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14 Whiskeys That Pair Well With Steak

Steak and whiskey is a classic combination. The dry, malty flavor of whiskey intermingles perfectly with a juicy, tender steak to create a rich yet delicate meal.

Grilled t-bone steak with grilled vegetables and whiskey glass

Several whiskey brands are especially ideal for enjoying steak, and learning more about them can help expand your culinary horizons.

However, there are a lot of different kinds of whiskeys in the world, and it can be hard to determine which one will go nicely with your favorite cut of meat.

To help all the steak and whiskey fans out, we’ve put together a list of some of the best whiskeys that pair well with steak. 

Check out our favorite whiskeys to pair with a juicy steak.


Redemption Rye

Redemption Rye is a classic American whiskey with a toasted, citrusy taste.

This whiskey contains a large amount of rye, which creates a complex spicy flavor and a crisp finish.

If you can, try having a glass of Redemption Rye next time you enjoy a thick, juicy American steak; the flavor palates complement each other perfectly. 


Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10-Year Bottled-In-Bond

Diners who like their whiskey with a strong kick will like the Henry McKenna Single Barrel-10-Year Bottled-In-Bond.

This aged whiskey is 100-proof and has a warm, sweet flavor with hints of vanilla.

I love this style of whiskey with a tender filet. If 100 proof is too strong for you to drink straight, this whiskey also works well in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. 


High West Rendezvous Rye

High West Rendezvous Rye is another popular high rye-content whiskey with plenty of dynamic flavors.

The best whiskey to drink with steak is the one that can support and elevate the meat’s rich taste, making peppery rye whiskey an excellent option.

With notes of citrus and ginger, High West Rendezvous Rye is a fun choice to pair with a Christmas steak. 


Michter’s US1 Straight Rye

If you’re in the mood for a traditional American whiskey with a rye-centric palate and sweet undertones, reach for Michter’s US1 Straight Rye.

In true Kentucky whiskey fashion, this whiskey brings spicy rye flavors to the forefront. 

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I recommend pairing Michter’s US1 Straight Rye with steak and a peppercorn sauce, as the whiskey will emphasize the dish’s peppery and fatty flavors.


Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Bourbon is a quality bourbon that can enhance any steak.

This bourbon is quite aromatic, with flavors such as honey and vanilla.

However, the bourbon is also musty with a slightly smoky finish, ideal for pairing with a grilled or charred steak. 


Weller Special Reserve

Weller Special Reserve is another delicious whiskey from the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

This whiskey is a wheat bourbon with sweet and smooth-tasting notes.

Unlike the spicier whiskeys on this list, you can serve Weller Special Reserve alongside a fatty steak or a steak with a creamy sauce without worrying about any unharmonious flavors. 


Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon is a decadent bourbon with a melange of sweet flavors.

Some of the tasting notes for this bourbon include cocoa, vanilla, toffee, and caramel.

Since the Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon is already quite rich on its own, I suggest pairing it with a small, lean steak. 


Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon

You don’t need to empty your wallet to get a nice whiskey.

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon is the best whiskey to drink with steak if you are looking for an affordable option.

This bourbon is aged at least six years and has a distinctive spice blend that can uplift a dish without overpowering it. 


Breckenridge Bourbon

I encourage any whiskey enthusiast to check out the products from Breckenridge Distillery.

This distillery uses water from melted snow on the Rocky Mountains, resulting in a distinctively crisp drink.

For pairing with steak, go for the Breckenridge Bourbon, as the white pepper aftertaste blends beautifully with red meat. 


Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon is an extremely high-end whiskey that goes wonderfully with a premium steak dish.

This bourbon has delicate and intricate flavors that you don’t always find in lower-shelf whiskeys, such as plum and maple syrup.

I appreciate this whiskey for having gentle, aromatic tasting notes without becoming too sweet. 


Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon is an excellent whiskey to have with steak if you like a whiskey with strong oak and vanilla tasting notes.

Maker’s Mark Bourbon is sweet and creamy but still has enough spice to handle the richness of a charred steak.

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You can serve Maker’s Mark neat, but I find that this bourbon is fantastic in a Manhattan cocktail. 


Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky

Scotch whisky is somewhat challenging to pair with steak, but when you get it right you are in for a big treat.

If you want to try scotch with steak, Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky is the best whiskey to drink with steak.

The peaty, smoky taste takes a grilled steak to a new level, but the subtle fruity notes will prevent the steak’s fatty and spicy flavors from getting washed out. 


New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon

If you can’t decide between rye whiskey and bourbon, consider New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Although this whiskey is a Kentucky bourbon, it has a notably high rye content, making it more peppery than other bourbon brands.

Furthermore, this bourbon’s berry notes are particularly well-suited for enjoying a juicy steak. 


Old Elk Wheated Bourbon

Rye whiskey is an obvious choice as the best whiskey to drink with steak, but not everyone likes spicy beverages.

If you prefer a more mellow drink, you’ll love Old Elk Wheated Bourbon.

The bourbon’s floral notes go well with both steak and popular steak sides, such as green vegetables or potatoes. 

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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