I’ve never really loved chocolate… alarm bells are ringing I’m sure. But I’ve never truly been able to enjoy a bar of Cadbury, Toblerone or any other milky chocolaty product.
So naturally when I started to experiment with whisky and food, chocolate had to come up. Could it be that something I would rather skip on a meal, could pair well with something that I adore? The answer was a resounding YES!
Whisky and chocolate works well… Let me rephrase that, it works brilliantly. The smooth oaky vanilla in a fine bottle of whisky pairs exceptionally with the earthy cocoa, and buttery yet bitter finish of a fine dark chocolate.
Here’s how to tackle them together –
- Start by savouring the whisky, have a sip, let it roll around the mouth, have its flavours infuse into every nook and cranny of your palate.
- Eat a nice piece of chocolate. Not too large – one square would do the trick
- Now while it is just about to finish in the mouth and has melted, take a sip of whisky again.
- The two flavours will intermingle and will open your palate to the novelty that is whisky with chocolate.You will notice that even a whisky that you are very familiar with, might have a completely different profile than you had expected.
Now keep in mind I do not have access to too many chocolate varieties. While India is now steadily embracing the concept of dark or bitter chocolate, it will take time for it to make way from the Cadbury Dairy Milks and 5stars that the market adore.
My personal stash of chocolate comes from the many trips my father makes as a defence officer, and the countless aunts and uncles that come from abroad.
These however are some of the basic rules you should follow while trying to pair whisky with chocolate;
Also take a look at the Flavour Camps Of Whisky post to get an idea about what each whisky tastes like.
- DARK CHOCOLATE: Or chocolate with a high Cocoa Quantity, say around 70%. Now any good light whisky would do good for this – a good young Speyside for instance, like a Glenlivet 12. The sweet undertone of this whisky would do well for any dark chocolates bitterness.But if sweetness is what you desire any good blended whisky would do, try some Jamesons or a Johnie Walker Black for this. Alternatively you could also indulge in some spiciness from a glass of Oban for this, the sharpness would be able to play of the Bitterness of this style of chocolate.
- WHITE CHOCOLATE: This doesn’t have the mass and has a lot of milk and sugar. But it goes so well with smoky whiskies that I have no other way of considering it. Try a Talisker 10, or my all time favourite whisky, Bowmore 12.The light brine in the finish gives it a truly different experience, the smoke goes well with any white chocolate.
- MILK CHOCOLATE: Any good rich and round whisky would go well with this, the oak mingles beautifully with the milkiness of the chocolate. Finally the nuttiness of the whisky finishes the whisky very well.
But the best way to try to pair whisky with chocolate is undoubtedly to be able to go ahead and try it for yourself. While I have done some research through the chocolates available to me, I hope that you will try to go forth and attempt some “research” of your own.