Gordon Motion, Master Whisky Maker and Martin Markvardsen, Senior Brand Ambassador, know a thing or two about flavour combinations. Their cheese and whisky pairings are the perfect way to round off a festive feast so why not break with tradition and, instead of passing the port with your cheeseboard, pass the Highland Park instead?
10 Year Old | Herbed cream cheese, digestive biscuits, walnuts and bell pepper
10 Year Old goes hand-in-hand with the vanilla flavours found in cream cheese, while the herbs and bell pepper bring out the whisky’s spicy notes. Digestive biscuits provide a hint of sweetness and a handful of walnuts both balances out the nutty notes driven by the American oak cask and bring out that distinctive honey profile that’s such an important part of Highland Park’s DNA.
12 Year Old |Port Salut, sour cream and onion crackers, marmalade
Port Salut, a soft and relatively mild cheese with light fruity flavours, complements the elegant notes of our classic 12 Year Old perfectly. The salty, savoury crackers bring out the light spicy notes in the whisky while the marmalade provides balance and matches the complexity of the whisky’s fruitier notes.
12 Year Old | Wensleydale | Christmas cake with marzipan and royal icing
With its moist yet crumbly texture and mild honey aroma, this delightful cheese from Yorkshire, in the north of England, is traditionally eaten with fruitcake, so a slice of moist Christmas cake (the one topped with a thin layer of marzipan and royal icing) is ideal. Together, they create a little magic with the notes of rich dried fruit and heather honey found in our classic 12 Year Old.
18 Year Old | Castello Marquis, cinnamon crackers, blackberry jam and fresh blackberries
Castello Marquis is intense and piquant and goes remarkably well with the heather honey notes in 18 Year Old. Cinnamon crackers provide an aromatic background to the whisky’s spicy notes while blackberry jam enhances its dried fruit flavours. Fresh blackberries provide a wonderful touch of acidity and sweetness at the same time – an explosion of flavours!
Cask Strength Release No 1 | Gorgonzola, herbs and sea salt crackers, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries
Gorgonzola cheese gives Cask Strength a run for its money in terms of flavour! Buttery, crumbly and salty, with its own unique tones from the blue veining, it’s a great foil for the high alcohol content of this whisky. Herb and sea salt crackers support the whisky’s spicy notes, while the strawberry jam marries the sweet notes beautifully. Fresh strawberries on the side clean the mouth before the next nibble and sip!
Cask Strength Release No 1 | Applewood smoked cheese, salty crackers, smoked almonds and raisins
The smoky flavours of both the cheese and the almonds work beautifully with the aromatic peat smoke in Cask Strength Release No. 1. A few raisins on the side add a delightful fruity note, picking up on the rich fruit flavours in the whisky and balancing out the salty notes of the cheese and the crackers.
Twisted Tattoo | Clava Brie, sourdough crackers, fig and balsamic jam
The delicate wine flavours from by the Rioja casks used in the maturation of Twisted Tattoo, coupled with the vanilla influence of the ex-bourbon casks, marry particularly well with a mild and creamy cheese like Clava Brie, from the Scottish Highlands. Sourdough crackers add a little crunch while a dollop of fig and balsamic jam adds a delightful note of earthy sweetness.
Dragon Legend | Strathdon Blue, focaccia, macademia nuts
This rich, mellow and aromatic blue cheese from the Scottish Highlands is a perfect match for the deep, rich and smoky flavours of Dragon Legend. Both have a hint of sweetness on the finish and this is perfectly offset with a thin slice or two of soft, slightly salty focaccia bread and a few creamy macademia nuts.
Martin’s top tip
In between each Highland Park and cheese combination, have a little piece of dark chocolate with touch of orange and chilli.