Beer Corner by Jim Flash Gordon (Revolution & Oskars Bars)
WE’VE BEEN HEARING a lot of palaver lately about the new bourgeois sport of “doing pairings.” It’s not what you think; it’s the far less amusing pastime of competitively picking the precise wine that best accompanies a given bit of food. Match up a nice wine with that baby squab braised with lemongrass and Asian pears and you’re a genius; go with a Beaujolais nouveau and you’re a wannabe, a “corkscrew.” (That’s a wine tool.) All well and good, we guess. But it can’t lay a glove on pairings as we learned to do ’em.
Go to any saloon where serious tipplers congregate and look at what they’re drinking. A high percentage will be nursing two glasses, a tall and a short. A beer and a whiskey. Now that’s pairing. Call it what you will–boilermaker, nip and pint, a beer and a chaser – a beer and a whiskey is the steak dinner of drinking.
But what beer to have with what whiskey? Even the worst-stocked bar offers more possible combinations than any drinking man would be able to calculate, even with electronic help. Every beer goes with every whiskey (there are no pairings that will make you look bad, especially if you’re sitting next to somebody drinking an apple martini), but some do go better than others. Here are some places to begin, broken down by category of beer. (Always match the whiskey to the beer. In this relationship, beer is food and whiskey is wine.)
Jameson Black Barrel+Metalman Windjammer
The combination of the passionfruit and grape notes from Metalman’s Windjammer’s balance beautifully with the papaya and nectarine aromas from the Jameson Black Barrel. On the palate the big biscuity malt character of the beer stands up nicely to the vanilla and toasted wood coming from the whiskey.
Powers Signature Release + Hardknott Azimuth IPA
The tropical fruit and grapefruit hop aromas of the Hardknott Azimuth IPA and the dried apricot and vanilla notes of the Powers Signature Release combine to create a lychee fruit aroma in the beer and accentuates the vanilla and dark fruit characters of the whiskey. The bitterness of the beer also matches well with the spicy black pepper notes of the whiskey.
Redbreast 12 Year Old + Porterhouse Red
The malt in this Irish red ale gives off aromas of caramel and berries, with a hint of citrus peel. This combines well with the sherry notes in the redbreast, as well as the toasted oak and dark chocolate characteristics.
Green Spot + Dungarvan Helvick Gold
The spicy clove-like body of the Green Spot combines with the citrus peel hop aromas in the Dungarvan Helvick gold to create an earthy combination of bitterness and spice, balanced by the sweetness of the malts.
AMERICAN MASS-MARKET “PILSNER” Example: Budweiser Optimal pairing: Suntory Yamazaki 12-year-old. The first sip of this fat, malty, peaty (and yet somehow bourbony) Japanese stunner and your Bud will be forgotten. Not a bad thing. (only joking)
As with everything in Revolution and Oskars – ask the bar staff if your are unsure. We have one of the best selections of Craft Beer & Whiskey outside the Pale!