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Issue 58 - A right pair

Whisky Magazine Issue 58
August 2006


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A right pair

Is whisky really suited to food? Ontario-based writer Andrew Coppolino finds out

The ties that bind are reluctantly torn asunder.

Old established alliances are relied on; they're second nature: a cacciatore and a chianti, a duck paté and a muscat, oysters and Champagne, a chunk of French munster, its soft creamy texture and nutty taste betraying only momentarily the sharp nip that makes it such an excellent partner for the crisp spice of an Alsatian gerwurztraminer.

Conventional wisdom lead us routinely down these safely-forged gastronomic trails.

We willingly oblige.

But another route exists – albeit less travelled and more challenging – and it is an adventure that can yield a deeper, richer, and more satisfying fruit: the pairing of food with Scotch as more than just a cooking ingredient.

Initial reactions to departing on such a journey – a spirit embracing a foodstuff – are reserved at best, vehemently rejected at worst: “Heaven forfend, Scotch is a postprandial. As a beverage, it's too strong, its alcohol too potent to be matched successfully with food. Much better joined by a cigar.” Yet the proof is in the tasting, and imaginative tastings clearly show that Scotch – blend or single malt – can be on duty for an entire meal. A splash of fresh, pure spring water in the Scotch is optional, but it can open up the complex aromas that lie hidden within.

It's a splash of an idea whose time has come – around the world.

For Ian Logan, international brand ambassador for Chivas Brothers Pernod Ricard: “The rise in interest with food...

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