October 11, 2013 by 250 Beers
I drink a variety of different beers (58 last month) but rarely do two different drops grab my undivided attention within days of each other.
Shortly after thoroughly enjoying Nail Brewing’s Golden Nail, it was a beer from the US that put a childish grin on my face…
I’d read a lot about Southern Tier Brewing‘s Crème Brûlée Stout (9.5%) before buying it. In fact, I’d go so far as saying that there is a huge amount of hype that surrounds it.
A couple of weeks ago, and with no set agenda or shopping list, I visited the recently relocated The Wine Emporium at the new Gasworks development in Newstead simply to check out the range of beer. I heard some gossip while I was in that neck of the woods. Rumour has it that the word ‘suburb’ is being replaced with ‘beerburb’ where Newstead is concerned simply because of the first-class beer available in the area. Cool huh?
I’d soaked up a hefty portion of Crème Brûlée reviews and hadn’t ever expected to stumble upon a large stash in Brisbane. So, when I did, it was inevitable that at least one would come home with me. It sat in my beer fridge for a while until the time felt right.
It poured like a liquid version of a silky, velvet negligee. The sweet aroma of vanilla tickled my nasal hairs immediately. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and those aromas ignited immediate interest. Accompanied by a shiver down my spine, the nasal hairs sent a quick message to their cousins on the back of my neck and those fellas duly stood up.
I uttered three sentences after my first mouthful. Each sentence contained just one word; Oh. My. God.
It was sweet and to be honest a little too sweet but I didn’t care. It was majestic. It truly was just like eating a crème brûlée. The sweet, lingering caramel and hop bitterness fought for supremacy on my palate but the caramel won every time.
Being a stout, it was tempting to let it sit and warm up a little but I couldn’t put the glass down. Imagine handing a toddler a lollipop and then taking it away again. Can you picture the kids’ face? Can you hear those wails? That is exactly what I would have been like if I’d let go and put the beer down. I wanted to savour it cold.
Just past the half-way mark, the sweetness actually got a little bit too much so I put it to one side (but never out of sight) and let it warm slightly. This allowed the hops to come through at the end. The previously disguised alcohol also made an appearance towards the bottom of the glass.
The term ‘dessert beer’ gets banded around a lot and it’s over-used sometimes. However, it would be very appropriate to describe Crème Brûlée as a dessert beer. I’d even promote sharing this beer with a loved one. Dim the lights, put a movie on and relax with this decadent, luscious drop from America.