Scotch Pairings 🧀

I need a pain shot and a shot of plain Scotch - slim shady

2-min read

As an infrequent contributor to /r/Scotch, I came across a post that was discussing the various accompaniments to malted barley. Keep in mind, some additions might work for scotch, but not for whiskey. Not to be that person, but there is a stark difference.

‘All scotch is whiskey but not all whiskey is scotch.’ — Anonymous

Dark chocolate with a cigar complements a good scotch any day of the week. Add some natural orange rind to offset the bitterness and this is a whole meal. The high alcohol content and smoke enhance each other respectively.

From a scientific perspective, focus on the tasting notes: caramel sauce or cobblers once you break the ingredients down. High-quality vanilla ice cream will work here.

Alliteration always pulls through: Peaty and parmesan

If you’re looking to cut the quarantine sheen, Islay whiskey + stone fruit, and melons.

Hyper-localizing this post, Aloo Bhujia combines all of the salty/ savory snacks in a single digestible bite.

Go Greek! A charcuterie board with landjaeger, pepperoni, capicola, pickles, smoked cheddar, aged gouda, olive selection, thick Greek pita, or naan heated and cut into wedges

An inconclusive list. There might be heavy bias on peated, but don’t shoot the messenger, smoky scotch is a godsend:

  1. Speyside + dark chocolate almond

  2. Lagavulin 16 and Harbison from jasper cellars. The less aggressive smoke plays off the earthy tones of the Harbison. Cabot Smoky bacon white cheddar. Paired with Roquefort on cabaret crackers and honey drizzled on top.

  3. Laphroaig Lore with a creamy Havarti — the hazelnut undertones just work.

  4. Caol Isla or Bunnahabhain with a slice of Crowdie

  5. Balvenie coupled with different ages of Parmigiano Reggiano.

  6. Talisker 10 and smoked fish (salmon, trout) is nice if you have a hard time tasting anything past the smoke in peaty whiskeys.

  7. Ardberg and oysters will open a new universe. Any peated and shellfish actually. If you’re on a budget, Uigeadail and pistachios go surprisingly well, #10 and Trader Joe’s Truffle Chips are a sure bet, but I’m pretty sure the chips can stand up on their own. Corryvreckan and Chorizo.

  8. Bruichladdich — Classic Laddie — and brisket: briny, savory character.

TL;DR Steer clear from anything acidic, and work with meals with a higher fatty content - aged sharp cheese, blue cheese, bacon, dark chocolate salted caramels. For cheese, the formula is smoky scotch, strong cheese, sweet scotch, soft cheese.

‘I want one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer.’ — George Thorogood & The Destroyers