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Food and Whiskey Pairings Part 1

Frankly, we’ve heard enough about wine and food pairings. Everyone and their uncle know the general rules of pairing wines with foods. Let us tell you, folks, there’s some other tasty drinks out there that pair well with food. May we suggest… whiskey?

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there on pairing whiskey with food, so allow us to cross this unchartered territory together and explore a few possibilities.

This is the first episode in a series in which we’ll focus on a couple of simple pairings that we love around the office here at Taster’s Club. We’re going to try to choose foods that go well with a whiskey’s complex tastes and don’t overwhelm them. Also, extra points go to the foods that won’t break the bank or be too difficult to prepare. No caviar or French Ortolan allowed – sorry, guys!

As a tip, remember that whiskey is made from barley, the same ingredient used to make beer, so if you have guests that don’t drink the hard stuff, be sure to have some craft beers on hand to give the closest experience possible. Not a perfect substitute, but hey, we’re trying.

Do you have any whiskey pairings that you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below. Cheers!

Scotch & Cheese

For an enormous flavor punch, try pairing smoky or spicy scotch whisky, such as Laphroaig or Tallisker, with a strong cheese such as Roquefort or a Blue d’Auvergne. Likewise, you can pair a sweeter scotch whisky (such as Glenmorangie) with a softer cheese such as brie or camembert.

Oh, the possibilities!

Bourbon & Chocolate

Try using a sweet and buttery bourbon as a complement to chocolate. This is best if the chocolate is dark – the more cacao, the better. Our favorite combo is one of our favorite bourbons, Hillock Solera Aged Bourbon with Mast Brother’s Chocolate, made in Brooklyn.

Scotch & Fruit

We’ve found that something tart like apples or pears goes perfectly with a gentle speyside scotch like Balvenie. We advise to not pair with any fruits that are too acidic or contain too much citrus like oranges or kiwis – while these flavors can sometimes be found in a whiskey, pairing a whiskey directly with a strong citrus will steal the show.

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