But drinking specialist or aged whisky with fine dining is quite a new concept, and one that’s becoming more popular.
The latest whisky dining comes from two celebrated island businesses – the Three Chimneys on Skye and the Isle of Raasay distillery.
The collaboration will bring these two award-winning Scottish brands together for the first time to offer guests of the Three Chimneys a new paired dining experience, which launches this month.
Dishes and drinks include Alder smoked trout, cauliflower panna cotta with langoustine and crispy oyster, duck fat confit salmon with foraged Skye mushrooms, Vatten farm lamb haggis with Jerusalem artichokes, and roasted prime of Vatten beef with onion fondant, horseradish and beef fat brioche.
These are accompanied by Isle of Raasay’s unpeated ex-Rye whiskey single cask, unpeated Virgin Chinkapin oak single cask and peated ex-Rye whiskey single cask respectively.
Dessert is bitter chocolate and smoked hazelnut praline with Chinkapin peated whisky, followed by whisky sour jelly with Isle of Raasay Single Malt in a Three Chimneys-style smoky Old Fashioned cocktail. There’s also a Champagne cocktail featuring Isle of Raasay’s ex-Bordeaux red wine single cask whisky to kick the evening off.
Another food and whisky pairing that gaining popularity is whisky and cheese and Ireland’s Waterford whisky is offering just that as we get ready for Christmas.
Driven by terroir methodology, the whisky is organic and bio-dynamic. Cheeses selected to be paired with drams such as Waterford Steelstown (Single Farm) and Waterford Grattansbrook (Single Farm, UK exclusive) are Red Leicester Sparkenhoe, Wooky Cave Cheddar and Crozier Blue.
Whisky pairings are becoming a niche market within themselves, with The Drinks Bakery winning the top prize in the Snacks and Accompaniments category at this year’s Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards for their Parmesan Toasted Pine Nuts and Basil Savoury Biscuits.
These have been designed to drink with a Highland whisky. Then there’s Melitas, who offer a range of nuts to pair with whisky or for something sweeter, try Chocisky's Speyside Whisky chocolates.