Scotch 101

Kicking off Our 2015 Spirit Dinner Series with Scotch

First things first, all scotch is whisky, but not all whisky is scotch. Scotch is a malt or grain whisky made exclusively in Scotland and follows a specific set of rules on how the beverage must be made. Originally, all scotch was crafted from malted barley.  There are two main categories of scotch; single malt and blended scotch. A single malt scotch is ages by the distiller using only two main ingredients; water and malted barley. This type of scotch is distilled and bottled in Scotland. Blended scotch is just that, one or more single malt or single grain whiskies are blended together to create a batch of scotch.

The Glenlivet French Oak 15yr

While technology has advanced since the 1400’s, when scotch was first produced, the process has kept with tradition. In order for a whisky to be labeled scotch, distillers must adhere to stringent laws. The scotch must be produced in a Scottish distillery using water from natural springs, often times hard or full of limestone and other mineral deposits, and malted barley, processed into mash and then converted and fermented at that distillery. Finally, the concoction must be aged in oak casts for at least three years, often times these white oak barrels are old bourbon barrels imported from the United States. This is an extensive process that yields over 95 million cases of scotch each year.

During our January Spirit Dinner, we offered a delicious mix of scotch drinks. Here are our favorite pairings from the evening:

Carrot & Orange Soup with date and walnut toast
paired with a Chivas Regal 18yr Rob Roy

House Cured Gravlox with a scotch egg, frisse, red onions and Dijon cream
paired with a Ballantines’ Rusty Nail

Braised Lamb Shank served with clapshot potatoes and buttered carrots
paired with an Aberlour Single Malt 16yr

Dark Chocolate Mousse with candied ginger shortbread
paired with a Glenlivet French Oak 15yr

Braised Lamb Shank with Clapshot Potatoes, Buttered Carrots

You can find many of these exceptional scotches at your local Wine & Spirits store. Two of the most popular ways to enjoy scotch is neat; meaning the unmixed liquor is served without any water, ice or other additives. Another popular serving option is on the rocks. On the rocks is when the scotch is poured over ice, usually 2-3 cubes allows the drink to chill and opens up the aromas of the beverage.

Thank you to all who attended our Scotch Dinner. We hope you enjoyed the highland inspired dishes and unique scotch pairings. If you would like to receive details about our next Spirit Dinner, be sure to sign-up for our weekly email blasts. You will also receive a $5 OFF coupon with your email submission.


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