Boilermaker's a simple guide
Well it most certainly can. It has been know by many names and most out there simply enjoy this match made in heaven without even knowing it does have a name. I am talking about the “beer with whisky chaser”, the “one and one”, a “beer and a shot” or as it is more commonly known today the “Boilermaker”....
How the title of an industrial metal worker became attached to the name of our humble beer and whisky matching is lost to the ages but I think it is a very fitting name for this duo of freakin awesomeness. The Boilermaker has been for many years the go to knock off for hospitality workers and for those in the know, but in the eyes of general punters the combo shrank into the background against its big shot competitors of fine wine and cocktails. In the past few years however the humble Boilermaker has been making a big come back and is now called for in pubs, restaurants, cocktail bars, clubs and of course enjoyed in homes around the world with renewed enthusiasm. A large part of this gain in popularity is most certainly as a direct impact of the craft beer movement over the past decade.
Now more than ever we have a huge selection of fantastic craft beers at our finger tips and especially in Australia more and more whisky hitting our shores giving us endless Boilermaker combinations. But how does one go about choosing the combination to enjoy? The aim of the perfect Boilermaker is to create a drinking experience that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whilst there are no hard and fast rules on matching your favourite dram to a fine brew there are certain elements one should consider when making this choice.
Those of us who have enjoyed matching great wines to food would have a good grasp on the 3 c’s of flavour matching. The pairing can compliment one another, counter one another or cut through. How does this look in the world of Boilermakers? Take a big fruity, bold, hop forward IPA and let’s look what whiskies might match up. To compliment the intense fruit we would look for a whisky that showcased tropical fruits, stone fruits and citrus.
A Glenmorangie 18yo, Hakushu 12yo from Japan or even a Cragganmore 12yo would work well here. Countering flavours with a Boilermaker serve is where I have found the greatest success. Take a beautiful and fresh IPA; to counter with a whisky we would look to incorporate a whisky showcasing a much more savory profile, maybe a maritime whisky with a good lick of saltiness or a briney character. Here we could look to some costal drams like Oban 14yo or Old Pulteny 21yo both from Scotland. Cutting through the flavours of a big IPA would require a rich whisky with a high ABV or a good hit of smoke.
One of the best results I have had is with Caol Ila 12yo, the smoke cuts through the intense fruit character of the beer but on the palate both still have the power to play. Other proven matches I have worked with are: A fruit driven whisky with a golden ale, a spicy sherry cask finished whisky with an amber ale or even a clean Japanese whisky showcasing stone fruits with a wheat beer. What ever your taste preference there is a perfect match out there for you and experimenting freakin fun!!