Lady Jaye: Meat Dudes Podcast
Join the Meat Dudes as they discuss what whiskey pairs best with different kinds of BBQ!
BBQ & Whiskey Pairings
Unlocking the Flavors: Exploring the Perfect Pairing of Whiskey and BBQ
Whiskey and BBQ are two of America’s most beloved traditions. It’s no surprise that they pair so well together. The smoky, savory flavors of BBQ complement the rich, complex notes of
whiskey, creating a taste sensation that’s hard to beat. But why do these two things go so well together? Let’s take a closer look.
The history and culture of America provide many examples of whiskey and BBQ pairing perfectly. For instance, during Prohibition, people would gather for secret BBQ parties, and
whiskey was often served to accompany the meal. These gatherings were a celebration of American culture and traditions, and the pairing of whiskey and BBQ became an integral part of that culture.
So, why do whiskey and BBQ taste so good together? The answer lies in the flavors. BBQ is renowned for its deliciously charred and aromatic flavors, while whiskey is celebrated for its
opulent and intricate flavor profile. These flavors complement each other perfectly, creating a taste sensation that’s hard to resist.
Fun Fact: Both Whiskey AND BBQ take on many characteristics from wood. Whiskey from the barrel aging process, and BBQ from the smoke of the wood!
We tasted THREE whiskeys that we think pair well with BBQ:
Pairs with: Smoked Pork, BBQ Chicken, Smoked Salmon
Nose: sweet nose; vanilla icing, candied orange, some floral notes as it sits
Palate: very soft and sweet, very little oak, crème brûlée with some orange zest
Finish: actually pretty good considering how soft and low proof it is, the sweetness drops off
and is replaced with bolder toffee notes
Sagamore Spirits Double Oaked Rye:
Pairs with: Beef Ribs, Brisket, Sweet BBQ Pork Ribs, Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Nose: oak, fennel, orange oil polish
Palate: super oaky, burnt sugar on wood, spearmint toothpicks
Finish: Long, oaky with hints of cinnamon
Pairs with: Smoked Tri Tip, Pulled Pork, Smoked Zabuton, most grilled steaks, smoked sausage
Nose: leather & cherry
Palate: salted caramel, cherries, brown sugar. Finish: long with saline and brown sugar
What whiskey pairs well with Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu beef can be rich, because of all the inter-muscular fat, so which whiskey(s) would pair
well with it? Lets dive in to a couple of our Whiskey Master’s favorites:
Wagyu beef and Westland Colere can make for a great pairing for several reasons. First,
Westland Colere is a single malt whiskey that’s aged in American oak casks, which impart notes
of vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak into the whiskey. These flavors complement the rich,
buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth texture of Wagyu beef.
Secondly, Westland Colere has a fruity and floral aroma, with hints of orange blossom and
lavender, that can pair well with the umami flavors of Wagyu beef. The sweetness and acidity
of the whiskey can also help balance the rich and savory flavors of the beef, creating a more
complex and satisfying taste experience.
Lastly, Westland Colere has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, which can complement the
velvety texture of Wagyu beef. The whiskey’s finish, which includes notes of honey, floral and
spice, can also add an extra layer of complexity and flavor to the pairing, making it a truly
unique and enjoyable experience.
Glenmorangie Nectar D’or:
Wagyu beef and Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or pair well together for a few reasons. Firstly, the rich
marbling and melt-in-your-mouth texture of Wagyu beef is perfectly complemented by the
sweet and honeyed notes of Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, which is finished in Sauternes wine
casks. The sweetness of the wine cask finish helps to enhance the natural sweetness of the
beef, creating a truly harmonious pairing.
Additionally, the complexity of Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or, with its layers of flavors ranging
from vanilla and toffee to ginger and nutmeg, can hold its own against the bold flavors of
Wagyu beef. This allows both the whiskey and the beef to shine, without overpowering each
Finally, the smooth and silky texture of Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or provides a perfect
complement to the luxurious mouthfeel of Wagyu beef, making for a truly indulgent and
High Proof and Low Proof Whiskey
When it comes to whiskey, there are two main categories: high proof and low proof. High proof
whiskey is typically defined as any whiskey that is 100 proof or higher, while low proof whiskey
is anything under 100 proof. Each type of whiskey has its own unique flavor profile, and when
paired with BBQ, the differences become even more pronounced.
High proof whiskey is known for its bold, intense flavor. Because it has a higher alcohol content,
it tends to have a stronger taste and a more pronounced burn. This can be both a blessing and a
curse when paired with BBQ. On one hand, the bold flavor of high proof whiskey can stand up
to the strong, smoky flavors of BBQ. On the other hand, the high alcohol content can
overpower the food, making it difficult to appreciate the subtler flavors of the meat.
Low proof whiskey, on the other hand, has a more mellow flavor. Because it has a lower alcohol
content, it tends to be smoother and less intense than high proof whiskey. This can make it a
better choice for pairing with lighter BBQ, as it won’t overpower the flavors of the food.
However, because it has a less intense flavor, it may not stand up as well to the strong, smoky
flavors of BBQ.
So, which type of whiskey is best for pairing with BBQ? The answer is: it depends. If you’re
looking for a bold, intense flavor that can stand up to the strong flavors of BBQ, then high proof
whiskey may be the way to go. However, if you want to appreciate the subtler flavors of the
meat and don’t want the alcohol to overpower the food, then low proof whiskey may be a
Here are some examples of how high proof and low proof whiskeys can be paired with BBQ:
High Proof Bourbon Pairings:
Smoked brisket and Booker’s
BBQ pork ribs and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
Spicy smoked sausage and Stagg Jr.
Low Proof Bourbon Pairings:
Pulled pork sandwiches and Maker’s Mark
BBQ chicken and Woodford Reserve
Grilled shrimp and Buffalo Trace
As you can see, each type of whiskey can be paired with a variety of BBQ dishes. It’s all about
finding the right balance between the intensity of the whiskey and the strength of the flavors in
the food. Whether you prefer high proof or low proof whiskey, there’s a pairing out there that’s
perfect for you.
So, the next time you’re enjoying a plate of smoky, savory BBQ, don’t forget to pour yourself a
glass of your favorite whiskey and savor the perfect pairing.