The Dalmore Whiskies

Top Five Whiskies to Pair with Food

by Richard Paterson, Master Distiller, The Dalmore

Some people may have misgivings about pairing whisky with food; it rather goes against the whimsical image of having a glass or two beside the open fire. However, whisky can be the perfect accompaniment throughout a meal and it shouldn’t be reserved just for a night cap or after dinner. For anyone looking to introduce whisky as an accompaniment at their next dinner party I would recommend exploring the following whisky and food pairings:


The Dalmore 12

When exploring food and whisky The Dalmore 12 is the perfect place to start. As our founder Alexander MacKenzie’s masterpiece, The Dalmore 12 is matured for nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks. The spirit is then divided for its final finish with half of the spirit remaining in bourbon barrels while the other half transferred to exclusive 30 year old Gonzales Byass Matusalem olorosso sherry butts.

Once reunited, the spirits combine to create an aroma of citrus fruit, chocolate and aromatic spices. While on the palate The Dalmore 12 has hints of citrus, olorosso sherry and vanilla pod. The ideal menu to accompany this woody whisky would be a wholesome and rich Beef Bourguignon, followed by a sharp Cherry Jubilee for dessert. Alternatively for those who prefer to end on a savoury note a crumbly medium strength cheese is a perfect pairing to The Dalmore 12.

Available at The Best Brew.


The Dalmore 15

The Dalmore 15 is smooth, rich and well-rounded and embodies The Dalmore house style. It makes the ideal accompaniment to a spring or summer meal. The Dalmore 15 is matured in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being finished in three different sherry woods; Amoroso, Apostoles and Matusalem Oloroso. This creates an orange marmalade, cinnamon and nutmeg aroma with the flavours of mandarin, vanilla and ginger. Given this fruity and flavoursome finish The Dalmore 15 works particularly well with Chicken Provencale, followed with Crepe Suzette.

Available at The Best Brew.


The Dalmore 18

The Dalmore 18 Year Old is a robust and formidable whisky, which combines flavours of dark chocolate, candied citrus fruits and rich coffee. This bold combination of flavours ensures that it works well with a pan fried fillet steak with sauce. Likewise it can easily cut through a sweet crème brulee which I would recommend serving with plums and limes.  


The Dalmore Cigar Malt

Although I created The Dalmore Cigar Malt to be the perfect accompaniment to fine cigars, it is also equally impressive when paired with the ideal food. On the palate the Cigar Malt combines flavours of tropical fruits, banana toffee and vanilla ice cream, this sweet combination blends perfectly with a spicy meal, such as a spicy coriander lamb. For dessert, the Cigar Malt would be ideally matched to some ginger chocolates. 


King Alexander III

I created the King Alexander III (KAIII) to celebrate the pioneering and innovative values of the Mackenzie Clan. This is the only malt in the world to unite a unique six cask finish, which gives it a sublime finish. With its red berry, fresh flowers and passion fruit aroma the KAIII has a citrus, vanilla pod and crème caramel taste and it can be paired perfectly with a slow cooked lamb navarin to really bring out the meat’s sweetness. To follow, KAIII works particularly well with pistachio and praline truffles. 


Richard Paterson, otherwise known as “The Nose” due to his legendary nosing and tasting skills, is a master distiller for The Dalmore Single Malt. He has worked in the industry for 50 years and also works closely with other industry bodies in the training and promotion of Scotch whisky worldwide. 


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