Against bars, tables, chairs, and poles.” ~Unknown
I finally got around to having a beer with cheese, pate’ and water crackers for giggles.
Okay, I do not drink beer as a rule. I do like Belgian Lambics in peach, pear and cherry flavors, but beer in general – no.
Now, being that I am always trying to push my personal envelope instead of falling totally into my usual comfort zones and because I bought a crap load of beer in RI while visiting my daughter, I am having a little fun.
I can tell you I have no idea what I am doing – I do not know the lingo and am not sure I will venture into learning it. I will just tell you what I, the unlearned non-beer drinker, thinks and experiences.
Today I pulled a chilled bottle of 2010 Chimay Grand Reserve beer.
1PT. 9.4 FL. Oz. thick brown bottle with cork closure
$10.99+- a bottle
9% alcohol by volume
This beer is a representative of one of only six Trappist breweries in the world. Brewed in a cloistered monastery by monks at Scourmont Abbey in Belgium as it has been since 1850. This beer is bottle conditioned (meaning they allow the beers to ferment further in the bottles to develop more flavor and carbonation). Because this beer (unlike most so it seems) is considered vintage the production year is noted on the individual bottle or closure and can be kept in low to no light for a few years to further develop the beer’s flavor. In case it matters, this beer is not pasteurized.
Read about Chimay here: http://www.chimay.com/en/chimay_blue_220.php
The cheese I paired with it was actually a cheese I had in the refrigerator from a trip a few months ago. Sweetwater Valley Farms 2008 Reserve Yellow Cheddar Cheese (Extra Sharp). This cheese is made in Philadelphia Tennessee.
$6.00 +- a package. Weight unknown.
Read about Sweetwater Valley Farms here: http://www.sweetwatervalley.com/
The pate’ was dug out of the freezer. It was a purchase last Christmas from D’artagnan. Mousse Truffle pate’ made from organic chicken and turkey liver plus duck fat, port wine and 2% black truffles.
8 Oz. $7.99
Read about D’artagnan here: http://www.dartagnan.com/51214/565826/Specialty-Mousses/Mousse-Truffee.html
The Chimay beer had an almost fruity smell about it. When poured into the glass, it was dark walnut color and foamed like mad. Yea, it had a nice head on it J. The flavor was fruity at first with a bit of a bitter finish. The flavor was much milder than the color suggested it would be.
Before opening this bottle, I did a little research at “Google-University” and found that sharp cheese was a good pairing with this beer. I decided to go nutty and add a pate’ while I was at it.
When I paired the cheese with the beer, the flavor of the beer mellowed to that of a flower flavor. The flavor was like licking a lilac. I know that sounds nutty, but that was what it seemed like. And no – I have never licked a lilac. All I can tell you all is this pairing was worthy for sure.
The pate’, while silky and tasty, did not add nor detract from the beer experience. It was quite good but would have been just as good without the beer and cheese.
Alrighty y’all, let me just tell you, if you like beer, you need to take this Chimay for a taste-drive. If you like wheat beers/lighter flavored beers, you will be shocked to find this dark beer may be to your liking. If you are not a big beer fan, but would like to have a few beers in your notebook for drinking with beer-swilling friends, go for it. I do not think anyone will be disappointed by this beer.