Ditch the old, dull routine at your New Year’s party. Instead of serving your guests wine and cheese, try whiskey and cheese instead.
Whiskey and cheese is one of those unexpected culinary couplings. At first glance it doesn’t appear to make sense. But whiskey and cheese are more alike than most of us realize.
It all comes down to one simple fact…
Cows Don’t Eat Grapes
Cows eat grass. Whether it’s pasture, hay, grain or silage, most of what a cow eats is some kind of grass. That includes corn, barley and rye, the major ingredients used to mash whiskey. We share our spent grains from the Rogue Brewery and Distillery in Newport, Oregon with dairy farmers and cheese makers on the Oregon Coast and the Willamette Valley.
So whiskey and cheese have a common origin. It means they share a similar range of flavors. The words we use to describe the flavors of whiskey – nutty, smoky, salty or sweet – are the same ones used to describe many cheeses.
The key to a good pairing is to find a whiskey and cheese that share similar flavors, or ones that contrast well. With some many varieties of each, you’re sure to find a match that tastes like it was made in heaven.
Here’s some recommended pairings from Rogue Spirits.
Oregon Single Malt Whiskey
With flavors ranging from floral, to honey, fruity and brown spice – Oregon Single Malt Whiskey will pair nicely with many goudas, blues and cheddars.
Try Rogue Creamery’s Hopyard Cheddar, made with the leaves of Freedom hops grown at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. We use Freedom hops in Oregon Single Malt Ale, so the flavors fit together naturally.
Dead Guy Whiskey
Distilled from a mash of five malts, Dead Guy Whiskey is complex and rich, with flavors of oak, honey and vanilla. Try it with gruyere, brie, gouda or even a softer goat cheese.
Oregon Rye Whiskey
The spiciness of Rogue Farms Dream Rye allows you to match Oregon Rye Whiskey with more strongly flavored cheeses. Hard cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano, or aged gouda and aged Irish style cheddars. Softer cheeses like brie and camembert will contrast. The richness of these cheese balances the bite of the whiskey.
Sweet Corn Bourbon
Our Sweet Corn Bourbon won’t be ready for bottling for another year or two. But there’s nothing wrong with planning ahead. Made with Wigrich Sweet Corn we grow at Rogue Farms, and ocean aged in new charred oak barrels at our Distillery in Newport, Oregon, our bourbon will have smokey, oak, caramel and vanilla flavors. This will pair well with aged cheddars, a smokey blue or a nutty manchego.
So what can go wrong? Not much. Even if you try a pairing that doesn’t work out quite right, at least you’ve had a good time with one of our world class spirits, some amazing cheeses, and your family and friends.