How to Drink Scotch: The Best Food Pairings

With younger generations turning towards drinking Scotch whiskey, it is experiencing a true renaissance. The refined experience of drinking fine spirits like Scotch whiskey is a far cry from the shots of stateside whiskey many are used to. When drinking Scotch, sipping slowly to allow yourself to discern all of the complex flavors is a must. Pairing food with Scotch is almost an art form. If you’re new to drinking whiskey, read on for our guide to how to drink Scotch and pair it with foods to enhance your next tasting.



Pairing Cheese with Scotch How to Drink Scotch: The Best Food Pairings


First, we need to cover how to drink Scotch with cheese. Just like pairing wine with cheese, there are many great opportunities when tasting Scotch with cheeses. The vast variety of flavors in both different kinds of Scotch whiskey and cheeses lead to easy matchups. Spicy or smoky Scotch varieties such as the Islay varieties and Laphroaig pair wonderfully with a stronger cheese like Roquefort. The intensity of the cheese can stand up to the peaty flavor of the Scotch for a bold tasting. For lighter Scotches such as Glenmorangie, consider a lighter, more mild cheese like Brie. The softer palate of the cheese will complement the honeyed fruit and vanilla undertones of the Scotch whiskey.



The Best Food Pairings


It may seem surprising to talk about chocolate and pairing food with Scotch but it’s actually quite common. In fact, the Dalwhinnie distillery in the Scottish Highlands even offers a Scotch and chocolate flight to guests who tour the facility. For many, the chocolate can mitigate the more harsh sting of the whiskey and allow for a fuller experience of the flavors in the whiskey.


Dark orange flavored chocolate is a good choice to experiment with Scotch as the citrus note in Scotch will really enhance the orange flavor of the chocolate.Plain dark chocolates go well with strong whiskeys. Milk chocolates, plain or with a hint of ginger or chili, works well with rye whiskeys. Salted hazelnut chocolates go well with Single malt Scotch whiskey. Whereas America’s favorite bourbon goes well with almost all kind of chocolates. –Whiskies of the World


Experiment with dark chocolates and a variety of flavored bonbons and mix and match to find a favorite compliment.



Fruit Pairings and How to Drink Scotch: The Best Food Pairings


Not all varieties of fruit work well with Scotch whiskey, but those that do are impeccable. We recommend trying pear and apple while avoiding anything citrus as it will overshadow the whiskey flavors. You can even consider a dessert such as an apple crumble or apple pie. The sweetness of the apple coupled with the brown sugar will go well with whiskeys with a caramel undertone. Dried fruits such as apricots can also make for delightful whiskey pairings. The key here is to experiment to find your tastes, as you learn how to drink Scotch you will find your tastes gravitating towards certain flavors more than others.



Cashews and nuts


There’s a reason why you will almost always find nuts for snacking in pubs across the United Kingdom. Scotch whiskey works wonderfully with nuts, and there are countless possibilities for pairing flavors. Pairing food with Scotch is easy when it comes to this snack item.


…sweeter nuts will go well with strong peaty whiskeys, whereas sweeter whiskeys go well with bitter ones. Smoky flavored whiskeys go well with heavily roasted nuts. -Whiskies of the World


For an easy pairing solution, buy a canister of mixed nuts or a party mix, and try to find a favorite!

The practice of pairing food with Scotch was once rare, but with younger generations are embracing the trend and it’s growing in popularity. When you are learning how to drink Scotch whiskey it can be a useful tool to help you more fully experience the complex flavors of the whiskey. As you plan your next whiskey tasting, read on for The Best Whiskey for Your Home Bar..

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How to Drink Scotch: The Best Food Pairings