by Dan Ketchum
Just as a tumbler of bourbon, scotch or rye goes down best with culinary partners like dark chocolate and smoked salmon, a keenly chosen strain of weed has the power to enhance, emphasize or offset your favorite spirits. Enrich your experience by bearing in mind the same principles that apply to whiskey and food pairings, then break that down by the characteristics of the strain you’re enjoying.
And remember, the perfect pairing is one that is both safely enjoyed — paramount when mixing weed and alcohol — and that resonates with the palate and preferences of the most important critic out there: you.
Whiskey and Weed: Curating the Experience
When considering cannabis to complement your favorite cask-aged bottle, there are three key factors: taste, high and aroma. The terpenoid flavor profile, the way the weed makes you feel, and the lingering olfactory impression might complement and augment a whiskey with similar notes, or the two may contrast in a way that heightens both products, but one part of the pair should never dominate or overwhelm the other. In this case, we’re essentially treating marijuana as the “food” of the pairing to find its ideal partners.
Just as in wine tasting and pairing, a variety of little foodie tricks can help you get the most out of your pairing. Before tasting the bourbon, give it a “drive by” sniff by passing it under your nose, so as not to blow out your olfactory senses. Whiskey aficionados like to give their drink a “chew” by holding it in the mouth and exhaling while the liquid is still there. This tastebud-opening process works with smoke, too, or you can try a French inhale by rolling the smoke in your closed mouth before trickling it out in an exhale.
To maximize the flavor output, you’ll also want to ensure that whatever mechanism you’re using to smoke is clean. Mistifi’s individual, 200-draw pens makes that certain, with triple-strain blends free from additives and Hi-Phi flower extraction emphasizing the “golden proportion” of cannabinoid, terpene and
flavonoid compounds found in the native flower. Likewise, the cleaner hit of a vape pen tends to go easier on the palate than that of a smokier pipe or joint.
Clear and Bright
Well-loved strains of sativa — like those you’ll find in our uplifting Over the Rainbow triple-strain blend — are known for promoting a clear, euphoric high. Take the citrusy, sweet and sour notes of the Electric Lemonade strain, for instance. Treat these bright feelings and bright, tropical flavor profiles like a sweet fruity dessert when mixing weed and alcohol, offsetting that sugary vibe with the dryness of a whiskey such as American rye or peated scotch. Think airy, light and low-proof with notes of hazelnut and vanilla.
Perfect pairing: Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey, Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye, Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish
Assertive and Earthy
When you’re dealing with a strain that has a foundation of earthy flavors accented by assertive punches of deep berries or complex floral and grass notes, you’ll find harmony in whiskey that has a lot of presence and intensity with dominant spiciness and front-facing flavor profiles of caramel and honey. High-proof bourbons really meet the challenge of the bold-tasting, calming Indica draws you’ll find in the Houdini Premium Vape Pen, with earthy Max OG and spicy, sandalwood-esque Herijuana.
Perfect pairing: David Nicholson 1843 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Blood Oath Pact No. 4, Buffalo Trace W.L. Weller 12-Year
Sometimes, balance is all you need. For the more light-feeling highs you’ll get from CBD oils, for instance, or strains that emphasize woody noses and smooth fruit-basket notes like juniper or lavender, the barley flavors essential to Irish and Japanese whiskies really complete the experience. You’ll find that lavender in the Jellyfish strain of Phantom by Mistifi, a balanced, woody blend promoting harmonious highs.
Perfect pairing: Suntori Whisky Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Kaiyo Mizunara Oak Cask Strength Japanese Whiskey, Writer’s Tears Copper Pot Irish Whiskey
What’s your favorite pairing of whiskey and weed? Let us know on social — @mistifivape!
Dan Ketchum is an LA-based freelance lifestyle, fashion and food writer with a decade of experience. A former mixologist, he’s been fortunate enough to collaborate and publish with companies such as FOCL, Vitagenne, Reign Together, Out East Rose, SFGate, The Seattle Times and more.