It’s been too long since I busted out the cheese board for a single style pairing! This time it’s Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter because I was excited to see it at the store.
The Beer Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter
Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter is perhaps the most iconic example of an English porter. (Only Fuller’s London Porter could even attempt to claim the title.) It’s still made with the hard water from the well dug at the brewery in 1758 and of course it’s fermented in the legendary ‘stone Yorkshire squares.’
This beer is big on the malt with lots of grainy hazelnut character and black cherry notes. I’ve heard this beer be described as creamy. However, I wouldn’t be so generous, it has a smooth mouthfeel but it doesn’t cling to the palate at all, the finish is dry and slightly bitter with a touch of nutty malt character hanging around. A straightforward malty porter with just enough bitterness for balance and some cherry and berry esters from English ale yeast.
The Cheese Plate
The Cheeses (Described Below)
Auguste & Fils Soft Ripened Triple Cream
Clarina 18-Month Aged Gouda
Somerdale English Cheddar with Chives \\
Homemade Salted Honey Butter
Every cheese plate should have salted honey butter! Sweetness, fat, salt everything you need to change the perception of a cheese in one smear.
I got this to complement the cherry flavor in the cheese but you could also use my all time favorite four-berry jam which contains cherry.
Nuts & Dried Cherry
More elements that I pulled from the flavor profile of the beer.
Neutral and not too salty with subtle meaty flavors and a little bit of grassiness.
Rich and salty, my preferred non-cheese element on any board!
The Cheese and English Porter Pairings
Cheese Pairing #1 Auguste & Fils Soft Ripened Triple Cream
A standard triple cream rich and full with a velvety melt-in-your mouth texture and pure butter and a hint of tangy creme fraiche.
Why it Might Work
The simple flavor of the cheese will really only offer a creamy texture to the beer. The slightly toasted flavors of the malt in the porter may smooth out allowing the layered yeast character to come forward. I’m hoping for a creamy and fruity result here.
Cheese Pairing #2 Clarina 18-Month Aged Gouda
This is a middle of the road Gouda as far as aging, it’s just starting to crystalize and the nutty flavor (like dry walnuts and pecans) is present but it’s not too intense yet. There is still a backbone of sweet buttery flavor to keep the overall impact tame.
Why it Might Work
I think the intensity of this cheese matches the intensity of the Taddy Porter. They both have easily recognizable flavors but they aren’t too strong. Since the cheese is bringing a lot of nutty notes to the party it may enhance the pecan and hazelnut notes in the beer. It may also obscure some of the delicate fruity aromas.
Cheese Pairing #3 Somerdale English Cheddar with Chives
This is a typical English cheddar with a slightly waxy texture and plenty of lactic tang without being too sharp. The chives are freeze dried before they’re added during the cheddaring process so they deliver pungent hits of onion flavor.
Why it Might Work
My closest attempt at “if it grows together it goes together.” English cheddar, English porter, they’re made with the same sensibility and the same complexity. Porter is mostly malt with a yeast surprise, and the cheddar is mostly sharp with an onion surprise. The onion could clash with the malt, or it could enhance some of the grassy aromas from the hops.
And the Winning Cheese Pairing is…
The Triple Cream! The porter’s smooth mouthfeel gets even more luxurious with the triple cream present and there was some definite enhancement of the yeasty fruit notes when eating the cheese alongside a sip of beer. We decided it was the subtle tang of the cheese at work resonating with slightly tangy fruit aromas. The beer definitely presented differently with the cheese and nothing clashed. Another win for triple cream!