Some things are so good, so delicious, that you want them to never end. The above photo depicts just that; excellent cheese paired with high octane whiskey (no joke) and high caliber cheese.
Thanks to the cheese diva, Jeanne Carpenter from Cheese Underground for putting together another amazing cheese event. Wisconsin Cheese Originals is an annual weekend long cheese festival, that leaves you full (literally) of cheese and other amazing goodies. Jeanne works tirelessly to bring together some of the best cheese-makers in Wisconsin and the nation, to this lip smacking event held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, Wisconsin. Artisan cheese-makers and farmstead cheese-makers alike make a Hollywood like appearance and grace the attendees with their cheese knowledge and cheesy wit. Even I blush when I have to introduce myself to these beautiful women and handsome men who make some of the best award winning cheeses in the world. (cheese-maker nerd swoon)
|Willi Lehner Bleu Mont Dairy|
Sandwich me in-between these cheeses and I am a happy lady....
|best label in show.... don't you think?|
Each year, Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario is in attendance and offers up her knowledge when pairing fine spirits and cheeses. This year, her spirit of choice was Tennessee Whiskey. Last year it was rum, the year before it was sake. So here we are America, feeling our southern roots with good ole' Tennessee Whiskey. I admit, at first I was not sure I could stomach the whiskey and cheese combo. However, after you warm up to Barrie Lynn's enthusiasm and knowledge of not only the cheese but also the whiskey, you are ready to create the "cheese highway" as Barrie Lynn calls it.
|Jeanne Carpenter and Barrie Lynn - cheese goddesses|
Artisan Cheese and Tennessee Whiskey Pairing
Prichard's Double Chocolate Bourbon Whiskey and Marieke's Raw Milk Honey Clover Gouda
George Dickel No. 12 Tennessee Whiskey - Red Rock/Chris Roelli
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select - Satori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano
Whisper Cream Tennessee Sipping Cream - Belgioioso Cheese Mascarpone
The pairing was delicious. A highlight of my day at the Cheese Fest! The pours were generous, the hunks of cheese were weighty and my table of cheese aficionados were soon giddy from the whiskey while happily enjoying each taste of cheese. We tasted Red Rock, a cheddar made with double the anatto and a hint of blue, Marieke's Raw Milk Honey Clover Gouda, Satori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano, and the creamy Belgioioso Mascarpone drowning in a luxurious Tennessee Sipping Cream.
I was partial to Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select, I must say. It was really smooth, for 47% and the flavor was filled with caramel notes. For being a amateur, I was quite pleasantly surprised how lovely whiskey can taste. However, ending the tasting with a super rich sipping cream which smothered the even richer mascarpone cheese was pretty much over the top. No other way to say it. OVER THE TOP! If you need something sweet and delcious to replace your traditional Baileys, get yourself some of the Whisper Creek Sipping Cream. Repeat, OVER THE TOP.
If you are in Wisconsin next November, try to make it to this great cheese fest. It is not only a taste experience, but an educational awakening into what really good cheese tastes like. Who knows what they will be pairing next year?
Peace out on Wisconsin Cheese and Tennessee Whiskey