This winter has offered up some really cold days so naturally the taste buds gravitate towards the dark side of beer … hello Stout!
The history of stout goes back to Porters, popular in London in the 1800s, and were referred to as ‘stout porter’ referring to their stronger and bolder flavours compared to Porters. The modern day stout is, generally speaking, dark and delicious with chocolatey and/or coffee notes. Great with chocolate desserts, a classic with freshly shucked oysters and, at a Five Bar (WA) event whilst I was working there, Nick Bath, Director of Blue Cow Cheese Company & Dr Chuck Hahn matched Mad Brewers Stout Noir with Queso Mahon Grande D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) – divine!
With a couple of stouts in the fridge and the temperatures low, it was time to do a little tasting event at home …
Introducing girl+beer’s Stout versus Stout!
The Stouts …
4 Pines Stout (aka Space Beer) + Coopers Best Extra Stout
For the first of three battles, 4 Pines Stout and Coopers Best Extra were matched with homemade Creme Brulee.
I don’t have a positive history with cooking desserts, many a failed attempt come to mind, so I wasn’t feeling overly confident however I had my heart set on the idea. Considering the typical flavours in stouts I decided to throw in a shot of fresh espresso as well.
We wrote on each glass with a marker so we didn’t lose track of which stout was which; a distinct possibility since we are both a little forgetful at times! The mini blow torch we dug up from my boyfriend’s tool kit did a fine job at caramalising the icing sugar and was a lot more fun than just putting them under the griller as the recipe book had suggested.
It was time to tuck into Creme Brulee and our two Australian stouts …
4 Pines Stout
This had a thinner mouth feel and less head retention than the Coopers Best Extra Stout. There were beautiful coffee and rich dark chocolate flavours in this ‘certified space beer‘ and perhaps hints of vanilla and aniseed. No doubting that it is certainly a beautiful stout but a little thin against the very dense creme brulee and the back palate bitterness clashed with the more dominant sweetness in the dessert.
Coopers Best Extra Stout
A big tan head with aromas of fresh coffee beans that translated into flavour along with chocolate that lightly coated the tongue. It’s got a bit of body and a bit of bite (or as my boyfriend who say “RAAA!”) and the creme brulee washed over it nicely. The caramalised icing sugar on top went particularly well with the beer, emphasising the chocolate sweetness.
Best Match – Coopers Best Extra!
Next Round: Chocolate Brownies