The Session #81: Scary Beer Feminists!

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session_logo.jpgOn the first Friday of every month, there's a beer blog roundup called The Session. Someone picks a topic, and everyone blogs about it. This time around, Tasting Nitch is all about the womenz: Scary Beer Feminists or a Healthy Growing Demographic?

While I'm sure you all think of me as the world's most insightful hermaphrodite, I am, in fact, a man. A single, 35 year old man. Yeah, I'm not really qualified to speak to the female experience in the beer world. That being said, I think I'll come down pretty solidly on the "Healthy Growing Demographic" side of the argument. Nitch forwards a few ideas for topics, including historical profiles, current profiles, and a few others (I'm curious to see if anyone takes the bait for "Are there any men out there who think that women in beer is a bad thing?" Yikes, who would think that?). What's more, I'm not really one to get into identity politics. So I'll limit myself to a few observations, starting with one of Nitch's suggestions:

Woman's palate's are changing the direction of beer! Are women to blame for the recent increase in fruit beers?
If so, only because beer marketers are morons. It seems like not a week goes by without some ridiculous article about how beer confuses womenz (for real, the article suggests three options that women might like, one of which is a cider) or how some corporation is seeking to implement some hairbrained scheme to trick women into liking beer. So indirectly, maybe women are to blame for an increase in fruity beers (or for the notion that an orange is a good garnish for beer), but only because some sexist executive somewhere got it into their head that women only like beer that is sweet and fruity. Pshah.

Well fear not, female readers, I've gone to the trouble to curate a custom category on this blog that's perfect for you! Read it, seek out some of the shelf wales (or trade for the more obscure ones), and rejoice. Oh sure, it's just an archive page of beers I've rated an A, so you menz don't need to feel left out - they're for you too. Funnily enough, the first beer listed is a Framboise, but hey, guys like that too. At least, this guy does. In addition, you could check out these pages too, I'm sure you'd enjoy those beers.

***

Riddle me this, dear reader: is the beer bottle a phallic symbol? I guess it depends on your perspective. For drinkers, it might be. It's certainly got the shape for it, and fluid can shoot out of that bottle like no one's business. But for a brewer? Well, they're sticking fluid into a hole in the bottle. And for certain bottle-conditioned beers, well, that fluid changes over time into something beautiful. Or something. I'm not good at this. Let's move on.

***

Just about every month, folks from my work get together at a local BYOB for a beer tasting (amongst other libations) and fun. Of the folks in attendance, there are only really two major beer nerds. I am, of course, one of those. The other is a woman. The mixture of men and women amongst the group is about even, and I've pretty much given up trying to predict what people will like or not like. I just bring the best beer I can in the hopes that someone will see the light (and so does my female partner in crime). Every month, it seems like the most popular beer is a different style. Double IPA? Sure! Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels? You bet! Sour ale aged on fruit? Why not! Funky saison? Hell yes. Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss? Um, not for me, but some folks like it a lot, male and female.

Nitch sez that she doesn't want this to turn into a "bah humbug, let people drink what they want," type of session, but like I said, I've kinda given up trying to predict how people will react to stuff I bring to beer club. And quite frankly, I don't see a difference between men and women when it comes to beer. Ultimately, it's just beer. You drink it. It's not that complicated, and your reproductive parts don't really play a role. Amiright?

AleSmith Evil Dead Red

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I'll swallow your soul! Or maybe just your beer. I'm talking to you, Mr. Alesmith. Once a draft only beer, I was surprised to see this one show up in the area and snapped up what looked like the last bottle. It's one of them hoppy red ales, the sort of thing Jay of the now defunct Beer Samizdat blog would love, and it was a great beer to accompany my weekend horror movie binging. Groovy.

Alesmith Evil Dead Red

AleSmith Evil Dead Red - Pours a clear but dark amber color, very pretty when held up to the light, with a finger or two of light tan head that leaves some nice lacing and sticks around a while too. Smells sugary sweet, full of crystal malts and citrusy, piney American hops. Taste starts with that crystal malt sweetness, maybe a caramel note, with the citrus and pine hops kicking in when we get to the middle and lasting through the finish, which has a well balanced dry bitterness. Mouthfeel is utterly perfect. Well carbonated, medium bodied yet almost quaffable, thanks partially to a relatively dry finish. Overall, this is a rock solid amber ale. A-

Alesmith has another beer released around Valentine's day called My Bloody Valentine (another horror movie reference, I love these guys). The describe the two beers as "cousins", but they both seem to be a hoppy red ale with a plucky 6.66% ABV. Perhaps the hop varieties and/or schedule is different. I guess there's only one way to find out. If, that is, Alesmith starts distributing Bloody Valentine here. And I need to figure out a way to get ahold of some barrel aged Alesmith. That's the ticket. Anywho, happy Halloween folks. Stay tuned, lots of interesting stuff in the coming weeks.

Tired Hands Monster Beers

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As previously mentioned, Tired Hands really gets into the spirit of the Halloween season. Last year, they made a series of beers named after classic monsters like Vampire, Zombie (a personal favorite), Ghost, Goblin, and so on. This year's theme appears to be 80s horror monsters, including some suitably obscure choices that warm this jaded horror movie lover's heart (if you're so inclined, check out my generalist blog, where I've been marathoning horror movies for about six weeks at this point). As I write this, Tired Hands is hosting their All Hallows' Eve Supper which features all of these beers and food pairings (not to mention an exclusive, Captain Howdy, which sounds rather great). Alas, I was not very quick on the gun for that, so no supper for me. I'll have to content myself with the regular awesomeness of their beer. So let's do this:

Jason

Jason - 6.9% citrus IPA - Awesome juicy ipa, citrus and pine hops, nice bitterness in the finish, just great! I feel like I should have more to say about this since I really enjoyed it, but I'll just note that Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives is arguably the best of the series (with strong contenders in IV and of course, the original). A-

Pinhead - 5.9% ABV saison with cascade, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops - Nice blend of saison and pale ale attributes, a little sweet saison spice upfront with the hops hitting in the middle and contributing a nice bitterness to the finish. In other news, they're remaking Hellraiser. Barker is involved, which is promising, and it's hard to be annoyed by this when there are literally, like, 7 sequels, most pretty terrible. On the other hand, dammit Clive, we need you to finish that third Book of the Art you started writing, oh, 20 years ago (though apparently the manuscript for The Scarlet Gospels, another book he's been talking about for decades, has been sent to the publisher, so that's cool)! And now that I've spent more time talking about Clive Barker than the beer itself, I'll stop. B+

Herbert West

Herbert West - 7.6% ABV Coffee IPA Ethiopian Worka beans courtesy of ReAnimator coffee in Philly (hence the name of this beer) - An interesting spin on your typical Tired Hands IPA, juicy hops of course, but the coffee adds something that doesn't immediately read as coffee. Easy to pick out when you know it's there, but the character is more earthy and almost chocolaty than your typical coffee. In other news, don't you think that the severed head from Re-Animator looks an awful lot like John Kerry? A-

This next beer is a sour wheat saison brewed with PA wildflower honey and fermented atop passion fruit, lime, and grapefruit. Jean kept posting pictures of the pellicle on Twitter, but when I looked at it under my electron microscope, I saw this:

Screenshot from The Thing

The Thing - 6% sour wheat fruit saison - Um, wut? Halp, this am so fruity that I can has lolcat speech. For realz, this is very strange and quite pleasant, tropical fruit all over, light tartness that is perfectly balanced, sorta like a bigger, stronger Berliner Weiss, really nice! Also, The Thing holds up pretty damn well. Best damn practical effects ever. A-

Freddy - 8% robust porter - Dark like my nightmares, not your typical porter, lots of complexity, chocolate, coffee, very light roast, hint of caramel, smooth as can be, easy going. Keep picking out new flavors as I drink. Really solid stuff! I know Robert Englund got a little down for a while because he was so well known for this one character, but he's become this great horror icon, a grand old man in the genre, and he's raised the profile of a lot of small horror movies in the past decade, so good on him. And Freddy (at least in the first film), is still fantastic. B+

Emerald Skeletons Listening To Your Footsteps - 7.5% IPA - I suppose this is arguably not part of the Monsters series, but it sounds pretty scary, and apparently Emerald Skeletons are gigantic spiders, which are terrifying in themselves, so I'm including it. And yep, another typically great Tired Hands style IPA (at this point, I'm pretty sure I can pick out their IPAs blind), standard citrus and pine, maybe some floral hops too, interesting complexity beyond the hops that's hard to place, but all is well balanced and it's really nice stuff. A-

Blonde Zombie - 11.5% imperial honey IPA - This is basically the same beer as last year's Zombie, but without any of the dark malts. Whoa, this is really nice, citrus, pine, and floral hops in the nose and taste, a little sticky, but it doesn't feel like 11.5% at all. Dangerously drinkable for such a monster (pun intended!)... I might still prefer the original Zombie, but this is still a great beer. Favorite zombie movie I saw during my horror movie marathon this year: Pontypool. It doesn't quite stick the ending, but it's pretty solid (but then, I'm not much of a zombie fanatic, so take this with a grain of salt). A-

Marty Rantzen

Marty Rantzen - 6.8% smoked gourd brown ale - I love the obscurity of this beer name's reference, and if you haven't seen Slaughter High, um, well, you're in for something strange. For instance, during a sex scene, the girl asks the guy for a little mid-coital dirty talk and he responds with "Uhh..tits! Screw! Tits!" He's a poet, I guess. Also notable, someone is dispatched with... a "poisoned" can of Pabst Blue Ribbon (that or it's just regular PBR, they never really say). Oh yeah, the beer. It's a straightforward brown ale base with some added complexity (presumably from the smoked gourds, though I can't really pick them out), nice toasted malt character, easy drinking. I like. B+

Will the real Marty Rantzen stand up?

So there you have it. A pretty interesting bunch of beers, actually, so kudos to Tired Hands. Moar holiday beer reviews to come later this week.

Cascade Apricot Ale

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Nothing sez Halloween like spooooky... apricots? Alright, that's a stretch, but I always jump at the chance to try a new Cascade beer. This one appears to be their most popular beer, having garnered the most reviews and yet maintained a pretty great rating. The base for this is apparently a Belgian style tripel (which explains some of that musty character mentioned in the notes below, I think) which is aged in old oak barrels for about a year, then aged on fresh apricots for an additional 8 months. It looks like older vintages of this beer were higher ABV (and varying stays in barrels too), so maybe that tripel has been downgraded a bit, but whatever, this beer still sounds excellent, so let's dig in:

Cascade Apricot Ale

Cascade Apricot Ale - Pours a hazy yellow color with a couple fingers of fizzy white head that still sticks around a bit. Smells very musty, maybe even some spice like from Belgian yeast, with the fruitiness barely peeking out from behind that sour twang. Taste is quite sour, not as much fruit as you might expect (though it's there), and did I mention sour? As it warms, I feel like the apricot starts to come through loud and clear, and that sharp sourness softens (or my gumline has just gone numb or something), with some tannic oak tempering things towards the end and lingering into the finish. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, tannic, a little acidic, but crisp and relatively dry enough to make it approachable. Overall, it's a very well executed oak-aged sour, more sour and less fruity than expected, but still damn good. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 7.4% ABV bottled (750 ml caged and corked). Drank out of a flute on 10/26/13. Vintage: 2012 Project.

Another winner from Cascade, I'll have to figure out when and where to pick up some bottles of their more limited releases (anything that starts with "Sang" sounds pretty awesome to me). Or find a mule in a state where they can ship beer (stupid PA liquor laws, and DE and NJ aren't excused on this one either, as Cascade can't ship there either). In other news, I'll have actual Halloween themed beers for you later this week.

Framboise For A Cure

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Every year, the fine folks at Russian River host a month long fundraiser for breast cancer awareness, with the centerpiece being Framboise For A Cure, a sour blonde ale comprised of 80% Temptation and 20% of something called Sonambic, a new beer they've been working on using a traditional Coolship (just like them official lambic makers). The blend is then aged in Chardonnay barrels with fresh raspberries. It sounds heavenly, no?

Fortunately for me, the owner of Philly institution Monk's Cafe, Tom Peters, is good friends with the folks at Russian River and every year, they host a fundraiser of their own. They even release a small amount of bottles, which, alas, I was not able to secure because I'm lazy and didn't get there until a little after opening. However, I was still fortunate enough to get a taste on tap (and I also picked up another bottle that will no doubt be making an appearance on the blog sometime soon), so let's get going:

Russian River Framboise For A Cure

Russian River Framboise For A Cure - Bright ruby red color (so many robey tones, you guys), almost no head, though a cap of pinkish hued stuff sticks around so maybe it was just the initial pour or something. Smells of funk, oak, and twangy raspberry. Taste hits that raspberry sweetness up front, oak kicking in towards the middle, with a sourness also coming to the fore in the middle and lasting through the finish, where that raspberry returns and everything ties together. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, crisp and sharp, a little sticky in the finish. Overall, this is a superb, well balanced, complex sour. A

Beer Nerd Details: 6.5% ABV on tap. Drank out of a goblet on 10/19/13.

Because Monk's is awesome, they were also pouring some other limited gems that I couldn't resist... it's for a cure people! And not to go all dudebro on you, but I like breasts. Sue me.

Cantillon Vigneronne

Cantillon Vigneronne - This is a lambic made with hand-picked muscat grapes, and it's apparently one of the rarer varieties due to the scarcity of grapes (not to mention Cantillon's general capacity issues). Pours a clear gold color, again with the no head. Smells like a gueuze, taste has a vinous character matched with gueuze-like oak and biting sourness. It is, perhaps, not quite as powerful as a full gueuze, presumably the influence of the grapes. Mouthfeel has a snap to it, well carbonated, just a bit of stickiness in the finish... Overall, I think drinking these two beers back to back pretty much obliterated my palate, but it was totally worth it, and this was clearly another winner from Cantillon. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 5% ABV on tap. Drank out of a goblet on 10/19/13.

Not bad for a lowly Saturday afternoon. I'm going to have to find a way to drag myself out of bed earlier next year and maybe snag a bottle. In any case, I was quite happy to try it on tap and as I mentioned, I managed to snag a bottle of something pretty special, so it was a good day, is what I'm saying.

Ithaca Old Habit

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Ithaca is a brewery that, for some unknown reason, hasn't garnered much love on this blog. This is more of an oversight than anything else, so don't grab your torches and pitchforks just yet, as I'm trying to rectify that. Flower Power has steadily built up mindshare in Kaedrin's crowded go-to IPA category, and just this past summer, whilst on vacation in upstate New York, Ithaca provided me with a savior amongst macros; I sucked down a few Ground Break saisons which were quite nice.

So now I snap into their Excelsior! series of beers, their line of limited run experimental beers. This one is made with four different rye malts, some Centennial and Crystal hops, and is partially fermented/aged in old Rittenhouse Rye barrels. So lets develop some old habits, shall we?

Ithaca Old Habit

Ithaca Old Habit - Pours a murky brown color with half a finger of fizzy off white head that completely disappears after just a few seconds. Smells of dark crystal malts and a sharp rye twang, with hints of that whiskey barrel poking through. Taste has a similar feel to it, very sweet, lots of rich caramelized fruit, some spice coming from the rye, and not a lot in the way of barrel character, though it's there. The fruit character is interesting, especially in the finish, which isn't tart or sour or anything, but it has a bite to it that's hard to place. It very randomly called to mind a soda I used to drink growing up called Frank's Black Cherry Wishniak (if you grew up in the Philly area at a certain time, you almost certainly know and love this stuff). Of course, I haven't had that in at least a decade, so take this with a grain of salt, but hey, neurons fire for a reason, and this beer was firing Black Cherry Wishniak neurons. Go figure. Mouthfeel is reasonably well carbonated, on the lower end of full bodied, a little richness, and some stickiness that lingers in the aftertaste. It's great in small doses, but gets a bit cloying for a whole 750. Reminds me a little of The Bruery Rugbrod. Overall, it's an interesting beer, definitely got that rye character and it's a decent drink. B

Beer Nerd Details: 9% ABV bottled (750 ml capped). Drank out of a tulip glass on 10/18/13. Batch # E!045.

Still intrigued by the rest of Ithaca's Excelsior! series, in particular beers like LeBleu and Brute. Alas, the only other one that appears to be available to me at the moment is White Gold... which may make an appearance at the next beer club...

Fantôme Santé 15!

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The word "Santé" roughly translates to "to your health", and as such, is often used as a toast, akin to "Cheers" or "Prost" and so on. But in this case, it has a double meaning. Fantôme brewer Danny Prignon brews a new beer every year for a charity that helps those in need of healthcare not provided by standard means, and thus a second meaning of Santé comes into play. That sneaky ghost, always doing the right thing. It's hard to find much info on these beers, but I gather that the recipes are different every year, though they are always saisons (as befitting Fantôme's general nature). This particular edition is actually from 2011, and seems to be particularly well regarded, though it is clearly showing its age at this point:

Fantome Sante 15!

Fantôme Santé 15! - Pours a golden yellow color with a finger of bubbly white head that quickly resolves into a ring around the edges that stays around for a while. Smells of earthy, fruity funk, Brett is clearly doing its thing here. Taste is very sweet with a surprising fruity note, almost raisiny, like an aged dubbel or quad, though this is clearly its own thing. That Brett kicks in towards the middle with some tart fruit that intensifies into a full blown sour note in the finish. Mouthfeel is on the upper end of medium bodied, with lower than normal carbonation for Fantôme, but still ample enough to work. A bit of stickiness lingers in the finish as well. Overall, this is yet another interesting offering from Fantôme. It's showing its age a bit, but it's really brightening my outlook after a long day at work. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 7% ABV bottled (750 ml capped and corked). Drank out of a goblet on 10/18/13. Bottled July 2011, Released 6&7 August 2011 (charity weekend).

Fantôme continues to fascinate, and I'm always up for trying a bottle of the stuff. You never know what you're going to get.

Telegraph Obscura Aurantium

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When you live in Pennsylvania, it feels like out-of-state liquor stores are magical. I'm not going to turn this into a rant about the PCLB; suffice to say, it sucks. Then I read about places like K&L Wine Merchants in California, and my brain explodes. They appear to have an excellent selection of wine, spirits, and beer (for the uninitiated, in PA, you can't sell Wine and Spirits in the same building as Beer, unless you're a bar), and what's more, they actually commission bottlings of various spirits and beers (I can't speak to wine, but I assume it goes on there too). And we're not talking piddly bottom-shelf blended Scotch (you know, the ones that taste like gasoline) either. One of their recent releases: a 1997 Laphroaig 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (the other one was a 21 year old Cambus, which is also an impressive get). Some readers of Kaedrin are drooling right now.

These K&L folks know their stuff, is what I'm saying. So it makes sense that they tapped Telegraph brewing for a special K&L exclusive beer. "I really gave Brian and the guys at Telegraph free run to do whatever it was that they thought would be interesting and delicious." See? Smart people. And the result was certainly interesting. Telegraph's Rhinoceros is a barleywine brewed with a hefty dose of rye (you might call it a "rye wine"), and for this bottling, they took that base beer, added Seville orange peels, and aged the whole concoction in a bourbon barrel. It's a single barrel bottling, so only 21 cases were produced (so we'll say somewhere on the order of 250 bottles). Special thanks to Jay from the (sadly now defunct) Beer Samizdat blog for snatching this up and slinging it cross-country to my liquor-store-challenged commonwealth.

Telegraph Obscura Aurantium

Telegraph Obscura Aurantium - Insert joke about Adamantium here (Aurantium is actually the scientific name for the Seville orange). Pours a very pretty Orange hued brown color with a couple fingers of bubbly, fizzy head that nevertheless manages to stick around for a while. Smells of rich, boozy bourbon, oak, vanilla, and yes, those oranges too. Taste is all spicy rye and bourbon, Belgian yeast spiciness hits in the middle too, followed by yet more booze. Mouth feel is highly carbonated and as a result this doesn't feel as heavy as a lot of big barrel aged beers. On the other hand, there's nothing to restrain the booze either, and it hits pretty hard here. A little burn and some definite warming in the belly. Not unapproachable and I rather enjoyed it, but yeah, it's boozy. I'm usually a little leery of non-wild Belgian styles aged in bourbon barrels. The highly attenuating yeast sometimes doesn't leave enough residual sugars to stand up to the bourbon barrel treatment (like this). Fortunately, this beer clears the bar. Yes, it's very boozy, but it's got enough going on that it works well. Overall a solid, interesting, complex brew. It grew on me as I drank it, too, but maybe that's the booze talking... B+

Beer Nerd Details: 10% ABV bottled (750 ml caged and corked). Drank out of a snifter on 10/11/13. Batch No. 124.

After the interesting failure of Obscura Cacao, I'm happy to get back on the Telegraph wagon and will happily seek out more of their stuff.

Forest & Main Solaire Reserve

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A couple Sundays ago, Forest & Main did a bottle release and I made the trek up to Ambler to secure some liquid gold. Unlike my previous trip, I actually had time to sit down, sample a flight of beers, and eat dinner. Whilst there I met Mike Lorenz, famed jazz guitarist who I recognized as the guy who plays Tired Hands on a weekly basis (as well as bottle releases whilst we're all waiting in line). Very nice fella, and I was glad to have met him. I also met a very generous woman who just decided she wanted to share some beers with the group, including stuff like a Voodoo BBVD aged in Pappy Barrels (!), KBS, and BCBS. We all agreed that she is a great American. So yeah, it was a fun night!

Anywho, they were releasing two different beers that night, and this seems to be their most frequent release. It's their standard saison, called Solaire, which has been bottled with "several strains of Brett". Well twist my arm, why don't ya?

Forest and Main Solaire Reserve

Forest & Main Solaire Reserve - Pours a golden yellow color with a big three finger fluffy head and lots of lacing, retention, etc... Smells very spicy, lots of Belgian yeast character, pepper, coriander and the like. Not picking up a ton of Brett here, though perhaps its masquerading as a simple byt potent Belgian yeast at this point. So quite a nice nose, actually. Taste is classic Belgian yeast, musty with a powerful dose of spices (pepper, coriander, clove, etc...), a nice bready sweetness rounded out by a very slight bitterness in the dry finish. Again, not a lot of Brett here, except perhaps for the dryness and maybe the intensity of the Belgian yeast character (both of which differ from the standard Solaire offering). The mouthfeeel is highly carbonated and finishes very dry. Clocking in at 5% ABV, this is crisp, light, and refreshing, damn near quaffable. Overall, this feels like a straightforward, but very well executed saison. I expect the Brett character to pick up with time, and I do have another bottle, so we shall find out, shan't we? Incidentally, this paired nicely with dinner too! A-

Beer Nerd Details: 5% ABV bottled (750 ml capped). Drank out of a goblet on 10/11/13. Bottled Jun 06 2013. Bottle no. 112 of 132.

Back label

If I lived just a little closer to these guys, I'd be there often. As it is, this has been twice in about a month, so maybe that would be dangerous. Anywho, really looking forward to the other bottle (Palomino), so stay tuned for that...


Spring House Big Gruesome

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The fine folks at Spring House must be big fans of Hanna-Barbera, as this beer's title is derived from an obscure and short-lived 60s cartoon called Wacky Races. The show pitted eleven different racing teams against one another in a series of road rallies in order to award the title of "World's Wackiest Racer." The Gruesome Twosome are modeled after Frankenstein (Big Gruesome) and Dracula (Little Gruesome) and they drive a hearse-like car called the Creepy Coupe. It's got a belfry on it. Of course.

If you look closely at the label of this beer, I think both of the Gruesome Twosome are represented, though they don't quite look like the actual cartoon characters. Anywho, befitting Big Gruesome's Frankensteinian origins, Spring House decided to brew a big, lurching stout using all sorts of wacky ingredients: chocolate malts, raw cacao nibs, vanilla beans, more cacao nibs, a human brain marked "abnormal"*, and, of course, peanut butter**. Does all this tomfoolery really work? Let's find out, shall we?

Spring House Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout

Spring House Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout - Pours a very dark brown color with a finger of light brown head. Smells of coffee, chocolate and just a whisper of peanut butter. Taste follows along with lots of coffee, a little chocolate, and just a hint of that peanut butter. Given the kitchen sink approach to ingredients, I was expecting a much sloppier affair, but it actually came out rather well balanced. Mouthfeel is on the upper end of medium bodied, with a nice richness and appropriate carbonation. Overall, a very interesting beer, not quite as gimmicky as you might think, really quite a nice stout, with some added complexity from all those other ingredients. Well done! B+

Beer Nerd Details: 8.5% ABV bottled (22 oz. bomber). Drank out of a snifter on 10/5/13.

Spring House also makes something called Lil' Gruesome Peanut Butter Jelly Stout, which isn't as strong as Big Gruesome, but clearly has just as much wacky crap going on. I most certainly need to get off my butt and visit Spring House sometime, so stay tuned... Might even want to do it in October, as it seems like those fine folks really get into the spirit of the season (actually, it seems like their branding is Halloween-like all year round, good on them!)

* Allegedly. By me. So basically, not true at all.

** Not sure what it is about peanut butter beers, but there seems to be a rash of them gaining popularity of late. Heck, even I had that Rogue Voodoo abomination recently, but that's barely worth mentioning. Everyone around here won't stop talking about Sweet Baby Jesus! though, and it's certainly a fine beer with a strong peanut butter kick. And by everyone, I mean this one I guy I was talking to the other day. So basically, just ignore this. That's why I put it in a footnote.

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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

You might also want to check out my generalist blog, where I blather on about lots of things, but mostly movies, books, and technology.

Email me at mciocco at gmail dot com.

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