I love bourbon and I love cheese with my bourbon. After doing some Google searching for bourbon - cheese pairings, I bought a variety of suggested cheeses and conducted a one-man tasting this weekend.
The bourbon was ORVW107 10 y.o. because, well, that’s what I wanted to drink.
Old Kentucky Tomme
Made in Indiana and aged 5-6 months. This is a semi-soft cheese made from goats’ milk and is a style typically made in the French Alps. Generally mild with a creamy texture. Definite mushroom taste. I like this cheese but don’t see it as a particularly good match for bourbon. (I retried this later with some BT and it seemed to pair better with that pour’s earthy undertones.)
From Vermont, a hard cows’ milk cheese aged about six months. Pale yellow, the taste is grassy and nutty and nicely sharp. Compliments the bourbon’s char. I liked this one a lot.
Vermont Artisanal Cheddar
Firm and aged over two years. Not the rubbery, day-glo orange cheddar that you find in the supermarket dairy case, this is the real deal. The sharpness is balanced by the high-butterfat creaminess. A good sharp cheddar is a natural with whiskey. Stands up well to the alcohol heat of the whiskey.
A semi-firm cows’ milk cheese from France. Naturally orange-colored. Similar to Edam, but more intensely-flavored. I found this a real match with the sweetness and caramel tones of the ORVW. A real winner!
A four year-old from the Netherlands, this is the quintessential pairing with bourbon. Very hard and crumbly. Surprisingly rich and nutty on the tongue. Very intense with a butterscotch-like finish. Always a good match.
Nancy’s Hudson Valley Camembert
One of my all time favorites, this is a Camembert unlike any other I’ve tried. From Vermont, it’s made with a mixture of cow and goat milk. Extraordinarily smooth and buttery --- with the texture of a triple-cream. All it needs is a neutral cracker and a good pour. I switched to OGD114 for this one; the high rye content and higher ABV helps cut the richness. (NOTE TO SELF: you’ve got to try this with some THH.)