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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need a little help here. I'm putting together a Christmas gift basket for my mother with Balvene 18 y/o (Speyside) and Aberlour 18 y/o (Islay) scotches and need some ideas for tasty snacks that pair well. Since the two scotches are different I'd imagine that what goes well with one may not necessarily go with the other.

I was thinking a chunk of fancy schmancy bleu cheese, smoked oysters, black caviar and cocktail toast. I'm not a scotch drinker but I have tasted it. It seems like they would go well. That's not enough though, I want to really stuff the basked so I need some more ideas. This is where you come in. What's your favorite kibbles n bits with scotch. One caveat though, it has to come in a tin or a jar or be otherwise non-perishable.
 

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Sounds like a very thoughtful and awesome gift. Hope you get some ideas. I'm not a scotch drinker. Now if the basket contained Budweiser, I'd throw in some pretzels and a can of cocktail peanuts and it'd be good to go. ;)
 

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what about a medium to sharp cheddar cheese as well?

Trouble is when I have a nice Single Malt I tend to enjoy it with a good book or magazine article rather than with "kibbles 'n bits".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
what about a medium to sharp cheddar cheese as well?

Trouble is when I have a nice Single Malt I tend to enjoy it with a good book or magazine article rather than with "kibbles 'n bits".
Is cheddar one of those cheeses that does not need to be refrigerated like Bleu cheese?
 

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Can you find rye chips in your area? They're nice with a smokier scotch, IMHO. A milder white cheese, smoked so that it doesn't need to be refrigerated (like smoked Gouda), plus some multigrain crackers pairs well with a sweeter scotch. I like the way that the smoked cheese makes the sweet scotch even less smokey and brings out the other flavors.
 

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I pair cigars with Scotch :)
Agreed. I don't often have a cigar, but when I do, it's with a fine Scotch.

Stay thirsty my friends..
 

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Almonds, salted (especially sea salt) or seasoned with Tamari (a Japanese style of soy sauce) are a good pairing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Based on the input I collected here and elsewhere, I figure savory, bitter and salt are the three favored flavors that go well with single malt scotch.

This is what I went with. Smoked gouda, smoked oysters, black caviar, smoked salmon, rosemary crackers, thin italian bread sticks, cocktail toast, a large bar of dark 70% cacao chocolate with hazelnuts, olives stuffed with bleu cheese, olives stuffed with anchovies, decorated with candy canes and foil wrapped chocolates and to top it all off a really neat chocolate santa clause in his sled pulled by reindeer.

I took a picture of the basket after I put everything in, and I have to say, I think I did a pretty good job. I only wish I took a picture of the stuff before I put it together. You cant really see whats in the basket. It's easier for me to show you than explain so I'll post a picture of it if anyone cares to see how it came out.
 

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Glenlivet with a good Cuban would make me a happy camper. You put together
a great basket. If your really in the giving mood I'll send you my address.;)
 

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Good scottish short bread cookies.
You can find Walkers shortbread cookies almost anywhere which are made exclusively in Scotland. And are seriously good cookies - but won't affect any Scotch taste.

Right now Costco has a big tin of these, but they do have the Kirkland name kind of prominently on the front. And Target has tins in the shape of a Xmas tree or a Scotty dog. If they still have them. However, if you can't get those, Walkers does regularly sell their cookies in a fairly pretty box even in most grocery stores. Those are smaller so you'd probably want more than one.

I know my Scottish bud from way back who you can hardly understand when she gets mad would not allow any other shortbread cookies around her. God help the poor newbie who brought Nabisco...
 

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It sounds like you've already got the gift put together so forgive me for bringing this up. Aberlour is actually also a Speyside, not an Islay. Were you wanting to get a Speyside and an Islay?
 

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It sounds like you've already got the gift put together so forgive me for bringing this up. Aberlour is actually also a Speyside, not an Islay. Were you wanting to get a Speyside and an Islay?
Walkers is made in "the Speyside village of Aberlour" (from their website).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good scottish short bread cookies.
You can find Walkers shortbread cookies almost anywhere which are made exclusively in Scotland. And are seriously good cookies - but won't affect any Scotch taste.
Haggis - absolutely the worst, godawfullest, vile supposed "food" item I have ever put in my mouth. It was so bad there isn't even a 2nd place.
The only thing more disgusting to me than haggis is garbage, and perhaps broccoli.

My wife got a box of shortbread cookies that was supposed to go in the basket along with black raspberry preserves, but they didn't make the cut. There was not enough room in the basket and the cookies were a store brand so I decided to leave them out. As I was assembling the basket my wife quoted a line from Jaws. "I think we need a bigger boat".
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, here it is. On the surface it looks like a christmas floral arrangement, peel away the flowers and viola, all the kibbles and bits, peel away the kibbles and viola, two bottles of scotch. I think she'll dig it.

basket-i.jpg

Not to be a drag but, my mother has stage 4 inoperable lung cancer. Please hold the condolences and all that, #1 it would be a downer, and #2 she's quite old and has outlived her prognosis by over a year WITHOUT any treatment. This woman is too damned stubborn to die just yet.

Anyway, with that in mind, this is what the card will say. It's a poem by Yeats, one of her favorite authors.

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we will know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you and sigh.
 

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Scorpio,Your Mom has a wonderful, thoughtful son. You have outdone yourself on this one and put a lot of thought into this gift. She's gonna love it. Merry Christmas to you and your Mom. May it bring some cherished memories to you. Well done my friend, well done.
 
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