Irish Whiskey Food Pairings

Irish Whiskey Food Pairings
3 mins readJun 3, 2020

You may be more accustomed to enjoying your Irish whiskey before or after a meal, but matching it with food offers a unique experience. Jacques Scott Wines & Spirits offers some tips from our experts for great Irish whiskey food pairings.

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About Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey, by law, falls into one of these four categories.

Single Malt Irish Whiskey

  • Grains: 100% malted barley
  • Distilled in: pot still
  • Made at: a single distillery
  • Flavor: Smooth, sweet, and malty
  • Distillers/brands: Bushmills, Tyrconnell, Connemara

Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

  • Grains: at least 30% malted and 30% unmalted barley
  • Distilled in: pot still
  • Made at: a single distillery
  • Flavor: Spicy
  • Distillers/brands: Redbreast, Green Spot, Powers John’s Lane

Single Grain Irish Whiskey

  • Grains: whole, unmalted cereals with up to 30% malted barley
  • Distilled in: column still
  • Made at: a single distillery
  • Flavor: Sweet, light, with floral top notes
  • Distillers/brands: Cooley, Teeling, Kilbeggan

Blended Irish Whiskey

  • Grains: any
  • Distilled in: pot and/or column stills
  • Made at: a single distillery or multiple distilleries
  • Flavor: Generally smooth, mellow, and silky
  • Distillers/brands: Bushmills, Jameson, Tullamore

Tips for Pairing Food and Irish Whiskey

In general, light Irish whiskey goes well with seafood and spicy meals, while medium whiskeys pair nicely with high protein meals, and full-bodied whiskeys go well with hearty dishes that have a high-fat content.

Steak – Whiskey and grilled steak get along well, depending on the steak’s fat content. The savory meat pairs perfectly with the smooth, peppery, spicy flavors of many Irish whiskeys, particularly single pot still Irish whiskey. Also try your Irish whiskey with rich, fatty dishes like meatloaf and beef stew, and other meats like pork and pork ribs.

Smoked salmon – Ireland is one of the biggest producers of wild salmon, and the fish pairs well with Irish whiskies. The spicy fruity flavor of the whiskey complements the smoky flavor of the fish.

Cheese – Irish whisky and cheese have many things in common. Both are aged and both come in a variety of different flavors. This is why cheese makes such a good pairing with whiskey. Try aged cheddar with a smoky-flavored whiskey, and soft cheeses like brie or goat cheese with slightly sweet, lightly fragrant whiskeys. If you love blue cheese, a full-bodied single malt Irish Whiskey will pair amazingly well.

Dark Chocolate – Don’t forget dessert! Dark chocolate highlights the dark fruity notes in Irish whiskies and draws out the soft, warming nutmeg and cinnamon spices.

Visit Jacques Scott Wines & Spirits for more help with Irish whiskey food pairings, and take advantage of delivery, free of charge, anywhere on Grand Cayman.