Hostess Pairing Part II: Achel 8º Blonde and a Twinkie

Next up, Achel 8º Blonde (Tripel) paired with a Pre-Chapter 7 Hostess Twinkie:
photo (96)

I caught some flak for panning Hostess Cupcakes in the last Hostess pairing post. It was suggested that perhaps they languished too long in the Capitol Hill vending machine from which they were procured. Of course, I had always assumed Hostess confections had a half-life that would make uranium blush. However, the trusty Internet tells me that their Twinkies and Cupcakes have a shelf life of 2-3 weeks. That’s far shorter than the 1- to 50-year range suggested by various urban legends, but pretty damn impressive, or suspicious, for a cream-filled baked good.

Achel 8º Blonde catches flak, too. I have seen it docked down to a grade of 86 with the sole criticism being that it’s not quite Westmalle Tripel (rated at 100). As flaws go, that’s a little overblown. Maybe this is coming from the same message board trolls who begrudgingly acquiesce to the idea of banging Megan Fox only on the condition that she wear mittens to hide her thumbs.

Clearly you'd be doing her a favor.

Clearly you’d be doing her a favor.

The Achel 8º Blonde is from Brouwerij der Sint Benedictusadbij de Achelse Kluis, which I think is Dutch for: The brewery at the St. Benedict Abbey in Achel. It doesn’t really matter, though, because nobody actually speaks Dutch anyway. It pours a hazy, light gold with a big, fluffy, off-white head. It has a subdued, but classic tripel smell with a light citrusy lemon character thrown in. And the taste is the same with pears, apples, bananas, a hint of lemon, and Belgian candy sugar and yeast. Just enough sweetness for a tripel, and its carbonation is just right.

The Twinkie is just as glorious as I remember. The cake is spongy with lemon and vanilla goodness. The cream is good and a perfect textural compliment to the spongey cake (although, it always leaves me kind of longing for the days when it was banana cream). This pairing is totally going to work.

Ugh. This goes together worse than a duck fucking a football. It must be the outrageous sweetness and the beef fat cream filling. Whatever it is, I can’t get it off my palate, and it leaves the beer with an indescribable nasty aftertaste. Although, I wonder if it would have been better with the old school banana cream filling. Alas, we’ll never know.

Conclusion: Holy Conway Twitty on a pogo stick. Don’t do this.

Not this bad, though.

Not this bad, though.

The Haybag: Twinkies be nasty.

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22 thoughts on “Hostess Pairing Part II: Achel 8º Blonde and a Twinkie

  1. Nothing beats bananas… speaking of, I haven’t had a Hefeweizen in a long time. I am mentioning this because when my New England relatives visited me in Germany, they tried a Hefeweizen and asked if it was made of bananas. I used to drink lots of Hefeweizen when I was younger (~15 yrs old), probably because it is sweeter than your regular Pils

    • I have to admit, good American-made Hefes are hard to find. Much of the time they are more American-style wheat than German Hefe…and thus lack the great yeast character of the German-style hefe (and they often muck things up with too much hop character). And often ones that do have some good yeast character are a little strong on cloves and a little lacking in the banana and bubble gum department. One of the good ones I’ve had (and can remember) is Brooklyn’s: Brooklyner Weisse. Interestingly, Brooklyn actually teams up with Schneider, and they each do their own version of Hopfen Weisse
      (a hoppier, bastardized weisse beer, but good noetheless).

  2. Haha, this is great. I can see that combo not working, though I don’t know that I would have predicted it ahead of time. I’ve found that sugary food paired with sugary drinks usually doesn’t work that well (this applies to non-beer drinks like Coke too)… So I have no idea what to really pair with twinkies in that respect…

    • Despite the enthusiasm in my post, my outlook was not positive. Although, I did get my hopes up a little bit on my first bite into the Twinkie…until I hit the cream. Then I knew it was destined for failure. Luckily, I didn’t pair them up until I had drunk most of the Achel.

    • I haven’t seen any Twinkies any more (knock-offs, maybe). I might have to make a run to Canada to bring some back. Apparently, the Canadian company that holds the license is still cranking ’em out.

  3. Good grief, that sounds masochistic! Twinkies aren’t for that at all. You have to soak them in brandy or sherry.
    Megan Fox’s thumb is bigger than my paw!!! I had no idea. Now I am even more afraid of her than I was before.

  4. I love Twinkies but that pairing was doomed from the outset. I’m more of a dark chocolate with beer (if it must be a sweet) but usually more of a savory and beer girl. I will have to look for that beer-it sounds delish. I’m sure my husband would love it, too.
    (Really-Hostess and milk-and I don’t like milk, but I don’t want to ruin the Twinkie or the beer)

    • Agreed. Sweet and beer can be a little bit of a mess sometimes. Sometimes barleywines and sweet stouts can stand up, though.

      Achel 8 is nice. It’s definitely worth a try. It’s not going to blow any minds, but it’s a lovely beer.

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