Extreme food-whisky matching by Euan Martin

Having been impressed with Lucas’ recent writings on matching whiskies with food, I thought I would give it a shot myself. However, rather than carry this out in a thoughtful and useful fashion, I figured I would go to extremes. We all know there are many weird and wonderful websites on the internet and one of my favourites is www.thisiswhyyourefat.com. Basically it chronicles the extremes of human eating, with emphasis on the most horrendously unhealthy dishes imaginable. I’ve picked out five of them and chosen some whiskies that would perfectly suit their unique flavours.

The dish here is a generous slice of Tempura cheesecake, deep fried and served with whipped cream. It would be nicely complemented by Glenmorangie Signet, as both feature rich, sweet, chocolate flavours. Additionally, both are about ten pounds – the Signet costs £10 for a dram, and the cheesecake would add about 10 pounds to your scales the next morning.

Our second culinary marvel is a truly epic piece of eating. Three stacks of bacon, sausage, elk meat, onions and cheese between tortillas all topped with sour cream, two fried eggs and scallions. This monster is known as The Thunderdome. There’s such a riot of flavours in here only Springbank 10yr old, with its taste-bridging complexity could hope to rise to the challenge.

Having polished off The Thunderdome, I’m in the mood for a spot of dessert (although in reality it would probably take a couple days bed rest in hospital before I could look food square in the eye again). So we turn to the Elvis Doughnut, a peanut glazed doughnut topped with banana and bacon. Appropriately named after the King, who after all died overweight and sitting on the toilet. I’ve gone for Ardbeg Blasda here, with the well known hint of bananas coming through strongly in the lightly peated version, and perhaps that smoky bacon finish. After all, Blasda does mean ‘sweet and delicious’. What better description for the Elvis Doughnut?

This next one is something special, and well worth looking at the website itself to see pictures (it’s on page two). The Porkgasm. Bacon  strips, bacon sausage, ham sausage, ham slices, smoked pork sausage and roasted pork belly surrounded by ground sausage shaped into a pig, wrapped in bacon and roasted. It is then garnished with chilli ears and tail. The mind boggles. Which whisky could hope to cope with such a dish? Well, I doubt there is one. I’ve decided to go for a whisky which may provoke a similar reaction as The Porkgasm. Lucas talked about his new-found love for Laphroaig 25yr. Mouth-watering? At first. Heart-stopping good? Well, certainly the heart stopping part.

We reach our climax with a humble sandwich. Although not so much humble, rather a sandwich which deserves its own disaster film, where someone like Stallone, Willis or Smith is employed to take it down. It features ground beef, bacon, corn dogs, ham, pastrami, roast beef, bratwurst, braunschweiger and turkey as fillings. It is topped with fried mushrooms, onion rings, 5 different types of cheese, lettuce (there we are, one of your five-a-day) and butter. The name for this behemoth? Simple. The 30,000 calorie sandwich. 30,000 calories! To put that into perspective, that is the recommended number of calories for an adult male over the course of 12 days. Enough calories to fuel a Tour-de-France cyclist for 5 days. This is the extreme of food, it deserves the extreme of whiskies. Bruichladdich Octomore is the most heavily peated Scotch whisky ever made, I’m sure it would be a treat with this sandwich. You can find for around £8 a dram, a neat match for the 8 years this sandwich would take off your life.

Obviously this article has been stretching the limits of food and whisky matching. Other foods which are a far cry from conventional whisky fare such as venison and mussels include a candy-topped pizza, deep-fried chicken skin, a burger that uses pizzas instead of a bun, a pizza topped with smaller pizzas and more. The mind boggles. But tucked away in the list is a little slice of Scotland. A classic deep fried black pudding. Just to show the Yanks don’t have a complete monopoly on heart-attack inducing grub. As for me, I think I’ll head to the gym….

Euan Martin

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