Beer and cheese #4

Detail from the label of a bottle of Caracole's Nostradamus
Detail from the label of a bot­tle of Cara­cole’s Nos­tradamus

You might remem­ber our exper­i­ments with beer and cheese pair­ing from a few weeks ago. Well, we’re by no means done yet.

For our fourth exper­i­ment, we took the cheeses we used with the Brook­lyn Local and tried them with Brook­lyn lager, Brak­s­pear Oxford Gold and Nos­tradamus, a dark sweet 9%-er from Brasserie Cara­cole.

The Wens­ley­dale is an absolute­ly gor­geous cheese, but hard to match.  It brought out an unpleas­ant iron flavour in both the Brook­lyn lager and the Nos­tradamus – quite bizarre.  It was OK with the Brak­s­pear, but flat­tened the flavour a lit­tle.

The camem­bert was the best match for the light-but-love­ly Brak­s­pear.  (Inci­den­tal­ly, the Beer Nut reviewed it here. try­ing it with bleu d’au­vergne.) The cheese gave the beer a nice malt boost.  It brought out the orangi­ness of the Brook­lyn lager and made the Nos­tradamus taste even more of raisins.

It would have been poet­ic if the Oxford blue had gone with the Oxford gold but, unfor­tu­nate­ly, it made the beer less inter­est­ing.  It killed the hops in the Brook­lyn and made the Nos­tradamus sweet­er and less com­plex.  This is anoth­er fab­u­lous cheese that is annoy­ing­ly hard to pair.

We thought that the Stink­ing Bish­op would be a chal­lenge for these beers.  Brook­lyn lager stood up sur­pris­ing­ly well, the cheese mak­ing the flavours more round­ed and smoother with­out killing the hops.  It did­n’t com­plete­ly kill the Oxford Gold either.  How­ev­er, the stand­out match was with the Nos­tradamus – it brought out cher­ry and choco­late flavours in the beer that the oth­ers did not.

So, con­clu­sions to date: blue cheeses and Wens­ley­dale are prov­ing tough to match.  Stink­ing Bish­op (and per­haps oth­er hard­core rind-washed cheeses) go sur­pris­ing­ly well with a lot of beers, but par­tic­u­lar­ly strong Bel­gian (or Bel­gian-style) beer.

Any sug­ges­tions for what to try next? We’ve got Har­vey’s Impe­r­i­al Stout with blue cheese on the list for starters.

7 thoughts on “Beer and cheese #4”

  1. Anoth­er great round-up, nice one 🙂 The Nos­tradamus and Stink­ing Bish­op sounds like a super match. Oxford Gold is a tasty lit­tle beer, I like that, not tried it with any cheese yet though.

    Have you tried any fruit beers with cheeses? I haven’t yet, quite inter­est­ed to see how they get on.

  2. Inter­est­ing. We had a cou­ple of Sam Smith’s (actu­al­ly Mel­bourn brothers)fruit beers this week­end, so maybe we could give those a go?

  3. Sour scrumpy cider works with cheese, so I don’t see why a sour beer would­n’t. It’ll be fun to try, any­way.

  4. I reck­on soured beer with washed rind , not sure about blue , per­haps if its a real­ly funky blue.

    I have been ‘research­ing’ an arti­cle I’m writ­ing on blue and bar­ley wines, Stil­ton and Gold­en Pride and Roque­fort and Thomas Hardies were both earth shat­ter­ing.

  5. I am cur­rent­ly in love with Wait­rose’s Lin­colnshire poach­er cheese. I would like to see what you might pair with it. I was con­sid­er­ing some­thing with a dom­i­nant malt char­ac­ter.

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