Step aside, wine. There’s a new dream match for cheese in town and its name is whiskey.
However, much like wine, whiskey needs to be paired carefully with its cheese counterpart. Depending on its origin, ingredients and production process, whiskey can be either light or heavy on the palate. It may be spicy, fruity, woody or smoky and needs a cheese match that complements its aroma and taste.
Given that both cheese and whiskey can have a number of flavours, the cheeseboard possibilities are endless. But to take some of the guesswork out of it, House of Whiskey’s Sam Snead has a few suggestions for your next decadent dessert platter.
Those who enjoy the signature strong flavour of blue cheese would be hard-pressed to pass up a wedge of Kāpiti’s Kikorangi with its creamy golden curd and rich blue veins, especially once it’s paired with a Springbank single malt scotch. Snead says the whiskey’s coconut and seaside notes bring to mind a flavour of salted caramel when paired with the blue cheese.
Kāpiti's Pakari Smoked Cheddar with hints of hickory and ash flavours, is also ripe for a whiskey-themed cheeseboard. Snead suggests pairing it with an Ardbeg, a classic Scottish drop known for its peaty smokiness.
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Whiskey also lends itself as a companion to less bold cheeses, as it slices beautifully through all that creamy goodness.
For example, the delicate flavour of Kāpiti's Kahikatea Camembert is even more delicious when matched with a 12-year-old AnCnoc whiskey, with its own subtle notes of citrus and spice.
Whichever pairings you do opt for, the typical whiskey measure is 20ml (approximately three sips), which gives ample time for the flavour combinations to be savoured.
And savoured they will be.