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Whisky and food matching

3rd November 2016

Whisky and oysters blog detail

When it comes to matching whisky with food there is certainly not a one size fits all – personal taste often precedes ‘best practice’.  

That said, with the help of Michelin starred chef Aiden Byrne and our Distillery Manager Malcolm Waring we’ve created a few general guidelines for you to consider when choosing food to match your whisky.

The basics for whisky and food matching

Finding the perfect food to match your dram is often a matter of personal taste, however there are foods that match better with certain styles of whisky.  

Below are just a few areas that we consider when developing food pairings for Old Pulteney:

  • Taste the whisky first (for research purposes only of course!)

    We find that the best rule of thumb is to firstly consider your personal tasting notes for the whisky that you’re looking to match food with.  Once you’re clear on the key characteristics of your dram you will then be well placed to consider areas such as flavour contrast and flavour clashing to find the perfect match to suit your taste.

  • Focus on contrast - sweet and sour is a thumbs up, but the same of each is an overkill

    Too much difference can make one element overpower the other, whilst little contrast will pop on the plate and bring out the best flavours in both the whisky and the food.

  • Flavour clashing – avoid matching strong to delicate

    This may be stating the obvious; lighter foods really do go best with more lively light whiskies and richer, more complex foods are complemented by richer, more complex whiskies.  For example, a whisky which is full bodied, spicy and bold such as those matured in sherry casks can be accentuated by contrasting the flavours with foods such as red meat or Christmas cake.  In comparison, a bright and fruity whisky can be accentuated by sweet light flavoured foods.


Foods to avoid when matching whisky with food

Any foods that alter the balance of a whisky should be avoided.  Food pairing is however guided by personal taste so it’s only with a splash of experimentation that you’ll discover which foods which you feel don’t complement your whisky.

Share your thoughts on whisky and food matching with the hashtag #PutleneyPairings

We hope that our blog post and the Pulteney Pairings section here on our website will help you help enhance your experience of matching whisky and food, and we’d love to hear your thoughts.  

So, if you’ve tried out any of our suggested pairings or you’ve got a #PulteneyPairing of your own be sure to Tweet us @OldPulteneyMalt or send us a message on Facebook.

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