December 06, 2010

Pics - Feast of Samichlaus

Last night was the twentieth in our series of monthly Brewmaster's Dinners. December's "Feast of Samichlaus" was held at Beer Kitchen across the street from McCoy's; guests seem to prefer the larger venue & dedicated service rather than the smaller, yet more intimate, Cigar Lounge located between McCoy's & the Foundry. Perhaps this relocation was due in part to the desecration of the Cigar Lounge by the group of foul-mouthed drunks ironically known as GentsKC...

Smoked salmon rillettes - a pâté-like dish of smoked salmon, salmon poached in Pernod anise-flavored liquer, shallots, chives & crème fraiche mixed together and stored in a mason jar sealed with butter. Served with Bateman's Rosey Nosey winter warmer - 5% ABV.

The namesake of the dinner - Brauerei Schloss Eggenburg's Samichlaus Bier. The strongest lager in the world at 14% ABV, this doppelbock is brewed only one day of the year (St. Nicholas' Day - Dec. 6th) and cold-stored for a year before being released. Given the time difference between us & Belgium, there was a decent chance the 2010 batch was being prepared concurrently with our enjoyment of the 2009 vintage.

Salad of duck confit, apples, figs, potatoes & toasted hazelnuts with blood-orange vinaigrette. The savory confit, salty hazelnuts & slightly tart dressing made for an excellent compliment to the rich & sweet Samichlaus.

Mikkeller's Red & White Christmas ale - a blend of a British-style red ale & a Belgian wit, then loaded with orange peel & American hops. A remarkable beer only available to the United States in 1.5L magnums - 8% ABV.

Locally-made veal Weisswurst sausages poached in a spiced Mikkeller Christmas ale broth, served with braised red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, smoked bacon & hops-infused apple-mustard. This dish was the wurst! Actually, it was really damn good.

Corsendonk's Christmas ale - Belgian strong dark ale - 8.5% ABV.

The main course - slow-cooked crown roast of pork with garlic-herb mustard rub, mashed rutabagas & Norwegian lingonberry demi-glace served with Corsendonk's Christmas ale. Delicious.

Risalamande - a traditional Danish dessert of rice pudding, whipped cream, vanilla & chopped almonds with warm cherry compote & almond tuille cookie. Paired with the very rare Mikkeller's Ris a la M'ale - a brand new "liquid version" of the dish brewed with rice, vanilla, sugar, salt, cream, cherries & almond extract...very unique!

The Sugar Plum Tree - bite-sized balls of ground spices (anise, fennel, cardamom, & caraway seeds), ground almonds, dates, figs, raisins & currants rolled in sugar; served with Gouden Carolus Noël, a Belgian strong dark ale - 10.5% ABV.

We're taking January off as it falls so close to the holidays but we'll be back in full force for February's Valentine's Day dinner. More info on that as it develops.

Cheers & happy holidays!

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