With autumn fast approaching and with the cooler weather comes delectable knit layers, rich coloured leaves, pumpkin spice overload and Thanksgiving! In Canada we fortunately get to celebrate this indulgent holiday early in the season which means more time to eat pie (not that you ever need a special season to enjoy pie).
I will be absent for the round the block line ups at cafes across North America filled with pumpkin spice latte fanatics as I am simply not a fan. To be honest, I’ve alway thought is a bit basic. However, if there is one thing that can get me to try the thing some wait all year for, is pairing it with a delicious whisky; because, let’s just be honest, everything is better with whisky.
Whisky expert, Jamie Johnson’s hand picked pairings of sweet and savoury pies with The Balvenie single malt scotch whisky is really going to make entertaining this season so much more elevated. Johnson created a list of six pies to go with six Balvenie Scotch Whiskies; each bringing out the best qualities in both the pies and whiskies.
Apple Pie | The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old
- Classic pie with classic whisky, pairing the fruit pie and Doublewood 12 perfectly.
- The rich stewed fruit notes from the Doublewood 12 whisky, the apples in pie and the cinnamon in both play nicely together.
- The sherry cask finish brings the baking spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) and the rich stone fruit flavours (plum, cherry, date) of the Doublewood 12 to the forefront. These pair with the sweetness of the apples.
Pumpkin Pie | The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old
- The pumpkin pie and Caribbean Cask 14 have complimentary flavours due to the ginger notes in both the pie and the whisky.
- Pumpkin pie isn’t overly sweet but is rich in baking spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The Caribbean Cask 14 gives light sweetness which brings out a similar sweetness in the pie.
- Ginger in the pie works well with the pineapple notes found in the Caribbean Rum cask finish, which also adds a peppery spiciness which compliments the abundance of baking spices found in the pie.
Pecan Pie | The Balvenie Portwood 21 Year Old
- Portwood is an understated whisky – elegant with hints of raisin, which pairs well with the pecan.
- The elegance of the Portwood is not overshadowed by the sweetness of the pecan pie which does not add any unnecessary sweetness.
- Deep baking spices found in the pie that are elevated with the hint of cocoa found on the back end of the Portwood 21 and the marzipan notes will work excellently with a flaky pie crust.
- There is a reason dried fruits, which are an ample flavour in the Portwood, match so well with nuts in so many other capacities and there is no exception here.
Chocolate Pie | The Balvenie Doublewood 17 Year Old
- The richness of both the chocolate and whisky play well with their bitterness and spiciness, making them a heavenly match.
- The sweetness of the pie is balanced by the richness and savoury baking spice flavours found in Doublewood 17.
Turkey Pie | The Balvenie Tun 1509
- Higher ABV whisky cuts through the richness of the gravy so the whisky is able to make a statement.
- The pie is rich and savoury, which contrasts the sweet and oaky notes of the whisky yet they pair well. The oak and the slightest trace of char from the whisky highlight the savoury flavours from the turkey.
Shepherds Pie | The Balvenie Single Barrel 12 Year Old
- Where some whiskies could get lost, the Single Barrel 12 stands up well to multitudes of flavours, with the higher ABV cutting through the rich, savory notes of the Shepherds pie.
- The sweetness of the whisky is intensified with the complete contrast with the pie. The vanilla notes in the whisky are especially noticeable after a bite.
- The oak and honey in the whisky plays with the savoury umami of the meat, lending balance.
My top three have to be the the classic apple pie and The Balvenie Doublewood 12-year, a nod to a childhood favourite is the Shepherd’s pie with the grown up addition of the Single Barrel 12-year. I can’t believe it has happened, leave it to The Belvenie and Jamie Johnson to convert me; I love the ginger notes in the Caribbean Cask 14-year and with the pumpkin pie, it’s delightful.
Tell us which one or more of these pairings you’re most excited about trying. Email us, tweet us or slip into our DMs on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!