beer and food

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 replies on “Beer and cheese #4”

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.

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

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

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.

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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