Chocolate Description: Ghana Truffle
HopHeadSaid: If you shy away from ginger (as I do) there is no need to shy away from this truffle. A hint of ginger's sweet spiciness rounds off the edges and balances the ganache with the 85% cocoa, dark chocolate.
Beer Style and Description: Kwak
Yep that is how a "proper" Kwak is served! An elegant bulbed glass that can only be used if it is in its stand. Brewery lore explains that the Owner of the brewery was an avid equestrian (and beer drinker evidentially) and he wanted a beer glass that could balance on his saddle without falling over. While they couldn't figure that out, they managed to design a "glass" that would stand upright in in a stirrup.
Almost every Belgian beer has a glass that was designed specifically to showcase one or more its special qualities. The makers of this glass had a lot of fun as you can see, but they also designed a glass that would showcase the brilliant clarity and color of this beer.
Aroma: A hint of caramel is all but covered up by a layer of spicy phenols and fruity esters.
Appearance: Beautiful orangey copper and clarity (if poured correctly) with a giant rocky head that seems to last forever and leaves beautiful lacing on the inside of the glass.
Flavor: The flavors are as they smelled. A hint of caramel-like sweetness upfront is quickly replaced by a spicy phenol.
Mouthfeel: This is a medium bodied beer with elevated carbonation and a pleasant warming alcohol.
Food Pairings: Vegetables: pepper seasoned, roasted or sautéed; caramelized veggies. Meat: game, grilled. Desserts: cinnamon or ginger spiced.
HopHeadSaid: Belgian ales are some of the most exciting and challenging beers to pair with food. The term “Belgian” is a loose style descriptor for beers that get a majority of their flavors from fermentation instead of malt or hops. There are hundreds if not thousands of different Belgian beers each with a unique spicy phenol derived from fermentation. This makes them challenging to pair because one particular “Belgian Pale Ale” can taste quite different from another so you will have to taste each to fully appreciate its flavor profile. However, this variety is exactly what makes them so special because you are sure to find a Belgian ale to match any food pairing, especially veggies.
BJCP Style 18D. Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Other Examples: Duvel, Delirium Tremens, Don de Dieu, Mischief
Serving Temp: 40°- 45°
Glassware: Snifter, Tulip
Aroma: Lots of fruity esters will be present (think pear) with a good dose of pepper.
Appearance: Yellow to light amber, good clarity and pours with a long lasting, voluminous, rocky head. Pour slowly to ensure you don’t rouse any yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, this will cloud up your beer. Pouring slowly down the side of your glass will also keep you from pouring a glass full of foam from these highly carbonated beers.
Flavor: The fruity esters (think pear, again) carryover in the taste and are balanced by a low to moderate pepper-spiciness. The alcohol and yeast phenols help to balance the fruity sweetness. There is very little bitterness in these beers and the hops are used as a “spice” more than for bitterness.
Mouthfeel: The elevated alcohol content a high carbonation helps to lower the body and dry out the finish. There is a pleasant alcohol warmth present in these beers but they should never be hot or harsh.
This pairing works because:
2. The caramel-like sweetness resonates with the sweetness in the ganache.
3. The caramel-like sweetness also counteracts the dark chocolate and ginger spiciness.
4. This beer has a moderate phenolic spiciness (derived from the yeast) that resonates with the subtle ginger spices.
5. The alcohol and carbonation help scrub and refresh the palate.
6. There is a sweet warm alcohol spiciness aftertaste that encourages you to take another bite and sip!
Topics: Food Pairing, Beer Pairing, Chocolate Pairing, Beer and Food, Beer and Chocolate