18 September 2012

Beer and Cheese Club - August 2012

Yes, it's September, but we're almost back up to speed with the Beer and Cheese of the Month Club!  We hear something extra rewarding is in store for September.  That doesn't mean that August isn't something incredible on its own.  Barleywine and blue cheese is a classic beer and cheese pairing, but we've taken that idea and went a little out into left field for August.

Rochefort 10 is an amazing Trappist beer.  If you don't believe me, go look it up on Beer Advocate or Rate Beer, I'll wait.  Now that the internet has convinced you, it's time to try it for yourself.  Rochefort 10 is the quintessential Belgian Strong Ale.  The label says 11.3% ABV, but this beer hides its strength through layers of delicious dark fruit and malt.  It's a good thing this comes in a 330 mL bottle or else we'd all be on the floor!

Rogue Creamery may come from Oregon, but it's actually of no relation to Rogue brewery.  Perhaps to confuse matters even more, Rogue brewery features Rogue Creamery cheeses in each of their public houses!  Regardless of the confusion, Rogue Creamery can claim its own notoriety in the cheese world through a variety of incredible cheeses.  The Oregon Blue may be one of their go-to standards, but it's also one of the best examples of the style out there.  We think you'll agree.

If you're a member of the Beer and Cheese Club at Goose the Market, your August installment was ready for you to pick up a few weeks ago, so we hope you already have! If you're not a member, the club is $99 for 4 months. This month's delivery includes 2 bottles of Rochefort 10 and about 3/4 lb of Rogue Oregon Blue. Either of these items would be great experiences on their own, but we feel they are even better when consumed together.

This was my favorite pairing we have done yet.  I already enjoy the flavors of good blue cheese, and Rochefort 10 is one of the best examples of a Belgian Quad you are going to find that is easily available here in Indiana.

I also try each of items by themselves before trying them paired together.  I started with the Rogue Oregon Blue and was greeted with one of the best blue cheeses I've personally tasted.  It was meaty, sweet, salty, and creamy.  The flavors continually evolved and changed on the palate.

When you put the beer and the cheese together you really created something special.  The dark fruit flavors in the quad really popped with huge dark fruit flavors of fig, raisins, and burnt sugar. All of the flavors in the blue cheese were elevated to another level as well.  Those same flavors really came through with attention and taste bud grabbing nuances that challenged the palate, but kept you wanting more.  This month's pairing is real treat.

We found out that August was going to be Rogue's Oregon Blue and immediately we went to work on barleywines.  Then we stopped and thought barleywines were too obvious.  So naturally our minds went to strong ales.  When we found out that we could obtain Rochefort 10 for this month, it was a no-brainer.

Rochefort 10 offers up a nose full of dark fruit, cranberries, hazelnut and caramel.  It is immediately apparent that this is going to be a rich and complex beer.  The flavor profile of the beer is definitive of the style with tons of figs, raisins and cherries immediately present.  The malt is rounded out by caramel, almond and muscavado sugars, leaving only a hint of alcohol behind.

Now with the cheese, this beer is simply elevated to another level.  The funky blue cheese is played down by the beer, but instead of mellowing they simply become engrossed in the dark fruits.  The dark fruit elements become sweeter, which plays to the blue cheese flavor profile excellently.  Both grow and become more complex, but neither overshadows the other.  This is what pairing beer and cheese is all about.

To join the Beer and Cheese Club at Goose the Market (in conjunction with Hoosier Beer Geek), check out this PDF and then either call Goose the Market at 317-924-4944 or stop in the shop at 2503 N. Delaware St.

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