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Sep 18, 2011 12:13 PM

Beer / liquor combinations

I am just curious to know if anyone has played around with these much. Not looking for any elaborate beer cocktails, just a splash or more of something that enhances the taste of a beer.

I broke open a pale ale my friend brewed for his wedding, and I thought it was a little one-dimensional with too much hops and very little malt to balance them. So for the second half of the bottle I added just a splash of aperol and it was quite good.

Other combinations I have tried and worked - Scotch ale and Islay Scotch, Sierra Nevada celebration IPA and coffee liqueur, SN IPA and Firefly sweet tea bourbon, Smuttynose robust porter and coconut syrup (after seeing mention of Maui Brewing's coconut porter.)

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    1. re: hawkeyeui93

      I think I used the cheap one I have a small bottle of, Copa de Oro - now that I have found a cheap source for Kahlua I won't buy the off brands anymore because kahlua is much better (but Trader Vic's Kona Coffee liqueur is even better, but hard to find.)

      1. re: ncyankee101

        Two coffee liqueurs that are worth checking out are Galliano's Ristretto and Coffee Heering (from the same Danish producers of Cherry Heering). Both have a darker roast coffee flavor that is less syrup tasting. Kahlua is a solid one but it is more coffee-like than pure coffee at times.

        1. re: ncyankee101

          I know you're not a fan of Patron, but someone gave me a bottle of Patron XO Coffee Liqueur and I found it to be decent (and a change of pace from Kahlua) ...

      2. Many of the Italian bitter liqueurs (amaros) will add some richness and complexity to a beer. Averna will add some nice caramel notes, Cynar some earthier ones, or Ramazotti some orange and cola notes.

        Also, two French ones come to mind: Amer Picon is a classic one especially when mixing with pale beers like Czech pilsners. And Benedictine for some dark herbal notes that might make an ale come to life.

        Also, apricot liqueur goes great with Miller High Life and probably similar.

        5 Replies
        1. re: yarm

          This post must be some sort of Chow record for most number of thought-provoking flavor combination per word.

          1. re: yarm

            I am proud to say I have never had a bottle of Miller High Life in my house lol.

            1. re: ncyankee101

              I had the same attitude for a while until I needed some to make a pair of drinks over the summer for the beer-themed Mixology Monday I was hosting. The ones that were left over were the best thing after doing a lot manual labor and I can see why they are a bartender's go-to post-shift beer.

              Those two drinks were written up here if you're curious:

              1. re: yarm

                If I needed something easy to drink and refreshing after physical labor it would be a sam adams light, or a decent hefeweizen, or a belgian wit. I have only had MHL once, it was a long time ago but I remember thinking "never again" LOL. It was probably skunked like most beers in clear bottles. I just looked it up on ratebeer, it's percentile is 1 overall and 9 within pale lagers (which is higher than Bud at 0/3.)

                Speaking of skunky beer - you want to hear something sad? My friend went to Seibel Institute and when he was studying over in Munich toured some Euro breweries and go to talk to the people who run them. The reason they put their US beers in green bottles is because they want to get that skunky taste, because that is what most Americans think is the "import" taste.

            2. A pint of Guinness poured over Frangelico is a nice treat.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pete k

                Good idea, I am not a fan of Guinness but have a lot of other stouts in my cellar which might have gotten old and a little soy saucy. I don't have Frangelico but do have Nocino Walnut liquor and Trader Vic's macadamia liquor, either of which should work.

                1. re: ncyankee101

                  You may also consider a layer of Guinness and champagne to make a black velvet, or you can sub the champagne for cider.

                  1. re: pete k

                    I used to take all my employees out in December for black velvet made with Dom Perignon and Guinness. I've also made beer milkshakes (!), Guinness and condensed milk chilled is good too - I think you could sneak in something like amaretto or Baileys or B&B with the guinness and condensed milk. Mix and chill and have a sweet alcoholic dessert drink.

              2. Bud Light mixed with Guiness Stout Pub Draft

                3 Replies
                1. re: creamsherry

                  Ok neither of those is a liquor, and neither of those will likely ever be found in my house. I used to drink Guinness, before I found better stouts - the version we get here in the US is not good.

                  1. re: ncyankee101

                    I was having trouble figuring out an answer for this thread, but since I was enjoying it I shot the only ammo I had: what my buddy's father used to

                    1. re: ncyankee101

                      I did have a buddy that loved a shot of aftershock with his bud bar bottle, but he would shoot a shot before drinking each beer. he never mixed them like AKA a boilermaker

                  2. Also a cult hit here in Boston is Bud Light Lime (12 oz or so) with St Germain (1 1/2 oz) called the Imperial Royale. While BLL is a sucky beer with "natural lime... flavor" and a lot of St. Germain in anything can be gross, the two cancel out each other's negative points and make something rather drinkable. Plus, it got rid of the BLL can we had in our fridge from a project creating the Pegu Clubweiser (recipe upon request).