There are a zillion online subscription delivery services these days, but some are better than others. For the guy who knows that charcuterie and bourbon (or wine, sure) are a match made in heaven, consider Carnivore.com. The Canadian-based gourmet service delivers a different box of themed artisanal smoked, cured, salted and preserved meaty goodness to your door each month. It launched in the U.S. earlier this year and in the U.K. last month.
"In each country, our goal is to partner with local, indy guys that feature high-quality product," says co-founder Tim Ray. He and his partners kicked off the meat-of-the-month club in 2013 via an indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. "The idea is that each month is going to be a new adventure."
The boxes are themed: One month it might focus on authentic prosciuttos or Spanish spherical ham, another on a specific producer, like super-succulent smoked beef jerky from artisanal Pennsylvania producers Crazy Horse. "We say it's like wine," says Ray. "Depending on how they age and oak wine, it's different and distinct. With meat, choices like the source—different pigs, venison, water buffalo—along with the spicing, aging and curing techniques, you get craftsman-level specialties. Not all prosciutto is created equal."
In addition to a variety of meats (in the cooler winter months, you may find more paté selections, in the summer, better-traveling jerkies), Ray and his team will occasionally throw in sweets or cheeses that pair with the meat selections. "Recently we had a chocolate 'salami,'" he says. "They're shaped like salami, but filled with nuts and fruits, coated with sugar." They also host pairing events with venues like the John Allen's men's hair salons and Cowgirl Creamery in California. The focus is always on the carnivorous though. "There's so much to do with meat. We want to over-serve that niche."
Why would the Spirits Examiner write about meat? Because pairing bourbon and charcuterie is a fine art any fan of either should master. We found the spicy samples of South African-style biltong from New Jersey's Braaitime worked marvelously well with the spicy-smooth Bulleit 10-year. The aforementioned Crazy Horse jerky with the soon-to-be released Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask or Elijah Craig 12-year. Having these boxes in your possession each month encourages experimentation and tasting of a variety of bourbons beyond your go-to. Take a sip, take a bite, take a sip. The interplay of the sum should be even better than the individual parts. If a whiskey conflicts, try a different one. This deserves your full attention. And of course, if you're looking for a high-quality product to craft your own serrano-washed bourbon, look no farther.
Monthly deliveries can be ordered or gifted through carnivoreclub.co. Prices start at $50. Please sample that bourbon responsibly.
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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FTC Disclaimer: The author sometimes receives product samples for review, which carry no cash value and cannot be re-sold, and sometimes attends press events such as lunches or cocktail parties, designed to promote a given product. The author is not paid by any alcohol manufacturer, retailer or distributor, or provided compensation apart from revenue from an assigning publishing company for editorial publication. Opinions are the author's own. By the way, you should be 21 or older to read this page. Author has received two sample boxes of Carnivore Club selections, with which to whet his palate, and remind himself why he'll never be a vegetarian.