Sep 6, 2016

Flying Dog Gourd Standard and Chocolate Tasting

Last week a bottle of Flying Dog’s Gourd Standard arrived at Barley Blog HQ. Along with the single bottle was a chocolate bar from Salazon Chocolates that had been made with elements of the pumpkin IPA as part of its ingredient list. I’d had the Maryland brewery’s beer last year and it still brought a nice array of flavors without going over the top with pumpkin or spices.

The chocolate, however, is my first experience with Salazon Chocolate, also from Maryland. This organic dark chocolate bar uses pumpkin spice blend from Flying Dog’s brew, as well as a measure of Hallertau hops. The result is one that actually took a few pieces to chocolate to grow on me. As a fan of dark chocolate, I was expecting this one to be an instant favorite, but the amount of sea salt within the bar initially took me by surprise.

Beer and chocolate photo

Once accustomed to everything, the flavors work quite well. The pumpkin spice and dark chocolate are a no brainer while the hop addition is a bit more subtle. And since this is a beer-based website, let’s focus on how the two elements of this tasting worked together. The IPA, as noted above, it darn tasty and provides a nice array of flavors and refreshing nature. When combined with the chocolate the two tend to become a little muddled, never really complimenting one another. An orange citrusy flavor tends to come out a bit which I wasn’t expecting.

When all is said and done, I ended up enjoying the beer and the chocolate separately. I don’t believe they really worked well together as a pairing. The hops and spice blend within the dark chocolate was a treat that I thoroughly enjoyed once I got used to the amount of sea salt provided by Salazon. I wouldn’t mind having another bottle of Gourd Standard though.

This is a review of a promotional sample.