Chocolate Description: Boysenberry Bonbon
This chocolate is one of Jean-Michels newest creations.
Boysenberries, named after a Northern California farmer, are a cross between a raspberry and a black berry and made famous when Walter Knott, founder of Knott's Berry Farm, started selling them in Southern California. To learn more about boysenberries visit Oregon-Berries.com @ http://www.oregon-berries.com/pick-a-berry/boysenberry/
Picture and Description courtesy Chocolats du CaliBressan
Beer, Style and Description: St. Bernaradus Abt 12
I consider this beer to be equal to the Westvletern 12, which is consistently rated the #1 beer in the world, and it only costs a fraction of the "Westy 12". That is also why it has become quite popular here in the US and why you should be able to find this beer at any quality beer store. To learn more about St. Bernardus and its relationship with the now world famous Westvletern Monastery visit: http://belgianbeerspecialist.blogspot.com/2010/09/westvleteren-and-st-bernardus-real.html
Aroma: Yeast spice(think cloves) gives way to a sweet brown sugar aroma.
Appearance: Dark brown with a pillowy off-white head that leave some beautiful lacing along the inside or your glass.
Flavor: A clove-like spiciness gives way to a brown sugar sweetness that almost a complex a complex layer of dark fruit.
Food Pairings: Cheese: buttery or sharp. Meat: grilled, smoked. Dessert: dark fruits, chocolate.
HopHeadSaid: These beers, sometimes called Quadrupels (yes that is spelled right), are perfect for dessert but also pair well with dark fruits or chocolates. These are also great beers for your wine friends because there is very little bitterness (common among BIG Belgian beers) and many layers of complexity; from dark fruit to caramel or wood flavors from the casks to peppery spiciness from the yeast.
BJCP Style 18D. Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Other Examples: Westvleteren 12, Rochefort 10, Chimay Grande Reserve
Serving Temp: 50°- 55°
Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Chalice, Goblet
Aroma: Rich malt sweetness reminiscent of caramel and toast with a mild to moderate yeast derived spiciness.
Appearance: Deep amber to brown with a frothy, light tan head.
Flavor: Malt sweetness (caramel) and dark fruit will dominate while the yeast spice and alcohol help balance the beer.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer. However, the high carbonation, the spiciness and the alcohol warmth help thin your perception the body.
This pairing works because:
1. The sweet malt flavors and the chocolate (ganache and covering) resonate with each other building a stronger and more intense layer of sweetness.
2. The boysenberry ganache pulls the dark fruit flavors out of the beer and the two work together to add a welcome counterpoint to all the sweetness.
3. The clove-like spiciness works as a bridge or a buffer allowing the two competing flavors (tart and sweet) to meld seamlessly somewhere in the middle.
4. The carbonation and the alcohol content help tone down the sweetness.
Topics: Food Pairing, Beer Pairing, Chocolate Pairing, Beer and Food, Beer and Chocolate