Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Dinner


After a big Christmas morning breakfast, an afternoon of video games, and a quick jog through the neighborhood it was back to the table for more dining pleasures. Our Christmas dinner menu consisted of standing rib roast, oyster casserole, baked sweet potatoes, and asparagus sauteed with garlic. For a beer to go along with the repast I selected Allagash Grand Cru.

The Allagash makes a nice visual impression served in my new thistle glasses. (A Christmas gift from Colleen.) It pours a bright ruby-orange with a thick, billowing head. The head does drop pretty rapidly leaving a thin ring and plenty of lacing. The pleasant aroma of bananas and yeast gave a hint of the taste to come. The flavor is banana, clove and other spices. There's a slight citrus tang along with a slightly sweet malt. The beer is quite carbonated and a good palate cleanser. The fruit and spice flavor was gentle, but was more than adequate to stand up to the strong flavor of the oyster casserole and the fresh minced horseradish served with the beef.

Later in the evening, Colleen prepared a dessert of Flourless Chocolate Cake with Molten Ganach. This is another recipe from The Best of American Beer and Food by Lucy Saunders. We've tried a number of recipes from this book and it continues to impress. The recipe calls for a dark wheat beer so we used Victory Moonglow Weizenbock. Besides using it in the recipe itself, we also enjoyed it along with dessert.

The house was filled with the aroma of chocolate as the cakes were baking so they were awaited with much anticipation. Needless to say we were feeling a bit stuffed by this time, but the flourless cakes were very light and essentially dissolved in the mouth. They were quite tasty with warm, gooey chocolate centers. This was a good choice for a rich chocolate treat without being too filling. The Victory Weizenbock has a predominately malt aroma with clove and nutmeg spices in the background. The malts predominate the taste with some banana and clove as well. There is a bit of spiciness in the after taste to round it out. Some tingling carbonation is also present. The Victory beer had a similar flavor profile to the Allagash we had with the main course, giving a nice continuity to the meals.

Yesterday's festivities were special as always. This year no trips or visiting, just our family enjoying the day at home. It was fun to have a few special beer-related treats throughout the day. I hope your Christmas celebration was just as much fun.

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