A few Beer & Whisky Combinations

Beer & Whisky

About a month ago, I wrote about a fantastic evening that myself, the folks from the brilliant BeerCast, and the great folks from Harviestoun (read about it here, here and here). The purpose of the evening was to look at combining the flavours of beer and whisky, and trying to get to a match that produces a flavour greater, or at least different than the some of the parts.

Since that evening, I have been trying out a few different combinations, to see what works. I take my homework very seriously! Here’s some combinations that did work, and some that I thought would work, but didn’t.

Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted with Red Breast 12

I thought this match would work, as I thought the sherried notes and fruity notes of the Ireland’s Finest Redbreast would be balanced and matched by maltiness and fruity notes of the B & T.

Thoughts: It didn’t exactly work, as the combination became buttery, oily and malty. All the fruitiness of both go when combined. If anything, the thing that came out of this combination was alcohol, rather than flavour.

Verdict: Drink separately. They are both far too good on their own.

Harviestoun Schiehallion &  Singleton of Dufftown Tailfire

A new, youthful whisky from Dufftown, with a hint of sherry, apricot/orange oil notes and pepper notes, that I reckoned would work with Harviestoun’s fine malty lager.

Thoughts: Matched with the beer, it becomes super malty, biscuity, wheaty with a bit of honey. They are good separately, and good together, but in different ways.

Wild Beer Sourdough & Glengoyne 25

In Beercast’s excellent article, he talked about what we are going to look at next and one of the the beer styles they mention is a Sour. For the next tasting, I have to pick a whisky that will go with a sour. I think it is going to be a challenging.

The Wild Beer Sourdough is fermented in barrels for 4 months with a 58 year old Sourdough bakers yeast (Hobbs House Bakery). On the nose it has notes of oaky chardonnay & peanut butter. Palate has a lovely sour note, mixed in with doughy notes, buttery notes, white wine notes & more curried nut notes.

Thoughts: I decided to pair it with Glengoyne 25, which is a really chocolatey dram. Chocolate and some sort of sourdough bread thing. Sounds like a great plan yeah? Nope. it didn’t work. The beer is too unique and awesome. Adding the whisky (which is also pretty great) detracts from both.

I’ll keep soldiering on until I find more perfect matches. This is my service to you.

Chris Hoban


  1. Maybe try a sour with a simpler profile, perhaps a Kernel “London Sour”.

  2. That’s a good shout. Would you say with the Kernel, going for a sherried whisky? Someone suggested going for a smoky dram on Facebook.

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