Pairing Whisky with Food: 101

The cardinal rule for pairing Whisky with food is that you can’t mix and match as you please. Much like the broad spectrum of Wines that are paired with a wide variety of meats or cuisines, even Whisky can be paired with food based on how the flavours of the aforementioned complement each other.

This guide will take you beyond the Indian boundaries and flavours and into the old-school way of Whiskys paired around the world. This would give you a better idea of the range of flavours, thus making you a true connoisseur of Whisky. Right from the rich vanilla flavour found in American Bourbon Whiskey to the subtle smooth Irish Whisky to the not-so-subtle smokiness found in the finest Scotch, we give you a whiff of it all. This variation in flavours poses a challenge to pair food with Whiskey, especially due to the unlimited options. We have put together a list of some common foods that go with Whiskey and also recommend the kind of whiskies that go with it.

  • Meat

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One of the oldest tricks in the book is to drink an American Whiskey with barbecued foods or pulled meats such as beef or pork. This blends in with the intense aroma of such meats and the well-marinated flavours of barbecued meat. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey http://goo.gl/5uZrQJ and Jim Beam’s Bourbon http://goo.gl/V7gDDp make a good pairing with barbecued meat.

Lighter meats go best with Irish Whiskys such as Jameson Irish Whiskey http://goo.gl/EXbPts due to the similar vibrance they share. Irish Whiskey, typically offers a spicy freshness which makes up for the lack of strong flavouring of white meats that are grilled.

Richer Scotch blends like Johnnie Walker http://goo.gl/wdeYn0 are ideal for pairing with main dishes which are heavy on flavours like curries or steaks.

  1. Seafood

sushi

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The delicate and sweetish tinge that is found in seafood, make it a great pairing with Single Casks that carry similar traces of sweetness. Glenlivet Single Cask http://goo.gl/5qON9N  is a great combination with scallops or even crabs.

A very interesting supplement with Sushi is a Japanese Single Malt Whiskey called Yamazaki. This Whiskey carries an intense sweet aroma and washes down the soft and creamy texture of Sushi.

Lighter Whiskys are recommended with seafood as they complement the sweet undertone and enhance the flavors of each other.

  1. Cheese

cheese assortment on a cutting board

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A  great accompaniment for cheese is Irish Whisky, the spicy flavour of the Whisky goes well with the pungency of cheese and balances out the sharp taste.

Even Single-Malt varieties like Johnnie Walker Black Label http://goo.gl/koVLWe  has a smoky yet intense aroma to it and is perfect with well-aged cheddar cheese.

  1.    Chocolate and dessert

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The Peated Malt has an amazing smoky flavour which is an acquired taste and let us warn you, it’s not meant for everyone. However, the upside of drinking this Whiskey is that it makes for a perfect match with dark chocolates.

Even lighter Scotch blends like J&B http://goo.gl/ZHnyX2 can be drank with a fruity dessert as they carry complex flavours with a pleasant and smooth aftertaste.

Bourbon Whiskeys provide just the right amount of sweet hints to go with a pecan pie or cheesecakes.

Desserts with meringues or a citrusy tinge go perfectly with Grained Whiskeys that augment the sweetness of the flavours.

It is quite an art to pair food with Whisky and if done right, you could establish that you know your Whiskies as well as you know your food. So stick to these very simple basics of Whisky pairing with food and also have a look at our collection of Whiskies and Single-malts before you get cracking on this guide: http://goo.gl/fCgQV4 http://goo.gl/bo0a4m

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