Cask Type Makes the Difference
When choosing the food pairing for a glass of whisky, try to reach the harmony of both drink and food. The best thing you can do to catch the ideal balance of spirit and meal is to focus on the whisky flavor and complement it with dishes that highlight similar hints and notes.
Following this thought, one of the best ways to discover the whisky flavors will be focusing on both the style of the spirit and cask type it was aged in.
Here are some examples of casks types and food pairing ideas.
Whisky aged in sherry casks, such as Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez develop a bit of sweetness full of dark stone fruits, chocolate and a hint of roasted almonds. If you have a bottle of sherry cask-aged whisky in your drinks cabinet, consider pairing it with aged salty cheese to balance the sweetness, or try it with some nice dark chocolate to complement the sweet hints.
American Whiskey Casks
Whisky aged in ex-bourbon casks is characterized by a lingering sweetness, nutty notes, and a nice touch of vanilla. Try Nc’nean Organic Single Malt Whisky, matured in specially treated red wine and American whiskey barrels. This whisky is a smooth and elegant libation, with flavours of citrus, peach, apricot and spice. It works great with light dishes or desserts, for example, Tiramisu or lemon tart.
American Oak Red Wine Casks
American oak red wine barrels bring plenty of coconut and vanilla from the American oak, and deep toffee and caramel notes. Try Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky aged in American oak red wine casks. Expect strong notes of tannin-rich malt, dark sugar with lots of spice, and caramelized Seville orange marmalade. This whisky will work nicely when paired with aged cheese, grilled meat or complemented with dried red fruits and dark chocolate.
Ex-peated Scottish Casks
Ex-peated casks from Scotland help whisky develop a lightly smoked peat flavor, layered with light fruits and tannin-rich wood. If you are looking for some nice peated single malt, we highly recommend you to try Cotswolds Peated Single Malt Whisky. This seductive libation, with creamy peat smoke on the palate, is followed by light fruit flavors and a long finish with amazing floral and woody notes. Tastes great served with smoked fish, for example, salmon, grilled meat, and heavily roasted nuts.
4 Delicious Food and Whisky Pairings to Try
Choosing foods that complement whisky flavors is the key to successful food and whisky pairings. But there is always room for experiments and sometimes the contrast of food and drink can uplift the flavor profile of both. Our top-four food and whisky partners are smoked meat, seafood, cheeses, and fruit-based desserts.
Grilled meat and peated whisky is a delicious combination. The meat rich in fat content, for example, lamb or pork perfectly works with peated whisky. The marriage of smoky aromas in meat and whisky creates a perfect balance.
If you want to play on contrast, rather than complement food and drink, then try to combine grilled meat with whisky aged in sherry casks, with rich red fruit aromas and see how smoky and fruity notes are creating new flavor expressions in your mouth.
Seafood and whisky may seem an unusual pairing, but they actually work well together. Try to combine seafood with salty and spicy light-bodied whiskies. Smoked salmon, sushi, mussels will nicely complement ryes or whiskies with delicate citrus flavors.
Cheese and whisky is another win-win combination. Try to pair aged cheddar with a peated single malt or complement a strong blue cheese with a full-bodied spicy whisky. If you prefer soft cheeses, like brie or camembert, then pair them with whiskies with a touch of sweetness for the ultimate enjoyment.
Fruit-based desserts partner amazingly with light whiskies. Look for the delicate and fruity-flavored whiskies and pair them with apple pie, berry tart, apple crumble or citrus cake. For those who can't live without brownies and all kinds of chocolate cakes — complement your dessert with a glass of bourbon or sherry cask aged whisky.