One of my favorite annual events is coming up this Sunday, January 18. Nope, not the Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival, which is also a lot of fun. It’s the Yardley Inn’s Annual Whisky Dinner, always on the Sunday of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend so, as Chef Eben Copple explains, “You have time to recuperate the next day.”
Last year we attended the Rye Whisky dinner which was delightful, and several years ago we enjoyed a Single Malt Whisky dinner, with a wide selection of excellent single malts paired with the great food at the Yardley Inn. This year the dinner focuses on the famous distillery Glenfiddich.
Imagine this. It’s a cold wintery evening. You arrive at the Yardley Inn all bundled up, but are soon led to your table in a cozy, warm dining room. At your place setting, five snifters of golden, glittering whisky await you. “All for me?” I thought gleefully the first time I saw it. Yep.
1st Course. Copple always creates an innovative and delicious menu, perfect with each whisky. This year the dinner begins with the Glenfiddich Signature 12 Year Old Single Malt. The Wine Enthusiast gave this whisky 93 points and described it as “lush and rich, this honeyed whisky is loaded with dense notes of creamy custard and tropical fruit, finishing with a flourish of baking spice.” It sounds like it will be lovely with the first course of the dinner, Egg Custard with Yuzu Kosho and Orange Blossom.
2nd Course. Next, Copple offers Finnan Haddie with Oatcakes and Asian Pears coupled with Glenfiddich Original 1963 Straight Malt Scotch Whisky, a limited-edition product based on the original single malt that Glenfiddich introduced in 1963.
3rd Course. If you are worried about having to eat traditional Scottish food all night, not to worry. The third course pairs the Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera with Not-Haggis (Pasta with Offal and Sweet Spices) and Neeps. The whisky was matured in American bourbon, Portuguese sherry and virgin oak barrels and then “married” in a Solera vat. MasterofMalt.com has this to say about it: the nose has sherry, citrus-orange and a slight suggestion of smoke. The palate brings to mind sherry, raisins, fruitcake and spices and the finish tastes of candied fruits, raisins, spices, and Christmas pudding.
4th Course. The Glenfiddich Small Batch Reserve 18 Year Old is next. Matured in a mix of Oloroso sherry and bourbon casks, MasterofMalt.com says the nose has “loads of fruit,” as well as the palate. “Candied fruits and Glenfiddich freshness balances richer notes of dried apricot, more cinnamon and toffee, ginger and dry Sherry.” This will balance well with the richness of the fourth course, Veal Rib Chop, Roasted Barley, Kaffir Lime Broth and Pomelo.
5th Course. All good things must come to an end unfortunately. But what a way to end. Copple finishes the evening with Caramelized Quince with White Pepper, Vanilla and Ginger coupled with the Glenfiddich Rum Cask Finish 21 Year Old. This will be a treat. Whisky Advocate describes it as “soothing and seamless on the nose and palate with chewy toffee, molasses, nougat, almond butter, vanilla fudge, cinnamon spice, and nutmeg, along with gentle tobacco notes emerging later on the palate. A pleasing dry finish offsets the sweeter notes. A delicious whisky from beginning to end.” Oh, and it sells for $120 retail, so enjoy it!
Want to go? Tickets for the Glenfiddich Dinner are $90 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Call 215.493.3800 to reserve your seat. The Yardley Inn is located at 82 East Afton Avenue in Yardley, PA, 19067.