Four beers make up a special holiday pack, each bottle labeled with the recommended pairing.
- Imperial Hefeweizen, inspired by and meant to be paired with Otterbein’s Sugar Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Stout, inspired by and meant to be paired with Otterbein’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Oak-Aged Hazelnut Scotch Ale, inspired by and meant to be paired with Otterbein’s Ginger Cookies
- Roasted Peanut Brown Ale, inspired by and meant to be paired with Otterbein’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Earlier this week, Colleen, Checkered Flag, and I sat down before dinner and tried out two of the pairings and found them quite enjoyable. (Yes, we had cookies before dinner. Sorry Mom.)
First up was the Imperial Hefeweizen with Sugar Cookies. The Hefeweizen poured a cloudy straw yellow with a rich yeasty aroma. The flavor was rich in banana and wheat, and somewhat spicier than a standard wheat beer. All three of us declared it to be quite a tasty beer, even before we got to the sugar cookies. The cookies too were very tasty. The sweetness of the cookies seemed to bring out a bit of sweetness in the beer as well. The flavors were very complimentary.
Next we selected the Oak-Aged Hazelnut Scotch Ale and the Ginger Cookies. I was looking forward to this one since I am a fan of Scotch Ales, and Ginger Cookies. The dark brown ale had a nutty flavor, backed by mildly sweet toffee and roasted malt. Lots of "oohs" and "aahs" over this one. The Ginger Cookies were crisp and mildly flavored. The cinnamon and ginger spice of the cookie seemed to linger into the taste of the beer, contrasting and complimenting at the same time. This was an exceptionally surprising pairing, and one I'm tempted to recreate the next time we host a beer and food tasting.
Even though we were splitting the beers between three tasters, a planned dinner and late evening activities limited us to choosing just two at this session. I am very much looking forward to getting to the next two in the group very soon.
The Holiday Collection is available only in Maryland, and for a limited time. The Otterbein's cookies are available only in the MD/DC/VA region and online. If you enjoy tasty sweets and good beer, and are living or visiting in Maryland, you should put together these pairings and try them for yourself.
I'll report back when we try the other two pairings.
The beer, and cookies, reviewed here were promotional samples from the brewery. My impressions are provided of my own free will.