Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ah, Sugar Sugar: Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout

Last week I finally got around to opening the Southern Tier Creme Brulee Imperial Milk Stout. This is part of their Blackwater Imperial Stout series, and is a summer seasonal (!?!). Imperial stouts are typically higher in alcohol than other stouts - as is this one, at 9.6% abv - and are sometimes finished in liquor barrels, like whiskey or bourbon. Milk stouts include lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Beer yeast can't convert lactose, so the sugar sticks around to add sweetness to the beer. To the Creme Brulee Imperial, Southern Tier added vanilla bean and dark caramel malt.
I was especially excited about this beer. I absolutely love stouts, and I love sweet stuff. This seemed to be the perfect combination.
I poured my Creme Brulee into a pint glass (my reward for running the beer-less Tipple's Beer Run). Only after pouring did I realize the bottle's label instructs the drinker to pour it into a chilled snifter. Which is just as well, as that's the one glass I don't own.
The beer is used-engine-oil black, with a dark tan head that lasts quite some time. The aroma will knock you over - it is SWEET. Holy moses, is it ever. You could put this out when your Vanilla Cupcake candle from Yankee Candle burns away. To be fair, if you like sweet, that's not a bad thing. It's a delicious, caramelly, yummy aroma.
I took a sip, and to misuse a metaphor, the carpet matches the drapes. Good Lord Almighty, SUGAR RUSH. After the sugar, somewhere in there I tasted roasted coffee, and finished with a hell of a lot of booze. This is dessert in a bottle.   
Surprisingly, I found myself having a hard time finishing it. This is a lot of SWEET for one sitting. While the initial sips were delicious, I do believe this is too much of a good thing. I never thought I'd say it, but this is just too sweet. At 22 ounces, the Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout would make a great after-dinner drink with someone snuggly--IF they like sugary booze.
I've had other milk stouts before (Left Hand Milk Stout). Perhaps I should try another type of imperial stout. This is my first one, so others might be different. I don't think it's the booziness, per se, as my beloved Belgian browns are pretty high in alcohol as well.

Posted via email from Scurrilous Tosh