Who ate all the pies?

“On behalf of Moët Hennessy, we invite you to the official launch of The Ardbeg Peat Mie … the only pie in Australia that requires proof-of-age to eat.”

Moët. Hennessy. Ardbeg. Pie.

All in the same sentence.

How could I resist those words?

So I caught the light rail and a bus from work to a lovely little sandstone restaurant called The Gardener’s Grill in Victoria Park in Camperdown.

It was a gorgeous evening. There was a live band and lots of waiters bearing whisky cocktails and then bagpipes started playing and men in kilts solemnly led a covered pie cart through the crowd.

It was unveiled to reveal lots of freshly baked goods and we tucked in. Yum!

Ardbeg is revered around the world for creating some of the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malts in existence.

Peated whisky is a very strong, distinctive flavour. There are those who would say it should be reverently sipped on its own, not mixed into cocktails or baked into pies.

But I thought it was a clever way to introduce the whisky to new audiences.

The distiller has collaborated with Melbourne-based BBQ restaurant Fancy Hank’s to create the whisky-infused ‘Peat Mie’.

The limited edition pie is made with 15-hour smoked barley-fed brisket, fermented tomatoes, shallots and thyme, encased in a sour cream shortcrust pastry. The whisky used is Ardbeg 8 Years Old For Discussion, which bakes in unique notes of charcoal, green peppers and woodsmoke.

The idea for the pies came all the way from the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay, which has been producing peated whisky for over 200 years. During the pandemic, distillery workers turned their hand to baking pies to rally their local community – it’s this pie-making that sparked the idea for an Ardbeg-infused pie of their own.

The only way to get your hands on the pie is by signing up to the Ardbeg Committee at https://ardbegcommittee.com.au/.

The committee has embassies all over the world, including four in Australia, and members have access to all the Committee exclusive releases.

Distillery Manager Colin Gordon said: “Whisky and pies are hard to beat, but whisky in a pie? That’s in a league of its own! Smoky, crispy and only for the Committee, the Peat Pie adds yet another dimension of flavour for our Ardbeg-loving fans.”

I think I will be joining the committee so I can guzzle a few more of those pies. They were sooooo delicious.

I took my friend Oliver along to the pie tasting. Oliver has a website called The Whisky List that he launched as a side-hustle about four years ago, which has become so successful that he made it his main gig about a year ago.

I’ve been to lots of virtual tastings with Oliver over the years, plus a few in-person whisky shows, so I texted him yesterday morning and asked if he was free to be my plus one to the Ardbeg event.

He reshuffled his plan and we had a bulk fun night, as you can see from this photo …

It’s a surreal life …

After I gave Oliver a hug goodbye I headed home to walk the dogs and pack the dishwasher (the youngest had been baking gingerbread while I was gone).

Now I just need to make it through a busy Friday and then I can relax …

Kidding, no I can’t. I need to finish unpacking from the house move and start belatedly Christmas shopping.

Have a good weekend!

Song of the day: Madonna “American Pie”

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