Monday, October 24, 2005

Bodacious BBQ and Voluptuous Stout

Isaac and I are back from a quick and dirty sales-trip to the State of Indiana. We were due at the Big Red Beer Fest in Bloomington on Thursday. Wednesday, we stopped in Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis and were guests of honor at a beer tasting set up by Hamilton Beverage of Carmel, IN at Dick's Bodacious BBQ . While we had room for more, an attentive and vocal crowd enjoyed the tasting. Marc from Indianabeer.com was in attendance, and indicated he'd be writing a piece on it which always helps spread the word.

After discussing the gameplan with Brian, the proprietor of Dick's BBQ, I paired the beers, and got things set up. We enjoyed an excellent tasting.

We started drinking Sundog as I explained a bit about our brewery and beer in general. When the food arrived, we dug deeper into the portfolio. Stuffed, smoked salmon was subtle and delicate and it tasted great with Full Circle. The pepper-jerk pork tenderloin was awesome. It was moist, tender and had a nice peppery finish that played nice with both Mad Hatter and Paleooza. The hoppy beers kept the dance lively between the food and beer.

We tasted Ichabod and Pilgrims Dole ala carte before finishing with Poet and chocolate brownies. So simple, yet so delicious.

Poet isn't out for another two weeks, but we enjoyed the sneak preview. If you haven't had it next to some chocolate yet, TRY IT. It doesn't have to be complicated - just a favorite chocolate dessert. Cookies, brownies, or even just a good quality chocolate bar will suffice. If you've got fancy desserts, they're great too.

Stouts are the chameleons of beer styles. There are flavors hanging out in their body that you have yet to notice. Chocolate is one of the foods that will bring out some of their secrets. Poet has nice roast flavors as well as some soft, chocolate sweetness lurking underneath. The chocolate will play nice with both of these making each sip a slightly different experience.

Make fun of me later, but you should try this while drinking stout, preferrably The Poet, and eating chocolate. As you alternate between the two, close your eyes and focus on the flavor you're looking for. Is it chocolate? roast? coffee? The more you look for it, the more it will appear. The beer will pull flavors from the chocolate and vice versa.

The other way to play that is to close your eyes and try and clear out your preconceived expectations and just interpret which flavors you notice. Chocolate and stout will make this an interesting challenge as you may find new ones everytime.

There's no right or wrong with this type of tasting, it just shows the breadth of that style. I find it also shows how versatile, light and soft stout can taste.

Back to the tasting - thanks to Rod at Hamilton Beverage and Brian at Dick's BBQ for putting it on. We're looking at making this a tradition so we'll do it bigger and better next year on the way to Big Red!

1 Comments:

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3:51 PM  

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