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Saturday, May 2, 2015

True BBQ Dinner: Wonderful Woodford Whiskey Pairing

True BBQ & Whiskey Bar
8940 Calumet Ave. | Munster, IN

This past Thursday, we visited True BBQ in Munster for their Woodford Reserve Dinner pairing. Last month, we attended the Lagunitas beer pairing dinner and was quite impressed. The details on the event were light in both cases, the menus were released the day of or at the event. You just knew you'd be getting some drinks and some food. I'm glad we took the risk, because the format, food, and experience fit my style perfectly.

The format was great. It was relaxed and casual with individually-served courses in long group tables. The food paired wonderfully with the drinks, complementing the nuances of flavor. The portions were good. We left full, but not painfully full. 

The chef and distributor/representative came out and talked about the food and the beverage. It gave you a bit more background to help you appreciate the courses more fully. The price was definitely right too. For the price of drinks, the served up a fully-paired, four-course meal. You even got $5 off for booking early. 

The dinner consisted of a pre-dinner cocktail from the menu (or a Woodford with mixer) and four courses paired with straight tastes of the bourbon/rye.

Appetizer: Three-Cheese Stuffed Sweet Pepper with Woodford Reserve
Sweet peppers stuffed with gouda, jalapeño white cheddar and white cheddar wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon.
The delicate flavors and slight sweetness of the gouda and pepper paired well with the caramel flavors of the bourbon, the smoky bacon brought out the oakiness, and the jalapeño spice and sharpness of the cheddar matched the rye spice. I was getting a strong licorice aroma with the bourbon. It had the standard caramel, oak, and spice.

Salad: Orange Spinach Salad with True's Woodford Private Selection
A spinach salad with orange slices, fried onion strings and toasted almonds, with a champagne vinaigrette. The pairing was with a bourbon that True hand-selected through onsite tastings at the Kentucky distillery.
The champagne vinaigrette and citrus lightened up the hearty spinach. The toasted almonds added an earthy dimension and crunch. The salad paired well with the orange pithiness and spice of the bourbon.

Main Course: Pork Porterhouse with Woodford Double Oak
A smoked pork porterhouse chop glazed with a housemade Woodford BBQ sauce served with potato salad.
This is where the portions did get a bit crazy. They warned us this was a large cut early on, so we were prepared for it. With the serving style, it was easy to taste it, enjoy it, and take some home. The sauce was sweet with a big of tanginess. It went well with the smoky flavor of the chop. The small scoop of potato salad was creamy and delicious. Just a little touch to balance out the gigantic chop. The overall smokiness matched the bourbon without overshadowing it in the least. They brought out extra bbq sauce, mine definitely didn't need it. Mine was cooked to perfection, so juicy it had a sauce of its own. Some others at the table had drier chops, which happens sometimes with smoking. The flavor was still rich and delicious, but the needed to add some extra sauce!

Dessert: Apple Pie with Woodford Rye
Rich apple pie with a touch of whipped cream.
The spiciness of this apple pie stood up to the rye. The crust was flaky and doughy and delicious. I could have just eaten the crust! It was a respectable portion. Good thing I didn't eat the whole porterhouse chop!

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