Top Foods to Pair with your Favorite Whisky
Whisky was always a drink to be had on its own, without any food. So, it has taken a while for the drink to get its own food pairings, but the idea is growing in popularity. Connoisseurs around the world are now pairing foods with whiskies, bourbon and scotch. However, doing so requires a basic idea of the classes and types of whisky because the flavor of the drink varies from light to full-bodied.
Experts opine that whisky food pairings should be such that neither dominates the other. Rather, the whisky and the food you have with it should be complementing, to enhance the flavor both ways. So, today we are sharing some of the most popular food pairings that work well with different types of whiskies.
1. Dark Chocolate
Scots have paired scotch and chocolate for a long time and one type of whisky that pairs well with most types of chocolates is Bourbon. Sipping on a full-bodied bold whisky with melting dark chocolate is a heavenly experience. Sip the whisky and let the taste linger for a while before eating a piece of chocolate to arrest your taste buds. Have another sip of the drink as the chocolate melts in your mouth for a completely new flavor.
Cheese and whisky can both have similar flavors like smoky, nutty, or fruity. You can either pair similar flavors or try contrasting flavors. You can pair salty cheddar cheese with an aged whisky with hints of honey or vanilla or both. Light, smooth, and fragrant whisky pairs well with soft creamy cow cheese and can be an ideal pair for your next cocktail party. Classic goat cheese pairs well with medium-bodied whiskies matured in Sherry or Oak cases. For added flavor, you can include a fruity twist with raisins and cherries. Smoked cheese with peaty drinks will pack extra punch for your taste buds.
3. Steaks and meat
One combination that can never go wrong is having whisky with grilled steaks. Grilled steaks rich in fats go well with medium-bodied whisky while smoky flavored steak can be combined with sweet tasting bourbon. Gentle, buttery, and smooth drinks can be paired with dry and cured meat. Peaty drinks comprising high alcohol content are best suited with rich meatloaves. You can try different combinations without any limitations and experience the subtle nuances yourself.
Salty and spicy, fruity whiskies go well with seafood. You can pair light and unpeated malts with sushi or smoked salmon while medium-bodied whisky can be enjoyed with fish like mackerel. To enhance the flavor, you can add some drops of fine and burning whisky to buttery and sweet oysters. Fragrant and light whiskies pair well with different types of seafood, such as mussels, crabs, and sushi. Although the pairing of seafood and whisky is relatively new, the delicate flavors go well with whiskies comprising the right amount of malt or rye.
You may be satiated by the time dessert is served. To consume and enjoy the savories, sip some bold punchy drinks. Fresh apple pies with fragrant and light whiskies are an enjoyable pairing. You can combine all types of crumbles with caramel or honey flavored drinks. To cut the sweetness in rich pumpkin or pecan pies, you can sip on a whisky comprising higher rye content and spicy herbals. Chocolate pies, crumble, and brownies pair well with full-bodied aged whiskies.
Here are some good foods to pair based on the type of whisky:
|Light fragrant brands with a subtle taste of sweetness like the Passport Scotch||
-Soft creamy cheese
-Cranachan combines whipped cream and whisky with raspberries and toasted oatmeal
-Bread and butter pudding
-Smoked haddock soup (Cullen skink)
-Clear chicken and leek soup
|Medium-bodied with some peat whiskies like 100 Pipers||
-Guinea fowl or pheasant with creamy wild mushroom sauce
-Smoked mackerel, oysters, mussels, venison, or duck
-Braised or roast pheasant
-Chicken liver or duck pate
-Bacon and seared scallops
-Nobu-style black cod
|Full-bodied whiskies aged in European oak or sherry casks like Chivas Regal||
-Grilled or seared steak
-Mature cheddar cheese
-Char siu pork
-Rich fruit cakes, Christmas pudding, pecan pie, mince pies, and sticky toffee pudding
-Dark chocolate brownies and dark chocolate and ginger cookies
|Strong and peaty whiskies like Imperial Blue||
Strong blue cheese like Roquefort
-Anchovy-based dips and spreads
-Mature farmhouse cheddar
These are some great food pairings to enjoy with your favorite brand of whisky. Moreover, you can pair older whiskies with more complex and intriguing foods to elevate your experience.