Amber Restaurant's 21st Birthday Whisky Flight
Our Amber Restaurant & Whisky Bar turns 21 this week! Executive chef, David Neave and daughter Wendy Neave, Head of Events and Hospitality, have both been at the helm since opening in 2001, serving up delicious seasonally inspired Scottish food paired with Scotch whisky to locals and tourists from around the world.
With Wendy having been with us here at The Scotch Whisky Experience and Amber Restaurant for 21 years! and Billy Somerville, our Senior Restaurant Manager having been with us for 18 years this year, they have chosen their favourite 21yo and 18yo drams and asked our brilliant Amber team to choose their favourite drams too. For the month of May we will have a celebratory tasting flight on offer with Wendy’s 21yo, Billy’s 18yo and 2 other drams, specially selected by our Amber team – scroll down to find out more about each of the whiskies chosen!
This is a lovely flight to enjoy if you yourself are celebrating your 21st birthday or even your 21st wedding anniversary – celebrate with us here at Amber in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town.
Wendy – Head of Events & Hospitality
Whisky choice: Glengoyne 21
After 21 years working with Amber, Wendy felt drawn to a whisky of a similar age. Over her two decades, Wendy has seen many whiskies incorporated into our tasting flights and food pairings but Glengoyne has remained a staple throughout. A firm favourite with fans of sherry cask matured whiskies and a wonderful match to many dishes on our diverse menu, it was one of the first whiskies we used on our award-winning Taste of Scotland menu, one of our flagship menus and one Wendy is very proud to have introduced back in 2009. Wendy highly recommends a glass of Glengoyne to accompany our poached pear and dark chocolate dessert.
Billy – Senior Restaurant Manager
Whisky choice: Ledaig 18
From working in the bar to managing the restaurant, Billy has tried many a Scotch whisky over his 18 years working with us, so it was hard to pick just one that could be considered a favourite. One that came to his attention a few years ago was the island dram Ledaig 18. Billy was lucky enough to win a bottle in a staff raffle, he had never tried it before and as soon as he poured himself a glass he swiftly fell in love with the leathery and salty, smoky profile. After quickly converting all those who worked in the bar to its taste and profile, suddenly Ledaig 18 was flying off the shelf at a much quicker pace and it remains a favourite for many customers who visit us. Billy loves matching a Ledaig to our smoked Applewood cheddar cheese from Kintyre.
Rachel – Assistant Restaurant Manager
Whisky choice: Cardhu Amber Rock
Rachel, like many of the team, was not a whisky fan when she started working in Amber, but it didn’t take her long to find that “gateway dram” that led to her falling in love with Scotch whisky. Upon trying Cardhu she was taken by the subtle honey flavours and soft fruit notes, that appealed to her palate. While this was not the first whisky she had tried, it was one of the first whiskies that she connected with personally especially when she discovered the history of the distillery and its famous founders – Helen and Elizabeth Cumming. Their story highlights the diverse history of Cardhu and shows the role that women have played within whisky making since its beginning. Rachel loves to pair a dram of Cardhu with our Ham Hock Terrine.
Liam – Team Leader
Whisky choice: Glen Scotia Victoriana
For Liam one of the greatest aspects of the job is to see someone who thought that they weren’t a whisky drinker change their mind upon trying something that really struck a chord with them. Knowing that they have fallen in love with whisky and that they will be Scotch fans from then on is such a lovely moment to share. Reflecting back, Liam had this very experience himself when he tried the Glen Scotia Victoriana. As he was still not a fan of the peated whiskies, he was told this dram would have subtle peat notes, but also a rich fruity profile. It was also one of the first cask strength whiskies he sampled. The oily body balanced well together with the dried fruit profile. Liam highly recommends trying the Glen Scotia Victoriana with Amber’s saddle of venison.