Aperitif and Digestif Whiskies

Aperitif and Digestif Whiskies

December 23, 2022 –––––– Jonny McCormick, , , ,

When entertaining, whisky works perfectly to bookend a magnificent meal. A refreshing aperitif’s purpose is to open up the palate in preparation for the feast ahead, while a fine digestif follows the meal to aid digestion. Numerous cocktails and beverages are fit for the job, of course, but this is the list for you if you’re the busy host coordinating the meal ahead from the kitchen, or an easygoing guest who just wants a neat pour unfettered by slices of fruit dropped into a single drink that took every piece of barware to make. Despite what people might tell you, there are no hard and fast rules around drinking etiquette on either side of the meal: “I’ll take a whisky” is a perfectly acceptable response.

Each selection is based on one of 12 flavor themes, highlighting the flavor of each whisky’s strongest suit, with key tasting notes and a food pairing suggestion, leaving you ample scope to experiment and adapt to your own preferences. Here are 12 neat pours designed to elevate your aperitif and digestif occasions: six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Aperitif Whiskies



Glencadam 10 year old, 46%, $50
Style: Scotch single malt (Highlands)
Tasting note: Lemon, apple blossom, green pear, and citrus
Serve with: Yakitori chicken

Fresh Fruit


Komagatake 2021 Edition, 48%, $200
Style: Japanese single malt
Tasting note: Red apple, strawberry, watermelon, and candy sweetness
Serve with: Glazed pork belly squares



Brother’s Bond, 40%, $40
Style: Straight bourbon
Tasting note: Candy corn, butterscotch, honey, and vanilla pudding
Serve with: Melon & prosciutto skewers


Formosa 12 year old, 40%, $130
Style: Taiwanese pure malt
Tasting note: Tangerine peel, cooking apples, marmalade, bitter lemon
Serve with: Crabmeat blinis



Dewar’s 8 year old Japanese Smooth, 40%, $25
Style: Blended scotch
Tasting note: Roasted spices, lemongrass stalks, vanilla, yellow apple
Serve with: Balsamic caramelized onion and goat cheese tartlet



Johnnie Walker Blue Label, 40%, $250
Style: Blended scotch
Tasting note: Vanilla pod, cedarwood, dried fruits, and peat smoke
Serve with: Smoked salmon crostini

Digestif Whiskies



Dunville’s Three Crowns, 43.5%, $43
Style: Blended Irish
Tasting note: Toasted nuts, wood spices, orange peel, cinnamon
Serve with: Montgomery’s cheddar, a hard cow’s milk cheese, or Gubbeen, a washedrind cow’s milk cheese

Dried fruit

Bushmills 16 year old, 40%, $150
Style: Irish single malt
Tasting note: Dried cranberry, blackberry, damson, and black pepper
Serve with: Almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, macadamias, and cashews



Rittenhouse, 50%, $28
Bottled in bond rye
Tasting note: Cinnamon, coriander seed, orchard fruit, and toffee
Serve with: Charcuterie board



The Whistler Imperial Stout Finish, 43%, $40
Style: Blended Irish
Tasting note: Coffee bean, black cherry, orange peel, and dark chocolate
Serve with: Tiramisu or chocolate cake



Mortlach 12 year old The Wee Witchie, 43.4%, $60
Scotch single malt (Speyside)
Tasting note: Chocolate-covered ginger, orchard fruit, cinnamon, and black pepper
Serve with: Vanilla ice cream


Laphroaig 10 year old, 40%, $63
Style: Scotch single malt (Islay)
Tasting note: Iodine, charcoal, vanilla, peat smoke
Serve with: Soft blue cheeses, like Roquefort or Bleu d’Auvergne

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