Nuts work well on all fronts as a snack to go along with any type of drink, whether it be beer, wine, or Kentucky bourbon. A little bit of smoke in the food can support and enhance peaty scotch. Choose flavors that are assertive, but not overly sweet, and those that exhibit some degree of smoke that can enhance and play off the whisky. I made this discovery seven years ago when proofing the manuscript of my first book on country ham. There is no limit to what cheeses you can pair. If nothing else, people need to eat something while they are drinking to mitigate the effects of the alcohol. Even so, I have decided to talk in more detail on the subject here and hopefully give a clear answer to the question for those who are inquiring. FoodPairingsSpecial Issue 2020Whisky Clubs. Kentucky Bourbon Hall Of Fame Historian and Author. The salt, the fat, and the smooth umami of nuts make drinks go down better and faster (while also helping to defend the bar patrons from getting too sauced). I am not a bourbon expert and do not claim to know how to host a stuffy bourbon tasting. All my guests got wasted off all the bourbon and I was not prepared with a meal. Thick cuts of pepperoni or thin slices of smoked ham are perfect. Otherwise known as American whiskey, it's our only true native spirit -- and it carries with it a lot of stereotypes about the South. Here is how I would do it: (these are just some examples-pick your poison). As a general rule, bourbons are full-bodied and sweet, which means that timid flavors have no place beside Americas spirit. You might think that a bourbon tasting party would be a more casual, less pretentious version of a wine tasting, with all of its swirling, sniffing and sipping. Chocolate has both concentrated sugars but also tannins. Hopefully this guide will help you when hosting your next Bourbon Tasting Party! (March 4, 2012) http://www.straightbourbon.com/articles/mwsbb.html, Zeldes, Leah A. Basically you just need a table or a bar to set up all glasses, food, ice, water, garnishes, bourbon, tasting notes, and other needed supplies. Thinking of having two unbaked cheese pizzas ready, then placing the food leftovers on the pizzas, one for each couple doing this at our porch. Most knowledgeable bourbon podcast out there. Fruit explodes. Now get to your bourbon shelf, pick a bottleor twofill a glass(es) and find some of the foods mentioned above. Spicy Dark Chocolate: Bitterness and spice echo the very nature of rye.
Salted Peanuts: Ideal with hoppy beer or peppery rye. A Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living over his 31-year journalism career. You shouldnt do it on an empty stomach. "Bourbon." Alongside your snacks, water will be your champion when you want to slow the effects of intoxication. It was late, I was hungry and I shuffled off to the fridge for some paper-thin slices of country ham. Crackers or crisps are something that you should have on hand if you plan on tasting multiple spirits. The one exception to the free-for-all approach is to save sweets and desserts for last. You should be able to put together a great bourbon tasting with just a couple of these ideas. Liver Pt: Unctuous texture adds richness to the body of the spirit. Having a tasting for family in July, 6 bottles so I need some snacks. If you are hosting a bourbon tasting I would highly recommend an after tasting meal. Onion Rings: Frozen onion rings come alive with spicy rye. See what others have to say & listen for yourself. Fresh fruits have not only the sugars of the dried fruits, but can also have some acids that can add tartness to the tasting. Indeed, having food available to promote conviviality and help allay the effects of the alcohol should be considered both a social and socially responsible imperative. It delivers high-proof alcohol that penetrates straight to the palate regardless of what food was just eaten. A Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living over his 31-year journalism career. That couple wont date again, but theyll say hello in public. Trust issues? With chocolate, there arent going to be too many flavors that get in the way of tasting. Riding along with the alcohol are flavors like caramel, citrus, smoke, honey, grain, dark fruits and on and on and those partner closely with the food to produce an elevated effect. Heres our favorite quick tasting snack grab: a log of Truffled Boar Salami, Triple Cream Brie, and a bowl of oyster crackers. Many types of bourbon have an oaky taste with notes of caramel, so you can either try to match those flavors or cut through them. Including snacks alongside your bourbon tasting help to pad your stomach against the high-proof heat. Your whisky tasting table can range from relaxed, with bags and boxes of prepared snacks and hors doeuvres, to a multi-course meal, according to the occasion and the whiskies on offer. All rights reserved. Tasting the bourbons will give guest an experience to remember. Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article: Definitely include a few small batch bourbons, like this one from Belle Meade, which is a family-owned distillery in Tennessee. Dark Chocolate: Chocolate with 70% or more cocoa content is the beneficiary of the whiskys character, adding even greater depth. In the audience that afternoon was Fred Noe, a seventh-generation master distiller at Beam whose fatherif you dont knowwas Booker Noe, then-deceased, but well known for his namesake Bookers Bourbon. So, for our list of bourbon tasting snacks, weve got. Some of our favorites to pair with the best bourbons are soft, gooey brie, smoked gouda, and a bit of aged, white cheddar. Fred shared with the group that he and his dad were lifelong ham curers whod never considered pairing country ham and whiskey.
Just for fun, throw in a bottle of rotgut -- the cheapest bourbon you can find -- and see if anyone can tell the difference. Your party guests might expect to slug their bourbon out of shot glasses or drown it in gallons of Coke, but that's not how your tasting is going to go down. Love your suggestions. As the host make sure you give your guest instructions. Some of our favorite dried fruit options are: Any dried fruit with a good chewiness adds a dark sweetness that pairs well with most bourbons. Select foods that are themselves sweet and round, fatty, or for rye-forward bourbons, a little spicy. Foods that are robust, with strong seasoning, pair best with rye whiskey. Mike And Matt Taste The Hardins Creek Bourbons, Mike And Matt Taste Bridge Series American Wheat Whiskey, Mike And Matt Taste Sam Houston 15-Year-Old Bourbon, Mike And Matt Taste Brush Creek Railroad Rye, Mike And Matt Taste Ben Holladay Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon, Mike And Matt Taste Makers Mark Master Distiller And Master of Maturation Select Bottles, Mike And Matt Taste Michters Barrel Strength Bourbon From Fort Nelson, Mike And Matt Taste Barkers Mill Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon, Lexington, Kentucky Distillers Bluegrass Distillers, Lexington, Kentucky Distilleries Barrel House Distillery. As long as youve got a few exciting bourbons to try, a palate cleanser in between sips, and some snacks that will complement and enhance the spirits flavors, youre going to have a good time. I hope this answers the question as to what food should be served at a Bourbon tasting. Try crab legs (melted butter, optional, but recommended) with bourbon. Even weird candiesthe kind you filch from your kids Halloween bagsmay surprise you. Mini-Quiches: Soft richness complements the gentle spice and sweetness of the whisky. I think the best parties have some kind of activity that entice guests and they will always remember your party as a fun and positive experience.
Aged gouda is my favorite. For more studious samplings, restrict yourself to plain crackerswater biscuits, typically used for cheese, are very good, but any unflavored cracker will door cubes of plain bread, during the tasting portion. Not only will your guests get to taste some lovely bourbons they will also learn something new about bourbon. You do want everyone involved to be able to get home safely at some point. It's all part of bourbon's charm, but it's pretty off the mark.
This doesnt have to be a boring educational seminar you can put out different tasting notes for each bourbon as well as group the bourbons into similar categories. Remus straight 94 proof. Another good way is to have whiskey handy when youre pulling anything out of the smoker or off the grill.
In the pictures below you will see some of the lovely cocktail and bar-ware. Food Pairings: Here are some light bites that can be used to curb the appetite of guests while sipping the strong stuff. Be creative and have fun. What are some of your favorite bourbon tasting snacks? They each effect the whiskey differently as I noted in my blog on Pairing Bourbon with Chocolate. Our only word of caution is not to purchase meats that are too spicy. After the tasting is over, give the guests something more substantial before sending them home. Okay, so water isnt a snackbut hear us out. Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and peanuts will also have different effects on the whiskey. Elevations are the wow pairings that make participants say, I never would have expected that! Seeing people react like that in a tasting is thrilling. (March 4, 2012) http://www.straightbourbon.com/tasting.html, Vaughan, Mark. All rights reserved. Let's face it: Bourbon has a bit of a redneck reputation. Six months later, I convinced the creators of the Bourbon Classic in Louisville to let me lead a seminar on how cured ham and whiskey play well together. Bourbon, however, is a bit different. The fat in nuts can also help to smooth out an incredibly tannic whiskey. Kettle-style Potato Chips: Crunchy texture contrasts brilliantly with smooth, rich bourbon. Lets look at some of the best finger foods you can use to enhance any bourbon tasting. Though commingled, you can identify the foods and the whiskeys unique characteristics on the palate as if theyd never been combined. Fresh fruits, salt and smoke will go against the flavors in the bourbon -- salted, cured meats like bacon and country ham always work and you can't go wrong with aged and smoked cheeses. Do you sniff it first or just take a slug? At Beautiful Booze we love to throw themed parties like aDIY Mimosa Baror thisDIY Citrus Gin & Tonic Barbut a bourbon tasting party can add a kick to any ordinary party. There's no need to serve a full meal at your tasting -- the bourbon should be front-and-center, and you shouldn't overshadow it with a lot of food. Win a $250 Shopping Spree: Review a product for a chance to win. Have you tried anything that you think the world needs to know about? (March 4, 2012) http://www.straightbourbon.com/whatisbourbon.html, Waymack, Mark H. "Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbon: High Quality Bourbon for Discriminating Consumers." (Photo by Jeff Harris). Check out the next page for more information on bourbon. Whiskies have been assembled, glasses are polished and spotless, and the table is clad in white, which leaves only the menu to be decided. Manchego/Emmental: Bold but nuanced, semi-hard cheeses bring out subtleties in whiskey. Thats some tasty nibblin there! But baked desserts like crme brule, crme caramel, hummingbird cake, cheesecake, pound cake, etc. In some pairings presentations, I create a deliberate compounding of flavors in five to seven pairings. Brachs orange slices and bourbonjust outstanding! As a palate cleanser the first thing to remember is to have plenty of water for the tasters. Also, this list is not extensive feel free to pick your pleasures! But you should pay attention to the specific flavors that will bring out the best in the bourbons you're serving. The actual sip is a slightly awkward move known as the "Kentucky Chew." And even if you spit them out! "Spirits of Kentucky: Small-Batch and Single-Barrel Bourbons Revive the Good Old Days of Whiskey." (March 4, 2012) http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/dining/bourbon-is-bold-and-pairings-are-tricky-mr3qnj8-137671613.html, Goldman, Jane. Without something to cleanse the palate, youll quickly find that every bourbon starts to taste the same. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Fatty proteins and fatty candies (caramel, candy bars, milk chocolate [bitter chocolate will disappoint you, trust me]) are excellent. The login page will open in a new tab. This format really appeals to a cocktail party flow where guest can pick and choose what they taste. "Hosting a Whiskey Tasting." Well, theres fat in every part of your pairing, so I KNOW youve got really good textures for the whiskey to battle with. For a bourbon that is exceptionally hot with a high proof, a few drops of water can soften up those harsh edges to better taste that spirit. However, you want to avoid buffalo wing-level heat, which will only impair your palate. Steve Coomes is editor of BourbonBanter.com. Have car-service phone numbers handy, and never let tipsy people drive. Subscribe below to get an email each time we write a new post (typically 1-2 times a week). I recommend fresh fruits. Use whatever you have and call it a day. And you might be right on some counts -- you probably couldn't get away with a redneck theme or serve barbecue at a wine tasting. Kentucky Distilleries Map by Chuck Cowdery. Small-batch bourbons are bottled from a blend of about 20 barrels. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 20, 2012. bourbon and food, food and whiskey, whiskey tasting. It can be as casual as you want or more intense with guests sharing tasting notes. Next there should be plenty of crackers to cleanse the palate.
But you'll want to sniff with your mouth open -- this allows you to "smell" with your nose and mouth at the same time. But there are rules to bourbon tasting, and following them will really bring out the best in the bourbon. Cheese Crackers: In cracker or straw form the cheese flavor becomes subdued and harmonious.