Monday, November 15, 2010

Left Hand - 400 Pound Monkey and Milk Stout

Last night’s dinner was roasted peppered pork loin with potato, sweet potato, onion, and jalapeno peppers.  Left Hand Brewing – 400 Pound Monkey – English Style IPA was paired with dinner and it worked well.  The 400 Pound Monkey went very well with the jalapeno pepper and the bitter in the beer was a great combination with the heat from the pepper.   This IPA has an ABV of 6.8% and an IBU of 60.  Note, this is not published, but I listened to a podcast of Cicero’s Beer School featuring Left Hand’s Chris Leonard who gave an IBU of 60 for 400 Pound Monkey, and he stated that they came up with the name because someone at the brewery said that a 400 Pound Monkey could just through in lots of hops to cover up flaws in a IPA.  From the website description – “Because this one ain't like them others. We use hops of a different color, earthy and herbal, well-balanced by bready malt.  The result?  An English-style IPA that separates itself from the ubiquitous bunch.  Cartloads of bitter monkeys flinging wasteful amounts of bananas into the jungle . . .we're so done with that.  Left Hand went for a balanced taste and provides the consumer with a well rounded IPA – they have done well. 
I paired Left Hand – Milk Stout, ABV 6% and IBU 25, with a desert of pumpkin bars and this pairing was excellent.  Milk Stout has won a few awards and I tasted coffee on the first sip.  After the beer warmed a bit and was tasted with the pumpkin bars the sweetness came out and the pairing just “popped” – it was a delight.  I think this beer would pair great with chocolate and in particular my wife’s chocolate pie.  I think it would also go well with a chocolate desert with a raspberry sauce.  From the Left Hand website description of Milk Stout, “Dark and delicious, America's great milk stout will change your perception about what a stout can be.  Preconceived notions are the blinders on the road to enlightenment.  Udderly delightful.  This is my favorite beer that I have tasted from Left Hand and I look forward to sampling more from Left Hand.

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