I know, I know, I know. There’s no excuse for the negligence. Not even that I was busy, because I wasn’t (not that “busy” is a real excuse for anything anyway – no one is too busy to attend to their priorities), I was sitting on my butt in front of the tube, watching People’s Court. Yes, for the past four days.
See, I got a new desk chair. The old one is a ten-year old piece of crap from IKEA and it was time for it to go. Except the new chair is aligned much differently, and while in the long run it might actually be a lot better for my back, in the short term, my back and neck were not appreciative, and responded by mostly seizing up and not really allowing me to move without pain from the waist up.
Thus, I stepped away from the computer for a few days, and armed myself with pain killers, a heating pad and a tube of Rub A535 and hung out with my gals, Judges Judy and Marilyn. Others get sucked into soaps and talk shows when forced to watch daytime TV, but for me it’s all about the small claims court.
What has this got to do with beer and/or chocolate? Not a damn thing, I’m just explainin’ why I’ve been gone.
See, one of the things I was supposed to have done last week was drink a bottle of stout and post about it to the beer geek round-up my hubbie and his friends were doing. Except I forgot until the day after, at which point I decided I would drink a bottle of stout and write about it anyway.
And not just any stout, but a 750ml bottle of Great Divide Yeti Oak-Aged Stout. Known to those of us able to drink a whole bottle by ourselves as “Yeti Bo Betty” (banana fanna fo fetti, YEHHHTEE!). The name was coined one night on Yonge Street as Greg and I were flagging down a cab. I had finished a whole bottle on my own and at 9.5% alcohol, it’s quite a bit of beer, even for a festively plump gal like myself. Thus, a little bit of singing. Which earned me the nickname “Drunkie”, I believe, but also earned the beer a nickname of its own as well.
I cracked the Yeti with dinner, which was a cheese sandwich, some potato chips and a pickle. And my beloved Yeti tasted off. So very very off. And that 9.5% alcohol really tasted like alcohol – of the rubbing variety.
Now I had always known that beer had to be paired with certain foods to bring out the best qualities, but I don’t drink enough different types of beer to really notice the difference. So when I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a couple of pieces of chocolate, I was really bowled over by how much better the beer tasted.
There was the smooth warm roasty flavour I was familiar with. Ahh! Even more interesting was that the beer tasted noticeably different with the different chocolates. Paired with the milk-chocolate and caramel-centre bar from Green & Black’s, the beer was still hot and a bit burny. However, when I switched to the 75% cacao single-origin Pralus bar from Indonesia, my Yeti Bo Betty was back and ready to take prisoners. The woody flavour of the chocolate melded with the oak tones of the beer, and became a gorgeous blend of wood, coffee, chocolate and a delightful bitterness. It was like I was drinking two completely different beers.
Greg and I have been talking about setting up a stout and chocolate tasting for some friends for a while now, and now that I’ve really seen how the pairing of food makes a difference in the flavour of the beer, I can’t wait to try it.