Whiskey and Cheddar Pairings
Whether kicking off the weekend or as a night cap at the end of the day, whiskey is a bold choice that packs abundant flavor notes into every sip. When seeking out something to pair with whiskey, cheese can unlock fresh interpretations on the intricate taste of artisan whiskey.
We teamed up with our friends at WhistlePig Whiskey in Shoreham, Vermont to develop cheese and whiskey pairings. WhistlePig is located on 500 acres of farmland in the Lake Champlain Valley of Vermont. They focus exclusively on rye whiskeys, aging and distilling from a rehabilitated barn on the property.
WhistlePig 10-year Straight Rye Whiskey
This whiskey, aged 10 years and finished in bourbon barrels, bounces with spice notes of clove and nutmeg built on a rich foundation of caramel, candied citrus and even notes of butterscotch. There is a lot going on there to say the least!
We paired the WhistlePig 10-year with our Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar. This cheddar is sturdy enough to standup to the whiskey, yet lush and mellow enough to let the finer notes of the 10-year shine.
Another cheddar pairing option to try with WhistlePig 10-year is Cabot Seriously Sharp.
WhistlePig Old World Straight Rye Whiskey
WhistlePig Old World is unique in that towards the end of aging, it is finished in European oak casks that formerly aged Port, Madeira and Sauternes. This finishing process infuses fruit forward notes both on the nose (the smell) and the taste. Cherries and even some plum notes shine on top of a sweet rye grain backdrop. This is no ordinary whiskey.
Cabot Artisan Reserve Cheddar is a great option to pair with the Old World. With a whiskey aged 12 years and a cheese aged three years, this is no doubt a mature marriage of flavor. The sharp bite of this aged cheddar balances wonderfully with the sweet fruit notes of the whiskey.
Looking to spice things up? Also try the WhistlePig Old World with Cabot Habanero Cheddar. The intersection of sweet and spicy won’t disappoint.
WhistlePig 15-year Straight Rye Whiskey
This is one special whiskey. It is aged for 15 years, the tail end of which is in Vermont oak barrels. The barrels were harvested from the WhistlePig Farm land and give it a distinct flavor unique to the Vermont landscape it is aged upon. Earthy and smooth with light citrus and rye notes round out this intricate whiskey.
For this, we turned to our Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. Much like the oak aging process the 15-year undergoes, Cabot Clothbound is aged in the cheese caves of Vermont’s Jasper Hill Farm. The result is a deeply savory and slightly tangy cheese with caramel sweetness to the finish. When paired, the nutty notes of the cheddar pop against the velvety smoothness of the whiskey.
Cabot Founders Collection Orne Meadows Cheddar, with subtly sweet and nutty notes also makes for a great pairing!
Looking for other ways to pair your favorite libations?