Sweet, buttery, mellow marriage

One of the reasons beer is such a good compliment to cheese is the carbonation factor. As in after you take that bite of cheese and proteins be denaturing and covering your mouth up, pop goes beer and the bubbles serve not only as a palate cleanser but also highlight the contrast and harmony of these two aged products. This lovely truism was demonstrated last weekend when we sliced up some Rogue Creamery Rogue River Blue and sipped delicately on a Black Boss Porter (from Poland woaahhhhh Baltic beers amirite).

This is the cheese

This is the cheese

And this is the beer

And this is the beer

The blue is really quite seriously a PRODUCT. Sometimes blues can have real sharp front tastes or maybe salt the taste buds a little too much; not this blue! I detected butter, I detected mellow, I detected sweet confectionary. I imagine it would be acceptable to think of this as a savory dessert because custard and  the winkiest of pungent winks and volatile cream were all finely represented in this stalwart. No uncomfortable throat burn, just refined smooth taste plays. And the security it offered! As in it was a hunk in several senses of the word - dense, hunky, solid, alluring haha what.

The porter, all the way from Poland as previously mentioned, tasted of malty melted south american chocolate and toasted grain. There was really some dynamism to this porter - starting with a thick hirsute mouthfeel and alcoholic high note and yielding to a dry, espresso bitter finish. Twas conceivably an entire dessert course in one sitting/sipping.

So back track to the Rogue blue and retrack to the porter and then savour them alternately vicariously through the present adjectival choices. The interpretations of sweet and unctious offered by each product paired quite nicely, especially because they were pretty congruent on a scale of solidity and THICK. Because the porter was in fact 9.4% so pretty strong but very nicely balanced, the blue of the blue was tamed and matched by the porter's substance. Silky, pleasurable, and refined = any night with these two nommables.

Cheese and beer marriage round preliminary

If Tuesday night had gone according to plan, I would have attended a talk by Tami Parr of the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project. However, my date for the night was tardied by a recalcitrant quiche and we were on course to be 45 minutes late to a probably 30 minute talk, hence we said "why don't we just go to Metropolitan Market and buy our own PNW cheese and beer" and le voilà our Tuesday night was born. I had date grab the beers and I grabbed the cheeses, and we had ourselves a semi-random pairing sesh. The best result from our time was the joyous and rewarding union between a wedge of 5-Year Vintage Gouda and a big ol' Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout from Anderson Valley.

Barney Flats.jpg
Crumbly wedges of Vintage 5-Year Gouda, replete with caverns of age and clusters of tyrosine crystals MIAM MIAM

Crumbly wedges of Vintage 5-Year Gouda, replete with caverns of age and clusters of tyrosine crystals MIAM MIAM

Right so you take a sip of the stout and taste smooth espresso mouthfeel, burnt toffee, mild hops, and then a bitter saccharine low note finish. Pop a wedge of the gouda, try on the butterscotch, oniony savour flavor profile broken up by a pâte that melts and spreads all dense around your mouth with the occasional umami crystal crunch. THEN PIECE DE RESISTANCE take another sip of the stout and experience a somehow now-creamy coffee chocolate velour with just a hint of hops and none of that bitter low note of before. In this relationship, gouda is the partner that exhorted stout to analyze his/her priorities in life and enact positive personal change. Like the most positive personal change. So happy to have brought these two together!