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Issue 60 - The Magic of Citrus

Whisky Magazine Issue 60
November 2006


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The Magic of Citrus

Martine Nouet delves in to the wonderful world of marmalades and tangy, fresh fruit

Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, kumquat... when it comes to describing a whisky, citrus fruit are often picked up as part of the fruity bouquet, whether it be fresh and juicy, cooked or candied or more concentrated on the peel.

It is interesting to note that one can identify three of the four basic flavours in citrus fruit: sweet, sour and bitter.

Would the salty element be brought by some marine whiskies in a complementing match?

The harmony between malty and citrussy flavours is natural and conveys a comforting and refreshing sensation of youth and liveliness both on nose and palate. Of course not every whisky would fit that frame.

From experience, I have established that two types of single malts feel drawn by citrus fruit, given that this fruit family captures a wide array of flavours.

The island peated whiskies with their mingled smoky and seaweedy aromas are enhanced when matched with a lemonbased dish, or a lime one.

If orange comes into the recipe, it should be fresh pulp or juice, the same with tangerine or grapefruit. They bring a touch of acidity and bitterness to the dish which naturally teases the sharp iodinic aromas of a Laphroaig or an Ardbeg.

The other style of whisky to harmonise with citrus fruit is the sherried single malts.

No wonder as notes of candied orange peel are often found in malts matured in first or second fill oloroso casks.

Orange marmalade is a perfect ingredient for an Aberlour a'bunadh, a Macallan, a Mortlach, a Glenfar...

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