For those who enjoy a light pairing, sommelier and beverage director Nick Daddona of Boston Chops (bostonchops.com) and Boston Urban Hospitality recommends trying a rye whiskey with something more acidic like steak tartare. For bolder flavors, he suggests sipping on the Spirit of Mauve by Vermont’s own WhistlePig, a hot and heady creation that’s full-bodied and pairs well with offerings like ribeye or a New York strip. “This is my favorite whiskey that we have,” says Daddona.
Over at Grill 23 & Bar (grill23.com), Himmel Hospitality Group master sommelier and beverage director Brahm Callahan suggests pairing “loud” flavor profiles together, like a decadent American Kobe cap steak with a 12-year-old Elijah Craig bourbon. But for a happy medium between big flavors, try ordering a dry-aged prime New York sirloin with Ichiro’s Malt Chichibu, created by Ichiro Akuto, “the Mick Jagger of Japanese whiskey,” according to Callahan.
Speaking of Japanese spirits, Abe & Louie’s (abeandlouies.com) wine and beverage manager Benjamin Appleby is a big fan of Mars Shinshu Iwai, which pairs well with steak due to its mild yet spicy and gingery notes. “There’s nothing in the world quite like it,” says Appleby.