Only two things make whiskey better: More of it, or chasing it with beer.
A whiskey, beer back, is hardly the highlight of creative bar-tending. But as many of us know, not every beer-and-booze pairing works. Finding a perfect pairing takes a little thought. You have to be careful not to overpower the flavors in any direction – like having a super heavy beer with a whiskey that’s a little more intricate in flavor. And it’s not about slamming the spirit down. It’s about enjoying a taste of both. You start with a sip of the spirit, then a taste of beer. Consider, as well, that the combination of one neat spirit and one beer probably contains less alcohol than the two cocktails you’d slurp down in about the same amount of time. Here are some of our best-loved pairings:
- An American pilsner, Yuengling Premium Beer and Suntory Yamazaki 18-year-old. The first sip of this fat, malty, peaty Japanese stunner and your troubles will be forgotten. Finish with the crisp, bright pilsner and you are a veritable laser beam of optimism. Not a bad thing.
- On the bourbon end, rich Smuttynose Robust Porter, with its roasted malt and chocolate notes, is a perfect match with the higher-proof bourbon, Knob Creek Single Barrel.
- Our favorite British ale, Old Speckled Hen, is what we love to pair with our Glenlivet 18-year-old whisky. Unlike the lighter Glenlivet 12, the magnificent 18 has enough wood to stand up to the ale without stepping on its creaminess. Dee-licious.
- Then of course there’s Guinness and Powers Irish Whiskey. A no-brainer. Powers is what they drink with their Guinness in Dublin. Good enough for us.
The simple desire for a beer and a bump can provide countless avenues for exploration. A little whiskey and beer is also a dependable do-it-yourself cocktail. When at home, we always take our liquor neat over one of our frozen Whiskey Disks™ to create a smoother drinking experience. We let the spirit warm on the tongue, enjoying the flavors as they develop due to the slight change in temperature from the whiskey stone. Then, a sip of beer and “BOOM” goes the dynamite!