The Perfect Pairing Experience: Design your own Whiskey & Cheese Tasting

At West Cork Whiskey we love nothing more than a new experience. We’re all about innovation and getting out of our comfort zone. Whether you’re new to West Cork Whiskey or you’re been with us since 2003, when we set up shop in Denis’ house in Unionhall, you’ll know a whiskey tasting never fails to inspire.

Here’s how it works: get together with a couple of your closest whiskey lovers and curate the lineup. We like to go for a balance of classics like our Black Cask Blend, along with some alternative flavours like our IPA Cask Matured Blend or the Triple Distilled Single Malt Irish whiskey from our Glengarriff Series.

Ask one or two of your guests to take care of the cheese selection. Whiskey and cheese are an age-old pair, but with our creative blends alongside some of Ireland’s best cheeses, you can explore an abundance of new combinations.
With sweeter cheeses bringing floral whiskey notes to the fore, and saltier cheeses cutting through more acidic blends, here is our list of the best duos:

It’s usually best to start with a crowd pleaser, like a Mount Leinster Coolattin Cheddar or Ardsallagh Smoked Cheese, alongside a peated whiskey, like the Peat Charred Cask featured in our Glengarriff Series. It’s a triple distilled single malt whiskey, which is matured in Sherry casks and finished in casks that have been charred using peat harvested from the local boglands of Glengarriff Forest. Anything sherry finished or peated works really well with hard cheddars, blue cheeses and smoked flavours, as the hints of rich sherry highlight the best in these cheeses.

For a cheese with less intensity, like a St Tola’s Goat, try something light and sweet, perhaps a single grain or our Irish Stout Cask Matured Blended Whiskey. A light blend can also pair well with a strong cheese, like mature cheddar. Most Irish hard cheddars have quite a refined flavour so you can combine them with a selection of whiskeys. Why not line up a couple and do a blind taste test?

Let’s add a little more Cork to the spread, shall we? We’ve got a huge selection of cheese producers in the area. If you’ve checked out our Casked Conversations, you’ll have met Fingal Ferguson, a farmer and food producer at Gubbeen Farmhouse. Gubbeen is essential for your cheeseboard, and we already know it goes down well with our whiskies. Add an Imokilly Regato, a Durrus or an Ardrahan and you’ll really impress.

Some further suggestions include:

  • Drumlin Wild Garlic & Chilli
  • Knockanore Smoked
  • Wicklow Blue Brie
  • Crozier Blue
  • Cratloe Hills Gold Mature
  • Saint Gall