Navigate to our accessibility widget

Tuesday June 2, 2015

By Abby Hutmacher

420 Culture

Whiskey is a tradition that has been created, developed and refined over centuries. Much like a fine marijuana strain, it is meant to be savored slowly, drawing special attention to its finer, more delicate flavors.

With the expansion of marijuana legalization, we now have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of new experiences which includes pairing whiskey and fine cannabis strains in a manner that boasts both sophistication and discerning taste.

What is whiskey?

Whiskey is a distinct line of distilled alcohol which includes subsets like scotch, bourbon and rye. Typically rye, corn, barley and/or wheat are combined in different strengths, and once fermented, the brew ages in wood casks to infuse more flavor. Taste and aroma change with age, the type of wood used for barrels, the balance of grains and the quality and source of the ingredients.

Though there are countless variations that contribute to the different types of whiskey including land of origin, region, resources and procedure, the basic differences between types of whiskey can be summed up as follows:

  • Malted whiskey is primarily barley-based.

  • Single malt whiskey comes from a single distillery where it becomes a "specialty."

  • Blended malt whiskey combines the single malt whiskeys from several distilleries.

  • Blended whiskey mixes different types of whiskey. Scotch, Irish, and Canadian whiskeys are typical examples.

  • Cask strength and single cask spirits are considered the finest because they are bottled undiluted directly from the barrel -- and oftentimes are numbered and signed.

Pairing marijuana with whiskey

Marijuana legislation has not only made it easier and safer to find quality cannabis products, but it has also created a demand for strains that boast exquisite flavor in addition to their unique highs. Both experienced and novice users are quickly becoming more interested in finding the perfect strain and drink for the occasion at hand. To pair whiskey with marijuana, focus on the subtle flavors of each. For example, the strong oak flavor of whiskey pairs nicely with OG Kush and its woody, earthy flavors.

Here are a few ways you can find the perfect marijuana and whiskey duo:

  • Pineapple Kush + Glenmorangie Artein Single Malt Scotch: Pineapple Kush has a high THC level with the lasting sweetness of pineapple. This indica hybrid is a great way to socialize on a mellow evening with Glenmorangie Artein Single Malt Scotch. Crafted with passion and a sense of history, the liquor picks up complex flavor and heady aromas from its limestone filtering process. Its own hints of apricots, peaches and plums leave a long finish to extend your Pineapple Kush experience.

  • Vortex + Jefferson's Presidential Reserve Bourbon: Vortex is a sativa with a tropical punch odor and taste, and the closely-related Apollo 13 hybrid leans towards an earthier, tea, whiskey aroma. You can sit back with a glass of Jefferson's Presidential Reserve Bourbon which is aged as many as 30 years and served at room temperature. Its hints of leather, spice and toffee layer under the marijuana's lingering sweetness perfectly.

  • 3 Kings + Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt Irish: 3 Kings is a hybrid with a lot of earth and sweetness. Many would recommend a fine scotch to pair, but you might find a better one with Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt Irish. Its bouquet and ruby coloring have matured in port wine casks and offer a subtle nut, spice and wood support for the smoke.

  • Black Velvet + New Holland Hatter Royale Hopquila: Black Velvet is a dark green hybrid with flavors hinting at fruit, whiskey and skunk. Thick and sweet, its perfect pair might be a bottle of New Holland Hatter Royale Hopquila new white whiskeys (actually a deep Chardonnay color). It is a honey-touched double-distilled barley whiskey with big notes of herb and earth to support and sustain your high.

  • Blue God + Sazerac Rye/Alberta Rye Dark Batch: Blue God is an indica hybrid which features a strong grape flavor and powerful pain relieving and soporific effects. The full flavor pairs nicely with the sweet pepper and anise hints in New Orleans’ Sazerac Rye or the silkier and creamier finish of Alberta Rye Dark Batch out of Canada.

  • SAGE + Redbreast 21 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey: SAGE (Sativa Afghani Genetic Equilibrium) is a great choice following a stressful day with full flavor, a fast-acting punch and a very euphoric high. Featuring the distinct flavors of sage and wood, SAGE pairs well with a small glass of the award-winning Redbreast 21 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Its soft touches of sherry, nuts and oak whisper gently under the marijuana's flavor.

A Word of Caution:

Some of the best whiskeys contain very high alcohol levels, so it is strongly advised that they be used responsibly. Over consumption of either of these products may not only be dangerous, but counterproductive, as well.

These are sophisticated sipping whiskeys recommended to enhance or add context to your marijuana use. Marijuana legalization lets you choose to select and serve a marijuana strain and fine whiskey for an evening at home, an after-dinner mellow with friends, or an occasional special event -- enjoyed best in moderation.

Have you tried pairing marijuana with whiskey? If so, what’s your favorite duo?

Photo Credit: tsearcher2011 (license)


Abby Hutmacher Abby Hutmacher

Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

More From This Author

Related Articles