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Food to serve with Scotch

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A friend is giving me an introduction to Scotch with a tasting. Being the foodie that I am I am charged with coming up with menu of what to eat. I have searched and have a few ideas but want some further help. I have the names of 2 of the scotches that we will be having. Any suggestions of what to pair with them would be greatly appreciated. There are only about 4-6 of us so its a smaller group.

Ian MacLeods (Isle of Skye) 8 year
Balblair 1997

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  1. I don't think you'd want to eat while drinking the scotch. Pairing scotch with food doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I'd personally drink something before and / or afterwards, and I think something that doesn't have so strong a flavor that it dulls the palate (but heavy enough to help you deal with all that alcohol, assuming you're not spitting out the scotch) would be the way to go.

    Rant... I don't know why people are so obsessed with pairing everything with food. Some things are better enjoyed on their own.

    ps - this is probably more appropriate for the "Spirits" forum, since it's not specific to Los Angeles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: will47

      Thanks for the reply. I didn't even realize there was a sprits board. I have since moved the question there. Also I guess I was vague in that I need snack to have on hand that pair well.

    2. I have found that peanut brittle (believe it or not!) can pair well with single-malts. I once had it with a Balblair single-malt and it was quite good.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DavidT

        This is friggin brilliant!!! Never crossed my mind. So picking up brittle now.

        1. re: Nocturnalbill

          Not sure how it goes with the Islay single-malts, but pairs well with the Speyside ones for sure.

          1. re: DavidT

            Which is good, as I have a Glenfarclas and a Macallan that are getting a snack treatment...

      2. I'm fond of scotch with sushi (no Islay, though).

        I am the "cocktail geek" in our foodies group (4 couples, one couple cooks each quarter). If I were doing this (assuming the others would all drink scotch), I think I'd be inclined to serve the scotch between courses as sort of an intermezzo.

        I also think that simple grilled beef would work, although it sort of cries out for the acidity of a red wine. Maybe a steakhouse menu? Avoid strong sauces, esp anything with wine.

        1. I've come across a few links that I thought were helpful (below). I think pairing food with scotch can be tricky, but if done correctly, can really enhance the overall experience. For instance, blue cheese goes very well with Islay (iodiney/peaty/smoky) scotches, and in some instances, so does milk chocolate.

          http://www.starchefs.com/wine/starspi...

          http://cocktails.about.com/od/foodbev...

          1. Dark chocolate has a real affinity for Scotch especially anything with a bit of smoke. Have a great time.

            1. I've been to two Scotch tasting dinners. While I recall most of the foods and whiskies well, the only pairing that really struck me positively was bread pudding for dessert at the end of a vertical of MacAllan's.

              1. Here's a good YouTube channel that has a lot of videos about pairing food with malts. I hope it helps.
                http://www.youtube.com/user/SingleMaltTv

                1. Depending on the scotch, dark chocolate can pair well with scotch.

                  1. May not work with a scotch tasting - but Fig Newtons are genius with a scotch after dinner. You'd probably want to make a fancified home-made version ;-), but the dry-ish, not too sweet cookie and the fig filling work really, really, well... believe it or not.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dearcallie

                      I can see how that could work. I taste a lot of dried fruit in some Highland single malts.

                    2. Scottish smoked salmon. Small pieces of dense black bread, cream cheese and smoked salmon. A bit of lettuce or watercress. Dynamite with scotch.