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One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Meal

Stop your wining—pair a good whiskey with your dining

Nothing goes better with a straight glass of American whiskey than...chicken and waffles? For Louis Garvey, resident whiskey expert at East Aurora’s newest restaurant, 189 Public House, this is a perfect match. It is also one of several whiskey and food pairing specials that 189 Public House will be rolling out each week this fall, starting Oct 1. This week Garvey gave us a crash course in pairing whiskey with food.

Ardbeg Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey paired with smoked salmon and potato pancake

This is probably one of the most aggressive scotches in stock, according to Garvey. It’s very complex, and not as well balanced as others, he says. “It’s so different than any other whiskey I’ve tried,” and he’s right; the taste of this smoky and briny whiskey is unfamiliar. Garvey has paired this whiskey with a salmon and potato pancake dish garnished with capers and onions. “The salt from the whiskey can stand up to the salt from salmon and the saltiness of the capers,” Garvey says. This whiskey pairs well with any fish that has a full, rich flavor.

Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch paired with maple bacon glazed scallops on a smoked sweet potato puree

Glenfiddich is one of the most balanced scotches at 189 Public House. “It’s not going to have those aggressive flavors that you get with the Ardbeg but it still has notes of peat, smokiness, and a little bit of saltiness,” says Garvey. This one tastes more like your typical scotch whiskey, and doesn’t tend to overwhelm the taste of the sweet, maple glazed scallops that Garvey has paired with it. This whiskey would go well with any shellfish from shrimp to lobster.

Lock, Stock & Barrel Rye Whiskey paired with pan fried, dredged chicken livers on a bed of apples and red cabbage

This 100% rye whiskey smells sweet and starts sweet but finishes quite spicy. “For a rye whiskey, the flavor is pretty big. It’s aged 13 years in oak casks so it’s got a lot of wood flavor,” says Garvey. The woody flavor stands up well to the richness of the pan fried, dreged chicken livers that Garvey has paired it with. The chicken livers sit on a bed of red cabbage and apple. “The spiciness of the rye whiskey cuts through the bitterness of the cabbage and mellows out the sweetness of the apple,” Garvey adds. “This is one where you go for a flavor profile on the other end of the spectrum to balance two pretty strong flavors.” This American whiskey would also pair well with anything Cajun flavored.

Michter’s Small Batch American Whiskey paired with chicken and waffles

This is a grainy, low corn whiskey with a lot of honey notes. “It goes well with foods that are bready and sweet, so it is a perfect match for our chicken and waffles,” says Garvey. The chicken and waffles come complete with a maple dipping sauce that compliments the notes of butter-scotch and caramel in this whiskey, which is distilled in Louisville, Kentucky. Michter’s Small Batch American Whiskey typically pairs well with sweet and savory dishes.

Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey paired with chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate ganache

What makes this Irish whiskey special is its aging process: it is aged in rum casks. “When you take a whiskey and age it in a rum cask, it takes on a lot of those sweet characteristics, since rum is typically made with pure sugar cane,” says Garvey. Appropriately, Teeling finishes off with a strong, sugar cane flavor. Garvey has paired this with a homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate ganache. “We used the cookie because you want some of that breadiness to go with a grain alcohol,” he says. The vanilla notes in the whiskey pair well with the vanilla ice cream, but also mellow out the strong chocolate flavor of the ganache. Teeling would pair well with just about any dessert.

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