The Diageo-owned bourbon brand Bulleit and the Hamburg-based micro-brewery ÜberQuell make a mighty fine pair. I first learned this last November, when I attended the two company’s joint “BBQ, Boilermaker & Bowery” tasting in Hamburg. As the event was a big success and the whiskey harmonized perfectly with the brew, both Bulleit and ÜberQuell decided to stay in touch. A good call! Today, the two bevvy buddies meet again in Berlin for another combined activity. Together with three other craft beer makers, ÜberQuell got invited by Bulleit to participate in a special press and blogger meet-up in the WORLD CLASS Pop Up Space in the city center. Each of the four breweries selected one of their ales as a playfellow for the whiskey. These combos are then served to the invited guests, who discuss their sensations with the spirit and suds folks in attendance. While I could unfortunately not make it to Berlin myself, I still helped my friends in ÜberQuell with the composition of the tasting notes for the Bulleit Bourbon X World White IPA pairing. To do so, I met with my pal Arne (who is one of the biggest craft beer fans I know), put on some heavy metal records and savored each of the components alone and as a team. Here’s the outcome.
(Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey • 45% • NAS • 0.7 litres)
Born and bred beyond the frontier, the red-gold Bulleit Bourbon has a sweetish bouquet full of pastry, vanilla, coconut, macadamia and mild spices. In the mouth it feels creamy with yummy notes of caramel, nuts and candied orange fruits. Also a bit of milk chocolate, some cereals and a few scattered salt grains. The finish is smooth and round. It brings forth more orange fruits as well as cinnamon and brittle. Although the stylish-lookin’ Bulleit Bourbon is super-famous in the bar scene, you would miss out if you only drank it in cocktails and mixers. Of course, it also cuts a mighty fine figure neat, on ice and – listen closely – as part of a boilermaker.
ÜberQuell World White IPA
(White IPA • 6.5% • 15,0°P • 0.33 litres)
In the glass, ÜberQuell’s World White IPA presents itself in a pale, murky shade of gold. When nosed, it starts sweet and fruity with a lot of overripe banana. Then, squashy mango and juicy coconut follow. Also, there’s wheaty and vanilla-y notes as well as a slight spiciness. The beer’s mouthfeel is light and refreshing, but also full-bodied. It pleases the taste buds with a variety of exotic fruits, a noticeable wheat influence and a good dose of delicate spices. Before it fades, the World White IPA gets sweeter as if a generous amount of honey was poured over the previously described fruit salad. Only when the brew is completely gone from the oral cavity, its actual bitterness resonates. This might quite possibly have been the first “made-with-wheat” IPA I ever tried. And what can I say? It’s awesome!
Bulleit X ÜberQuell
With the beer clocking in at 6.5 per cent and the whiskey at 45 per cent, I drank the spirit first and the brew second. The idea was to see how the stronger of the two beverages would influence the lighter one in a criss-cross degustation. When following up directly on a good sip o’ Bulleit, the World White IPA suddenly bursts with mango. While the beer is already pretty fruity on its own, it becomes even more fruity, juicy and slushy in combination with the whiskey. Besides the aforementioned mango, I now also sense an abundance of oranges and white peaches in it. The wheaty notes, on the other hand, become less present. If you wanna turn your World White IPA into a fruit smoothie with tropical flavors, pair it with a glass of Bulleit Bourbon!
Bulleit Bourbon (Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey / USA / NAS / 45% / ~20 Euro)
ÜberQuell World White IPA (White IPA / GER / NAS / 6.5% / ~2.50 Euro)