03 September 2016
It’s not often that I find myself drooling a bit in anticipation of a tasting…but I’ll admit I’m close. It’s probably no secret that I like chocolate, I love dark chocolate and I really, really, really love dark chocolate with sea salt….so what better way to start if the long holiday weekend than with a beer / chocolate pairing.
Today we sampling Flying Dog The Gourd Standard Pumpkin IPA and the new Salazon Chocolate Co. collaboration chocolate bar. This seasonal chocolate bar is made with Flying Dog The Gourd Standard Pumpkin IPA, but more about that later.
Flying Dog The Gourd Standard Pumpkin IPA pours a rich amber color with really nice head retention. It has loads of spice and pumpkin aromas with some really pleasant cinnamon toward the end. The flavors start off with lots of nice cinnamon and a touch of what I thought tasted like nutmeg. The soft pumpkin flavors are there (in the middle) and the late caramel sweetness is balanced nicely by the German noble hops. I’ve tasted this beer before, but every year I’m reminded how interesting a pumpkin beer can beer when you hang the letters “IPA” at the end. There’s a late hoppy presence that makes the beer slightly dry with just a hint of citrus. In subsequent sips the pumpkin flavors and hoppy flavors became much more subtle and the spices really balanced it all out well.
I couldn’t resist any longer so we broke into the chocolate bar. The Salzon chocolate bar is made with fair trade single-origin Dominican Republic organic dark chocolate. The bar is made with fermented and sun-dried Hispaniola cacao beans and if that’s not enough fun, they added the same German noble hops used in the beer….and we’re not done yet. Salzon also added a custom pumpkin spice blend AND hand-sprinkled, solar-evaporated sea salt that was infused with Flying Dog The Gourd Standard Pumpkin IPA. (You may now exhale).
This 72% organic dark chocolate Pumpkin Beer Bar has so many layers of flavors that it’s hard to say where to even begin. The chocolate is sweet with creamy layers of soft and roasty flavors with some late but satisfying subtle spiciness. The sea salt adds a really pleasant counterpoint to the coffee and sweet chocolate flavors and we found ourselves savoring each bite very slowly to make the flavors last. This is REALLY good chocolate!
Somehow we managed to save some Pumpkin IPA….and perhaps even more surprising is that we managed to save some chocolate to enjoy the two together. Pairing beer and chocolate is one of my favorite beer combinations…and this one works really well. The salt and sweetness of the chocolate really play nicely with the spices and caramel flavors in the beer and I found myself not wanting either to stop. In the end we reluctantly finished the beer and slowly (and reluctantly) finished the Salazon chocolate.
The Pumpkin IPA is available now and the t
he Salazon 72% organic dark chocolate Pumpkin Beer chocolate bar is available
Safeway, Earth Fare, MOM’s Organic Markets, New Seasons Markets and a number of
independent natural food stores.
Be sure to get out there and try this beer & chocolate pairing for yourself
….and when you do
….be sure to let us know what YOU think.