Considering I live in Washington, DC and my day job involves work on federal policy and legislation, it’s should be no surprise I nerd out on events like Election Day or the State of the Union address. Even with a campaign season that has given me a serious case of election fatigue like this one has, there is something exciting about waiting in line at the polling station and walking into that voting booth to make decisions about who will be the President of the United States, the DC House of Representatives Delegate, the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for my Ward, et cetera. Many people around the world fight for the right to vote, so I know how lucky I am that I have this luxury.
To celebrate Election Day, this past weekend seemed like the perfect time to break out my donkey and elephant cookie cutters. And, since it was this past weekend was also peak leaf-color season in DC, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give the cookies a fall, pumpkin spice twist. So, I woke up early on Sunday to get in my 6.5 mile run (Hubby and I are training for the New Orleans Half Marathon, which is the weekend of his birthday in February) before finishing the last of our weekend errands, opening up some hard-earned beer, and getting to work on my cookies.
The Starr Hill Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale (brewery) is an English Brown Ale brewed with Virginia maple syrup in…you guessed it, Virginia (Charlottesville, VA). The beer had a medium-to-dark brown color with about a half-inch of tan, foamy head. On the nose, there was maple syrup, nuts, and vanilla with a hint of something sweet (molasses, maybe?). In the mouth, there was maple syrup, vanilla, and molasses mixed with hints of toasted nuts, cinnamon, and allspice. The beer had a medium body.
Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this beer in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. This is a great fall beer…the type that is perfect for enjoying on a crisp fall evening around a fire pit with friends. The beer has almost a creamy smoothness, and the flavors scream fall without tasting like potpourri. There is the slightest touch of sweetness without being sticky or overbearing, so anyone who finds beer to be too bitter should give this one a try.
As for the cookies, they’re a work in progress. I love the idea of adding some flavor to the cutout cookies, so I’m going to continue to play with it. However, this recipe just didn’t have enough of a kick to fulfill my vision.
Overall, while the cookies weren’t as good as I hoped, the Last Leaf was delicious. In fact, the beer helped bring out the flavors in the pumpkin spice cookies that were missing when eating the cookies on the their own, so the pairing was a definite success.
Question of the Day: Did you vote today? If so, do you have something special to open up tonight?