Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Very Special Vintage

When we moved stores late last year we discovered a wheel of Karikaas Vintage Leyden tucked in behind a chilled storage space that had slipped from view and never been cut and sold. The cheese was made in December 2005. While the out side was tacky and musty the centre proved to be spectacular. Leyden is a style of Gouda that is spiced with cumin seeds, the years of aging left a firm intense cheese with an earthy spicy cumin note before a long rich sharp finish. I have kept the cheese out the back cutting and selling it to customers I know will appreciate it.

Last night I decided to try and find a beer match. Rather than go for the beer I thought would work out right I decided I would try a range of beers with the cheese. So last night the boys and myself put the Leyden up against Namibian Ur-Bock, Schneider Aventinus, and my own Merchant of the Devil Imperial Stout.


Bock and gouda is usually a match made in heaven, however in this case the cumin seed posed a pretty major threat to a harmonious match. Sure enough the cheese demolished the rich toasty bready bock leaving it tasting watery and impotent.

Schneider Aventinus

The Weizenbock promised to match the spice of the cheese with the phenolic clove character of the beer. However the spices ended up clashing horribly. The cheese also accentuated the caramel and banana in the beer and left it tasting hot.

Merchant of the Devil

This one was always the one I thought would work, and it certainly delivered. While the other two matches ended up in a sweet mess, this match was un-mistakenly savoury. Aged sharp cheese melded with intense roast, cumin seed blended with sharp bitter hops, dried fruit and rose esters in the beer capped the whole match off. Like walking through Moroccan market.

Oh would you look at that , my beer worked best …


James and Kelly said...

Love it when your own beer is better....especially when it's an impy!

Dan Patomaki said...

You just remided me of this cheese, I meant to get a friend to try this. It makes sense that the RIS worked well. I will try a similar pairing.