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Whiskey and Cheese Matching

Whiskey and Cheese Matching

March 18, 2018

You’ve heard of Wine and Cheese matching, now it time for Whiskey and Cheese!

Getting these two to compliment each other isn’t always straight forward, so give the pairings below and go and see what you think.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of Whisk(e)y and Cheese matching, it’s worth mentioning about why this unorthodox partnership works.

Whisky (or Whiskey if it’s from the USA or Ireland) is an intense spirit. It’s certainly no shrinking violet. When you drink it, it grabs your attention.

On occasion however, it can all be a bit too much. The flavours can be too intense and off putting. Adding water or ice can help, but adding cheese to the equation gives a whole new dimension.

Check out the suggestions below and explore the multitude of possible combinations this world of matching has to offer.

12-15yr Single Malt Scotch (Speyside or Highland) with Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese

  • Possibly the easiest and most enjoyable match. The hard, tangy Cheddar helps to remove the alcoholic burn of the Whisky and enhances the smoothness and layered flavours of the Scotch.
  • Word of warning though - it has to be proper Cheddar Cheese. None of this plastic looking nonsense. Best to look for English or Welsh Cheddar especially from Somerset.

Whisk(e)y Cocktail with Smoked Cheese

  • There’s lot to play around with here. Try a Whisky Sour, Old Fashioned or Rob Roy with any type of Smoked Cheese.
  • The Cocktail will give the drink acidity to help cut through the fattiness of the cheese, softening the edges of both the beverage and the food.
  • An Old Fashioned works especially well, accentuating the smoky character of the Whisky, matching the smoky character of the cheese. Yummy.

Islay Whisky and Blue Cheese

This combo is not for the faint-hearted - both Single Malt Islay Whisky (pronounced I-La) and Blue Cheese are extremely intense flavours and can be too much for some...however when combined, they soften and compliment each other perfectly.

If you’ve not come across Islay Whisky yet (trust me, you’ll know if you have), it’s incredibly smoky, like standing next to a bonfire. This can work well with the smoked cheese mentioned above, but if you’re feeling adventurous a good Stilton, Roquefort or Gorgonzola will work as well.

Remember personal preference is all important, and what works for you may not for others. The best way to discover your favourite combo is to experiment as much as possible; a great excuse for a dram and some tasty cheese. Enjoy.

Happy tasting!

Gregory J. Roberts