Profiled by Ken Carman for the Professor
A Schmaltz Brewing and Terrapin collaboration.
This starts out very dry, with cocoa nibs providing the dryness.
Appearance is a light tan, dense foamy head, pillow-like with a small rock bubble or two. Clarity tough to tell with chill haze and deep ruby brown highlights.
The aroma is cocoa nibs, vanilla and roast provided by coffee and darker malts: probably brown or amber. Not that roasted. Mouthfeel is coffee, a drying sense with pretty much no sweet. There’s a faint hint of cinnamon. Medium body, on the light side of, though all that’s in here plays a foolie at first, making sure you think there’s more.
This is not a casual quaff. Not a lawnmower beer in the sense of an easy quaff. The dryness, and the spices, make it a casual sipper. The abv is 8%, but you’d never know. It’s the complexity of the quaff that makes it a sipper, and the dryness. Not a parched throat item, in fact it’s just right. Could use more cinnamon to taste. Almost a peppery sense: black, just slight, mostly in the mouthfeel. I think that may be cinnamon combining with cocoa nibs. NOT phenols, IMO.
The coffee and the cocoa nibs and the brown-like malt all balance out well,with the only slight exception I’d expected more cinnamon to taste. The pepper-ish sense simply in the mouthfeel adds to the pleasure and, as an unintentional phenolic pepper might, does not take over the taste, ruin the complexity.
88 on Beer Advocate. 92 on Rate Beer, 61 for style, but how do you rate style when there’s so much here that makes it Specialty?
Drinkability is excellent.
A very enjoyable quaff. I’d rate it a 4.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”