Our whiskies of the month for December are going down a storm (take a look at the festive whisky puns that our team have come up with!), but if you’re enjoying a dram during the darker winter months, there’s no better time to get your tastebuds working overtime with some cracking food matches.
Below you’ll find a list of the best Scotch whisky matches for Christmas: our team have raided the fridge, the cupboards and Scotland’s larder to find a seasonal something to tempt you: from chocolate selection boxes to some of Scotland’s freshest meat and seafood, all matched perfectly with a winter dram.
Many of the dishes below can be found on Amber Restaurant and Whisky Bar’s 2018 winter menu or in the gift and souvenirs area of our onsite Scotch Whisky Shop, but if you’re not visiting Edinburgh any time soon you can substitute for something local to you (just make sure it’s as high-quality as the whisky!)
Ailsa Bay with Amber Restaurant’s roast meat platter
This Lowland whisky is peated, and its smoky sweetness pairs perfectly with the rich umami* flavours of roasted or cured meat.
Glenmorangie Lasanta with Apple and Cherry Crumble
Lasanta is a sherry-matured whisky, which gives it a rich sweetness that will complement the tartness of the cherries in this signature Amber Restaurant crumble.
Tamdhu Batch Strength with 80% cocoa chocolate
A rich cask-strength whisky needs big flavours to match it. Try this sherry-matured Scotch with some dark chocolate: the bittersweet notes of the chocolate will harmonise with the whisky.
Glen Scotia Victoriana with Scottish smoked salmon
Glen Scotia produces a maritime malt: briney notes come to the fore, with a slight smokiness in the background. Pairing this whisky with some good quality smoked salmon brings out the salty ocean flavours in the whisky, whilst the whisky itself cuts through the oiliness of the salmon.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask with Applewood Smoked Cheddar
This is all about big strong flavours, and if you’re an Islay fan, this rich smoky cheese will match perfectly with your favourite peated dram. Try it: you won’t be disappointed.
Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve with artisan fudge
Gold Label Reserve is one of the sweeter expressions from the Johnnie Walker range, and a piece of sumptuous Scottish fudge will bring out that malty sweetness for a perfect after dinner treat.
Atholl Brose with After Eight chocolates
Two evening classics meet at last: Atholl Brose liqueur has minty notes on the nose, which are brought out with the familiar rich peppermint flavours of an After Eight.
AnCnoc 24 year old with Christmas Pudding
Many aged, sherried whiskies are referred to by our team as “Christmas pudding in a glass”, and you can’t go wrong pairing your Christmas day dessert with this rich, full-bodied whisky that complements the flavours with its own aromas of treacle, dried fruits and candied orange.
What do you think of these holiday whisky pairings? We’d love to know what you’ll be having your festive dram with – let us know in the comments!
Read last year’s blog on whisky matches for your whole Christmas Day feast here.
*Umami is the newest flavour discovered in recent years joining the family of sweet, salty, bitter and sour.