The French and Scots have teamed up before, but never has a pairing been as successful as this (even if I do say so myself!) Luckie 56/ is part of Stuart's Resurrection series, that is beers that have been rescued from the history books and brewed anew. I always enjoy trying these and to my knowledge its the first Scotish brewer to resurrect beers in such a way (please correct me if I'm wrong!). This particular beer was last brewed over 100 years ago by McClays of Alloa, falling out of favour as pale ales grew in popularity.
The beer pours clear deep ruby-garnet with a light off-white crema of a head, giving off a nose redolent of an autumn trek through a forest, with red berries, damp soil and crunchy leaves. The body is fairly full, yet light, with gentle carbonation. Its fairly rich, with a big booze hit up front, slightly astringent burnt toast malt and plenty of dried fruit sweetness afterwards in a long fruity finish.
Comté needs no introduction, as probably my favourite among the alpine cheeses I buy it whenever I see it. This particular piece is from Tesco's finest range, (its not half bad youse cheese snobs and certainly one of the better cheeses i can buy in my part of the world!) with a rich fatty milk, slightly sweaty socks nose, firm, chewy paste with a few salt crystal crunchy bits. Fruity and rich, a perfect match for the beer. The mushroomy rind brings a contrast to the rest of the cheese, with more umami notes and a very savoury finish.
I enjoyed mine with a few cheese and basil biscuits from M&S, but you can have yours straight up, with a slice of toast, with an oatcake or whatever works for you: experiment!
So for my first cheese and beer pairing in 6 months I'm recommending Luckie Ales 56/- and Comte.