Cheese and Whisky pairing

At the first Cask Selector gathering this year we were discussing about interesting new concepts which we could develop with our whiskies and the idea of a cheese – whisky pairing experiment came to mind. If you can match wine or beer with cheese, why would this not be possible with whisky as well? We already had the whiskies, still needing the cheese we contacted the people from Kaasmeester Elsen and they were very interested in joining in this new endeavour. At the first gathering of the ‘KaasAid Taskforce’ there was cheese and there was whisky but finding the right combination seemed not that easy. While some whiskies just did not allow you to taste any cheese other cheeses completely supressed the rich taste of the whisky. Although already some acceptable combinations were found a second gathering had to be setup to further tune these. As the first gathering had also been an introduction to whiskies for the cheese experts from Kaasmeester Elsen they were now better prepared and the selection of chees available on this second meeting allowed, in combination with the previous experiences, to find some nice combinations, both with CaskAid bottlings as well as different general available bottlings. The slight despair that had been present with certain people within the ‘KaasAid Taskforce’ after the first gathering turned to surprised appreciation of the newly found combinations which were confirmed by a slightly bigger panel afterwards. The final test of our new concept was then held at the 3rd Cask Selector gathering of the year in September which was hosted by Vinotheca in Everberg. 16 whisky enthusiasts were presented with 8 different cheeses, each served with a selected whisky. In addition 3 other cheeses where available for experimental tasting but again, finding new successful combinations proved to be very challenging. The already established combinations however proved to be successful and as the evening progressed various other bottles of the library were sampled resulting in a very successful Cask Selector gathering and the unanimous approval of our new cheese and whisky tasting concept. The development of the concept had been much more challenging than anticipated but the results were, in our opinion, certainly worth the effort…

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