pairing chocolate with whiskey

Chocolate and whiskey both provide a powerful tasting experience. But what happens when you put pair the two? It’s even more delightful, providing the pairing is done right. Whether it’s a Friday night out with friends, a dinner get-together or a birthday party, pairing chocolate with whiskey can make for a great addition to any tasting event.


               Pairing chocolate with whiskey can be a taste tantalizing experience.

how to get started

To really relish chocolate and whiskey together, aim to select in such a way that the taste of both together scores above each when tasted individually. The flavours should complement, not compete with or overpower each other. The generally recommended way to do the pair tasting is to drink the whiskey first. Take a few sips. Swirl the drink around your palate and allow the flavour to develop. Once you’ve enjoyed the taste of the whiskey, you’re ready for the chocolate! Take a small bite, allow the chocolate to gradually melt as it adheres to the roof of your mouth. Notice how it enhances the flavour of the whiskey? End the process with another sip of whiskey.


here is a selection of 9 whiskey-chocolate pairings to tantalize your taste buds. 


Bourbon pairs very nicely with chocolate.

1.  Bourbon with just about any chocolate!

Bourbon is a highly versatile spirit that can be paired with the majority of chocolate from milk to extra dark. Get adventurous by putting the Bourbon directly into chocolate and vice versa instead of the technique mentioned at outset. For the former, grind 1/4 cup cocoa nibs and mix with 2 cups bourbon, shaking the mixture vigorously. Every few days, taste a little until you get the perfect taste. It shouldn’t take more than a week or two. As far as the latter goes, have you heard of Bourbon balls? Try dipping them frozen into melted dark chocolate. Try making bourbon truffles with Old Grandad 114 or W.L. Weller107 Bourbon. They both pair well with dark chocolate. 


Enhance your hot chocolate with a little whiskey.

2.  Rye whiskey with plain or spiced milk chocolate

The spicy notes in Rye whiskey have a different type of deliciousness when compared to Bourbon whiskey. When you take it with sweet milk chocolate, you achieve a balancing of tastes. Another option is milk chocolate with a hint of chili or ginger. It works pretty well.

3.  Irish Whiskey with caramel hot chocolate

You can enjoy caramel hot chocolate with any whiskey but if the pairing has Irish whiskey in it, you’re taking yourself to another world! Try the Jameson or Guinness spirit. You can choose to have it with or without a caramel topping as per your taste.



Scotch whiskey pairs nicely with chocolate.

4.  Scotch whiskey with orange flavoured dark chocolate

If you are a fan of Scotch whiskey, you should try this. The citrus flavouring in the spirit truly adds to the chocolate’s orange flavour.

5.  Spicy, fruity whiskey with hazelnut enriched dark chocolate


I’ve found the pairing of a slightly bitter hazelnut chocolate with a spicy/fruity whiskey to be a wonderful flavour explosion. Indeed, the combination is comparable to a mix of Hogmanay and carnivals.

6. Heavy peat whiskey with rich salted butter caramel

The combination would perhaps match toe-to-toe. A peated whiskey is a great choice to go with burned, heavier chocolates with caramel flavouring. You might liken it to resting beside an open fire, irrespective of whether there is a working chimney in close proximity.

7.  Whiskeys that taste like medicine with mint chocolate

If the whiskey has tints of medicinal flavour (Laphroaig is an example), it would go well with mint chocolate. Taking peppermint chocolate with your whiskey will not just clean your palate but also uplift you. The pairing creates a restorative, rejuvenating effect.

8.  Rich and fruity sweet whiskey with spiced dark or sweet milk chocolate

Dark chocolate with sea salt flavouring contributes something extraordinary to fruity, sweet whiskey. Think coffee or even smoke! Alternatively, you could try sweet milk chocolate with orange flavouring to go with the whiskey. Try having it with a Speyside Malt.  


Pairing smokey whiskey with white chocolate can work, too.

9.  Smokey whiskeys with white chocolate

The smokiness of one and the sweetness of the other give the combo the ‘match made in heaven’ effect.

This guest post was brought to you by Harold Camaya who lives in Chicago and enjoys pairing chocolate with different libations. Do you have your own favourite whiskey and chocolate pairings you’d like to share with us? 


Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

27 Responses

  1. Greg Zyn says:

    Whiskey is a great thing to drink especially if you pair up with something sweet like chocolate. I have myself tried this so many times before and I am amazed by how good my experiences are.

  2. Eileen Benson says:

    I’m glad you pointed out that pairing Irish whiskey with caramel hot chocolate will elevate the taste to a whole new level. My husband and I want to find an importer to get us a case of single malt Irish whiskey for our holiday party. Thanks for sharing these pairing ideas that we can use to provide great taste combinations to our guests!

  3. Never thought of this combination until we visited the Dalwhinnie Distillery, Inverness-shire, Scotland this Summer. We had booked a tour in their visitor centre plus tasting. They give everyone some dark chocolate to enjoy with their “Wee Dram”. A delicious match Doreen!

  4. Kunal Kumar says:

    Hi Doreen. After reading this blog post I tried pairing whiskey with chocolate. It is indeed a really amazing tasting experience. I simply say thanks for sharing the idea with us.

  5. Groove says:

    Some brilliant ideas! Love the third one especially. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe because Midleton (where Jameson is made) is pretty much just around the corner! I found this online while searching for chocolate & alcohol ideas for a wedding!

  6. I would not have thought of pairing whiskey with chocolate, but now I am quite intrigued. I particularly like the idea of enhancing hot chocolate with a bit of whiskey.

  7. Gosh, now you’re talking my language! I’ve done red wine with chocolate, but never thought of mixing my favorite single malts with a nice orange chocolate. What a great excuse to get a fresh bottle of Strathisla or Johnny Black! Yum!

  8. I would never have thought to eat chocolate with whiskey. I always felt it was a drink for the more mature when I was younger. The type of drink a 50 plus city worker drank in a bar. It is funny how we associate drinks amongst many other things with a particular type of person.

    • Hi Phoenicia and thx for your comment. Today, there are a lot of smoother and more sophisticated whiskeys on the market. It’s no longer just a strong drink to shoot back. Today’s whiskeys are meant to be sipped and savoured, and do indeed pair nicely with chocolate.

  9. That’s been my experience for the past decade with The Chocolate Cult. I’ve tried so many things I’d never had spent money or time on before because brands have sent me their creations to try. It has been an eye-opening decade.

    But I love the travel you do, Doreen, because it opens my mind up in ways I certainly could never afford.

    • I am very fortunate to have sponsors cover the cost of my travels (for the most part), TammyJo. Without the generous support of destinations and private entrepreneurs, I could never afford to do the travel necessary for the Chocolatour project. Thanks so much for joining me virtually on all these delicious journeys. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…pairing chocolate with whiskeyMy Profile

  10. Beverly says:

    The chocolate and whiskey pairings sound delicious. I appreciate the suggestions.

  11. I had never had whiskey before so a drink made with it and chocolate was something quite different!

    • Doreen says:

      Good for you for stepping out, TammyJo. It’s quite a palate-changing experience to let our taste buds go beyond our comfort level.

  12. I’ve only had whiskey and chocolate once in my life. It was at a restaurant I was invited to check out for my own blog.

  13. Linda Paul says:

    I enjoy chocolate pralines filled with cognac. My German relatives gift me a box each year. I enjoyed reading the proper way to sample a whiskey-chocolate pairing. Must do some experimenting now. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Linda. Yes, I have some friends who are whiskey drinkers and I brought some dark chocolate over and we really had fun pairing the different flavour notes of the chocolate with the different flavour notes of the whiskeys. And, I, too, remember those brandy-filled German chocolate crescents. They were a family tradition for years! Thx for stopping by. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Morgan says:

    I am for SURE going to have to show this post to my husband. He loves whiskey and chocolate – so he will definitely find value in this. Thanks so much for sharing!

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