What Whiskey Should You Pair To Music Genres?


December 8, 2020

It’s a Fred Minnick Show episode with just Fred doing his thing. He talks about buying bourbon gifts for family and friends based on their musical tastes. What musical genres do your loved ones prefer? Fred might just have the perfect pour to pair with their whiskey tastes. Better yet, what’s the best whiskey to pair with your favorite music? Sipping good whiskey and listening to good music is a good way to spend an evening.


Fred dishes on:

  • His forthcoming website that will help promote his previous musical guests.
  • The way music – like whiskey – connects with the brain to create specific memories that will return with repeated experiences. In other words, hearing a familiar song can have a similar effect as re-tasting a favorite whiskey.
  • The best whiskey for a jazz fan – Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, because it’s a fine sipper and also can inject some life into a party.
  • Country music –trucks, prison, infidelity, deceased pets … well, it might be best not to drink to that particular area of country-western music. Maybe go for the boot-scootin’ type of country, which might go well with George Dickel, which is “a very country music-tasting whiskey.”
  • Yes, it’s true, Fred used to participate in rodeo, and the smell of Dickel reminds him of the smell of a tack room. He sucked at roping, however.
  • With hip hop music, it’s like a cocktail from your favorite bartender – it might be different than what all the other bartenders are making. There are a lot of variations of hip hop, just like with, say, an old fashioned. “It’s one of the most flexible forms of art,” Fred says. The call here? Barrell Bourbon, because it’s all blends, all the time, with whiskeys from around the world.
  • If it’s hardcore rap you’re listening to, go for something barrel-proof, like a stiff shot of Distillery 291’s Bad Guy (120 proof!).
  • Into rock ‘n’ roll? There’s only one iconic brand you need to know: Jack Daniel’s. ‘Nuff said.
  • For classical music, it’s a bit tougher. Fred believes you want complexity. Even with an artist like The Beatles, it’s music that will make him want to sit and think. That’s complexity. How about a Michter’s 20 year or a Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old? Or a well-aged Macallan? (Of course, it’s a lot easier to find a copy of the Beatles’ White Album than, say, a bottle of King of Kentucky.)
  • What of pop music? It’s another variable, and very visual. Think Lady Ga Ga. And Katy Perry would be a very different pairing. Or Madonna, the queen of pop. But in the end, Fred suggests basing the pairing on what they like most out of four flavors: Cinnamon (Four Roses), nutmeg (Buffalo Trace), caramel/vanilla (Elijah Craig Small Batch) and grains/bread (Knob Creek).


“This is my passion, I love whiskey, I love talking about it and I love complementing the whiskey with music.”