Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Beer and Chocolate Project: Trappistes Rochefort 10

As mentioned before, I'm making it my goal to find the perfect beers to pair with my friend Alan's chocolates. Honestly, I had no idea where to start. I figured imperial stouts may match the flavors and lambics could possibly compliment. Otherwise, I really had no clue.

At a chocolate and wine tasting a few months back, Alan suggested a Trappistes Rochefort 10 would pair well with his chocolate. I bought one of these shortly after that event to give it a try, but the opportunity never really presented itself.

So, the other night, I gave it a try. The chocolate I had with which to pair was Alan's new nib bar, a 70% cocoa bar with chocolate nibs embedded on one side.

This bar is by far my favorite of the Patric Chocolate line. This bar combines the creamy sweetness of the molded chocolate with the roasted nut and berry flavors of the nibs. It may be the perfect chocolate bar in that gives you all the possible flavors found in chocolate in one bar.

The beer is a Belgian quad and easily one of the finest I've ever tasted. It's dark, dark black, smells of bananas, and tastes of raisins. (Sorry, that's two posts in a row where I use raisins to describe how beers taste.) Even if the beer didn't go with the chocolate, I was sure trying it out would at least be a pleasant experience.

Honestly, the beer was too much for the chocolate...or the chocolate was too much for the beer. I'm thinking that the beer may balance better with Patric's other bars, sans nibs. Maybe even the nibs alone with the beer might pair well. I don't know. It certainly requires more investigation.

What I did learn was that I needed to have either more beers or more chocolate so that I could compare flavors and choose the best pairings. Maybe I should try to gather each of the four bars and a bag of nibs to pair with a variety of beers.

So, it's back to the drawing board for the beer and chocolate project. One place I will look for inspiration is Stone as they have been a leader in extreme food pairings, particularly with chocolate. However, the biggest difference is that they pair with flavored chocolates or truffles. So, it's quite a bit different. I figure something out.

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