Today’s blog post, which is all about pairing whisky and seafood, was written by Kevin Fagan, Content Manager at Lobsters Anywhere.
If this doesn’t make your mouth water, then you’ve landed on the wrong corner of the internet.
The key to pairing whisky with food just like wine is to find harmony. Both are equally stimulating and valid. Harmonious coupling is usually dependent on visual or visceral enhancement, and if you get a whisky that pairs well with your food, you have the ultimate match. Drink Me Mag says:
“The ideal combination of food and drink relies on one of two factors: complementary or contrasting flavors.”
Seafood and alcohol go together like ice and cream. Scotch whiskies such as Oban and Bruichladdich complement lobster well. Grilled lobsters with whiskies transform into lobster bisques with exotic flavor. Old Forester master taster Zykan told Insider that:
“The subtly herbaceous, sweet, and salty notes in the soup offset the citrus oil on top of the drink. The creamy texture is cleansed from the palate with the slightly bitter and spirit-forward finish of the cocktail.”
A great way to make a decent meal of fish is to blacken it, which brings out complex flavors. Make that unique with a mixed drink of bourbon, Benedictine, and simple syrup for a citrusy twist on an otherwise simple cocktail.
A whisky such as the Bruichladdich Classic Laddie has the residual smoke of a traditional peated scotch. Moreover, since it is aged by the sea, the whisky usually has a peppery and salty appearance that pairs well with scallops. The scallops’ butteriness combines well with the malt’s oily viscosity and sweetness to accentuate the sweetness of the scallops. Simon Jake Wallis writing for the Telegraph, asserts that…
“Seafood dishes such as scallops go well with sweet, light, vanilla-tinged malts matured in bourbon casks.”
Scotch does go well with oysters, and the best part is most bottles are under $60 a bottle. A peated Scotch such as the Bowmore 12 has a touch of lemon, honey, and citrus in addition to the peaty smokiness. When served with oysters, it contrasts the creaminess and enhances the brininess, making an explosion of flavors and tastes on the palate.
Salmon has a rich flavor when combined with bourbon, which makes for a fruity, spicy taste. It makes it a perfect pairing with floral whiskies with creamy, citrusy notes. The earthy notes of the whisky pair well with the subtle and fragrant notes of the salmon. Greg, a judge and host specializing in premium whiskies and food, suggests:
“Peppery Whiskies are also great with salmon, with the delicate spice making a mouth-watering combination with the fish.”
Do you think you can pair whisky and seafood well? You do not necessarily have to be a connoisseur of whiskies to combine it well with seafood. However, if you desire to savor and bring out the flavors of seafood through whiskey, in that case, it is essential to have a basic understanding of the attributes of the spirit you intend to lay before your guests. Play around with ideas. It will not be long before you are an expert at pairing your favorite whiskies with food.