Kobe beef, smooth and flavorful. Canadian whiskey, smooth and flavorful. You probably have not read much about pairing any meat, let alone Kobe beef, with whiskies, but here you have it.

Many people associated whiskey with the peatiest and smokiest Scotch, the type of whiskey that overpowers everything. How could you ever pair a 21-year-old Highland scotch with any food? You couldn’t.

Canadian whiskey offers many other choices, though. Often called “rye whiskey” (though mostly made with corn), Canadian whiskies are known for their light but flavorful contrast to the heavy handed British whiskies or even the fruitiness that some find in bourbons.

Just like with wine or beer, you want your whiskey to match the Kobe beef. Most whiskies will stand up to Kobe beef’s light, buttery flavor and texture, but the beef will not hold its own against a very strong drink.

Avoid high proofs (one proof equals one-half percent alcohol by volume). The alcohol content largely makes the whiskey feel heavy in the mouth, a feeling opposite of what we want. Most of the recommended Canadian rye whiskies here are 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume), the most common proof.

Given Kobe beef’s buttery flavor, whiskies with fruity flavors match well. Look for these in your local store for good starting points for experimentation:

  • Alberta Premium 30 Year Old Limited Edition: candy-like, small amount of spice.
  • Bison Ridge Special Reserve 8 Year Old: buttery, caramel-like, silky.
  • Black Velvet Deluxe: caramel and pepper.
  • Canadian Club Aged 15 Years: creamy and full-bodied.
  • Canadian Hunger 40% Alcohol: light beginning with candied ending.
  • Caribou Crossing Single Barrel: creamy vanilla.
  • Lord Calvert Canadian: buttery vanilla maple syrup.
  • Royal Reserve Canadian Rye Whiskey: subtle beginning but opens up.
  • Still Waters 1+11 Canadian Whiskey: light and buttery.
  • Wiser’s Small Batch: cinnamon, vanilla, butterscotch.

Those of you who know Canadian rye whiskey probably miss your favorite on this list, and that’s the point. Experiment and find the perfect whiskey for you that matches a Kobe beef steak. Try different cuts of steak, different preparations, and different whiskies.

What whiskies have you paired with Kobe beef? Have you found different whiskies match different cuts of Kobe beef better than others?

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