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Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Montenotte Hotel Whiskey Battle
Last night I took part in a “battle”, a whiskey battle that is, in the Montenotte Hotel. It was all part of the Cork Whiskey Festival. There is a terrific view over the city from the hotel's bar but I was concentrating on the three beauties in front of me.
They were staging three “battles” in all, each involving an Irish, a Scotch and an American Whiskey. I could have had a Jameson, Glenfiddich, and Bulleit Bourbon for €15.00 or a Red Breast 15 year Old, Laphroaig 10 year old Single Malt and Maker’s 46 for €35.00.
But I picked the €25.00 trio of Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey, Bowmore 12 Year Old and the Knob Creek Bourbon. There was no further info available as info sheets hadn't turned up.
So, with an open mind, if an amateur one as regards whiskey, I got down to work, a glass of water at the side. Tasted the three in the above order and was quite pleased with the Irish and the Scotch. The initial meeting with the Knob Creek, by Jim Beam, seemed fine but I found something of an alcohol burn on the finish.
Tried them all neat again, this time with an emphasis on the aromas. And that's when the peat began to bother me. As Henry VIII said about one of the ladies he was about to marry: “I like her not!”. And, there was to be no cure for it, only a divorce!
But there was a cure for the Bourbon: a few drops of good old Cork water brought a very acceptable smoothness to the finish. Took my time after that and finished off all three.
And the final verdict? I declare the Green Spot, a superb whiskey, finished in a selection of ex-bourbon (ironically) and ex-sherry casks, and so well balanced, the winner of this particular battle. Slainte!
Friday, April 6, 2012
Vista Bar And Grill
I’ve been using some of those better than half price deal vouchers and the most recent was this week when I called to one of my local hotels, the Hotel Montenotte. The Groupon voucher promised a couple of cocktails and a main course each for €25.00.
Hadn’t been to the Montenotte for quite a while but it turned out to be quite an enjoyable experience. The voucher mentioned the Vista Bar and Grill but we were directed to the adjoining restaurant section; both enjoy the same views over the city.
The hotel and dining room looked brilliant. Service was low key, courteous and efficient. The cocktails didn’t materialise. Instead we were served with a glass each of a rosé Prosecco, quite dry and tasty. No quibbles there; only bubbles. There were supplements on the various steaks but again this had been flagged to some extent by Groupon.
We checked out the well worn menus as we sipped the bubbly. CL decided to go for the Poached Darne of Atlantic Salmon (C), priced at €16.75. This turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. It was served, unusually, on baby potatoes with a fresh mussel and winter vegetable broth, with a side dish of spot-on vegetables. A little different and a very pleasing main course indeed.
Didn’t expect any problems with my sirloin and none materialised. It was done just as requested and I really enjoyed the creamy mushroom sauce and my little bucket of French fries (nice touch!).
Had a look at the desserts but, after two sizeable platefuls (and the fact the Champions League was about to start on telly!), decided to finish off with coffee. Again, this was well up to standard, Bewley's I believe.