On the penultimate day of Burger Week IV we get a burger that I have been waiting for, The Smoinkster. This is a burger that redefines the term smokey, with only two ingredients that don’t have some aspect of smoke in them.
The Smoinkster is one of those burgers that sounds intimidating and could either be awesome of overpowering. The initial test run for this burger went a bit overboard, but the subsequent variations dialed in the smoke to proper proportions. The burger consists of an Angus patty infused with smoke, applewood-smoked bacon, smoked cheddar cheese, smoked white onion, smoked ketchup and fried pickles on a kaiser bun.
The burger works really well, with the smoke kept at just the right intensity. As you enjoy the burger, the smokiness builds in layers starting with the bacon and cheese but balancing out with the ketchup and pickles. You end up with the kind of burger you’d have fresh off a smokey BBQ but with some extra dynamics to it. The onions seem to be the most potent in smokiness.
My beer pairing for this smokey beast is Ravena Stout from Telegraph Brewering. This stout combines the deep roasted flavors of a traditional British-style cream stout with a silky mouthfeel imparted by the addition of whole grain oats to the mash.
The beer pours a nice dark brown with a good compliment of off white head that dissipates to a nice ring around the glass. The aroma is rich and malty with notes of roasted malt, cacao, and oatmeal cookies. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with some rather active carbonation. The flavor starts with roasted malt that moves to an almost sour cherry and back to a bittersweet dark chocolate. The finish has some lingering roasty malt and cacao bitterness.
The combo of the Smoinkster and the Ravena Stout creates some interesting interactions. The burger helps bring forward the sweetness in the beer while the beer accentuates the smokiness of the burger. It’s a great play between savory and malty sweetness with the smoke as a common thread.
Come back tomorrow for the final beer pairing of The Oinkster’s Burger Week IV, The Lucy Goosey.