Scotch is a whisky made and matured in Scotland. Initially, it was made with malted barley. But, since the late 1700s, whisky distilleries have used wheat and rye too.
There are two main types of Scotch whisky:
- Malt whisky is made exclusively from malted barley using the Pot Still process.
- Grain whisky combines malted barley, unmalted barley, and other grains using the Patent Still process or Coffey Press.
In honor of National Scotch Day on July 27th, we bring you a collection of ideal food pairings to enjoy with your Scotch. From appetizers to desserts, you can pair a sumptuous Scotch whisky with every course.
Pairing Scotch with Your Menu
If you’re planning a meal with several courses, remember that one whisky likely won’t pair well with all the dishes.
You’ll want to select a different Scotch for each course. Even more to celebrate!
Scotch and Seafood
The minerality of oysters pairs perfectly with a smoky, savory Scotch. A peaty, smoky Scotch will also complement dishes featuring crab or scallops.
If you’re celebrating National Scotch Day with a platter of sushi, opt for an unpeated Scotch. The flavors of river-caught fish such as rainbow trout, bass, and perch fare well with smooth malt whiskies with fruity undertones. While the saltier, more robust ocean-caught fish such as mackerel, sardines, and tuna will stand up nicely to a sturdier Scotch.
Pairing Scotch with Meat Dishes
The right Scotch pairs beautifully with a good cut of meat. Try a full-bodied Scotch with a hint of sweetness with your ribeye, New York strip, or pork ribs. For leaner cuts like filet and pork loin, a spicy Scotch brings out the savory flavors of the meat.
Want to splash out?! Spoil yourself with a Wagyu steak. The intense marbling of this meat pairs beautifully with a full-bodied Scotch.
Do Sweets Work with Scotch?
Yes! You can pair a Scotch with your dessert course too! The quintessential American apple pie pairs beautifully with fragrant, light, and slightly sweet Scotch.
Chocolate-based desserts are also a win for pairing with Scotch. A light Scotch with fruity notes will complement milk chocolate with fruit and nuts. While a heavier, richer Scotch will be best friends with bitter, dark chocolate.
The Cheese Course
Whether you like to snack on a cheese platter as a prelude to your meal or as the final course, knowing which cheeses to pair with your favorite Scotch may be overwhelming. Creamy, flavorful cheeses such as brie, camembert, and chevin pair beautifully with a medium-bodied, fruit-driven Scotch. Harder, mature cheeses that are saltier, like a mature cheddar, or stilton, will play nicely with peat-heavy Scotches.
Are you planning to add nuts or dried fruit to your cheese platter? Sweeter whiskies pair well with bitter nuts (walnuts, kola nuts), whereas a stronger Scotch will play nicely with more sugary nuts (macadamias, pecans).
Scotch doesn’t generally pair well with citrus fruit. For your cheese platter, stick to fresh fruit such as figs, blueberries, and grapes. Or use dried apricots or raisins.
Share Your Best Food Pairings for National Scotch Day
Today’s selection of Scotch whiskies is phenomenal. You’ll find that a variety of Scotches will pair well with the same dish for different reasons.
The fun part: you get to have fun experimenting with various food and Scotch combinations.
Follow us on Instagram and share your experiences and favorite Scotch pairings with us!