The Singleton + Western cuisine = A Whole New World

Wine is dominating Western dining tables. It can be said that for hundreds of years European gourmet culture has developed on the foundation of wine pairing. Food is a mirror, reflecting terroir, humanity and history of one place. Hence related discourses must not jump to conclusions without considering the contexts, antecedents and consequences. Tannins, aroma and acidity in wine are the essential elements to consider while cooking Western cuisine. A fan of wine culture might find whisky’s alcohol content, cask type, characters and sweetness hard to accept.

Undeniably, whisky was born on Western island; it has brought countless inspirations and comfort to European culture and thoughts. If you think whisky is not compatible with Western food, you are underestimating whisky’s potential.

Find a Key for Matching in Scotch Food

‘Strong with strong, mild with mild’ is a rule for alcoholic drink and food pairing, including Western cuisine. Pairing food with umami taste and whisky has mutual benefits. There is also no limitation on region or food tradition. By reviewing food and products there, we can start from the most famous origin of whisky, Scotland to find the key for matching.

On this island, shrimps, crabs, fishes and shells are the most common products. The hiding maritime flavour in Scotch whisky makes it a good match with seafood. For instance, in recent years people have started to add a few drops of whisky on oysters. The stunning experience when the rich and fulfilling briny flavour meets with whisky, can just prove their compatibility.

Haggis, a Scotch traditional food made from sheep offal, can also provide some inspirations. Stuff minced sheep’s heart, liver and lungs with spices in sheep’s stomach and cook. The rich umami and spicy flavours are very authentic and traditional; while whisky has been the indispensable drink to pair with. We can see that the rule of using whisky to pair with umami has a long history. Same logic applies to Scotch national food like marmalade and oatcakes, which reveals the harmony among whisky, fruits and cereals.

The Magic of Offal, Seafood and Chocolate

This rule is also applicable to French cuisine. Let’s look at simple and classic dishes like a sweet and rich ‘Duck Liver Pâté with Cherry and Whisky’. Steam, grill and smash overnight whisky-marinated duck liver then wrap by cherry jam at last. The sour and sweet fruity flavour gently wraps the strong umami taste in a delicate and silky texture. ‘The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky’ will add on a plump and sweet punch, bringing the most umami and most mellow enjoyment.

The seafood and pastry in ‘Smoked Irish Brown Crab Pie’ is the key to match with whisky. Mix smoked Irish brown crab meat with green apples and fill in tubular pastry. Crispy pastry, savoury crab and capers are just right with ‘The Singleton of Glen Ord 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky’. Fish and chips is a smart choice too.

As for desserts, it’s show time for chocolate, the forever soul mate of sherry whisky. Made with Guatemala cocoa, cake and cocoa crisps, the ‘French Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse’ is silky and mellow. Only ‘The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Sherry Cask Edition’ has the same level of sweetness to match with. Warm and layered desserts like black forest cake and chocolate brownie are also good combinations.

It’s interesting to pair grilled food with bold flavours such as American style roasted ribs and pulled pork with sweet sherry whisky; seafood in Italian cuisine is also a good friend of whisky, even a beef carpaccio can match with Highball for a fresh and sweet feeling. Plus, starchy food like pastas and bread can resonate with whisky. Let go of your prejudice and enjoy the fun of pairing whisky and food!