With Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend one item that should be on any chocolate and beer lovers wish list is the Oregon Craft Brewers Truffle Collection from Portland based Moonstruck Chocolate. The renowned chocolatier released this collection late last year. This truffle collection features four different truffles that are a collaboration with four of Oregon’s pioneering craft breweries: Deschutes Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, Rogue Ales, and Widmer Brothers Brewing.
Under the guidance of Moonstruck’s Master Chocolatier and huge fan of craft beer, Julian Rose, he developed the Oregon Craft Brewers Truffle Collection. After a very successful launch of the Oregon Distillers Truffle Collection, Rose returned two years later with a collection that features some of Oregon’s oldest and most respected breweries.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Rose honed his skills on the melding of chocolate and alcohol in a climate that doesn’t restrict the alcohol content. “In Canada you can put as much liquor into the chocolates. Once you bought the liquor and paid its taxes its all yours. You can do whatever. And in confectionary nobody freaks out. And here in the States every state is pretty much different. Here in Oregon its 5% in confectionary,” states Rose on the challenges a chocolatier faces here in the US when it comes to this adult combination.
Since this percentage varies state by state, Rose and his team at Moonstruck decided to lower the percentage to 2.5. “But when we did them at 2.5% we put them on the market. We talked to the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission), this is what we are doing and were told, ‘Oh its fine’. We were on the virtually on the verge of releasing them and then were told, ‘Oh its not fine’. Once the chocolate shops received their OLCC serving training Moonstruck upped the ABV back to 5%.
So when asked why craft beer was decided for the next collection Rose stated, “Personally I think chocolate and beer pair much better than wine and chocolate. They’re easier and more compatible.” Being a craft beer fan this was an ideal project for Rose when he created the four beer infused truffles. The resulting collection consists of Rogue Ales Hazelnut Brown Nectar Truffle, Full Sail Brewing IPA Truffle, Deschutes Brewery Black Butter Porter Truffle, and Widmer Brothers Brewing Hefeweizen Truffle. Our favorite is the Full Sail IPA Truffle as the hop profile interestingly works well with the chocolate.
One of the more interesting details on each truffle is its accompanying chocolate bottle cap with each brewery’s logo on it. Each collection comes with three truffles each to make up this 12-pack Oregon Craft Brewers Truffle Collection. Each 12-pack collection features three each of the following truffles and its description.
Widmer Brother’s Brewing® Hefeweizen Truffle
This original American “Hefe” has rich wheat and yeast derived flavors and finish with hints of lemon or citrus in the finish. The wheat and yeast provide a rich body and clean finish.
With a balanced blend of Moonstruck white chocolate with a whisper of dark chocolate, it really brings forward those “bread” notes and aroma, so distinct to Hefeweizens.
Pairs well with Mangos, apples or Bayonne ham with melon…and of course to be enjoyed with a Widmer Brother’s Brewing® Hefeweizen.
Full Sail Brewing Co.® IPA Truffle
Full Sail IPA is a Premium Pale Ale that pours a deep gold color with aromas of orange and spice. It has the perfect blend of a light malty body and a crisp hoppy finish. The hoppy flavor of this ganache is a result of a clever blend of milk, dark, and ivory chocolates with just the right amount of beer reduction to bring out
The hoppy flavor of this ganache is a result of a clever blend of milk, dark and white chocolate with just the right amount of beer reduction to bring out the freshness loved by so many beer drinkers.
Pairs well with aged Parmesan, dried apricots, Iberico ham and walnuts….and of course to be enjoyed with a Full Sail IPA.
Rogue Ales® Hazelnut Brown Nectar Truffle
A twist to the traditional European brown ale, Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar has a rich and nutty color and aroma of roasted hazelnuts, with a smooth malty finish. Hint of coffee with a blend of malts and hops from the Rogue farm and free range Oregon coastal water.
The hazelnut flavor is enhanced by a generous amount of Oregon roasted hazelnut praline mixed into the Moonstruck milk chocolate ganache to bring out forward the nuttiness of the beer.
Pairs well with crispy bacon, crunchy Belgian butter cookies or cognac infuse dry raisins….and of course to be enjoyed with a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar.
Deschutes Brewery® Black Butte Porter Truffle
A dark beer, Black Butte Porter has as light hop bitterness up front that enhances the distinctive chocolate and roasted finish.
It’s prized for its intense, complex flavor and we mix it with Moonstruck dark and milk chocolate blended ganache for a sophisticated treat.
Pairs well with bold foods such as Parma ham, prosciutto or aged cheddar….and of course to be enjoyed with a Deschutes Black Butte Porter.
Moonstruck Chocolate’s Oregon Craft Brewers Collection is packaged in a 12-piece collection. It’s available online at www.MoonstruckChocolate.com, at select national retailers, and in four Moonstruck Chocolate Cafés in Oregon, and at the St. John’s store in North Portland.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.