Handcrafted with love by Jason & Sofia McClain, McClain Popcorn Company is a manufacturer of small batch artisan popcorn. Each recipe is created from scratch and tested on all of their faithful friends.


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gourmet snacks to pair with whiskey

The Best Gourmet Snacks to Pair with Whiskey

Having a small snack with a fine peaty dram is what whiskey dreams are made of! However, there is more to understanding what snacks to pair with whiskey. Whiskey is a rich, decadent spirit that sometimes calls for a mixer to cut through the richness. Whether you’re hosting a tasting party or meeting up with some friends for a few high-class casual drinks, a little whiskey pairing 101 is sure to come in handy. Believe me, if you don’t have the right snacks on hand, a night of whiskey drinking can quickly turn into a chore.

A Sweet Treat: Artisan Popcorn and Whiskey Pairing

gourmet popcorn and whiskey pairing

For scotch whiskey, try McClain Popcorns’ Sweet Caramel and Brown Sugar popcorn. The added smooth and buttery caramel coats the air-popped popcorn with a perfect combination of sweet and salty. The ingredients are all-natural with no artificial flavors. Additionally, it is gluten-free, nut-free, and vegetarian! Furthermore, whiskey enhances the snack in a way that you have to try to understand. Depending on the whiskey you’re drinking you can choose from several flavors of artisan popcorn. The best flavors of popcorn include Jalapeno Pepper, Black Truffle and Garlic, Garlic Pepper and Rosemary, and the aforementioned, Sweet Caramel and Brown Sugar. These hand-crafted “adult” popcorns will take your snack time to the next level without any work on your part.

Say Cheese: Gourmet Cheese and Whiskey Pairing

gourmet cheese and whiskey

Honestly though, who doesn’t like cheese? Not only is it deliciously satisfying there is a variety of cheese for even the pickiest of eaters. When it comes to pairing cheese or a cheesy snack with whiskey, there are a few keynotes to keep in mind. If you’re serving a nuttier cheese, for example, aged cheddar or gruyere, opt for a whiskey on the smokier end of the spectrum. For a spicier whiskey like rye whiskies, try serving up some strong, funky cheese such as stinky blue cheese or gorgonzola. Balance out these flavors by adding a selection of crackers, nuts, fruits…better yet, why not go ahead and create a full-blown charcuterie board?! This is a great way to cover all your bases and taste buds!

Grill Master: Gourmet Meats and Whiskey Pairing

grilled meat snacks and whiskey

Grilled er’thang, am I right?! We aren’t talking about your typical grilled manly cookout meats here. We’re talking gourmet-style cutlets and strips of grilled perfection here! Imagine a delectable strip of grilled salmon paired with a lighter, bourbon cask-aged whiskey. Now do you see what I’m getting at?! Another superb pairing is a couple of grilled shrimp with a sherry-aged whisky. If you’re looking for something a bit different, you can’t go wrong pairing Bourbon with a sweet, saucy slow-cooked strip of grilled St. Louis-style ribs. Is your mouth watering yet? If not, I’ve got one more idea to swing by you…Irish malt with small pieces of grilled lemongrass chicken. There you have it, the options are almost endless and for our vegetarian friends, grilled corn is always a good idea when you’re looking for snacks to pair with whiskey.

Other Snacks to Pair with Whiskey:

  • Pecans next to bourbons
  • smoked salmon next to lighter single malt whisks
  • Stilton cheese next to peaty Scotch whisks can be a lot of fun when serving multiple types of whisky simultaneously

Whiskey Pairing Tips

Here are a few pointers on whiskey and food pairings: Seafood preparations like tar-tare, sashimi, and sushi, as well as salmon cold-smoked in its natural state and a variety of fruits, demur go best with light, fruity whisks. Also think about milder cheeses, popcorn, and a wide range of flavored snacks. According to the event and the whisks available, whiskey tasting can range from casual with snacks to hors d’oeuvres bags and boxes to a multi-course meal. However, combining quality packaged snacks and easily prepared foods to create a banquet that pairs well with the whisks on offer is a simple and effective strategy.

Why Gourmet Snacks Pair Well with Whiskey

You want to serve snacks to pair with whiskey that creates flavor combinations that are one of a kind. On the other hand, if it’s the whiskey and its notes you are after, avoid the Gorgonzola, oysters, and heavy cream. There is a common thread between gourmet snacks and whiskey in that they both are made with an accurate level of care and detailing. Whiskey has a compatible companion with gourmet food in both taste and flavor.