Over the years, the appreciation of single malt whiskey has grown exponentially around the globe, and with this growth comes people’s creativity in enjoying it in diverse ways. While wine has served as the western culture’s drink of choice with a meal for quite some time, matching your whiskey properly with an evening dish will open up a whole new world of sensations and flavors. The practice of matching whiskey is more common in European and Asian countries, which is why we have compiled a few suggestions on how to successfully pair whiskey with food to give you an elevating experience.
1. Light Whiskeys
Not too common in the United States, light fragrant whiskey that often carry that sweet touch, such as a Dalwhinnie, are often best with seafood and spicy meals. When matching whiskeys it is important to remember that you are creating a match where the food brings something new out of the whiskey. This gastronomic synergy creates the perfect balance between sweet and spicy, ensuring that not one flavor becomes too overwhelming. When consuming raw dishes such as sushi, or even soft, creamy cheeses, the tanginess of your single malt will be the perfect compliment to your meal.
2. Medium Whiskeys
When we get to matching a medium-bodied whiskey, we consider the softer tastes that border a more ‘cooked’ flavor. The woody spice that comes with this glass is more distinct along with it’s aromas, making it a perfect pair for a protein heavy dish. Grilled chicken or heavier proteins such as beef and lamp pair well with more moderate whiskeys, such as a Scotch or Bourbon, beach of their rich and smoky flavors. Splashing along a few drops of water will work to really amplify those smokey tastebuds.
3. Full-bodied Whiskeys
In general, food cooked with fat will always be a good match for any spirit, including whiskey. From butter to a chunk of meat, the fat from these dishes will coat your mouth, creating the path for a sip of whiskey that will dissolve an overload of flavors in these fats. The high alcohol content and spiciness of these heavier whiskeys also make them a great pairing for strong cheeses and even dark chocolate!
Our experience of food and rink is far more than the flavors that we experience on our tastebuds. When learning how to match whiskey with your favorite dishes, it is crucial to keep in mind the aromas and feelings inside of your mouth as well!