I've tasted Hardknott's mad bonkers Vitesse Noir a few times now.
It has a fantastic complex aroma of coffee and multitude of malt nuances. It's a beer that needs sipping, it's so rich and juicy and strong it defies a decent gulp. Its carbonation is barely discernable.
So in the pub recently I quipped it would benefit from a dash of Coke. The veins in Hardknott Dave's neck bulged as he forced a laugh at my heretical utterance.
At home last night I realised I was in possession of some Coke (a-Cola, that is) and a VN. So an experiment was in order.
I poured VN into two glasses. One as a control, one to receive the heretical mixer.
In the second glass I started with Coke:VN at 1:1. Yuk. The Coke overwhelmed the beer and a perfectly acceptable soft drink was ruined.
I upped the beer. 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:5, 1:6, tasting the mixture at each stage. By 1:6 the overwhelming Coke sweetness was suitably diluted whilst some of its carbonation gave the cocktail a lift.
Tasting the control beer in the other glass came as a shock; it seemed extra rich, cloying and intense. The mix was lighter and easier drinking whilst the VN's abundant flavours remained. But the Coke flavour seemed to fight above its weight. Further dilution was necessary. I poured the control and the mix into one glass. Finally it was spot-on. I guess the ratio was about 1:10.