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Summer whisky food pairings

Aug 2, 2019

The times of whisky being just a ‘before and after’ drink are gone.  Food lovers are now looking to whisky as a perfect partner for the ultimate food and drink pairing experience so if you’re keen to level up your pairing skills, experience a flavour exploration on a deeper level and embark upon a culinary journey then we have the ultimate guide for making sure you have the perfect pairings whether dining al fresco or indoors this summer.

Tips for pairing whisky and food

Keep it simple
The art to pairing whisky with food is in finding a pairing that lets you appreciate both the food and the whisky.  You don’t want flavours that drown the food or the whisky out, so the ultimate goal is to balance the contrasting flavours. 

The wine rules
Similar to wine and food pairing, lighter whiskies tend to work better with lighter dishes and a full-bodied whisky will tend to complement a dish with richer flavours.

Easy on the spice
Avoid pairing a very spicy dish or something with a lot of garlic as you’ll experience flavour overkill, however, a spicy dish can work well with a sweeter whisky, like anCnoc 12 Years Old, so think a mild curry rather than a vindaloo! Spicy foods can also amplify the alcohol and leave a feeling of a burning tongue, which is definitely something to avoid!

Fat is your friend
Dishes with that are cooked with a fatty component such as oil, cream and butter tend to work really well with whisky as it coats your tongue so when you take a sip, you’ll experience a taste sensation with the flavours of the dish being released by the whisky.

Complement, don’t match
Think about the notes in the whisky and pair with a dish that would be complemented by that note, rather than try match the flavours of the food and whisky, for example, a whisky with apple notes will pair beautifully with pork or cinnamon, but not with apples.

Our go to summer food and anCnoc pairings

Grilled chicken
Whether you’re BBQing or grilling, your perfect whisky and grilled chicken pairing is definitely going to be something light to avoid overwhelming the flavour.  anCnoc 12 Years old would again be our ‘go to’ here.

Smoked salmon/sushi
A lighter whisky will fare better with a more delicate dish like smoked salmon or sushi. anCnoc 12 Years Old is the perfect match with its light, fruity and zesty taste.

Baked goats cheese tart with pear and rocket salad
A whisky and cheese pairing is a classic, this time we’re mixing it up with a creamy goats cheese tart with pear and rocket salad, a well suited accompaniment to our 18 Years Old.

Manchego and serrano ham tapas
A whisky and cheese pairing is something to awaken the senses…anCnoc 18 Years Old’s characteristic fruity sweetness with its caramel finish and warm delicate spiciness brings to life the fruity, nutty, caramel flavour of the manchego and saltiness of the serrano ham.

Pair a succulent duck breast with a rich full bodied whisky such as anCnoc 24 Year Old.  Perfect for an indulgent evening dinning outside.

Not quite a food pairing, yet this combination is an absolute delight.  Perfect for rounding off the evening. 

Warm smoked salmon salad
Salads are ideal for a relaxed summer afternoon social.  You’ll be looking for a medium bodied whisky to complement the smoked salmon, we find Peatheart works perfectly here.

BBQ lamb kebabs
We’re thinking Middle Eastern lamb – just a hint of warmth and spice paired with a peated expression, so you need look no further than Peatheart!

View our full range of expressions here and enjoy planning your summer whisky pairing experience!  Or why not hold your own whisky tasting and food pairing night in? – see our planning tips here.