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FATHER’S DAY: Pairing Food With Single Malt Scotch

Ready for an evening of fine food and Scotch? On Thursday, May 29, Empire Steak House in New York City will show why single-malt Scotch pairs well with every course. A five-course classic steakhouse menu will be paired with leading single-malt Scotches, in a tasting led by Master of Whisky* Spike McClure; $150 includes five courses, five single malt scotches and a hand-rolled cigar.

You may not be able to attend the event, but you can create something similar at home. How about for Father’s Day? Empire Steak has shared their menu and Scotch pairings with us. We’ve included pairing notes notes from Spike McClure, plus tasting notes on the single malts courtesy of Master Of Malt.com.

Each region of Scotland produces different flavors, and each distillery within a reason likewise. As with any wine varietal, different bottlings have flavors that pair better with particular foods. McClure’s top five favorite pairings for steakhouse cuisine and single malts:

  • Talisker 10: with fresh clams, fresh oysters, chorizo sausage, barbecue
  • Oban 14: with white fish, chicken, Swiss cheese
  • Cragganmore 12: with duck, mushroom risotto, Gouda cheese
  • Glenkinchie 12: with Parmesan cheese, asparagus, bitter greens, chicken
  • Dalwhinnie 15: with chocolate, cake, pudding, ice cream
  •    

    dark-rum-rocks-liquor.com-230

    From the first course to the last, the right single malt replaces wine at dinner Photo courtesy Liquor.com.

     
    *Master of Whisky is not an official industry certification, but a term given to global brand ambassadors by Diageo, the world’s largest producer of spirits. More information.
     
    THE MENU

    Course 1: Raw Seafood Bar

  • Little Neck clams and fresh oysters on the half shell
  • Scotch Pairing: Talisker Storm (Region: Isle of Skye)
  •  
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose shows initial brine and banana. The palate is thick and mouth-coating with wood smoke, brine, some tin and chilli heat too. Red chile peppers appear in the finish, along with oak dryness and a hint of embers. The smoky, “maritime” character pairs well with seafood.

    Course 2: Fish & Seafood

  • Grilled Chilean sea bass with pan seared scallops, with steamed spinach
  • Scotch Pairing: Oban 14 (Region: West Highland)
  •  
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose is rich and smoky. Medicinal notes are quite evident along with seaweed and other notes of the sea that pair with fish and seafood. The palate is robust, with notes of cut hay and wood smoke, along with citrus and a smooth sweetness. The finish is long, with notes of fruit and oak.

     

    scotch-cheese6.19336.768

    Serve Scotch instead of wine with a cheese
    course. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Milk
    Marketing Board.

     

    Course 3: Poultry

  • Grilled chicken with linguine and white clam sauce, with sautéed asparagus
  • Scotch Pairing: Cragganmore 12 (Region: Speyside)
  •  
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose is aromatic, redolent of florals (heather), fruit salad, smoked almonds and stemmy hay. The palate is rich with notes of honey, stone fruits, berries, chestnuts, walnuts and almonds. The finish is ofgood length and smoky, with a delicate peppery spice.

     
    Course 4: Beef

  • USDA Prime dry aged New York sirloin steak, with German potatoes
  • Scotch Pairing: Lagavulin 16 (Region: Islay)
  •  
    Scotch Tasting Notes

    This sought-after single malt has the massive peat-smoke that’s typical of southern Islay; it stands up well to red meat.

     
    The nose is reminiscent of Lapsang Souchong tea, with notes of iodine, sweet spices, mature sherry and creamy vanilla. The palate is very thick and rich: malt, sherry and fruity sweetness with powerful peat and oak. There’s a long, spicy finish with figs, dates, peat smoke and vanilla.
     
    Course 5: Dessert

  • Chocolate ice cream with wafers (substitute dessert: cheese plate)
  • Scotch Pairing: Dalwhinnie 15 (Region: Highlands)
  •  
    Scotch Tasting Notes
    The nose is aromatic with toffee, fruit salad, nectarine and custard; along with floral notes of apple blossom and honeysuckle and a touch of smoke. A semblance of manuka honey and vanilla encourage pairing with dessert. The palate is malty with gentle smoke and a touch of spice. The finish is long and malty, with flavors of almond and walnut.
     
    WHISKY VS. WHISKEY

    In Ireland and the United States, the word whiskey is spelled with an “e,” while the British, Scots and Canadians opt to drop the “e.”

    Scholars can’t determine why the “e” was dropped in Scotland. One theory is that the Irish made whiskey first and pronounced it with a broad “e.” When the Scots began to make it, they dropped the “e” to differentiate their product.
      




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