My ability to taste the intricate characteristics of whiskey is far from fine-tuned, but with John’s encouragement I was able to distinguish some subtle flavors in the whiskeys like pepper, vanilla and leather (don’t ask). Surprisingly, many of the cheeses truly encouraged the exposure of the whiskey’s flavor. My favorite couple was Gentleman’s Jack and the Big John’s Cajun Rubbed cheese, a spicy cheese rubbed with a top secret cayenne pepper mix. Each brought out the spiciness in other, giving the pairing quite a kick. We also tried Sazarac, Red Stag, High West, Woodfood Reserve and Blantons with several cheeses, including Barely Buzzed, Tea Hive and more.
I have finally found my holy grail of cheese and alcohol pairings. Of course I’ve done the age-old wine and cheese pairing. Tried and true, this bond has stood the test of time because, well, it works. I’d tried beer and cheese pairing; a bit more exotic (if you want to call it that) but a lot trickier to pull off. And last week I was introduced to whiskey and cheese. Yes, ladies and gentlemen: whiskey and cheese. *Cue hallelujah music.*
SLC Mixers, an extension of the local food blogs Vintage Mixer and SLC Foodie run by Becky Rosenthal, hosted a whiskey and cheese pairing class last Friday in the Avenues, starring Katie Johnson of Beehive Cheese and John Kornilakis of Park City’s Al Dente restaurant. Much more of a whiskey and cheese social hour than an actual class, the evening was a relaxing look at the way cheese and whiskey can bring out the flavors of each other when paired together. As a huge whiskey lover and a big fan of Beehive Cheese, I was in heaven.
I had a wonderful evening learning about whiskey and cheese and met some great local foodies. SLC Mixers has several classes coming up and I will definitely be signing up again. And don’t worry, they promised another whiskey and cheese class soon! For more on the whiskey and cheese class, see SLC Foodie’s post here.