The spice route
The range of spices you can detect in a complex glass of SMWS single malt is seemingly never-ending. But how does each one of the Society’s 12 flavour profiles pair with a specific flavour note? We asked SMWS executive head chef, James Freeman, to match one of his signature dishes with a suitably spicy Society dram
YOUNG & SPRITELY
This profile with fresh grilled mackerel served with a horseradish crème fraîche cuts through the oiliness of the fish and enhances the fresh heat of the horseradish.
SWEET, FRUITY & MELLOW
Try with a traditional ‘clootie’ dumpling (steamed pudding) with its nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves as well as its dried fruit flavours.
SPICY & SWEET
Spicy & Sweet will enhance and embrace a Thai curry, with its sour lime flavours, lemongrass and fresh green peppercorns.
SPICY & DRY
The whisky’s spiciness pairs with our famous whisky cured salmon recipe, with fennel and coriander seeds as well as lemon zest while cutting through the oily fish.
DEEP, RICH & DRIED FRUITS
While not strictly a spice, what about a chocolate brownie with coffee ice cream – a Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits match made in heaven.
OLD & DIGNIFIED
Match with an apple crumble, adding a generous amount of cinnamon to the crumble and finishing with a double cream whisked briefly with a small drizzle of good honey.
LIGHT & DELICATE
Use with mackerel or mussels in a saffron-infused ‘escabeche’ recipe, letting the perfume of the most expensive spice shine through.
JUICY, OAK & VANILLA
Try poured over a good quality vanilla ice cream, or with Queen Street’s cheesecake dish. The full flavour of true vanilla is a perfect match.
OILY & COASTAL
Beautiful match with fresh white crab meat mixed through with a smoked paprika mayonnaise. The coastal element matches the crab while the oiliness stands up to the smoky, chilli flavours.
Lightly peated whiskies go well with braised meats – try with a Moroccan lamb tagine where the smoky notes will enhance the cumin and coriander.
Make a chilli jam and eat with smoked or blue cheese, a natural partner for peated whisky which again is powerful enough to stand up to sweet, chilli notes.
To match the blast of peat, find a piece of heavily peat-smoked haddock and bake with curry spices featuring (amongst others) fenugreek and mustard seed.