Monday, October 20, 2014

Beer Mail Becomes the Basis for an Experiement

A couple weeks ago I ran across this recipe for a beer cocktail that intrigued me. Having recently switched over from drip coffee to a French press every day we have the requisite "coffee grounds left in the bottom of a French press." Next I confirmed that there was still a bottle of Jameson in our very small booze collection. At that point the only thing that was missing was a can of stout.

I meant to pick one up but hadn't gotten around to it by the time a little birdie told me that beer mail in the form of McMenamins Black Widow Porter would soon be gracing my doorstep. Sure, it would be a porter but since I often make substitutions when cooking I decided to use The Widow.

Once the box arrived and the beer was properly chilled I cracked open the bomber for an unadulterated taste. It poured opaque black with a creamy head and roasty chocolate aroma. The flavor mimicked the aroma and pleasantly lingered. Although I was tempted to enjoy the rest of the bottle I stuck to my guns and started the beer cocktail experiment.

After allowing the beer to "steep" in the leftover grounds I reserved a bit of the mixture before adding the Jameson so that I could do a side-by-side progression tasting. You probably won't be surprised to hear that the beer and coffee grounds only mixture was a tad bitter and while I enjoy the beer solo best, the addition of the Jameson to the mixture served to smooth things back out. I didn't have a cigar handy as the recipe suggested but I can see how it would have been a nice accompaniment.

The verdict? I'll stick to straight up beer for the most part but I'll definitely keep this in mind the next time I decide to have a cigar and intend to sit around for a spell sipping and smoking. If you happen to be similarly intrigued I'd love to hear what beer you used and what you thought about the resulting cocktail.

Thank you to McMenamins for (unintentionally) fueling my experimenting. Please don't hold it against me; I believe in having fun with beer.

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