View Full Version : best bourbon paired with Spanish Jamon Iberico de Bellota

04-25-2008, 00:55
I'm sending someone a gift = one bottle of bourbon and one package of Spanish Jamon Iberico de Bellota. (http://www.tienda.com/food/products/jm-20.html)

what bottle do you think would go best with this:

"There are two types of black-hoofed Iberico pigs - one that lives the life of a normal pig and one that is free-range fed on acorns (bellotas) and wild plants. These are the coveted Bellota hams. The only difference is in diet and exercise, but those things make all the difference in the world.

The rare Bellota Jamón Ibérico hams are infused with the flavor of their favorite food, the acorn (bellota) from a cork tree. The paper-thin slices, glistening with healthy mono-unsaturated fat, provide a rich nutty flavor and tender texture. Spaniards consume the vast majority of these hams in their own country. Some producers have waiting lists for several years for their best products. They cannot produce enough hams to meet the demand from Spain, France, Japan and now America.

From the moment they are born, the special black Iberian hogs destined for Bellota quality are treated royally. For special periods after their birth, until their sacrifice (as the Spaniards term it), they live, sleep and forage under the open sky in specially maintained oak forests, called "la dehesa". These rare black-hoofed descendants of native Iberian wild boar typically have over five acres in which to forage and roam. They live for about two years in this porcine paradise - many times the lifespan of a normal domestic pig.

In the bulking-up stage each fall, the pigs feast on 15 to 20 pounds of acorns or 'bellotas' per day. This allows them to gain as much as 2 pounds of body weight daily. The consistent exercise they enjoy as they forage in a free-range atmosphere is essential to the final quality of the hams.

Finally, the hams are 'sacrificed', salted and hung up to cure from two to four years. During this carefully monitored period when they are hanging in the mountain air, the hams lose 20% to 40% of their weight. Remarkably, the curing process converts much of the remaining fat of the ham into a beneficial good-cholesterol fat, much like extra virgin olive oil. But this process only occurs in the hams made from acorn fed pigs - producing Bellota hams."


04-26-2008, 07:09
I would say something on the sweeter and lighter side like a Weller centennial or a Weller 12yr. I think I rye would overpower that nice little gift. You could consider a RHFs, FRSB, Hancock, ORVW 10/107, Bernheim...

I like a lighter bourbon with my beacons, but will go heavier with a smoked meat. The Parker Heritage 122 is great with pulled pork, brisket, etc...

04-26-2008, 13:36
Damn. That sounds delicious.

Emerald, Its interesting you should say "rye would overpower that nice little gift". Baby Saz is what first popped into my head. I think you are right that many ryes would overpower the meat, ryes like WT Rye. However I have often paired Baby Saz with pork/smoked chops/ Black Forest Ham (the real deal). Then again, Black foreft hams are quite strongly flavored. But the description "rich nutty flavor" just made me think Baby Saz. Moving in the opposite direction I would second the recommendation for ORVW 10/107. Its sweet richness may be just the ticket.

04-26-2008, 14:28
The baby saz might be OK, I was thinking that you would hinder the lighter tastes of the nuts and meat... now Black Forest ham would be great with about any bourbon... so much there ti play off of... I might have to get some to try with my Stagg.... and my saz.... mmm got me thinking

04-26-2008, 15:42
Send them a nice bottle of wine to go with it. Hit the store and grab a nice spanish Tempranillo or maybe a clerk would be able to point you in a direction.


04-26-2008, 17:19
so 2 votes for ORVW 10/107, and a 1.5 for Baby Saz - but what about Elmer T Lee SB if the consensus is for something sweeter, isn't it a very dessert-y sweet one? is it too sweet?

as for wine, that's too traditional/easy/girly (if I may) for both my intent and the recipient's tastes, but a fine idea otherwise. ;)

04-26-2008, 18:56
well, i dont know about you, but that made me hungry !!!

Oh, and I third the ORVW 10/107.:grin:

04-27-2008, 08:57
Elmer T would be a good choice as well. I think any bourbon in that "family" or style of bourbon would be perfect.

If we were talkig wine, the Tempranillo would be a perfect choice... that or a big fruit Pinot, not one of the "want-to-be-a-Cab" style Pinots.

If he is a good, close friend go with the PVW 20 or 23 yr. But then again, those go good with everything :)

Dr. François
04-28-2008, 20:49
I hate to recommend a low-brow choice, but I think Fighting Cock may make a good pairing for several reasons.

1) Fighting Cock is really, really sweet. It should stand up to the saltiness of the jamon. Plus, the extra proof of the 103 should cut through some of the richness.

2) When I tried Fighting Cock, it had a honeydew melon top note that really impressed me. I've never seen that flavor in a bourbon before. The classic pairing of melon and dry-cured ham would be a fascinating flavor comparison.

3) There'd be a whole "barnyard" theme going on. Pig and chicken. Mmmmmm.

Keep in mind, I'm not a huge FC fan, but I think it would be worth investigating. Perhaps re-bottle it and give it a different name and a custom label.

El Gallo Luchiendo!

04-29-2008, 18:39
I agree with Cookie's original suggestion, a 10- or 12-year-old Weller would be perfect.