The Macallan Whisky & Cheese Pairing Guide

Scotch whisky is every bit as diverse, intricate, and nuanced as cheese, so it helps to know which whiskies go best with which cheeses. With that in mind, we partnered up with our pals at The Macallan to put together this definitive guide for pairing their whiskies with the best possible cheesy companions. Without further ado, we present The Macallan Whisky & Cheese Pairing Guide:

Triple Cask Matured 12 Years Old

Nose: Complex with a hint of fruit and heather honey
Taste: Soft and malty, balanced with oak and fruit
The Perfect Pair: An extra aged gouda, such as Roomano
Here’s why: Triple Cask Matured 12 Years Old’s unique and complex honey sweetness enhances the caramel and toffee notes for which this cheese is so beloved.
Also pairs well with:
– A classic Comté , such as Murray’s Comté
– A creamy cheddar, such as Milton Creamery Prairie Breeze

Double Cask 12 Years Old

Nose:  Creamy butterscotch, candied orange, vanilla custard
Taste:  Honey, spices, and citrus, balanced with raisins and caramel
The Perfect Pair: A young manchego, such as Murray’s Young Manchego
Here’s why:  This sheep’s milk cheese is rich yet mellow, cutting through the citrus and spice notes within Double Cask 12 Years Old while enhancing the notes of honey and vanilla custard.
Also pairs well with:
– A French sheep’s milk cheese, such as Brebis du Haut-Bearn
– A
n earthy, truffled pecorino, such as Murray’s Pecorino Tartufello

Sherry Oak 12 Years Old

Nose:  Vanilla with a hint of ginger and dried fruits
Taste:  Smooth, rich dried fruits and sherry, balanced with wood smoke and spice
The Perfect Pair: An aged Alpine Gruyère, such as Murray’s Cave Aged Gruyère
Here’s why:  Alpine cheese typically leads with hints of caramelized onion, roasted garlic, and sweet, nutty notes. These flavors pair particularly well with the mellow wood smoke and dried fruit notes in Sherry Oak 12 Years Old.
Also pairs well with:
– An American Alpine-style cheese, such as Jasper Hill Farm Alpha Tolman
– A Swiss Alpine-style cheese, such as Annelies or Challerhocker

Triple Cask Matured 15 Years Old

Nose:  Full with hints of rose petal and cinnamon
Taste:  Intense rich chocolate, notes of orange and raisin
The Perfect Pair: A mellow blue cheese, such as Castello Traditional Danish Blue
Here’s why:  The salty, buttery flavors found in this blue cheese provide a refined contrast to the Triple Cask 15 Years Old’s floral and citrusy notes. It’s a perfect example of opposites attracting.
Also pairs well with:
– A Bavarian blue, such as Chiriboga Blue
– A buttery blue, such as Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue

Rare Cask

Nose:  Vanilla, raisins, and chocolate, followed by citrus fruits and spices
Taste:  Nutty spices, tempered by raisin and citrus
The Perfect Pair: A rich Camembert, such as Murray’s Camembert Fermier
Here’s why:  This funky, bloomy-rinded cheese has sweet, floral notes that bring out the Rare Cask’s qualities of maple syrup and candied nuts. The vanilla and citrus in the Rare Cask also help to cut through the cheese’s richness.
Also pairs well with:
– A woodsy, creamy bloomy rind, such as Jasper Hill Farms Harbison
– A soft-ripened triple creme, such as buttery blue, such as Delice de Bourgogne

And just like that, you’re ready for a fine dram and its perfect partner in cheesy refinement. In terms of the best way to enjoy your Scotch: you’ll get the most out of it by sipping on it at room temperature either neat or with a drop or two of water. Ice will chill the spirit, locking up both its taste and its aroma. A tiny bit of water can act to release new properties in the whisky, but a little bit goes a long way. With stuff of this quality, its best to appreciate it in its purest form.

Slàinte mhath.

Cheesify Your Oktoberfest with These Beer & Cheese Pairings

When the first crisp breezes of autumn are in the air, you know it’s time for Oktoberfest – that boisterous celebration of Bavarian heritage that despite its name falls in mid-September, heralded by clinking steins and the joyous pulse of oompah music.

Marzen, the style of lager traditionally drunk at Oktoberfest, is named for the month of March, when it was produced in compliance with medieval Bavarian law that prohibited brewing during the summer months.

Given that Oktoberfest beers are consumed in full liter increments, it’s no surprise that they are known for supreme drinkability.  But don’t mistake this genre for swill – here are three unique American and German Marzens that make excellent complements to some of the world’s finest cheeses.

Oktoberfest Marzen-style Lager

Blue Point Brewing Company (Patchogue, NY)

Consider this your warmup round, or appetizer – a light, sweet, floral, thirst-quenching brew that invites savory accompaniments and thus lends itself to a wide range of possible cheese pairings.

  • A golden-hued, light bodied, very balanced and highly quaffable lager
  • Pleasant yeasty and floral aromas accompany a dominant malty sweetness – a perfect complement to equally light bodied, but lemony and tangy soft goat’s milk cheeses
  • It’s so easy to drink this beer, you might forget to move on to the next two if you’re not careful!

Cheese Pairings Humboldt Fog, Chabichou du Poitou, Pico Picandine, Westfield Farm Capri, Bucheron

Humboldt Fog, made by Cypress Grove

2017 Oktoberfest Marzen-style Lager

Sierra Nevada (Chico, CA) & Brauhaus Miltenberger (Miltenberg, Germany)

With this American-German collaboration, Sierra Nevada and Brauhaus Miltenberger offer a brew that packs more punch without sacrificing drinkability.  Its forward hoppiness does well with cheddars and fudgy Alpine style cheeses.

  • Deep, hazy amber tone with aromas of dewy grass and subtle tangerine notes
  • Creamy mouthfeel with a focused citrus-peel bitterness that conditions the taste buds for a rich, nutty and tangy pairing – think American cheddars and Alpine-style cheeses
  • There’s more here to be savored, but don’t mistake this for sipping beer. Drink, eat, repeat!

Pairings5 Spoke Creamery Tumbleweed, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Consider Bardwell Rupert, Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Milton Creamery Flory’s Truckle

Pleasant Ridge Reserve, made by Uplands Cheese Company

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Smoked Marzen-style Lager

Brauerei Heller (Bamberg, Germany)

The final selection, from Bavaria’s historic Brauerei Heller, fires on all cylinders, making it a superb accompaniment to strong, buttery blues and sweet fruit preserves.

  • Dark mahogany color, with aromas of smoke and black cherry syrup
  • Light to medium body, with a slightly tart lingering finish, this Marzen nevertheless drinks like a heavier beer due to the intensity of the smoke
  • Time for dessert – sip this bad boy alongside a rich, creamy blue cheese topped with cherries in syrup or preserved walnuts

Pairings:  Chiriboga Blue, Persille de Rambouillet, Cambozola Black Label, Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese, Fourme d’Ambert

Persille de Rambouillet

Written by: Tyler Frankenberg, Murray’s Cheese

Cheese, Beer, and the Super Bowl: Murray’s Guide to Doing it Right

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By John David Ryan, Field Merchandiser and Beer Connoisseur Extraordinaire 

It’s that time of year: Super Bowl season! We’re all talking about things like: what are Russell Wilson’s chances of leading his team to a repeat victory? What will we serve for game day snacks? Who will have the best commercials? Will the halftime show be as terrible as it always is? And what kind of Uggs will Tom Brady be wearing at the post-game press conference? These are important details—I must know!

 Cheddar & IPA

If you’re like the rest of the cool kids, then you probably drink IPAs and talk about how much you appreciate a fresh, hoppy beer with intense notes of citrus and pine. But seriously: it’s hard to beat a well-made India Pale Ale. Known for starting the American craft beer craze, these West Coast originals aren’t necessarily a beginner-friendly beer, but are probably the most widely enjoyed ale. And they’re made for pairing. Try one with a clothbound cheddar. The crumbly, acidic cheese holds its own against the bitter beer.

Beer suggestions: Ithaca Flower Power, Ballast Point Sculpin, Dogfish Head 60 Minute

Gouda & Stout

Gouda is that fun friend who we all want to show up to our party because they make it so much better. Plus, Gouda comes lots of different ways: creamy, smoked, aged, with caraway seeds, etc. I prefer an aged gouda. It’s full of crystals! Delicious, crunchy tyrosine crystals (that’s an amino acid), which typically form within cheeses that have been aged over a year. It’ll be drier, with hints of caramel, salt and butterscotch. For that reason, you need some sweetness to balance it out. Go with a big stout—something with a lot of roasty, chocolate flavors. (Don’t be afraid to add some honey to the equation if you like it really sweet.) Think of it as a boozy chocolate sea salt caramel truffle—your party guests will be amazed.

 Beer Suggestions: Alesmith Speedway, North Coast Old Rasputin, Evil Twin I Love You With My Stout

Brie & Belgian Pale Ale

It’s hard not to love a double or triple crème brie. The decadent, buttery paste just melts in your mouth. But you need something with bubbles to help cleanse your palate of all of that goodness. Traditionally, you’d pop open a bottle of champagne—but who brings Moet & Chandon to a football party? Grab a Belgian pale or golden ale—something with a cork and cage on top like champagne. It lets you know that it’s been bottle fermented and will give you lots of bubbles, which is exactly what you want with a creamy cheese like this.

Beer Suggestions: Brooklyn Local 1, Ommegang BPA, Brassiere d’Achouffe La Chouffe

Blue & Barleywine

Blue cheese can be intimidating. Heck: its got blue mold throughout the paste. But it becomes a magical food when you properly pair it. For starters, get a younger, creamier blue like Cambozola Black Label or Chiriboga or even Stilton. Then crack open a barleywine—a big ale with a ton of malty sweetness. You’ll taste toffee, dark fruits, molasses and caramel—but watch out! Because of the amount of grain used in making a barleywine, they’re typically higher in alcohol. So if Uncle Larry has a foul mouth and gets loud after a few brews, maybe steer him away from this one.

Beer Suggestions: Central Waters Kosmyk Charlie’s Y2K, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Stone Old Guardian

Alpine & Brown

When I think of paradise, it often involves a herd of cows with bells on their necks, lush pastures, snow-capped mountains, and a smelly shepherd with one of those long, curved sticks…or a beach in the Caribbean. I mean, they’ve got fruity drinks with umbrellas there, but they don’t have Alpine cheeses. Most Alpines are still made by traditional methods and are regulated to insure they are of the highest quality. But when I want a fantastic nutty Alpine cheese, I dream of Comte. I reach for Gruyere. I covet a pound of Appenzeller…and something to wash it down with it. For that, you’ll need a brown ale. Just like Alpine cheeses, brown ales are slightly sweet, nutty, and thoroughly enjoyable by everyone. They are an easy pairing that everyone at your party will love. Then too, if you have leftovers, you can always whip up some fondue!

 Beer Suggestions: Anchor Brekle’s Brown, Bells Best Brown, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog

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8 Cheesy Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas from the Murray’s Staff

ManThatsGood

What to do with leftover turkey? We asked our Murray’s team for their favorite next-day turkey dishes.

Brett – Assistant Retail Manager – If there is any white meat left, I thinly slice it and layer with hot peach chutney and Chiriboga Blue. The tart cranberry and rich buttery blue is a perfect pairing.

Dan – Education Manager – A turkey panini! I go for the rich dark meat, on a nutty whole grain bread with Consider Bardwell Rupert, grilled for maximum flavor. If I’m really indulging, I’ll dip the crusty sandwich in warm gravy. Oh yea, that’s good!

Sarah – Catering Associate – Brie Fermier with cranberry sauce and herb-roasted turkey on a crusty ciabatta, so perfect! No gravy for me, as that will overwhelm the delicate creaminess of the brie, but I would definitely enjoy a porter alongside this sandwich.

Alberto – Cheesemonger – Often I just go for a good smear of mayo, but I think the Tomme Chevre Aydius, with its firm paste and salty finish would be perfect with my mom’s white-wine basted turkey and stuffing on toasted sourdough pullman.

Conner – Wholesale – I keep it simple and go for a quick turkey salad. It’s as easy as mixing my leftover bird with SIr Kinskington mayo, cranberry relish, apples, parsley and candied walnuts. A crusty baguette and some Prairie Breeze Cheddar… that’s all there is to it!

Lizzie – Wholesale – Tacos, of-course! I use avocado, chimichurri, black beans, cilantro lime, and one of the all-time best melting cheeses Reading. Perfect for a day of laying around and recovering from a crazy turkey day!

Amanda – Nationwide – When I wake up the day after thanksgiving, there’s only one thing that I want to eat. I take my leftover stuffing, melt some nutty 2 year Comte over it, and fry and egg. BAM! Easy Black Friday breakfast

Andy maybe the best idea we have heard so far…

Sabrina – Nationwide – Thanksgiving Poutine! It’s pretty darn easy, and outrageously delicious. Take your leftover potatoes and make potato pancakes. top them with some leftover dressing and cheese curds!