Top 5 Simple Foods to Pair with Scotch and Whiskey

Other options are smoked meat and fish, which go well with smoky Scotch whiskies. 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, have some craft beers on hand. This will allow the foods you serve to match the palate of both the whiskey and the beer drinkers. Never, ever introduce wine into a whiskey event; made from grapes, wine will clash with the food and spoil the flavor of whiskey, and you'll end up with complaints that everything -- including your very expensive single malt Scotch whiskies -- tastes terrible.

Keep in mind that I held a party and not a tasting, which comes with a whole other slew of foods and rules. The only rule at my party was to try as many Scotches and whiskeys as possible and retain all food eaten. If you're more ambitious than me, you can prepare a three-course dinner using foods that pair well with whiskey. Or if you're really ambitious, you can subscribe to Whisky Magazine. Leave an issue out on your coffee table to impress your boss or father-in-law. Pour yourselves a glass (remember, the proper serving is 1.5 ounces--you don't want your boss or father-in-law sleeping over, do you?), sip without puckering, and you'll really impress your guests, especially if you're a petite gal like me.

Now before you plan a scotch and whiskey event, there's one last lesson to learn, and it involves the nature of spelling: what is the difference between "whisky" and "whiskey?" What is the difference between Scotch and whiskey? Scotch is simply whisky distilled in Scotland. All Scotches are whiskies, but not all whiskeys are Scotch. If you ever go to Scotland, order a whisky, not a Scotch. That would be like going to France and ordering French fries instead of pommes frites, or fried potatoes. And what about the "whisky" versus "whiskey?" In Scotland, Japan, and Canada, the favored spelling is "whisky" ("whiskies" for plural), and in America and Ireland, it is spelled "whiskey" (or "whiskeys"). While it may seem petty, The New York Times, which used to call it all "whiskey," received a lot of flack from scotch whisky aficionados and has now declared the proper spelling should be determined by the bottle's country of origin. So if you thought I was fickle in my spelling of that brown drink, I was just making sure I didn't tread on any American whiskey or Scottish whisky drinkers' toes. Now that you know, you are fully equipped to throw a Scotch whisky and whiskey party.



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12 comments
whiskeyisnotscotch
whiskeyisnotscotch

Cheese, I agree, 

Chocolate, I agree,

Fruit also, I agree,

Something that I have found at many tastings are 'sour jelly worms' the tartyness seems to play off of the salty smoky flavour of the Islay's Scotches I love.

Sea salt in a bowl with olive oil for dipping breads go well also.

Wallnuts and roasted almonds in different bowls, also go well. 

Smoked Chicken wings go well also.

Glenn
Glenn

jarrod, you and sir Ron should hang out!

Glenn
Glenn

Lick a dick sir Ron! You re a snob , have a bud light and eat some party mix beeatch!,,

Muldova
Muldova

This article is pretty horrible


JarrodJM
JarrodJM

The guy who brought Laphroaig (I'm assuming the 10 yr) must have felt like a cheap putz when he saw that someone brought Lagavulin. Huge price and quality differential there.

SirRon
SirRon

I'm no Top 5 expert like you guys at EOW, but the #1 food to pair with whiskey was your afterthought? And Costco variety pub mix was #2?

Is tobacco a food? I've only ever paired whiskey with a cigar.

Christine Ha
Christine Ha

Yes, cigars are the best thing to pair with scotch, but you don't chew it and swallow it down your esophagus, so no, it is not a food and thus does not belong in this list.  It is also not always lowbrow (unless you bought it from the corner store), so double-strike against cigars belonging on this list.

Christine Ha
Christine Ha

True, but as this is only a blog and not an encyclopedia article, I don't have time to cover all the bases.  Sorry.

Bruce R
Bruce R

True, and not all chicken is fried.

SirRon
SirRon

But as my comment wasn't an encyclopedia article, I mistakenly assumed you would see my silent {\}. Double strike against literal interpretations, huge tubs of cheap pretzels, and mindless Top 5s.

FWIW, in this world of gray (not black and white), this was still a good read. Sorry to not subscribe to the this-is-the-greatest/worst-thing-evar mentality that is supposed to rule blog comment sections.

Peace out.

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