I took a little break from posting over Christmas, but I’m back. To make up for my laziness, I’m classing it up with a pairing: Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout with a Hostess Cupcake…
When Hostess announced their liquidation, I was one of the idiots who, despite not having eaten a Twinkie in 10 years, lamented its demise. In fact, at one point I even proposed to my office-mates a Twinkie memoriam: At a set time each day I would read out one Twinkie ingredient until I reached the end of its imposing list of -ates, -extrins, -ames, and numbered dyes. Eventually, one of my office-mates slipped away to a vending machine and brought me back a pack of Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes on the condition that I shut-up and agree not to undertake my proposed Twinkie ceremony. I greedily agreed.
Buuuut, what better way to honor the memory of Hostess than with a series of beer and Hostess treat pairings. So, today is Hostess Cupcakes paired with Brooklyn’s decadent Black Chocolate Stout. Next will be Achel’s Tripel with the almighty Twinkie.
The funny thing about today’s chocolatey match-up is that only one of the contenders is actually made with chocolate. Although, it’s not the one I would suspect. Surprisingly, Brooklyn Brewing doesn’t add an ounce of chocolate to this very chocolatey-tasting beer. For the Hostess Cupcake, however, cocoa proudly ranks in prominence on the ingredient list somewhere after beef fat and before acesulfame potassium.
So, let’s do this thing…
The Black Chocolate Stout pours slightly more opaque than motor oil, and its head looks like Yoo-Hoo froth. It smells like rich dark chocolate, coffee, and a little roast. It’s almost like you’re about to tie into a chocolate dessert so flagrantly decadent that you repeatedly look over your shoulder expecting to see Wilford Brimley preparing a “diabetus” intervention. The taste is huge, chocolatey, creamy, sweet, and slightly boozy, but it isn’t overbearing (not nearly as sweet as some of Southern Tier’s Blackwater Series). And the roast and char really come out to play, giving the finish a slight bitterness and taming (otherwise it would be more cloying than a Care Bear riding a My Little Pony).
On the other hand, the cupcakes are not nearly as awesome a school lunch commodity as I remember them. My sack lunches must have really sucked if they left me pining for these. The chocolate icing is dull-looking and a little brittle. The cake is kind of dry and crumbly, and the filling is thick and beef fat-ty. It doesn’t even taste that chocolatey. I’m starting to question my entire childhood.
So, the best I can say about this pairing is that the mediocrity of the cupcake will boost your appreciation of the beauty of this beer. But Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout doesn’t need a designated ugly friend to shine.
The Haybag (with her shot glass-sized pregnancy portion): Take the beer, leave the cupcake.