It takes time to appreciate, but then if you do, you cannot really imagine sipping your whiskey without expecting some peat. If you have not acquired the taste yet, give it a little time. And pairing up your dram of peaty delight with the right kind of food uplifts the experience manifold. Many would argue that it isn’t necessary to have a starter with whiskey or scotch. But then, when your sip is paired with the perfect food, you may not want to argue about it, rather gulp it down. The taste of peat varies from sulphuric, herbal, smoky, nutty, saline, creamy, to medicinal, citrus, and soapy. Hence, it gets tricky at times to choose the most uplifting flavors in your food dishes to compliment the peat.
When your drink has enough peat, garlic and rosemary flavored lamb is a great combination. It is one of the perfect ways to compliment the smokiness of the peat. Add a little bit of crushed black pepper to your lamb for that required kick. A careful selection of spices is necessary because an overdose will not go down well with a peat.
Whisky and cheese is a combination that can hardly go wrong, no matter how strong the peated whiskey is. Look no further than pairing some Scottish hard cheese with something like a Glen Garioch. If you are a lover of creamy cheese, some Smoked Applewood goes perfectly well with the smoky Lagavulin 16.
Sea food is a preferred choice with whiskey and salmon pairs extremely well with the smokiness of peat. Try some salmon prepared with the zest of a lime, honey and orange juice. The sweet and sour salmon, when consumed with a peaty whiskey, offers a complex of taste experience of acidity, smokiness, and sweetness
What about dessert, you may ask in the end. Close your eyes and reach for some chocolate, we say. Dark chocolate is the most amazing combination with peat. Hence, a dark chocolate cake must be on the table to finish the meal with. Now rush to your bar closet, open a bottle of peaty goodness and start jostling in the kitchen.
There are certain combinations that are destined to complement one another. Consider beef jerky and bourbon—it can’t get more American than that! The former invokes images of cowboys, rugged men with undying perseverance, who only allow themselves the most modest of pleasures.
Post-dinner indulgences can take several directions – you can traverse a more restrained route with a conventional, sugary dessert, or round off the hearty meal with a glass of whiskey.
Or, you can even intertwine the two for a rewarding – if unusual – nightcap.
Typically, a whisky connoisseur is a man of habits. He sits with a glass of Jim Bean after a heartwarming dinner, sharing a weekend round with equally discerning peers – or relishing a solitary moment with his single-malt and bedroom slippers.
Fortunately, Eastern customs are turning this picture upside down.