Plant Based Spirits?
So the answer is a resounding yes. Whisky is vegan. In fact, most spirits are vegan friendly because they require no animal products at all.The only time whisky is not vegan is when it is used as the base of a liqueur that has honey in it. Think Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, or something like that. Again, the same can be said for most spirits. Interestingly, a lot of wines and some stout beers are not vegan as they are filtered through fish bones or contain other animal products like gelatine.
The whisky making process involves only water, grains and yeast as ingredients and oak as the catalyst for maturation. And in fact, for many distilleries in Scotland, the process is made even more animal friendly by the recycling of draff into animal feed. The dregs of the wort that goes into the wash backs are very nutrient dense and excellent for making animal feed.
Plant Based Combinations
Not only is whisky the perfect vegan spirit, but it can be paired quite nicely with vegan food.
Flavour profiles of whiskies give you the perfect indication of what your whisky can be paired with. If you’re enjoying a vegetable dhal for instance, look for a fruity or spicy whisky like something from Speyside. The Macallan or Glenmorangie are brilliant drams with lots of sherry notes that will go well with a vegetable curry.
For less intense flavours using more winter based vegetables, we recommend a smoky malt. Something from Islay or the islands would be perfect paired with root vegetables and potatoes. Think carrots, beetroot, parsnips, butternut squash. These are great when complemented with big peat notes and lots of earthy smoke.
If you’re vegan and a whisky enthusiast then the world is your oyster (or a more animal friendly metaphor). Take your favourite dram and see what vegan food goes well with it. There are also plenty of restaurants doing the same thing. Why not visit and let us know how it goes!
Keep the conversation going in the comments – let us know your thoughts below!