The Kiev and the Stouts

The day before my Birthday, the friend casually texted me saying he might have a surprise “if it comes out right”, and asked if I will be home around dinner time the following day. His inquiry seemed rather ambiguous, so I dismissed it as a common courtesy. I was quite surprised when he, his wife and daughter appeared at my doorstep with a cake box. After a short visit and many thanks on my part they left and I had the Kiev – a Soviet classic hazelnut flavored cake with an offensive amount of butter, sugar and a rich nutty chewy filling all to myself. Finding such a cake under a glass of a Japanese pâtisserie is impossible. As a consequence, my friend’s wife, an experienced home baker, made one from scratch!

This Kiev cake followed a traditional Soviet recipe. The egg yokes for one of the frostings are conditioned over night. Crushed whole hazelnuts and hazelnut baking flour is used. It’s small but fierce and physically very heavy – because its mostly sugar, butter and nuts.

Being a beer connoisseur, I immediately started thinking about beers that could work well with the cake flavors and took upon myself the mission to do as many beer and cake pairings as I can. Here are my tasting notes:

Mikkeller Baghaven – I Found My Thrill 7.4% ABV

I Found My Thrill is a Danish wild ale aged for 30 months in French Oak Foeders on locally grown Blueberries. This deep burgundy colored, refreshing and highly effervescent light-bodied ale with plain yogurt sourness, delicate blueberry and oak flavors has a whiff of a rustic Danish barn to it. Buttery sweetness of the Kiev is contrasted by a tangy blueberry yogurt and lightly puckering oak tannins. The carbonation lifts the buttery fats from the palate making you ready for more cake.

Paulaner Brauerei – Paulaner Salvator 7.9% ABV

Salvator pours mahogany with a lightly tan head. Rich biscuit, caramel and toffee aromas with some floral notes on the nose. Similar malt forward nutty and biscuit flavors are barely balanced by high and clean floral bitterness. The body is medium and smooth. The finish is brief with biscuit like malts and clean bitterness. The Kiev is showcasing the Salvator’s bitterness and slightly overpowers the beers flavors. The hazelnuts somewhat complement beer’s nutty and biscuit flavors, while the bitterness is contrasted by cake’s sugar and carbonation is scrubs the palate.

Different kinds of nut flavors in the beer worked well with Kiev’s hazelnut and intense dark roasted coffee flavors of big and high ABV beers wonderfully demonstrated the cutting power of the bitter coffee with sweet desserts.

Miyazaki Hideji Beer – Kuri Kuro (Dark Chestnut Ale) 9% ABV

Kuri Kuro pours an opaque very dark brown with a fluffy tan head and has a cocoa nibs, nuttiness and sweet caramel bouquet with butterscotch notes. The dark chocolate, coffee, chestnut, caramel and toffee malt flavors are dominating. There is a light stale note, but its not unappealing. The body is medium to full and oily. When I had the ale fresh, there was an alcohol-like roughness in the finish, but after cellaring it for a year, the roughness has mellowed out – aging it was a good decision. Similar yet different chestnut and hazelnut flavors work well together. The lightly sweet beer accentuates the buttery hazelnut like sweetness, while the cake makes the coffee like and cola nut like beer nuttiness stand out. Light to medium carbonation is cleansing the palate of the slick butter leaving a long and lightly warming hazelnut buzz. A great pair!

Heretic Brewing – Shallow Grave Porter 7% ABV

The Shalow Grave pours a dark brown with mahogany tint and a fluffy tan head. It has aromas of nuttiness, cola and French roast espresso. Burnt toast, caramel, butterscotch and nutty flavors play on the palate. Smooth, chewy and silky medium to full body makes it quite drinkable. The Porter has a brief finish of dry roasted coffee, caramel and nuts. The French roast espresso contrasts with Kiev’s buttery hazelnut sweetness. The low carbonation and the sturdy body of the beer makes the pairing very satisfying – you can’t stop the teaspoon of cake followed by a sip of beer repetition.

Mikkeller – Beer Geek Cocoa Shake 12.1% ABV

The Cocoa Shake pours an opaque very dark brown with a dark tan head. It has a rich Swiss milk chocolate bar and vanilla ice-cream like aroma with notes of soy-sauce. The flavors are similar with the addition of vanilla, caramel and toffee. The body is silky and full and the carbonation is low to none. The finish is very long warm and drying, full of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Intensity-wise, both the Kiev and the Shake are similar. The cake’s hazelnut buttery sweetness is contrasted by a dark chocolate, cocoa powder and roasted coffee. Beer’s vanilla complements the buttery Kiev sweetness and the high ABV cuts the cake butter. Both the cake and the beer are desserts which could be had on their own. Having both together is an intense experience and is quite a treat.

Belching Beaver – Peanut Butter Milk Stout 5.3% ABV

Dark brown with a fleeting tan head, this milk stout has aromas of cocoa, chocolate, cola and Resee’s cups. Ritch cocoa, dark chocolate, Resee’s and nutty roasted malts dominate the palate. Silky smooth and slick medium to full body has normal carbonation and a cappuccino-like dry roasted coffee finish. Hazelnut and peanut flavors work well together and if you have the cake first, there is a smooth transition from former to latter. Bitter roasted coffee and dark chocolate contrast the buttery cake sweetness and the palate is refreshed by carbonation. A great pair.

Stone Brewing – Espresso Totalitarian 10.6% ABV

The Espresso Totalitarian has a very fluffy dark tan head and pours an opaque black. It has aromas of nuttiness, caramel syrup, cappuccino foam, clean noble hop floral spiciness with a charred campfire-like note. The nutty, chocolate, cola like malts transition to a medium roast espresso flavor. Body is full and carbonation is normal. The bitterness is assertive. Warming and drying, French roast espresso bitterness with soy sauce like notes persists in the finish. Kiev’s buttery sweetness is cut by Totalitarian’s extreme bitterness which is coming from roasted coffee and hops combined. This is a great example why bitter coffee works well with sweet desserts – the cutting, or the extreme contrast of flavors, is very exhilarating and pleasurable.

Crooked Stave – Coffee Baltic Porter 8% ABV

A drinkable, full bodied, smooth and lightly oily Baltic Porter pours a very dark brown with a tan head. It has aromas of nuttiness, cola, dark chocolate and espresso. Both dark and milk chocolate flavors are followed by a dry and warming chocolate and espresso finish with a campfire like note. Intensity-wise the cake and the porter are quite similar. Buttery and sweet hazelnut is complemented by the dark bitter dark chocolate and roasted coffee of the beer and a unique mocha-like flavor is created. Excellent.

Smog City – Coffee Porter 6% ABV

Aromas of dark chocolate, French roast coffee, caramel with charred charcoal-like notes, bitter espresso, cacao powder and dark chocolate-like flavors, smooth and silky smooth body make this very dark brown with tints of ruby porter yet another good pairing. Carbonation is low to medium and bitterness is medium to high to which the roasted malts contribute. Finish is brisk with cappuccino and dark chocolate and has a very dry and roasty note. The cake accentuates the roasted acidic bitter espresso and brings forth Porter’s caramel and toffee like notes. The contrast between the buttery sweet hazelnut and the bitter coffee is quite enjoyable. Interestingly, when the cake is gone, the beer by itself becomes quite bitter, so, you need to time your eating and drinking to finish at the same time.

Fremont Brewing – Dark Star 8% ABV

Dark Star has a very creamy cappuccino and milk chocolate bouquet with a light roasty notes. A rich coffee-like malts and oatmeal flavors of this very dark brown Imperial Stout are balanced by a high to assertive clean bitterness. Its body is medium to full and silky with oats. Coffee flavors in the finish are brief, however a warming and dry roasted note remains. Cappuccino and oatmeal make hazelnut to take the spotlight and linger on the palate. The bitter and drying coffee is contrasted by the cake’s sweetness. Its flavors pass gently into hazelnut, which makes the beer’s caramel-like notes shine trough. Similarly to Smog City’s Coffee Porter, when the cake is gone, the roasty note in the finish becomes assertive.

Conclusion

The most memorable pairings were Kuri Kuro, Peanut Butter Milk Stout, Beer Geek Cocoa Shake and Espresso Totalitarian. Different kinds of nut flavors in the beer worked well with Kiev’s hazelnut and intense dark roasted coffee flavors of big and high ABV beers wonderfully demonstrated the cutting power of the bitter coffee with sweet desserts. The least favorable pairings were I Found My Thrill and Salvator. Although there was a contrast between the dry and tart blueberry yogurt of the Danish ale and the sweet buttery hazelnut, intensity-wise it was a mismatch. A lightly flavored shortcake with fresh berries could have been more fitting. Doppelbock’s mildly sweet biscuit and caramel flavors were overpowered by Kiev’s richness. The lager contrasted the cake with hop bitterness and scrubbed the buttery palate with carbonation, but nothing more. If anything could be learned from this experiment is that beer and cake can create wonderful pairings and at least, the staple pairing of vanilla ice-cream and stout, separately or as a ice-cream float in the beer, should be tried by everyone.

ビールには綺麗なグラス

Beerjuku.com 動画 #01 – 「ビールには綺麗なグラス」

洗われたグラスが綺麗なのは当たり前だと皆さん思っているかもしれないが、実はそうではない場合が多いです。洗浄の基準としては『一般的な食器用として綺麗』と『ビール用に適した綺麗』は全く別の厳しい基準があることを皆さんに知ってほしいです。空の状態では見えない事が多いですが、実は『綺麗ではないグラス』にビールを注ぐとグラスの内側にビールの泡がへばりつきます

画像にあるビールグラスは一見、綺麗に見えると思いませんか。

小レベル
中レベル
大レベル
インスタグラムbeerman_dubbs許可を得て投稿
Used with permission. https://www.instagram.com/beerman_dubbs/

原因

  • 飲み口に残された唇の油じみ、又はグラス内の染み
  • 乾燥したビールの汚れ
  • 洗い残し
  • リップの跡
  • 石油系の食器用洗剤の使用

上記のいずれかに該当したらグラスは『ビール用に適した綺麗』なグラスではなくなり、ビールの特徴を失わせ、状態は早く悪化し、ビールに悪影響を与えます。

ビールに対する悪影響

  • 泡立ちが悪くなる
  • 泡持ちが悪くなる
  • 泡跡が少なくなり
  • 炭酸が通常より早く抜ける

ビールにはプレゼンテーションが大事です。ビールの透明度、色と泡立ちが消費者に外観的なアピールをする為です。グラスの内側に泡がへばりつくとプレゼンテーションが崩れます。この様なグラスを使うと、透明度と色がはっきり分からなくなり、違和感を与えます。また、泡立ちと泡持ちはアロマにとって重要ですが、泡が早く消え、ビールの香りを発揮しにくくなり、ビールの風味に影響します。ビールの新鮮度を計るレーシング、あるいはエンゼルリングと言うリングの形をした泡跡が少なくなり、炭酸が通常より早く抜け、風味が変わって美味しくなくなります。醸造者はビールのレシピを開発する時、ビールに溶け込む炭酸の量も計算します。ですが炭酸が早く抜けると、ビール醸造者が作ろうとした本来のビールではなくなります。

改善方法-グラスをキレイに保つ為のアドバイス

  • ビールグラスを洗う場所は出来るだけ清潔に保つ
  • 食器とビールグラスそれぞれのスポンジを分ける
  • 非石油系の食器用洗剤に変える
  • ビールグラスはビール専用にする
  • ビールグラスを使った後は出来るだけ早く洗う

食器用洗剤の一部は石油系(petroleum-based)の成分を元に作られています。この成分は食べ物に含まれる油と脂肪を良く落とすが、洗剤を洗い流しても食器に付着して薄いフィルムの様な膜を残す場合もあります。米国では流行りの洗剤ブランドのJoy(日本向け製品とは違う), Ivory, Dawn, Dishmate, Ecoverは石油系です。また、洗剤に合成香料が添加されたものだとビールのアロマの邪魔をする事があります。

従って食器用洗剤は、天然の植物精油を使用した無香料の製品に変えるのをお勧めします。(まずは非石油系であることを優先しましょう。)日本で販売されている中ではフロッシュとハッピーエレファントという銘柄が手に入れやすいでしょう。これからはクラフトビールのお店に行っても家で飲んでも、グラスの内側に泡がへばりついていないか気にしてみましょう。

次回の投稿ではグラスが綺麗かどうかの確認方法をご紹介させて頂きます。

では乾杯!