With this week’s countdown to Whisky Live 2016, we help those of you who are a little less informed on how versatile whisky can be when it comes to the dining table. Don’t worry, we’re not connoisseurs of the stereotypically gentleman’s choice of stiff after-dinner drink, but we can certainly educate one another on how to complement whisky with great food flavours. Here are 5 simple and common dishes that you can enjoy should your host decide to pour you a glass of his preciously priced pride.
The Macallan Sherry Oak 18-Year-Old Scotch Whisky
Starting with one the more familiar whiskies, this Macallan year represents signature-style Macallan. It is rich in colour with hints of dried fruits, spice and chocolate orange. Given its boldness and potency on the palate, it is best paired with a dark chocolate dessert like a lava cake that’s rich, decadent and luxurious.
Ardmore Traditional Cask Scotch
Long-time fans of Ardmore single malt whisky will say it’s like taking a journey back in time to when there was strong belief and unbridled passion for the traditional method of distilling. With this Traditional Cask, it delivers sweet, ripe fruity characteristics, followed by a peaty finish. To boost its body, pairing it with a hearty meat dish should do the trick, much like a slow-cooked lamb casserole or beef stew. Better yet if the dish is served with a bed of cous cous peppered with dried apricots, raisins and almonds to bring out the sweet nuttiness of the scotch whisky.
Yamazaki 12-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky
We’re excited to tell you about this one because our first sip of a Yamazaki was unlike any other experience with alcohol we’ve ever had. It’s smooth, slightly buttery and finishes off subtly sweet, with just the right hint of lingering smokiness. Because it’s known to be a lighter type of whisky, it’ll go well with seafood and spicy food. Light whiskies with notes of sweetness, like most Japanese and American varieties, contrast nicely with spicy dishes so one flavour doesn’t dominate over the other, while the hints of tanginess complements fish, especially when prepared raw. Next time you’re eating sushi or a spicy Indian curry, order a light whiskey with your meal to enhance the flavour and impress all your friends.
Ardbeg 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Revered around the world as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all, Ardbeg has been claimed to pair exceedingly well with sushi and sashimi (in case you’re looking for something else than your regular sake). It does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a whisky of perfect balance. You can also go by the way of dairy by pairing it with a classic charcuterie that consists of Scottish smoked ham, Serano ham and Iberico salami. There are also options for dessert-lovers out there, as you can enjoy your dram with sticky toffee pudding, topped with a generous drizzling of butterscotch sauce and a side of vanilla ice cream.
The Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel
Having a cook-out but want to add a fancy touch to a run-of-the-mill BBQ? This Elijah Craig is perfect for grilled meats, especially beef and chicken, due to its smokiness and oakiness. It also carries notes of sweet caramel, vanilla and honey. The slight char from the meats will do well in bringing out the roasted, charred woodiness in the bourbon, while the minty and mildly astringent finish rounds off the flavours nicely.
Wani’s writing has always spoken on her behalf far more than the spoken word. Her emotional relationship with food is almost as intense as her crazy love for HIIT workouts. Having written all things lifestyle, Wani now embarks on her freelance journey, journalling her epicurean trails and sweaty gym sessions with relentless fervor.