Match of the week | Smoked salmon and Deanston Virgin Oak single malt whisky

Match of the week

Smoked salmon and Deanston Virgin Oak single malt whisky

There were a number of great matches with Deanston’s Virgin Oak whisky up in Scotland last week but unusually I’m going for the most conventional - a starter of (very good) smoked salmon with gravadlax and a tomato and cucumber dressing at Gleneagles hotel - on the grounds that it’s the most useful.

I don’t pair malt whisky frequently enough with smoked salmon and it really is delicious.

The whisky is a bit unusual though. It’s a 46.3% blend of younger whiskies aged, like bourbon, in new American oak casks which give it a rather delicious note of light soft brown sugar and vanilla fudge and it’s master distiller Brendan McCarron’s favourite whisky of the range

It was also used in the very delicious ice-cream that went with the final course of the dinner - a rich Valrhona chocolate dessert with banana toffee, clootie dumpling croutons (yes, really!) although that dish was paired with the more complex Deanston 18 year old which could handle the richness of the chocolate.

The wild card in terms of pairing was the macaroni cheese and chips I ordered in the distillery café at lunchtime. I asked if I could try the Virgin Oak with it and it turned out to be a cracking match. If that’s a step too far for you I reckon it would also go very well with cheddar cheese.

What foods pair best with whisky?

You can buy the Virgin Oak single malt from The Whisky Exchange for £35.25 and the 18 year old, which was voted The Whisky Exchange’s Whisky of the Year), for £63.95 currently.

I visited the distillery as a guest of Deanston and The Whisky Exchange

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