Whisky and Food Pairing
Which foods pair best with whisky?
It’s always been a controversial topic as to whether or not whisky is an appropriate drink to pair with food. Sometimes, even the finest whisky connoisseurs will argue that there are other drinks more suitable for pairing with food.
However, this is not strictly true and there are indeed exceptions to this way of thinking. Whisky can be successfully paired to certain foods, depending on the style of whisky. Of course, the older the whisky is, the more complex the food pairing will be.
While there are still quite a few skeptics out there… the popularity of the idea of pairing whisky with foods is growing. The culinary possibilities of whisky are intriguing – not just as an ingredient, but as a welcome addition to the finished table. Food and whisky, when paired properly, are nothing short of fabulous.
Now, there are just about as many styles, flavors and variations of whisky as there are of wine. For wine drinkers, though, there is a pretty much agreed upon universal set of rules when it comes to pairing wine with food. For example, even those who know little about wine know the basics such as serving white wine with fish, or red wine with steak. Similarly, whisky, too, has a few basic rules that will guide you into your new endeavor of whisky and food pairings.
When choosing a whisky to pair with food, you’ll need to assess its flavour characteristics. For example, is it spicy, sweet, smoky or citrusy? This is going to impact the type of food you pair it with. Basically, the core flavours in the whisky will amplify those natural flavours in the food.
So exactly what type of food would you serve with Scotch and Whisky?
The most fundamental rule is to ensure your choice of food will complement the complex taste without wiping out the taste of the whisky.
For a smoky Whisky, like Laphroaig, a strong cheese like Roquefort will go perfectly. A beautiful cheese board, with some crackers will make for a fine snack to accompany your choice of smoky whisky. Or, if you’d prefer to make a full meal, choose a simple way to cook your meat. You need to be careful not to overwhelm the taste buds by serving a smoky whisky combined with a heavily spiced meat. Rather opt for a slow-roast with delicate flavours that will perfectly balance out the smokiness of the whisky.
Quite simply, whisky also goes very well with salty snacks. So instead of over-thinking the menu, simple bar snacks will do! Like crisps, peanuts, pork crackling etc. The salt will enhance the taste of the whisky, without overpowering it.
If you or your guests have a sweet tooth, you could offer some dark chocolate when sipping on your post-dinner whisky. Chocolate is a great partner to whisky, and the darker, the better, the tastes will match.
Bourbon is a great drink to serve with desert, like Jim Bean Bourbon. Thanks to its freshly charred oak barrels, bourbon has an underlying sweetness with hints of vanilla. Apple pie with aged white cheddar and a good bourbon makes for a delicious wintery desert.
The possibilities are endless. For more ideas, read this article here, filled with ideas for different types of foods, paired with different types of whiskies that you need to know about to enhance your tasting experience.
With the rise of high-end bourbons and whiskys, we’ll now see that craft beer and wine have some new competition when it comes to being paired with food. The trend is growing!
Browse Norman Goodfellows full collection of whisky and find your favourite.