A Dinner at The Chloe with Pinhook Bourbon
I was recently invited to attend a bourbon dinner at The Chloe hotel courtesy of Pinhook Bourbon in celebration of its newest release, The Artist Series No. 3, Double Blended. It was a lovely evening learning about Pinhook, and I had the honor of meeting master blender Sean Josephs and the company's artist partner, Alexa Pulitzer.
From the press release:
In this year’s vintage, Pinhook brings an innovative twist to the release by borrowing a technique used in making cognac. Distilled for five years, this special release re-barrels two boastful blended batches of bourbon, mingling wood, and whiskey to further age. Through this technique of combining liquids from different barrels, the most captivating bourbon is produced, deep and rich with harmonious fruit-forward flavors like apricot, and dried mango.
To capture the story behind this bottle, Alexa lends her hand to creating an illustration of Pinhook’s master blender, Sean Josephs, deeply engrossed in the blending process. In her signature style, Alexa infuses her native culture with her vast experiences abroad to create her iconic, sophisticated artwork; she infuses that style into the handcrafted image that adorns Artist Series No. 3 Double-Blended Bourbon.
Some stats for Double Blended: 15% rye, 10% malted barley, 75% corn, 110 proof. Released October 2023 in 2,388 bottles.
Admittedly, I'm not as educated about bourbon as I could be. I'm starting to seriously set foot into the world of finer spirits, and Pinhook Bourbon is a great bourbon on which to hone my palate.
The Chloe was a lovely spot for dinner, and I enjoyed listening to Sean tell the story about Pinhook and the newest addition to this series of bourbon. The Chloe did an extraordinary job with the dinner. I have been to the hotel quite a few times, but I've never eaten there. I've heard people rave about the food, and judging by what I enjoyed here, I can't wait to return for another dinner or brunch.
To start, we enjoyed Shrimp and Pork Dumplings with dark roux, crushed chilis, ginger, and cilantro.
The first dish was paired with a taste of Pinhook Bourbon neat and Aziraphale's Tale, a cocktail made with Pinhook Bourbon, 5 Spice, Cinnamon, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Angostura.
The cocktail was incredible and crisp and was a lovely pairing with the dumplings. I'm not really one to drink bourbon neat, but mixed into a nice cocktail is just my speed. I love a cocktail that has a nice balance of sweetness and spice, and Aziraphale's Tale fits the bill.
For our main course, we enjoyed Hanger Steak with wild mushrooms, onions, and sauce bordelaise.
WOW! The chef at The Chloe knocked it out of the park with this dish! I'm not exaggerating when I tell you this might be one of the best steaks I've ever had in my life. It was cooked perfectly, tender, and full of flavor; the onion and mushrooms balanced the meal perfectly. I'm still thinking about how incredible this steak was. I'm not sure if this is a regular menu item at The Chloe, but it should be!
The pairing for this dish was a taste of Pinhook Rye and Hands Down, a cocktail made with Dark Chocolate infused Pinhook Rye, Campari, Carpano Antica, and El Guapo Chicory Pecan Bitters. Honestly, I'm very inexperienced when it comes to rye, and I think I might have to try it in a few more cocktails before I make a decision about whether I like it or not. Hands Down was tasty but definitely a sipper. I'm not sure if it's this is the type of cocktail that I would order on my own, but I did enjoy it, and it paired well with the dessert.
Dessert was an Ice Cream Sandwich with a praline crunch shell and brown butter ice cream. The sweetness of the dessert balanced well with the strong flavors of the Hands Down. The cocktail had a bit of a punch to it, and the sandwich was perfect for enjoying between sips.
The evening was wonderful; it was a pleasure familiarizing myself with Pinhook Bourbon and furthering my bourbon education with Double Blended. I'm going to practice making some tasty bourbon cocktails that I can enjoy now that the weather is getting cooler.
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