The Four Seasons of Whisky: Autumn

It is a bit early for presenting Autumn dishes but let me carry on with my presentation of seasonal nibbles. After all, we have Summer days with gale force storms or thick mist on Islay. And they call for soups and rich dishes!

In Autumn, nature dresses in amber colours. So does the whisky, older and often matured in sherry casks, and so do the dishes. Autumn is the season of slow-cooked stews, rich sauces, baked fruit and dark chutneys. Look at your glass and at your plates, the colours match.

Black pudding toast

Serves 4

You will need
2 slices of black pudding
1 green apple
half an onion
20 g butter
a pinch of salt and pepper
1tsp of honey

Chop the onion and caramelize it in honey and butter. Add the apple chopped in small dice. Season with salt and pepper. Pan fry the black pudding and “crumble” it. Add the onions and apple. Divide onto mini oatcakes or squares of toasted brown bread.

Cheese sandwich

You will need
2 slices of brown bread
2 tbsp of fruit chutney
4 thin slices of old cheddar (or old cantal)
Salt and pepper

Cut the bread into 4 squares. Spread the chutney on each. Cover with a thin slice of cheese.
Alternatively, you can make small “croque-monsieur” with the same ingredients.

Gingerbread snap

You will need
2 thin slices of gingerbread
2 tbsp of homemade pear and apple purée
1 tbsp of crushed hazelnuts (toasted)
1 pinch of cinnamon or ginger

Dry the gingerbread in the toaster. Cut each slice in four squares. Spread with the fruit purée; Sprinkle with cinnamon and toasted hazelnuts.

The savory alternative: Place a thin slice of foie gras on the toasted gingerbread. And cover with a slice of fig which has marinated in red port for a few hours.

Whisky pairing

To match the concentrated flavours of the long cooked dishes and candied fruit, we are looking for whiskies with a deep and rich aromatic profile. They will usually be over 15 Year old, they will express sherry notes. They will be complex.

The rich Speysiders feature in this style: Glenfarclas, Macallan. Glenrothes, Aberlour, Mortlach, Longmorn…. Highland Park 18 is perfect too.


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