Chocolate Description: Earl Grey bonbon
Earl Grey tea is a special blend of tea made with the oil from bergamot orange rind. To read more about Earl Grey tea click HERE.
Picture and Description courtesy Chocolats du CaliBressan
Beer and Style Decription
Bigfoot Apperance: Deep copper with garnet highlights, light tan head that dissipates quickly.
Bigfoot Flavor: Pronounced caramel sweetness upfront that gives way quickly to a pronounced hop flavor (resinous and citrus) and bitterness. Bitterness and an alcohol warmth linger in the aftertaste and encourage you to take another drink.
Bigfoot Mouthfeel: This big beer with its big smooth body ends with surprisingly medium dry finish
BJCP Style 19C. American Barleywine
Other Examples: Old Ruffian, Old Crustacean, Hog Heaven, Old Guardian
Serving Temp: 45°- 50°
Aroma: Assertive hop aroma (earthy, floral or spicy) may be present especially in young samples. Sweet caramel notes will be present in young samples.
Appearance: Crystal clear, amber to deep copper with red highlights. The head can be off-white to light tan but generally the head dissipates rather quickly.
Flavor: Sweet caramel malt will be noticeable at first but the finish will be all hops (flavor and bitterness) especially in young samples.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, smooth with a pleasing alcohol warmth.
Food Pairings: Dessert: chocolates. Cheese: sharp.
HopHeadSaid: I love American Barleywines, young ones anyway. I enjoy their assertive malt flavors and crazy-over-the-top hop flavor and bitterness when they are young. If you find young barleywines to be too assertive I suggest you buy a few six packs and save them for a year or two. If you do buy some for storage, be sure to store them upright in a dark and cool place. Taste one every few months after the first year and note the changes in the beer. Barleywines age well and after a few years the bitterness will diminish but the hop, malt and oxidation flavors meld to create an incredibly complex beer. I do enjoy these aged beers especially when paired with the right meal but I am too impatient to wait a year or more to drink a beer.
This pairing works because:
2. The Chinook hops (a varietal) used to bitter this beer have a distinct spicy, resinous pine flavor which resonates with the herbal flavors in the Earl Grey tea. The Cascade and Centennial hops (varietals) have very distinct citric flavors which resonate with bergamot orange rinds used in the Earl Grey tea.
3. The alcohol, and to a lesser extent, the carbonation in this big beer help to cleanse your palate of the sweet ganache and dark chocolate. After the cleansing, you are left with is a pleasant citrus spiked tea aftertaste.