Whisky & Cheese @ The Hive Bar, Erskineville

"The last time I drank whisky, I started returning things I never stole." - Unknown

I’ve long been a fan of cheese pairings – but I’ll readily admit that they’ve all been pairings done with a range of wines, from the ‘top shelf’ end of the decadent scale to some seriously mediocre offerings lined up alongside a bowl of well-beyond room temperature cheddar cubes.

But even longer than I’ve been a fan of a cheese-pairing evening, I’ve been a devotee of whisky – specifically, Scotch whisky (with the occasional smattering of Irish, Bourbon, Canadian, Rye, Japanese… and especially Australian whisky thrown in for good measure…)

Which meant that the opportunity to put my love of whisky together with a love of good cheese was something that I was never going to pass up – and, together with the amazing team at the Hive Bar in Erskineville, and the delightful Lakiesha from Taste.E, the planets aligned and our combined first-ever whisky and cheese pairing took place.

The pairing menu had its genesis in my own fevered imagination – close to 30 years (or 22 years, if you don’t count my formative years learning about whisky at my father’s knee on a cold winter’s night, well before I was meant to be enjoying it…) of whisky knowledge was combined with a long-held love of everything found within the confines of the fromagerie. And from the delicate flavours of a pecorino, to the barn-storming (and terribly misnomered) Papillon blue cheese, we found a match for five of the best top-shelf single malts from Scotland – and one of the most amazing Australian malts ever produced.

You will no doubt be able to deduce the whisky list from some of the beautiful photos from the event – so I shan’t bore you with too many details… However, I will gladly exhort any and all of you reading this to consider a salient fact that we all learnt from the evening…

Whisky is every bit as complex as wine – and for every complimentary flavour that you might find in a glass of vino to match with a cheese, there is likely to be a whisky that will deliver the nose, and palate, to match – and deliver both of those in an abundance that I defy you to find within a bottle of wine…

And for the lovers of desserts, I’ll happily spill a tiny ‘trade secret’: Our final matching for the night was a marriage between the Laguvalin 16, and a Haigh’s Maltichoc – which, to my mind, is arguably one of the finest combinations of flavours I’ve ever encountered throughout my years of passion for whisky.

Many, many thanks to Lakiesha, Adam and the crew at The Hive Bar – and, most of all, to the lucky people who were there to experience the evening with us, and share with us a passion for flavour, decadence – and the joys of single malt whisky.

We will definitely be doing this again – so please keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of our next evening. If you’re a fan of a good ‘wine and cheese’ night, last night’s experience has shown us all that this is the next step in a gastronomic journey, which will – I promise – be one of the most illuminating evenings your palate has ever enjoyed.

- Words: Gregor Stronach

- Photography: Taste.E Pty Ltd. 2015

Gregor is a local legend and Whisky connoisseur! We'd love to thank him for being part of our first Whisky & Cheese event at The Hive Bar! His knowledge, passion and ability to command a room is second to none.

We look forward to our next collaboration... until then, happy drinking!


NEXT EVENT // unWINEd at The ArtHouse Hotel, Friday 7th August

www.taste-e.com.au for details and to book!