Now this is what I’m talking about. This is a proper stout. This is something that if you believe in a soul, you’d believe you’d likely lose it by staring into the blacker-than-midnight-on-a-moonless-night sort of blackness. This is a stout you can believe in.
So, I have been told that many things are in fact cake and that cake is in fact a lie, however this beer is in fact, cake. Well, perhaps not cake, but damn near close to it. In this beer, we’re offered something that nearly every beer enthusiast truly appreciates and that is honesty.
This beer is precisely what it says it is – Crème Brulee. A delicious dessert treat enjoyed by millions, this big dark imperial milk stout is brewed with vanilla beans, offering just the right amount of serious sweetness and somewhat boozy beer intensity in just the right and even measure. So what is it that strikes me in particular about this brew?
To begin with, this offering from New York’s own Southern Tier Brewing is one of those stouts that are simply so thick I’m amazed it pours as a liquid. Half of me, upon seeing the weight to this beer expects to see it slide slowly out of the bottle with a syrupy, oil-like consistency. This of course being considered in this context a good thing as a true stout lover knows the joys of a used motor oil consistency to their larger beers.
But beyond this, the raw scent to this beast is tremendous. With the milk and vanilla both coming through so clean and so powerfully, it is almost too much for the poor olfactory senses to take in. The first and most relevant word that is available when it comes to this beer is simply “rich.” This is a rich beer.
At 10% ABV, this deep, velvety brew is one which lingers on the tongue for quite a bit both in terms of alcoholic bite and with vanilla sweetness. In truth, between everything going on with this, the malt profile itself is almost difficult to pick up on. Perhaps because its alt-sweetness of malt is buried beneath the topical punch of both alcohol and vanilla, or perhaps simply because it is dialed back to allow the milk notes to swim to the surface, but in either case while present, it lingers in the background like a bit of scenery rather than the forward and aggressive presence such usually takes in beers such as this.
Between the heavy and robust texture to the beer, its milky, vanilla laden flavor profile, its intoxicating 20 proof nature and the slow, plodding way in which you’re forced to drink it, this beer is indeed a dessert beer. Not a beer to pair with dessert. But a dessert unto itself. I most certainly approve.
So to Southern Tier, to replacing dinner and post dinner items with beer and of course to you, I say as always…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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