Monday, September 05, 2011

Better Together?

An article in Saturday's WSJ offered up some interesting combinations for Two-Ingredient Beer Cocktails (sub req). Two in particular caught my eye:

The Peat Racer
From Jim Woods, founder of MateVeza Brewing Co.
12 ounces Racer 5 IPA
1 ounce Laphroaig scotch

Pour beer into glass and, using a bar spoon, carefully float the Laphroaig on top.

Yes, there are many who think it's sacrilege to mix scotch with anything, but I don't think those guys (yes, it's mostly guys who gripe) have ever tried this cocktail. The smokiness and salinity of the Laphroaig mixed with the bitterness of the IPA is unforgettable. Be sure to float the scotch. If you don't, it gets lost in the beer.

While this might seem shocking (or as the author of the piece notes even sacrilegious) to some, it makes perfect sense if you think about it. JB Doubtless and I long ago discovered the pleasures of drinking whiskey (or whisky) and hoppy beer together. While our preference was to follow a pull of whiskey from one glass with a sip of beer from another, combining them together is another alternative delivery method that seems perfectly acceptable.

I was intrigued enough by this cocktail combo to give it a try on Saturday night. After pouring a pint of Founders Red's Rye PA and letting the head settle, I slowly floated a decent amount of Buffalo Trace bourbon on top. The verdict? Delicious. The one caveat is that you do need to careful when you start playing around with whiskey and beer combos. It goes down good, almost too good and the punch it packs has a way of sneaking up on you.

The other beer cocktail that I'm going to have to try is this one:

The Port Stout
From Hatfield's in Los Angeles
2 ounces Quinta do Noval Black Port
6 ounces Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Pour together in a 10-ounce brandy snifter.

This crowd-pleasing drink should be in the dessert-cocktail canon alongside the Irish coffee. The Port's cherry-ness melds beautifully with the Imperial Stout's malty notes and subtle vanilla flavors while turning the beer's head the color of red velvet cake. It's like a cherry-chocolate ice cream float without the richness. If the drink does get your sweet tooth going, pair it with vanilla ice cream.

While in general I'm not a big fan of port, this mash-up with stout definitely holds promise as a tasty way to top off a meal. I'll provide an update here when I have an opportunity to partake of this combination.