Last night was a truly fantastic tasting. My thanks to Curt, Fava and Gordon, who poured particularly healthy samples of beer and kept the jokes rolling. Thank you also to all who attended; we had a record number of customers last night.
And for those of you who missed it, here are the pairings:
Grog with Bergkase: One of Nodding Head’s flagship beers, the Grog is an English Brown Ale with aromas of caramel and malts. The flavor is lightly sweet and malty but with a solid hoppy backbone to keep it balanced. We paired it with Bergkase because it is equally balanced, earthy, nutty and lightly sweet. They played perfectly on the palate, with neither beer nor cheese dominating.
Saison with Leonora: Nodding Head’s Saison is one of particular quality. A big whiff will delight the senses with notes of grains, citrus fruits and certain flora. The flavors are that of toasted wheat, lemon and yeast. We paired it with a medium-aged goat cheese because, well, it was the apt thing to do. Leonora, Spain’s response to Bucheron, is equally citric and slightly tart, which matched the lemony notes in the beer scrumptiously. The texture was another selling point, sticking between the teeth and on the roof of the mouth, only to be swept away by the beer’s carbonation, resulting in a perfect palate-cleanser before the grand finale.
4C 10th Anniversary Ale with Mahon Artesano: This was a special treat. The 4C 10th Anniversary Ale seems to have been made for hop-heads like myself, but there is so much more to it than bitterness. It smelled like a fortified wine: resin, syrup and hops abound. I was worried that it would close off my palate for the rest of the night, but the taste was surprisingly approachable. It was hoppy, yes, but enough sweetness and spice to appeal to most people. Our inclination was to pair this with a big blue, but opted to switch things up a bit. To match the beer’s intensity (11% ABV, by the way), we picked one of the sharper cheeses in the store, Mahon Artesano. Aged for one year and rubbed with paprika, it had the bite and slight spiciness to match the beer.