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Day #320 – Mikkeller Beer Dinner

November 17, 2011

Today will be just a little bit different from my regular format. All this week, Dallas Beer Week has been going on which is basically an ongoing celebration of craft beer with daily activities at Dallas’ best craft bars and restaurants. On Saturday I went to the grand opening launch party for Deep Ellum Brewing Company at the Common Table.

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Today I return here again for a different reason, and boy is it a good reason. The Common Table is hosting a beer dinner featuring a world-renown Danish brewery Mikkeller. Recently several beers from Mikkeller have made their way into the North Texas market and are available at your high end beer stores. However, tonight is a special treat as the owner, Mikkel himself will be in attendance and he’s bringing with him several fantastic goodies that are not sold here! Each of these beers will be paired with a different course of the dinner. I will be posting a feature on each of the courses, beginning with the Pre-dinner tapping.

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Pre-Dinner Tapping

Jester King Berliner Weisse (Berliner Weisse, ABV unknown).

This beer was a complete shock to me, and it was a complete shock to everyone I think as this beer officially has not even been released yet. Jester King brewed this beer from the beginning of their existence and it has been quietly fermenting the whole time. Every now and then they will brew another batch and blend the two together to change the qualities and characteristics of the beer. This is a common practice amongst beers that are fermented with wild yeast. They do not have a release date on this either, as they were quoted as saying “it’ll be ready when it’s ready.”

The picture shows this beer accompanying the 1st course, however the following beer was the one paired with that course.

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Unmarked bottle at the Common Table. pours a cloudy lemondrop yellow with lots of sediment in it. Light bubbles on top. Definite funk on the nose. Some light fruit with a bit of tartness. Flavor is slightly bready, yeasty and tart, but not overly so. A small fresh fruit flavor on the finish.

1st Course/Beer Pairing

Artisinal Cheeses & Jester King/Mikkeller Drink’in The Sunbelt (Wheat Ale).

This was the first collaboration that Jester King did with Mikkeller. It is an American style wheat ale that is highly hopped.

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Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a light foamy white head. Aroma is sweet hops, floral and fruity. Dry notes on the nose as well. Flavor is light fruit, dry hops with floral notes and a large dry finish. Not as overly dry as the first few times I tried it.

2nd Course/Beer Pairing

House Smoked Bandera Semi-Boneless Quail w/ Cranberry Bacon and White Cheddar Grits & Mikkeller Texas Ranger (Chipotle Porter)

This beer was brewed specifically for Texas (well, this alias is. Outside of Texas it is known as the Chipotle Porter), and it was brewed in the Texas spirit. It is a dark porter brewed with chipotle chiles.

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Pours a dark dark brown with a wicked tan head. Aroma is a chocolaty roast with some beef and pepper notes. Heavy on the nose. Flavor is beefy with lots of pepper. The finish has a wonderful beef rib finish. Not too spicy. Has some kick at the front but fades away. Wow this is actually pretty good.

3rd Course/Beer Pairing

Mesclun Salad w/Pomegranta Habanera Viniagrette & Jester King Farmhouse Wytchmaker (Rye India Pale Ale)

When Jester King first opened, they used 2 strains of yeast, and English Ale yeast as well as a Farmhouse strain. They liked the results from the Farmhouse strain so much, they returned to previous beers they did and rebrewed them using it. This is their Wytchmaker which is a Rye IPA brewed using this Farmhouse strain of yeast.

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Bottle from the Common Table. Pours a very slightly dark orange color with a light amount of carbonation. Gentle ring of bubbles. Aroma is sweet hops, floral in nature with a touch of rye notes. Aroma also has a sweet/sour quality with a bit of the farmhouse scent. Flavor is sweet, floral notes, candy sugar, and a bit of wildflower finish. Pretty nice.

4th Course/Beer Pairing

Grilled Oysters/Purple Potatoes & Melted Leeks in a Cilantro-Champagne Lemongrass Broth & Jester King Das Wunderkind (Saison).

The Das Wunderkind is a French inspired saison that is aged in white oak wine barrels.

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Bottle from Common Table. Pours a cloudy yellow orange with a light ring of white head. Aroma is super funky, sour, fruit, spice and good notes. Flavor is sour, tart farmhouse notes, lots of funk, sour fruit with an easy finish. Smooth on the end.

5th Course/Beer Pairing

Broken Arrow Ranch Wild Boar Osso Bucco, Gorgonzola/Walnut Risotto & Cabernet-Whiskey Apples & Mikkeller Barrel-Aged Black Hole (Red) (Imperial Stout)

This is the beer I was looking forward to, absolutely. Black Hole is an Imperial Stout, and it’s one of the best beers they make. They took this beer beer and aged it in many different types of barrels, all resulting in a different product. This iteration was the version aged in red wine barrels.

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Bottle from Common Table. Pours a very dark brown to black color. Ring of heavy tan head surround the glass. Aroma is wonderful. Dark chocolate, wood and sweet wine, roasted notes and sweet cream. Flavor is dark malts, cocoa, sweet flavors, cream, a touch of wine. This this fantastic! I am very impressed with this.

6th Course/Beer Pairing

Triple Chocolate Browine & Pistacio Terrine w/ Mikkeller Frelser Triple Bock (Doppelbock)

This beer is a doppelbock and a strong one at that. (11%) The style was brewed as a beer the monks could drink for sustenance during Lent. However Mikkeller does not recommend drinking this in place of a meal as it would probably tear you up!

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Bottle from Common Table. Pours a deep reddish orange color with a ring of beige head. Aroma is super sticky malts. Like straight up liquid malt extract. Sweet candy notes on the nose as well. Flavor is sweet malts, sticky flavors, candied sugar and caramel out the butt. Very sweet.

Post-Dinner Tapping(s)

Jester King Farmhouse Black Metal Imperial Stout

This was the second version of the Black Metal Imperial Stout, which I was very much looking forward to trying. It received a very good response when they released this beer using it’s original English Ale yeast, so I am interested to see if it is still just as good with the Farmhouse Yeast.

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Well there you have it folks.  What a great dinner, spent with great friends and I even got to meet the owners of both breweries.  I would certainly recommend any beer on this list.  Cheers!

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