Alex James, the British song-writer turned cheese aficionado, has teamed up with the athenaeum hotel’s head chef, David Marshall, and resident whisky sommelier, Angelo Gobbi, to create a whisky and cheese food-pairing menu in celebration of the hotel’s whisky bar. In addition, the trio have created their very own ‘scotch-infused cream cheese called ‘Athenaeum’ to be included in the new menu.

With Alex James’ expert knowledge and passion for cheese, which has been nurtured since a move to the countryside and building a cheese factory, the athenaeum’s head chef’s experienced palette and the whisky sommelier’s expert knowledge of the spirit, the team have created a mouth-watering menu of culinary treats which will appeal to whisky lovers and cheese enthusiasts as well as novices alike.

Alex James says,

‘The range of flavours spanned by first class cheese and whisky is so vast that matching them can be quite a tricky business. The athenaeum team and I feel confident we have found the ultimate combinations of superlative whisky and fine cheese. Sometimes it’s the most unlikely combinations that produce the most 
spectacular results.

The five-star menu has been extensively researched and refined to provide unique and delicious taste combinations. For example, the 12-year-old blended Chivas Royal Scotch with its herbal aromas has been paired perfectly with the distinctive taste of Westcombe Cheddar. Sourced after a visit to the award winning Lower Westcombe Farm in Somerset, the cheddar has been maturing for the past 18 months to reach its fullest flavour.

The Suffolk Gold, named after its rich honey colour is produced from pedigree Guernsey cows in the traditional method within a small family business. It has been paired with Gentlemen’s Jack, the first new Whisky from the Jack Daniel Distillery for 100 years and is blended based on a private recipe from Mr. Jack. Its smooth and satisfying taste brings out hidden flavours in the cheese and the two matched together make for a stunning finish.

The Whisky Bar at the athenaeum is a destination in its own right offering over 270 rare whiskies from mothballed distilleries. The sumptuously designed bar is filled with discrete and quiet corners that are warm and welcoming in keeping with the hotel’s ‘home away from home’ ethos.

Guests and visitors alike can choose to experience this tasty cheese and whisky pairing menu either in the Whisky Bar or in the comfort and elegance of their room.