Sunday, February 15, 2009

From the mouth of Babes...

Felicia D'Ambrosio's Brew Revue in the Phila City Paper came as a complete surprise on Valentine's Day! Sweet!!

Sebbie regards Stilton.
Photo l Michael Persico

Ever take a look at the babe on the Rogue Chocolate Stout bottle and wonder, what do you have to do to get your face on an amazing beer? The chick is Sebbie Buhler, the Oregon brewery’s East Coast rep and all-around badass.

Sebbie herself was in town on Wednesday getting some Beer Week events in order, and she spared a moment to offer us a beer and cheese pairing — one of her passions, along with pairing beer and chocolate.

The huge quantity of chocolate in Rogue Chocolate Stout, along with malted barley and tons of hops, give it a full body that can only be matched by an equally robust cheese. “Stouts call for stinky cheese,” Sebbie opined. The best match? “Colston Bassett!” she said firmly, and Di Bruno’s cheesemonger Hunter agreed.

Colston Bassett Stilton is the only remaining traditional Stilton; it is produced in Nottinghamshire, England. The curds are hand-ladled over the course of four days, creating a cheese that has “sweeter flavors of dried fruit and maple syrup, with the refined character of walnuts, tobacco and old leather,” according to Di Bruno’s description.

With a fistful of blue cheese in one hand and a chilled chocolate stout in the other, I have to agree that the funk of the cheese makes a fine foil for the smooth and roasty beer, which tames the cheese’s salty wildness. The pairing elevates each solitary product from merely excellent to absolutely transcendent.

To get your face on a bottle, you gotta be good — and Sebbie is epic. “Gotta head out,” she said, giving Hunter a farewell pound. “See you when you least expect it.”

Colston Bassett Stilton is $29.99 per pound at Di Bruno Bros., and Rouge Chocolate Stout can be found at any bottle shop or distributor worth their foam.

Chocolate Stout at Ted with Vosges Chocolate

Rogue Chocolate Stout at the 2009 Ted Conference, courtesy of Vosges Haut-Chocolate and paired with the Caramel Marshmallow.