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.
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.
The Haybag: Twinkies be nasty.