The Ultimate Guide to Pairing Whiskey with Food

Whisky has grown in popularity in recent years. Whiskey comes in a number of varieties but what is it that draws people to it? Is it the kick as it goes down? The smokiness? The sweetness? Everyone has different tastes and desires but should you always drink whiskey on its own? Finding the right food pairing with whiskey will add another dimension to an already refined drink.

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Whiskey and Cheese

Whiskey is a lot more versatile than many realise, especially when it comes to cheese: it is a match made in heaven. Whiskey comes with many different notes and flavours which is where the right cheese can work like an absolute dream. The stark contrast of some cheeses such as a Strathdon Blue, deliver a delicate creaminess with a slightly salty flavour, which contrasts beautifully with the typical richness that Whisky often has.

Some Whiskies are aged in a mixture of bourbon and sherry casks, providing a deep and delicate flavour. These Whiskies that come with a sweet and spicy flavour work harmoniously well with a hard cheese such as a mature cheddar.

 

Beef – Aged Steak

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Can Whisky take the place of a good red wine when it comes to pairing up with food?

 It is the ideal accompaniment to beef if the beef is well-aged and the whiskey is smoky and smooth, such as ‘Smokehead’ Scotch Whisky.

A stunning aged beef recipe is Black Cherry & Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin, which is an incredible whisky food pairing.

 

Pork Ribs

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Pork ribs can be an excellent food pairing with whisky. They are succulent, juicy and packed with flavour. Since whiskey is also such a strong flavor, there is no need to complicate the pairing process.

As mentioned, simplicity is key so simply season the pork ribs with garlic and onion and wrap in foil to marinate for a few hours. Add them to a preheated oven at 450 degrees for an hour and then slice them up and serve with your favourite whisky for a real treast.

 

Chocolate

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Some say chocolate is already perfect but when it is paired with whiskey they complement each other in an absolutely sublime way.

Just like whiskey, chocolate also comes in a number of different flavours and types but it is the choice of whiskey and chocolate that makes it work. If you are opting for a dark chocolate which can often have a bittersweet flavour it is best to choose a whiskey that is both smooth and sweet.

Milk chocolate on the other hand works well with whiskies that have an oaky flavour, particularly chocolate that contains nuts.

Finally, white chocolate has a distinct sweetness to it which means that it works impressively well with a smokey whiskey.

 

Summary

Whiskey, as sophisticated as it seems, benefits from a food pairing that is simple. Sweeter blends work with sweet foods while spicy foods work with single malts.

It is also possible to treat whiskey very much like wine paring with food. This essentially means you can think of a meal in the same way as you would with wine. Light meals work better with lighter whiskies while heavier meals such as beef dishes can complement heavier whiskies perfectly.

A single malt whiskey is more than likely the most popular choice. Its distinct flavour comes from the way in which it is made. It’s flavour is derived from a number of different factors such as the distillery itself and whether it burns peat to dry its barley and how long the fermentation process takes. The note of the single malt is also down to the stills that are used. A small skill ill mean that the single malt comes into contact with the copper which creates a fruity and light note while a larger still will create a stronger flavour. To round off the flavour it is all down to the cask they are matured in.

There are a couple of rules to follow when it comes to pairing whisky with food:

When it comes to seafood, smoky whiskies are well paired with fish while scallops and shellfish work well with sweet malts that have been matured in bourbon casks.

Red Meat works extremely well with a sherried whisky while spicy food pairs well with smoky whiskies.

We hope you’ve picked up a few tips and ideas for pairing foods with Whiskies, and that you have the confidence or curiosity to experiment and find out what works best for your own unique taste.

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