Experimenting with different whisky and cheese pairings has been lots of fun and we have learnt a great deal from trying different combinations. Over weekends we sometimes spend a bit of time exploring the local Checkers Cheese market. We get really excited when we find an interesting cheese and start planning our whisky cheese pairing on the drive back home already. This past weekend we found a Clawson Shropshire Blue. We wanted to try it with something different and not the standard Islay whiskies that we tried in the past.
We decided to pair it with a Michel Couvreur Special Vatting. Shropshire Blue is a cow’s milk cheese made in the United Kingdom. The cheese was first made in the 1970s at the Castle Stuart dairy in Inverness, Scotland. The orange colour is due to the addition of annatto, a natural food colouring. Shropshire Blue has been described as a cross between Stilton and Cheshire cheese. Made in a similar way as Stilton, it is a soft, full-bodied cheese. It has a rich, strong flavour and a slightly tangy aroma. It is slightly sour but sharper than Stilton and generally creamier and it has distinctive blue veins.
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We decided to pair the Shropshire Blue with a Michel Couvreur Special Vatting. The story of Michal Courveur is an interesting one. Michel Couvreur was Belgian with 30 years experience in the wine business. He took frequent trips to England and Scotland where he sold his wines and he was particularly drawn to Scotland for the fishing and hunting. Eventually he moved to England, then to Scotland in 1964 where he became involved in the production process of whisky. He returned to France in the 70’s and he dug his own maturation cellar in the hillsides of Bouze-les-Beaune. Here he matured Scotch whisky in Jerez casks.
We tried this burgundy coloured whisky last year. Our Whisky of the Week rating for it was VERY GOOD. During our tasting we picked up sherry, citrus, marzipan and wood notes. Other tasting notes include fruits of the forest, spice, some sweetness, a touch of salty coastal air and iodine. This is a full-bodied peated whisky with a long finish.
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Michel Couvreur Special Vatting & Shropshire Blue
So does this whisky cheese pairing of Michel Couvreur Special Vatting and Shropshire Blue work? It sure does! As a result, we give this whisky food pairing a RATING: EXCELLENT. This is a wonderful combination to serve. The Shropshire Blue makes this whisky shine. This Michel Couvreur Special Vatting is bold enough to stand up to this robust cheese and bring out some nuttiness in the cheese.
The whisky is also smooth and sweet enough to enhance the creaminess of the cheese without being overwhelmed. The cheese makes the Michel Couvreur Special Vatting seem more peaty and brings out oak notes. If you want to impress someone special, this is the combination to try.
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