How to Pair Cheese and Whiskey

Whiskey and cheese pairing

Believe in whiskey and cheese!

Wine and beer may be the most common pairings for cheese, but they're far from your only options. Come autumn, cider is one of our preferred pairings, and when the dark depths of winter roll around, a carefully selected wedge with a tumbler of bourbon or rye makes a delicious nightcap.

How to pair whiskey and cheese

What makes a perfect pairing? As with all tastings, it's good to let your cheese come to room temperature, so the butterfat softens and the cheese's aromatics become easier to detect. Keep water nearby to cleanse your palate, and while you'll want to taste and smell a cheese rind, don't feel compelled to eat all of it. For brown spirits, avoid intensely salty or acidic cheeses. Those can taste harsh when consumed with high ABV drinks.

Saxelby's perfect pairings

🥃 Bourbon: Open up the dense vanilla-caramel character of bourbon with a young and delicate bloomy rind goat cheese, such as Lake's Edge, or a creamy fresh chevre like this one from Firefly Farms.

🥃 Scotch: Fans of the floral, honeyed whisky made in the Scottish Highlands need to try their favorite bottle with Winnimere—the smoked-meaty cheese brings a nice weight to the whisky. If your tastes run towards smoky peated Scotch, you'll want something firmer and headier with a bit of funk to match. Cabot Clothbound Cheddar does an excellent job.

🥃 Rye: A sprightly rye whiskey benefits from an easygoing cheese with plenty of character. Jake's Gouda is a well aged cheese with crunchy protein crystals and a marcona almond sweetness. It'll let the rye shine while expanding its reach on your palate.

🥃 Japanese Whisky: Many Japanese style single malts are all about clean, harmonized flavors. Look for a soft, creamy cheese that'll let the whisky sit pretty while adding a rich base, like Nancy's Camembert or Kunik.

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