The Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey You Should Be Pairing With Blue Cheese

bourbon and blue cheese
bourbon and blue cheese - Static Media/Shutterstock/Getty

We know cheese and wine go together like bread and butter, but pairing cheese with bourbon has grown in popularity, thanks to bourbon's burgeoning fandom. Tasting Table has covered the 17 best bourbon and cheese pairings, and we are quite particular with our selections. Plus, when building a knockout charcuterie board, we almost always add some blue cheese. It's great to snack on and not just meant for making a delicious blue cheese dressing.

But what is the best bourbon to pair with blue cheese? Blue cheese is bold, bright, and sharp, with an intrinsic funkiness that sometimes makes it an acquired taste. It feels moist and buttery in the mouth at first bite, yet it eventually crumbles and coats the tongue with some grittiness. It's a beautiful, complex cheese that needs a richly layered bourbon to pair with it. And that perfect bourbon to pair with blue cheese is none other than Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which, as per Woodword Reserve, has "more than 200 detectable flavor notes, from bold grain and wood to sweet aromatics, spice, and fruit and floral notes."

As Tasting Table's writer, Theodore James, explained, "This intricate profile of [this] bourbon finds a remarkable counterpart in the strong, distinctive flavor of blue cheese." Pairings are all about complementing flavors and a good balancing act, and blue cheese balances Kentucky bourbon whiskey well.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Blue Cheese Tempers The Alcohol In Bourbon While Enhancing Its Tasting Notes

whiskey and cheese pairing
whiskey and cheese pairing

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey also has a full-bodied mouthfeel, along with deep, warm notes of spice, caramel, vanilla, and toffee. Pairing this bourbon with tangy and sharp blue cheese helps kick up all the spirit's tasting notes a notch. The strong, velvety bourbon also tempers the creaminess and boldness of blue cheese, making the two the perfect pairing, or as James stated, "... a delightful dance of flavors."

Now, how can we maximize our enjoyment of this divine pairing? Tasting Table has spoken to an expert in the past: Elizabeth McCall, Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve, who recommends taking small sips of the bourbon and then biting the cheese. Let the cheese work its magic to temper the alcohol while enhancing all the other complex flavors in the bourbon.

McCall added, "Cheese is a vehicle for experiencing these flavors [in bourbon]." All the fat and flavors in the blue cheese coat your palate and help block the ethanol in the bourbon, which helps you experience all the nuanced notes in the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon. To help further your flavor exploration, we've written a guide to the official bourbon tasting wheel, uncovered 9 of the most common tasting notes for bourbon, and addressed the blue cheese myth you should stop believing.

Read the original article on Tasting Table