Agropur Import Collection Brie

This worthy representative of the camemberts of Normandy distinguishes itself by its great tender heart with flavours evocative of the fodder of its homeland's fields. This cheese's bloomy rind is made unique by well-defined hints of mushroom flavour that like to play their melodies in the company of sharp and malty caramel flavours. The secret behind most pairings with this cheese is its tender, creamy heart as well as its mellowness. It generally knows precisely when to present its velvety traits. This camembert seems to prefer British beers such as pale ales as well as stouts and porters. The instant love affair that blooms from its meeting with Newcastle Brown Ale or Griffon Red gives birth to notes of cream and fudge with hints of hazelnut. In the finale, the mushroom flavours are combined with the hazelnut cream, caressing our senses for many long minutes. This effusion of caramel that melts into the cream is also present in pairings with Smitwick's, Old Speckled Hen and London Pride. In every situation, the country-fresh breath of the mushroom flavour blows on the union of cream and caramel, creating an envigorating finale.

In the company of roasted black beers, like porters and stouts, this cheese gives birth to café crèmes or cappuccinos. On many occasions during the same tasting, the two coffee versions take turns in the spotlight. The pairing with Boréale Noire is a good illustration of this phenomenon. The hints of black coffee flavour remain longer when the cheese interacts with St-Ambroise Noire.

The modest unions with smoother beers, like blond casuals and blond lagers such as Molson Export, Labatt 50 or Stella Artois, are characterized by malty cream that acts as a springboard for the mushroom flavour of the rind. The embrace can sometimes secrete little sour notes. Casual red beers, such as Rickard's Red and Belle Gueule Rousse, seem to know how to coax out the beet and cabbage flavours of the cheese.

Le Grand Rustique cheese has some difficulty pairing with Wheat beers (whites) and Weizens. The sour and fruity flavours of these beers tend to amplify the bitternes of the bloomy rind of the cheese, making it acrid. The same is true of high-alcohol-content beers that often push the bitterness to the extreme.