Whisky & Cheese Pairing: An Evening of.

Whisky and Cheese.jpg
Please take into account that these are my personal tasting notes and personal experience, as such you may interpret this whisky very differently from me.

As a highlight of my whisky and cheese pairing so far I hosted an evening of whisky and cheese pairing, with a selection of 3 cheeses and 4 whiskies on offer.

I have previously tried to run a whisky tasting evening as part of World Whisky Day – unfortunately it didn’t really go to plan and ended up more of a whisky drinking session than a tasting. This time however things were very different.

Each participant was given cards to make notes on, water and plain crackers for cleansing their palates and a small jar of coffee beans – a tip another blogger gave me for cleansing your nasal palate between whiskies.

After a brief run down on how to taste a nose and taste a whisky everyone had a chance to try the whisky both with and without water before trying them with their respective cheese pairing.

Unfortunately one of the participants had to leave before getting to try the last pairing. I’d also note here that one of the group has a particular dislike of smoky and peated whiskies and admitted to being slightly drunk already – I have edited their notes slightly as they were a little more crass than I’m prepared to put on my blog.

The line up for the evening:

  1. Mature Blue Stilton paired with Glen Moray Elgin Classic.
  2. Extra Mature Gouda paired with Jura Superstition.
  3. Farmhouse Mature Cheddar  paired with Cardhu 12 year & Talisker Skye.

Line up 2.jpg

Mature Blue Stilton paired with Glen Moray Elgin Classic.

Glen Moray

What I thought:

Nose and Palate:

Light, white wine, citrus, floral, nutty, dry. (Full tasting notes here).

Pairing:

The lightness of this whisky and the citrus and white wine cut through the creaminess of the stilton wonderfully. It actually brought out the sharpness in the cheese which wouldn’t have been present on its own.

Others Notes:

Nose: Hazel nuts and sweeteners. Palate: Smooth + juxtaposed with sharpness. Finish: Short and brisk.

Nose: Light and sharp, fruity but not overpowering. Palate: Warm and mellow, deep flavour almost rich. Finish: Short lived but satisfying.

Nose: Sweet, strong alcohol at finish. Palate: Sharp, bitter. Finish: Metallic after taste.

Extra Mature Gouda paired with Jura Superstition.

Jura Superstition PNG

What I thought:

Nose and Palate:

Creamy, slight peat, lightly smoked, sweet, chocolate, hazelnuts. (Full tasting notes here).

Pairing:

The creaminess, slight peat and light smoke along with the strong hazelnut flavours worked perfectly with the gouda. Although the Jura had a sweetness too it it wasn’t contrasting and instead worked with the cheese.

Others Notes:

Nose: Sweet, caramel, beautiful. Palate: Smooth, “sugar + spice”.

Nose: Smooth, honey nose. Palate: Heady, warm, rich notes, berry notes, fragrant. Finish: Smooth, lingering.

Nose: Dusty but in a good way. Palate: Candy cane and sweeteners. Finish: Lingering and smooth.

Farmhouse Mature Cheddar  paired with Cardhu 12 year.

cardhu-12

What I thought:

Nose and Palate:

Sweet and fruity with a touch of citrus, balanced by gentle smoke, oak and spice. (Full tasting notes here).

Pairing:

The fruitiness of the whisky complements the cheese well and brings out more sweetness from the cheese. The touch of citrus enhances this even further.

Others Notes:

Nose: Mellow, fruity. Finish: warm after taste.

Nose: Sharp and peaty. A slight note of heather in August. Palate: Sweet.

Nose: Heady chocolate notes, slightly bitter. Palate: Smooth honeyesque flavours.

Farmhouse Mature Cheddar  paired with Talisker Skye.

Talisker Skye

What I thought:

Nose and Palate:

Sweet, vanilla. Pepper, smoke and slight brine with some fruit and citrus underneath. (Full tasting notes here).

Pairing:

In comparison to the Cardhu this brought out a completely different flavour to the cheese. The higher levels of smoke and peat in the whisky brought out a nutty quality to the cheese which on its own you get a hint of but with the sweeter Cardhu wasn’t apparent.

Others Notes:

Nose: Smoky, grass. Palate: Warming, spicy, smooth. Finish: Heavy, alcohol based, peaty notes.

Nose: Chemicals. Palate: Peat, a chemical cleaner taste. Finish: Mr Muscle.

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