Welsh Rarebit and Bells Porter

Imagine a snowy Saturday Morning. It’s the weekend so you don’t have to go to work. You light a fire in your fireplace, break out your camp oven, and set it in the hearth. You make a roue, then through in some heavy cream and porter. Then you slowly melt some fine aged cheddar. You take this  and pour it over some rye toast that you toasted over the fire, and pair it with the same beer you used in the recipe and you have yourself a fine wintery morning indeed.

Of course it is Autumn, and a rather warm day at that. I also don’t have a fireplace or a camp oven (even though it is on my wishlist). I used my heaviest saucepan instead of a camp oven and put it on low heat on my stove top  Doing this gave me Welsh Rarebit. A dish I have only heard of from Alton Brown’s  Good Eats, but a dish that I think more people should try.

The Bell’s Porter has an intense coffee and espresso flavor. It lends a bit of this to the rarebit, although mostly it is a creamy, savory, cheesy taste. The rye is a dark German rye which compliments the savory cheddar flavor immensely. Rye lends a great pepper flavor, and pepper is just so ambiguous with savory flavors. I’m not saying it boring, I’m saying that there is a reason that every steak in America is cooked with at least salt and pepper.

The porter is a decently bitter beer as well, and it helps cut the relative creamy nature of the rarebit. I ended up having it for dinner, but it is really heavy as the sole portion of the meal, and probably should just be a side as it is originally intended. Or of course a great breakfast to keep up your strength on a cold winter’s morn.

Two Hearted Ale

In my search for a wedding beer I came across Two Hearted Ale several times. I think people like it for weddings because of the name, even though I believe the name refers to a fish. It did fit my criteria of being a relatively local beer, but it is way too hop forward for the sole good beer that my wedding budget allows me. Maybe I can have a few for the bridal party.

Aroma

Straight up hop right off the bat. Not really as hop forward as I had come to expect from reading about the beer. The aromas does not last very long, but I am kind of sick so my smelling ability is fishy at best.

Color

Golden yellow.  I took the picture at night, so the golden color doesn’t really come through. It has good lacing, and a small white head.

Taste

Hops are definitely the first thing you taste. They aren’t very grapefruity like a cascade or a simcoe, but there is still a hint of orange (which made sense when I looked up the beer and found it uses only Centennial hops). There is a noticeable amount of sweetness. It is crisp, but not a beer I would consider particularly refreshing. It is very bitter on the tip of the tongue which is an indicator of just how bitter it is, as most of the bitter taste buds are on the back of the tongue. I really think the overwhelming taste of this whole beer is bitter. Not warheads bitter of course, but decently bitter for an IPA. As it warms up, I strangely feel that it gets slightly less bitter, and slightly more orange flavored. And really, the bitterness does not have that aftertaste that many IPAs have.  I think this beer is growing on me the more I drink.

Mouthfeel

 It has a medium mouthfeel, with a moderate amount of carbonation. The bitterness fatigues the palette quickly.

Overall Impression.

It is very bitter, but because of that, I wouldn’t really call it refreshing. Although as the beer warms up,  the orange flavor comes out, and the 7.0% ABV kicks in. It is starting to become a very nice beer to drink while I sit in the back yard on this breezy night, with my dog chewing a stick next to me, writing blog posts. It is definitely a good beer to have one of.