“I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.”
—the immortal words of Ron Burgundy
You don’t need a collection of leather-bound books, or an apartment that smells of rich mahogany to fully appreciate the warming, liquid-sunshine-of-the-gods that is Scotch whiskey. Scotch is simply a great liquor that is hard to pass up—whether you drink it neat or on the rocks. But pairing it with the wrong foods can quickly sour your whisky tasting experience. So, in honor of National Scotch Day, we bring you a collection of ideal food pairings to enjoy with your scotch.
Let’s break it down into a simple formula. Bold and stronger cheeses should go with the older, smokier (or peaty) whiskies. We recommend pairing Laphroiaig with Roquefort or Stilton. On the other side of the spectrum, sweeter Scotches like Glenmorangie would pair well with Brie, Doux de Montagne, or Cream Havarti.
The same rules apply here. Pair a scotch’s flavor profile to the chocolate: Sweet with sweet, and bitter chocolates with older and more flavorful Scotches. As a tasting bonus, the chocolate tends to subdue the burn of the alcohol in some Scotches; so, you’ll be able to taste the other notes more clearly than you normally would.
We suggest pairing Bunnahabhain 18 year with coffee buttercream Bon Bons. There is a coffee note in this whiskey that the Bon Bon will really play well with.
You’ll want to stay away from anything citrusy, as this will overpower the Scotch’s flavor. Stick with tart fruits like apples or pears.
Grilled or Smoked Meat
When pairing grilled or smoked meat with this wonderful liquor, keep the seasoning more subdued. You don’t want to pair something slathered in a heavy BBQ sauce because this will detract from the Scotch’s flavor profile.
Hummus and Olives
The garlic flavors and saltiness of the olives will go well with a light and fruity single malt lowland whiskey like Glenkinchie.
This dessert goes exceptionally well with light, fragrant Scotches that have a touch of sweetness. Try it with the aforementioned, Glenkinchie, a young BenRiach, or Bladnoch.
What do you think? Do you have any favorite Scotch and food pairings we didn’t include? Feel free to let us know in the comments.
If you need help finding the perfect Scotch for you, then ask the Specologists at your local Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods.