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14-10-2016, 12:17
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I’ve never been a great enthusiast for the concept of beer and food matching, but when offered the chance to try a Spanish beer especially brewed to complement Spanish ham I couldn’t resist the opportunity.
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Wd0T3DB_7g/WADIu6GuwCI/AAAAAAAAFOM/RT3vElcD94IjD7usHY5PwC8Yk6W0kFAOwCLcB/s320/ham_beer.jpg (https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Wd0T3DB_7g/WADIu6GuwCI/AAAAAAAAFOM/RT3vElcD94IjD7usHY5PwC8Yk6W0kFAOwCLcB/s1600/ham_beer.jpg)
The beer in question is La Virgen Jamonera (https://www.bascofinefoods.com/cerveza-la-virgen-jamonera.html), distributed in the UK by Basco Fine Foods. It came in an elegant brown 330ml bottle and was accompanied by a pack of dry-cured Serrano ham (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jam%C3%B3n_serrano). It’s a bottle-conditioned beer, so I allowed it to settle for three days before sampling. Pouring it carefully, I managed to keep most of the sediment in the bottle, resulting in only a slight haze.
The beer is mid-brown in colour, with little noticeable aroma. It had moderate carbonation and only a small head, although it retained this down the glass. The flavour is malty and rounded with only a subdued hop character.
It’s a pleasant, mellow beer that, to be honest, doesn’t really stand out as being hugely distinctive, although having said that, its restrained character makes it a better match for ham than something more overpowering.
I’m not really sure of the correct vocabulary to describe ham, but it was certainly very tasty, coming in wafer-thin individual slices separated by thin plastic sheets.
The company also supply Cerveza Er Boqueron (https://www.bascofinefoods.com/cerveza-er-boqueron.html), a saltwater beer specially brewed to complement anchovies, another traditional Spanish delicacy.

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