First of all, I just want to say an absolutely massive congratulations to Rasmus and the team at Alchemist. All your hard work is worth every second. What you are creating and sharing with us is unlike anything ever experienced. Your two Michelin stars after only seven months of opening those godly doors are so hugely deserved.
And now a little story…
In 2018 I met some of the sommeliers working on the new Alchemist project at a barrel-aged beer tasting that I was presenting at. I showed them a few of the beers but the one they loved was Natalie which I had paired with a lovely one year aged Bornholmer blue cheese. From that point, we bonded over the love of incredible food and the possibilities of matching food to beer. I have quite often been disappointed in sommeliers with their closed-mindedness when it comes to beer and food pairing but these guys were just so open and excited about it that they got me into the restaurant do it all again.
That is where they told me that they were planing a dish around the Penyllan Natalie. Obviously this blew my mind. What an honor to be working with such incredible talents.
Natalie is an old ale initially fermented with Belgian trappist yeast in and matured in bourbon and cognac barrels with Garden Party. The secondary fermentation with wild yeast transforms the yeast flavours into complexity without much acidity. Fat, intense aroma of dried fruits, coconut, vanilla and coffee. The sweetness is complemented by raisin, dark rye bread and chocolate and balanced by warming alcohol. Extended maturation on lees provides almost meaty flavours not unlike bacon.
It was last year (2019) that Christian and I went to the new Alchemist and it has taken me this long to actually look at the hundreds of photos I took to create a little look at the experience. Pretty pathetic timing since we went in the second week of it opening. But what an experience it was! They have taken over the top to new levels and it was mind blowing!!
We also had the added excitement of having Natalie matched to two of the dishes. It was pretty exciting. I cried!