cherry.

I'm not much of a whiskey/scotch drinker, but am indeed a foodie so the word pairing scotch with seafood peaked my interest.  Scotch and seafood? How does that work?! Well.. I will tell you it works magnificently.  The scotch certainly brings out layers of hidden flavors and sweetness to the dish.

Sea Salt is a relatively new restaurant that opened up. It's certainly beautiful just looking in and even more so dining in!

For our first pairing we started with the 14 year old Balvenie Caribbean cask scotch with raw oysters. We had 3 different oysters from Blue Point (Connecticut), Imperial Eagle (British Columbia) and the Fat Bastard (British Columbia).

I love the clean flavor of the Blue Point, but desire the meatiness of the Fat Bastard.  I didn't care much for the Imperial Eagle as it was too fishy for me.

The trick here is to drizzle a bit of the scotch (scotch placed in dropper bottles.. dangerous much?) on top of the oysters and I will have to say. My mind was blown! It was super smooth and the scotch has spices which tickles the back of your throat.

The spiciness of the scotch mixed with Tobasco hot sauce has me burning up!

I really did enjoy our class because there was a mix of delicious alcohol as well as food. In between each dish David presented us a quick lesson on how the scotch was made.  I loved his personality and how funny he is, which makes the class so much more enjoyable.

For the next course we had a Wahoo tartare with peekytoe crab, orange pickled carrot and a balsamic tamarin sauce paired with Balvenie 12 year old single barrel scotch.

I will have to say this is the first time I've tried wahoo and I'm not too crazy for it, but the peekytoe crab was spot on.  It's sweet and meaty... and it is my new favorite type of crab! Whatever a peekytoe crab is, I like you.

The dishes keeps on getting better and better. The next dish is Octopus with an smoked paprika beluga lentil, chorizo and tomato marmalade.  The octopus is so thinly sliced it is the most tender octopus I've ever had.  The lentil mix is just amazing and meaty with the chorizo. When you combine everything in one bite you get the soft chewy octopus, the creamy, meaty lentils and the sweetness from the tomato marmalade.  I will have to say this is my favorite!  Oh and it was paired with 2 types of 15 year old Balvenie single barrel scotch.

We learned how different scotch from two different barrel, yet same warehouse and same age can be so different.

Our fourth course is a beautiful Big Eye Hawaiian Tuna Tartare with candied beets and wasabi pistachio zabaglione paired with a 17 year old Balvenie Doublewood scotch.

You read it right, candied beets and tuna are excellent partners! I would never have imagined the pair working so well and the wasabi pistachio gives it a kick.  The tuna is so tender it almost blends in with the texture of the beets.

The Doublewood scotch is seriously a kick. It's a 96 proof shot that can throw me across the table. This is when I started to heavily add the water, which helps bring out the flavors!

Our last course is of course the dessert course! We had an amazing Tiramisu paired with a 21 year old Balvenie Portwood scotch. Whooooopiee, this is a drink you have to sip... very, very slowly. The tiramisu is one of the best ones I've ever had.  It is dusted with lovely pistachios once again and I love it! There are cherries that surprises you with a bit of tartness.  We also tried this is a drizzle of the Caribbean cask Balvenie scotch and it was the bomb.

Lesson learned from this class. Drizzle Balvenie scotch on everything you eat and you'll love it.  You'll love everything!

I had an absolute blast attending this event all thanks to Sea Salt St. Pete, Balvenie Scotch and David Laird.

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