“Pair For Perfection” is the urge on the packet, and i like IPA and i like peanuts, so let’s see how perfect this pairing is. Comes in a few varieties, this one is supposed to pair with IPA style beer, or “white spirits”. I can think of quite a few transparent liquors, and brownish liquors, but the only white spirit i can think of is fermented yak’s milk, but i’m not Mongolian, not planning a visit to Mongolia, and i don’t even own a yak, so IPA it is.
For this taste test, trying these nuts with Southern Tier Brewery’s 2X SMASH Double IPA, which smashes Special Pale malt with Mosaic hops into an 8.1% DIPA. The nutpack says they come crunchy coated with grapefruit and rosemary for the perfect match. Methodology is to take a swig of DIPA, then a handful of nuts, back and forth, until something explodes.
And here we go… and oh boy are these crunchy nuts. Chip-o-tooth crunchy. Can taste the rosemary right out of the gate, grapefruit is harder to pick up. Rosemary is great with mutton, but i’m not drinking lamb, i’m drinking beer. The contrast is not so perfect a pairing after all. Back and forth, the two are starting to blend together between swigs and crunches. And… No sir.
The beer helps to soften the unholy crunchiness of the nut coating, but other than that, the nuts only help to ruin the flavors which are the whole point of drinking an IPA laden with hops. Now, admittedly i got these nuts for 50¢ a packet on the past-date rack at a local grocer because they were evidently not hot sellers, so they might have been stale to begin with. But i really don’t taste much citrus in the crispy coating. And even if i did, what would be the point? I don’t carry coals to Newcastle, and i don’t stir pine resin into my IPA which is supposed to already have that taste from its own hops.
I could see the point of flavored snacks to remind you of drinking an IPA when you’re not drinking an IPA, for example, a snack to eat while drinking a crappy light beer that makes the crap beer taste like an IPA. That’s something that would be useful. But i have never seen an IPA that says on the label “brewed with rosemary” and right now i think there’s a damned good reason for that.
I did not finish the packet of nuts. I tossed the rest into the trash because i’d rather just taste the beer, that’s what i bought it for. And as mentioned, i do not have a lactating yak. Blech, i pronounce these peanuts not fit for human consumption.