Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Beer & Cheese Collision

Owen Ogletree, Ashton Smith, The Beer Wench, Ian Meents and Thel Melton gathered on October 2 to evaluate and score six beer and cheese pairings. Comments and scoring focused specifically on how well each beer and cheese worked together on the palate. 

Slice & Pint The Greatest Decision You'll Ever Make - Calvados Barrel-aged Trippel
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk Brie

Pairing Notes:
The funky brie blends magnificently with the apple, spice and fruit notes of the tripel; a gorgeous pairing; the calvados barrel note is elegant with the complex cheese; both the beer and cheese are amazing; the rind of the brie really adds to the beauty of the pairing; the sweet tripel and rich cheese are perfect together; there's a slight funk in the cheese that goes beautifully with the malty, sweet complexity of the beer.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 9.6 - FIRST PLACE


Gate City Gourd Vibrations Chocolate Pumpkin Porter

Beehive Cheese Co. Barely Buzzed Espresso/Lavender Rubbed

Pairing Notes:
Coffee notes work well with the cheese; lavender gives the beer added herbal complexity; dark malt is pleasant with espresso and herbs; pumpkin notes work well with the herbal, coffee quality of the cheese; lots of spice flavors blend beautifully; pumpkin, chocolate and pie spices are a fantastic marriage; the cheese brings out the chocolate nuances of the beer.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 7.9 - SECOND PLACE

Het Anker Gouden Carolus Classic
Gruyere AOP

Pairing Notes:
Both cheese and beer are sweet and nutty, but the powerful beer overwhelms the gruyere somewhat; a very pleasant combination overall; nutty cheese flavor is complemented by the strong, sweet, alcoholic flavor of the beer; a delicious pairing, with the beer being a bit too boozy and sweet for the cheese; a similar beer with less malt richness would be perfect for this cheese.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 7.8 - THIRD PLACE


Wild Heaven White Blackbird Saison with pink peppercorns & Asian pears
Vermont Creamery Herb Chevre

Pairing Notes:
Herbs blend interestingly with pear and pepper notes; like a fine Chenin Blanc wine paired with the tartness of a chevre; the spicy notes of the beer are appealing alongside the herbs of the cheese; the cheese seems to influence the flavors of the beer, but not the other way around; herbs may overpower the beer a little; the pear and peppercorn pair well with the complexity of the cheese.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 7.0


Game of Thrones Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale
Bucheron Aged French Goat Cheese

Pairing Notes:
Hops cover the cheese a bit; somewhat of a clash; both the beer and cheese are delicious, but hops overpower; beer was also a little malty for the cheese; sharpness of the goat cheese does complement the hoppy wheat ale.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 5.0


Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio 

Rothkase Buttermilk Gorgonzola

Pairing Notes:
Both are acidic, funky and sharp; fantastic complement; tartness of beer cuts through the complex cheese; the beer might be too complex for the cheese; the lambic cleans the funk from the cheese on the palate and finishes with a pleasant tartness; these are two funky, strong flavors that work well together.

Overall Pairing Score (1-10): 6.8

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