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Master blender Keith Law talks about pairing food and whisky…

People have a very divided opinion over pairing food with whisky and most people find it hard to envisage a whisky and food match. Personally, I think a blended scotch whisky can match certain foods and dishes excellently and the array of flavours found in blended whisky can bring out and define a food’s taste.

Many articles about pairing whisky and food talk about single malts, however I like to remind people that blended whiskies offer a perfect alternative.

I feel that people have missed an opportunity not to drink blended whiskies with food mainly because it is something they never thought about trying before. The truth is that blended Scotch whisky when drunk neat or sometimes slightly “longer” than usual with water can make a great alternative to wine and really emphasise the flavours of certain foods and dishes.

Matching whisky with food takes some experimentation and experience to get it right. But if you stick to simple foods it can be a real eye opener.

In general, dishes with extreme flavours that generally do not match easily with some wines work well with blended whisky. Tapas, Asian dishes and particularly seafood combine well with some of the lighter less peaty blends such as Buchanan’s and J&B.

Desserts and after dinner courses work well with blended whisky too. Johnnie Walker Gold Label served “frozen” (at least 24 hours in the freezer please!) can give an indulgent taste sensation when served “straight” with dark chocolate desserts.

To finish off a meal a smoky, rich blend such as Johnnie Walker Black Label goes nicely with a cheese platter.

In the past I have experienced some unusual combinations of blended Scotch whisky and food  - How many of you have attended a Burns Supper and saw people pouring some whisky over their Haggis?  It just works!

So in many cases choosing foods to match blended Scotch whisky is very much down to personal preference and experimentation is the key. So keep educating your palate and have fun trying out new combinations. Enjoy!

Message from Planet Whiskies

We also have another page on Planet Whiskies where Keith Law talks give a question and answer session. If you would like to read this go to Keith Law Master Distillery, Diageo - Question and Answers page.

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Scapa 1980 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch WhiskyScapa 1980 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Colour/Appearance: Light Gold.
Nose: Rich, spices, cinnamon, honey, zest, barley, sweet cereals.
Palate: Honey, juicy barley, notes of orange and cacao, oaky and winter spices.
Finish: Spicy, long and warming.

Buy Scapa 1980 25 Year Old for £599.00
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Highland Park Odin - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Odin - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Colour/Appearance: Vivid burst of sunlight.
Nose: Robust, sweet vanilla and honey, red berry fruit, toasted honeycomb, peaty smoke.
Palate: Prominent sweetness, cinnamon, bitter chocolate, fruit cake.
Finish: Lingering and complex with citrus.

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Selection of Scottish Malts Whisky available from Spirits By Post

Highland Park Thor - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt WhiskyHighland Park Thor - The Valhalla Collection 16 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Highland Park

Colour/Appearance: Fair gold. Nose:Mild sweet smoke, green apple, sweet butter icing, coconut and cream, lemon peal. Palate:Vanilla cream, spiciness, marmalade, cinnamon spice, oaky spice, leafy green notes, bark and damp twigs. Finish: Gentle spice, warming.

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Lagavulin 16 Years Old Double Matured Distillers Edition 2017 Single Malt Scotch WhiskyLagavulin 16 Years Old Double Matured Distillers Edition 2017 Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Lagavulin

Nose: Rich and fruity, oak spice, raisins, gentle smoke.
Palate: Smoky, dark sugar, bitter chocolate, tart berry sweetness.
Finish: Decedent dark chocolate truffle and cherry, wisps of smoke.
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Glen Elgin 18 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt WhiskyGlen Elgin 18 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Glen Elgin

Nose: Mild, rich and sweet initially, with vanilla toffee giving way to leafy, green and herbal notes. The sweetness remains and with time, it becomes a fresh-fruity aroma with hints of a fresh fruit salad.
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Brora 34 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt WhiskyBrora 34 Year Old 2017 Release Single Malt Whisky

Distillery:  Brora

Only 3,000 individually numbered bottles available worldwide! You can place your order on Spirits by Post and deliveries will start at the end of September 2017. Clicks to read more

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Benromach 1977 Speyside Single Malt Scotch WhiskyBenromach 1977 Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery:  Benromach

Vibrant notes of sweet honey, apricot conserve, orange zest and butterscotch, mingling with developing hints of toasted oak and a delicate menthol edge.
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