Tuesday Tastings: Peanut Butter Milk Stout, Cali Creamin’, Born Yesterday

The third installment in my weekly Tuesday Tastings series, this week I’m going “California” with three Golden State beers (the actual state, not the (home)brewery).

Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk StoutI picked this beer up in California when attending the Beer Bloggers Conference (found it at Costco, actually) and coincidentally Belching Beaver Brewing was also at the BBC pouring samples. (If it matters I’m not a fan of the brewery name.) The beers they were pouring, this one included, were tasty. Here’s their description:

ABV: 5.3%, IBU: 30
Our Peanut Butter Milk Stout is simply irresistible. It’s like dark chocolate Reese’s in a glass! Rolled oats and Lactose add to the creamy body of this beer while heavenly aromas of roasted buttery peanuts and chocolate greet you with every sip. Try this out with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a real treat!

Appearance: Dark brown, coffee colored and opaque, with a dark(ish) brown head that looks chocolatey and fell to a skiff of fine bubbles shortly after pouring.

Smell: Malted milk chocolate and peanut butter—a peanut butter cup if I’ve ever smelled one. Very decadent and dessert-y. Very much sweet chocolate, peanuts, this candy/dessert character pretty much overwhelms any other aromas.

Taste: Peanut shells, kind of earthy, like boiled peanuts; drier than the rich aromas would suggest, the chocolate is a bit more cocoa-y with sweetly roasted maltiness, cocoa nibs and some hints of coffee.

Mouthfeel: On the thin end of the spectrum for a milk stout, with a deceptively dry finish.

Overall: Definitely an interesting beer with pure “dessert” aroma, it doesn’t taste or feel artificial which is always what I worry about with a “peanut butter” beer.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Mother Earth Cali Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale

Mother Earth Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream AleAnother California Costco score, also when in San Diego for the BBC. I always enjoy a good example of the cream ale style, and I thought it was interesting that I was able to pick up a peanut butter-flavored beer and a vanilla-flavored beer at the same stop. This one is 5.2%, and 21 IBUs; their notes:

One of our most popular beers ever, this light cream ale has a malty backbone thanks to some flaked corn and honey malt. A medium bodied cult classic, it is sure to woo the ladies, but also flavorful enough to satisfy the dudes. You’ll swear you were drinking a cream soda…but tricks are for kids.

Appearance: Clear, golden honey color, with an off-white head that’s creamy and fine.

Smell: Vanilla cream, like the soda, with vanilla bean and touches of sweet malt.

Taste: Vanilla-infused grainy malt-forward flavors. Pretty much exactly what it says, with a bit more grainy bitterness than vanilla. Definitely taste the corn, which is not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body with a vanilla-sweet finish.

Overall. Did I say “vanilla”? A decent cream ale, delivering on what the label says.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer

Lagunitas Born Yesterday

Lagunitas Born Yesterday

Yes, I’m behind on posting this one and almost didn’t. My friend Ryan had arranged for the bottle as a sample from Lagunitas, which they sent to me and we split the bottle to try it together. Since my other two beers above were acquired during the trip to the Beer Bloggers Conference, I should note that Born Yesterday was a “big reveal” at the same conference, Lagunitas giving beer bloggers first crack at the news. The premise behind the beer is that it was fresh hopped and then shipped out to be on shelves within 24 hours of bottling directly off the hops. Here’s their blurb:

What good is using ridiculously fresh, un-kilned, we hops in brewing if you don’t get to drink the resulting beer when it’s ridiculously fresh? Born Yesterday is a newborn version of our reborn Pale, New DogTown Pale, with a fresh addition: Virgin hops from the trellised lands of the verdant Yakima Valley. Unkilned for an immaculate receiption. Then deliver the resulting lil’ brew within 24 hours.

This was 7.5% abv and I know they released several “editions” based on the fresh hop availability; I don’t know what hops when into this one.

Appearance: Straw colored, golden and clear, with a nice head.

Smell: Smells great—very bright and fresh, almost sweaty in a good way (reminds me of Nelson Sauvin hops). Super pungent, they’ve captured the fresh hop aroma really well.

Taste: Crisp malt up front but falls off at the back—kind of “empty malt” at the end. Hops are nice and clean and bright. It still does have that “Lagunitas house character” that turns me off (something in the yeast, I think). Hops have a touch of menthol, and are very green with hints of fresh greens spiciness (think arugula, dandelion).

Mouthfeel: A bit light of medium-bodied. Finish is similar to what I taste—it falls down at the end (collapses?).

Overall: The aroma was great, the flavor didn’t deliver on that promise for me.

Untappd, BeerAdvocate, RateBeer