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Beer and Whisky Blog: In Search Of the Perfect Chaser.



Upon googling for research material to buffer my own personal knowledge for this beer & whisky blog, it became apparent that not many articles have actually been written about the pairing of these two globally consumed beverages.

Termed a "Boilermaker" in the U.S. the marriage of ale and a malt is a hugely popular combination particularly amongst bartenders and drinks enthusiasts who find the two drinks such a pleasure to consume side by side.

I proposed a 7 word sentence describing what you love about a beer and whisky chaser, here's the responses from a bunch very much educated on the matter.

Bernie @BernieSnagg - our store manager - The refreshing beer soothes the whisky burn.

Me @AndyTheWineGuy - A therapeutic, effortless waltz of flavours.

@DrinksEnthusiast -

@MCRWhiskyClub - Craft Production intertwining to compliment each flavour.

@ProofChorlton - Whisky tastes awesome, especially with good beer.


Perfect Chemistry:

The reasoning behind the combination being so harmonious can be traced right down to the biology & the ingredients used to make these two products.

Malted Barley (See below) is in fact the very foundation of both beer and whisky.  Essentially when embarking on creating a whisky, you go through the process of creating beer first through brewing.  So atomically these two giants are bound together, giving a scientific explanation if you like as to why beer drinkers often end up taking a fancy to whisky and bourbon, the essence of both has struck a chord with their taste-buds.


The aromatics of the bourbon distillate and beer are very alike coming from the same core ingredients.  Some bourbon distilleries in America even use Ale Yeast and "Wash" from local craft breweries in their mixes, they cite the more distinctive flavour, sorry flavor lol, achieved, as the incentive to do so.  Anchor Brewery, world famous for their amazing Anchor Steam Beer are the brains and bucks behind Dead Guy Whiskey & Dead Guy Ale (See Brewery below), huge successes on the west coast of America.  It will be no surprise to learn then, perhaps, that many Whisky Distillers are in fact of brewing descent.



Perfect Match:

Distillers and brewers when asked about how to discover what style of whisky/bourbon/rye you might enjoy, suggest considering what flavour profiles you inherently enjoy already.  For example, if you're a fan of stout beer exuding coffee & vanilla flavours (Guinness/Weird Beard Black Perle) then a whisky with coffee & vanilla flavours will be a natural place to start (Dalmore 12 Year/Nikka From The Barrel).  If you find you enjoy this beverage possessing similar characteristics it is likely your evolution to becoming a whisky fan will follow, it is an extremely rewarding and educational road to journey down, always in moderation of course!


Below is my guide to pairing beer and whisky, which certain styles of each pair harmoniously when sipped side by side after a long day's labour.

As a quick precursor I'll divulge my standard & splash out personal favourite pairings:



Beer: Rockyhead Pale Ale - an exuberant, citrus stunning London Pale Ale - @TheRockyHead

Whisky: Old Forrester's Kentucky Bourbon - America's oldest family-run whiskey distillery - @oldforester.


Splash Out:

Beer: Beavertown 8 Ball Rye IPA - Resinous, tacky, rich, bitter and little spice from the rye.

Whiskey: Old Rip Van Winkel 15 year - Never had the 23 yr Family Reserve, but this 15yr is spectacular tipple.



The Beer & Whisky Pairing Guide:


Whisky Style: Vanilla/Oak Aged.

Whisky Brand: 1/ Auchentoshan Three Wood 43%.

Flavour Profile: Smoky Old Fashioned Flavours - Bitters, sweetness, orange zest, oak, maple.

Beer Style Pairing: American IPA.

Beer Brand Pairing: Thornbridge Chiron (Bakewell 4.5%).

Golden in colour Chiron offers a superb balance of tart hops, juicy malt and tangy fruit while the lingering finish offers a hint of apricots and tangerines before a biscuity malt and hoppy finish.



Whisky Brand: 2/ Balvenie DoubleWood 40%.

Flavour Profile: Fruit, honey, vanilla, mellow, nutty, sherry.

Beer Style Pairing: American Extra IPA style:

Beer Brand Pairing: Rockyhead BAM (London, 7.0%)

Belgian technique/American IPA Hopping give the best of both worlds.


Whisky Style: Rye - Astringent, spicy, bitter.

Whisky Brand: 1/ Pikesville Supreme Straight Rye Whiskey 43.2%.


Flavour Profile: Spicy, rich, smooth, fruity nose.

Beer Style Pairing: Imperial IPA.

Beer Brand Pairing: Thornbridge Halcyon Imperial IPA (Bakewell 7.4%).

Halcyon pours an opaque honey hue and produces a huge, rich tropical fruit and hop aroma. Chewy, juicy, biscuity malts and intense pineapple fruit flavours and citrus hoppiness combine with a hint of tangerine and pear drops.


Whisky Brand: 2/ Rittenhouse Famous Straight Rye 40%.



Flavour Profile: Toasty, woody, pepper, creamy, vanilla.

Beer Style Pairing: Rye IPA.

Beer Brand Pairing: Beavertown 8 Ball Rye IPA (London, 6.2%)

Packed full of Rye and dry hopped it for days with American hops, using old pool balls to weigh the hop sack down in the beer).


Whisky Style: Single Malt Islay Whisky.

Whisky Brand: Ardbeg 10 Year Old 46%.

Flavour Profile: Exuberant, in-your-face, pepper, TCP even, powerful but balanced.

Beer Style Pairing: Saison.

Beer Brand Pairing: Brew By Numbers Saison Citra (London 5.4%)

The Citra Saison is BBNo.’s modern interpretation of a Belgian farmhouse-style classic. A light, crisp body, fresh fruit/spice flavour and a mild bitterness make this a very refreshing, drinkable beer.


Whisky Style: Single Malt Highlands.

Whisky Brand: Glencadam Portwood Finish 46%.

Flavour Profile: Powerful & complex. Peach, rhubarb & damson notes on the nose precede juicy malt, floral, melon & spice flavours.

Beer Style Pairing: Double Brown Ale.

Beer Brand Pairing: Cheshire Brewery DBA (Congleton, 4.6%).

A Classic Traditional Burton style premium Bitter, finished with Styrian Goldings.


Whisky Style: Single Malt Highlands - Citrusy character.

Whisky Brand: Glenmorangie 10 Year Old 40%.


Flavour Profile: Lemon, nectarine & apple aromas followed by a creamy, vanilla & lemon-lined palate.
Beer Style Pairing: Golden Ale/Blonde Ale.
A light, refreshing summer ale with subtle honey undertones, brewed with a unique infusion giving a delicate aroma.
Whiskey Style: Bourbon.
Whiskey Brand: Old Foresters Kentucky Straight Bourbon 50%.
Flavour Profile: Smooth as you like, easy drinking but with a roundness and a finish that leave an impression.
Beer Style Match: India Pale Ale.
Beer Brand Match: Kernel India Pale Ale Chinook (London Bridge 7.1%).
Hazy amber pour, light-bodied but intense with a bitter, piny hops finish.
Whiskey Style: Aged Bourbon.
Whiskey Brand: Evan Williams Single Barrel 43.3% (2003 Vintage).
Flavour Profile: Dark caramel, sweet oak & charred wood aromatics followed by lush & spicy, oak with honey, apple & orange notes in the mouth.
Beer Style Pairing: Double IPA.
Beer Brand Pairing: Red Willow Ageless Double IPA (Macclesfield, 7.2%).
This big, american style IPA provides a huge initial hit of mango, lychee and pineapple, followed by a long, clean, bitter finish.  One of their signature beers.
Whisky Style: Japanese Grain Whisky.
Whisky Brand: Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky 45%.

Flavour Profile: A release of grain whisky from Japan's Nikka, produced mainly from corn using one of their continuous Coffey stills. Rather than the rare and limited releases they have done before, this is a larger release to further show off this key component in the Nikka family of whiskies.

Beer Style Pairing: Sweet Stout.

Beer Brand Pairing: Weird Beard Black Perle Coffee Milk Stout (London 3.7%).

This milk stout is chock full of roasty malts, milk sugar, hopped with hand full’s of perle plundered from the unsuspecting and aged on a chest full of Zamorana coffee beans.




I hope you find this guide to be helpful and educational, the moment you try the combination of beer and whisky in tandem will bring about a realisation of why I took the time to write this, it's a great pleasure in life, again in moderation.  I very much enjoyed putting it together and couldn't have done so without the following sources alongside the brand websites themselves.





Each and every one of the above beers and whiskies is available in store at Corks Out Alderley Edge, myself and Bernie look forward to your visit & offering any advice you need.



Until next time,


Andy Leathley.

Corks Out Alderley Edge.


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