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Whisky Tasting

Five things I learned from a neighbourhood lunchtime whisky tasting

1. That chocolate, even Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, goes really well with fine single malts. So does superb home-made Indian vegetarian food.

2. That the better the whisky the less of a hangover.

3. That there’s much more to American whiskey than Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort. I will now accept gifts of £100 bottles of Kentucky Pappy Van Winkle 12 year old Kentucky bourbon.

4. That all of us, our tutor included, also rated an £11 bottle of Black Bottle, a seriously good drop.

5. That tutor knows best. We tried to turn the tables on him with a blind tasting of a malt from our shelf. Two sips and he unhesitatingly and correctly identified it as a 12 year old Balvenie Doublewood. Respect or what?

He is Dhaval Gandhi, a head brewer in Tadcaster, originally from Rajasthan, with a MA thesis on Scotch whisky and an ambition to open his own distillery. Remember the name. Big thanks, too, to Shivani Gandhi whose delicious lunch snacks featured the most perfect spiced cauliflower, spicy vegetable wraps and coriander, spiced yoghurt and tamarind dip.