On the third Saturday in May every year, whisky lovers around the globe raise a glass or two in celebration of Scotland’s national drink. The whisky consultant, Blair Bowman started World Whisky Day back in 2012. His idea was simple, to create a special day that everyone across the globe could participate in, and celebrate our national spirit.
It is the perfect excuse for whisky aficionados to enjoy everything to do with our iconic Scottish spirit. If you ask me, the combination of complex flavours found in single malt whisky, paired with farmhouse and artisan cheese, is a match made in heaven.
If you are not able to attend some of the exciting events planned on the 20th of May, why not have your own whisky and cheese tasting a home? Here are four of my favourite pairings:
Delice des Cremiers is a simply sublime (and very popular) soft cheese with a bloomy rind like a brie that's made with raw cows' milk, enriched with double cream to create a rich buttery texture and flavour. It is produced in Burgundy, France using traditional rennet. It ripens in cellars for at least three weeks, before continuing to mature for another two weeks in a wooden box. It has a decadent creamy and butter-like flavour that pairs harmoniously with lighter single malts, like Nc'Nean Organic Single Malt.
Isle of Mull Cheddar is crumbly, sharp and tangy and made from raw cows' milk on Sgriob Ruadh farm on the Island of Mull. The lucky herd's diet is supplemented with draff (used whisky grain), a by-product from the local distillery. The cheddar is matured for at least a year to develop its intensity, and occasionally you might find a slight blue vein on the cheddar, which just adds to the flavour. It is made with traditional rennet and cloth-bound. The sharp and tangy nature of this cheese will be well complemented by the deep flavour our local whisky from Glenkinchie distillery. I especially love their Distiller's Edition 2022.
Vintage Gouda is an artisan gouda made in the Netherlands with raw cow’s milk and traditional rennet. It is matured for 4 years (!) to produce a hard, crunchy gouda with an extraordinary butterscotchy flavour. During the long maturation process, the cheese develops amazingly complex and profound caramel notes. The paste is hard and dotted with tiny protein crystals that give it an assertive crunch. Vintage Gouda is simply sublime when paired with complex caramelly whiskies; for instance, the 12-year-old Dalmore.
Bleu d'Auvergne is a dense but lusciously creamy dense medium strength, blue cheese from Auvergne, France. It is made with traditional rennet from raw cow’s milk. It is said that this classic French blue cheese was the predecessor to the famous Roquefort. It is a wonderfully delicious treat for blue cheese lovers. It has an engaging mushroomy flavour with a lightly spicy lingering edge. It is best to enjoy this French classic cheese with a dram of smoky whisky, like the 18-year-old Ledaig.
So this World Whisky Day, why not invite some of your dearest friends around to your home and have your own special whisky celebration, paired with a selection of fine artisan cheeses! #WorldWhiskyDay
The Cheese Lady x
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