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How To Plan Your Own Scotch-Pairing Dinner

on 14/02/14 at 3:44 pm

Booze News

mh22ui-b781054315z.120130122175420000g9m1c243b.1Wine has always been the classic go-to when it comes to beverage pairing with a meal. But with the cocktail renaissance and a reverence for small-batch distilled spirits happening in our dining scene, we’re beginning to see more unique, out-of-the-box selections to match with food. There have been craft beer and cocktail pairings, and sake has even made a name for itself. So one can’t help but wonder, “Why not scotch?”

Turns out we aren’t the only ones who thought that peat makes for a perfect pairing. We recently had a chance to sample a scotch-pairing dinner at BLVD 16 (inside Hotel Palomar in Westwood) created by chef Richard Hodge and BLVD 16’s general manager Josh Porter.

The three-course meal matched single-malt scotches with each dish, starting off with grilled pears and pickled cranberry, crisp bacon, honey crème fraiche with a Highland Park 12 year; followed by a pappardelle pasta with spiced duck Bolognese, braised chard, grana padano, paired with Macallan Fine Oak 15 year. We finished the meal off with a Jivara chocolate bar with chocolate sorbet, caramel powder paired with Macallan 18 year.

So what happens if you want to craft a Scotch-pairing dinner at home? We asked Hodge and Porter for a little advice.

But first, a little scotch primer. Here are the basics: Scotch—a whisky produced in Scotland—must be made according to strict guidelines and aged at least three years in oak barrels to earn the designation. The age statement on the bottle (12 year, 18 year, etc.) refers to the youngest whisky in the batch. There are single-malts, which are malt whiskies made at a single distillery (and more expensive); and blended Scotches, which combine single-malts with other whiskies. Esquire explains the singles and blends more simply than we can.