I was given a bit of a treat the last time I was in Brewforia. It was after the Stout dinner that celebrated International Stout Day earlier this month, and I had to work late. I went in after work and had a bite to eat and a beer. While I was drinking my Rogue Shakespeare Stout on Nitro and enjoying every sip of the delicious creamy stout, one of the owners came over and asked if I wanted to sample this year’s Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout. Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, especially when that gift horse is carrying beer, I said sure.
I was transfixed by this beverage! It was amazing, and unlike years before it was …well…beery. I haven’t really been too interested in this brew, because its reputation was that it was way too sweet and didn’t taste like beer. Well, this year they have tweaked the recipe a bit and viola it is a delicious and beautifully crafted dessert stout.
It is still quite sweet to be sure, but the finish is quite a bit different than in previous years, or so I’ve been told. The nose on this beer is wonderful. It smells like a bakery. Yeasty, bready, and sweet. Like Hot Cross Buns cooling on a window sill. The mouthfeel is slick and creamy like melted chocolate bars. The flavor starts out sweet and has the distinct flavor of Creme Brulee, but about mid palate you taste and feel the alcohol, then a bit of a malty, hoppy bite.
This was a pleasant surprise, because I’ve always been told that this stout is so sweet it doesn’t even taste like beer. This is without a doubt beer, that has been transformed into a dessert all on its own. It is still sweet and limited in when and how much of this you might like to enjoy, but it also accentuates the positives of being a beer and celebrates all beer can be. I definitely suggest you give this year’s offering a try. People who were there had said that this year’s version was far better than previous years because it does have that stout flavor and kick at the end of the sip.
Have you tried it this year? I picked up a bottle to share over the holidays. I think I will surprise many people with this beer, and turn some into craft beer drinkers. I can’t wait.