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A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Stinky Cheese Man, part 4
April 17th, Formaggio Kitchen did something a little different with their pairings. Rather than join each cheese to a particular beer or wine, we were given a choice. So while other tastings have have had titles like "Summer Treasures," this was entitled, simply, "You Make the Call." We were given Mole Salami from San Franciso, Lucque olives, and dried appricots as other consumables.


1. Achel Bruin Trappist Belgium (dubbel style ale)

Pont L'Eveque Normandie, France (washed rind cow's milk)
Complex with lots of bread and meat flavors. It's milder and more solid than a Livarot, but with similar character. The Dubbel was a little too much here, effectively washing away the flavor of the cheese entirely. I wanted to see it paired with a cider or perhaps a cassis lambic. (I'm so glad it's back...)

Keen's Farmhouse Cheddar Somerset, England (aged cow's milk)
The first thing you notice is that the cheese smells like lettuce. There's a brief shot of vegetal flavor which fades into a melange of egg, cream, and that ever-so-familiar cheddar tang. The Dubbel worked much better with this, it's caramel flavors dancing around the cheese.

2. Mahr's Ungespundent Bamberg, Germany (unfiltered lager)

Cabri Chaput Quebec, Canada (ash rind goat milk): It starts with a stony smell, but lemons and salt are the obvious flavors here. For some reason, it reminded me of the ocean. Paired with this, the beer gave off a notable apple flavor that makes mouths happy. 'Course, so does the beer's name.

Paglierino Salerno, Italy ( sheep's milk): This had a super 'yeasty' taste to start, and then lemon, herbs and stone came through. While the Cabri reminded me of the ocean, this reminded me of the beach, especially one flanked by high cliffs that have been battered by the tides for ages. With this, the hops bitterness of the beer really shone through to good effect. It's really hard to say which of the cheeses I liked better in the pairing.

3. Ayinger Celebration Munich, Germany (lager)

Cravero Parmigianno Emilia Romagna, Italy (cow's milk)
This is the house Parmigianno for FK, gotten from a farm they know only as "1470." Holy cow. It's cheese that tastes of pineapple. Have no idea what I would pair with it, but it's super tasty.

Bartlett Blue Greensboro, Vermont (cow's milk blue)
This is a rarer offering from the boys at Jasper Hill Farm, apparently named for the brook that flows through their land, and only after being pressed for a name by Robert. Loved this. I don't know how to describe my impressions beyond it tasting "wet," floral, and fruity, all wil undertones of biscuits and butter. The beer with this was fantastic... honeyish and sweet and neither overpowered the other.

4. Geary's Hampshire Ale Portland, Maine (strong ale)

Bricque de Forez Chevre Auvergne, France (goat's milk)
A goat from the same region as Roquefort. It's actually made in a similar style to brie, but has its very own interest. The goat flavor is fairly mellow, and the predominant flavors are things like mushroom and wood. I'm not sure about the pairing, but the beer was a musky amber that was good in it's own right.

5. Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss Wurzburg, Germany (wheat ale)

Acasinca Corsica, France (goat's milk)
Another intriguing goat. It had a peanuty nose and flavors that reminded me almost of a salty sourdough starter. Wheat beer with goat cheese is a no-fail choice.

6. Odyssey Portland, Maine (aged strong ale)

Constant Bliss Greensboro, Vermont (cow's milk)
This is a Jasper Hill offering that I think I've written about before. Chaource style cheese with a smokey or peat flavor. I so want to try this with an Islay.

La Scheggia Piedmont, Italy (cow's milk)
The cheese was very creamy with some almost grapefruity tones. The beer smelled like wine, and was strong, a little tart, and had flavors like coffee and toffee coming throguh. I liked them all, but not together.
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Comments
iterum From: iterum Date: May 2nd, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
re: Pont-l'Evêque and cider:

That would certainly be the proper thing to do from a terroir perspective!

I'm curious about the Bartlett Blue; I'll have to hunt some down when I get back to New England.
komos From: komos Date: May 2nd, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
The dubbel was really a reach, and I didn't think it worked particularly well. The cheese really needed something livelier, and the dubbel just felt heavy and dull.

The Bartlett is very tasty, and I've a 1/2 pound at home now.
iterum From: iterum Date: May 2nd, 2005 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
By the way, do you happen to know what brand of Pont-l'Evêque they have at Formaggio's? I'm mildly curious which one is reprasentin'.

(Incidentally, we saw a graffito the other day that read, "Livarot en force!")
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