Thursday, March 29, 2012
Southern Tier Brewing Company - Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout
When I think of the term "crème brûlée," the first thing that comes to my mind isn't beer. Instead, I think of the Paris buffet in Vegas where I've put down enough crème brûlées in one sitting to keep an entire French kindergarten happy. So how is this tasty dessert related to beer? Through the crazy minds of the brewers at New York's Southern Tier Brewing Company.
The idea behind the Crème Brûlée beer was to make a stout that...wait for it...tastes like crème brûlée. While this admittedly isn't going to be a beer for everyone (especially those who aren't into sweets), it sounded like way too good of an experiment to miss out on and I was able to get a bottle in a beer trade with Beau, who lives in Portland. Thanks, Beau!
Crème Brûlée pours a Coca Cola brown color with a thin mocha colored head. The aroma is incredible, with huge notes of vanilla and burnt brown sugar jumping out of the glass. I could literally smell this beer from feet away. When I got a little closer to the beer, I started to pick up some toffee, caramel and a little bourbon as well.
I was pretty skeptical that Southern Tier (or anyone for that matter) would be able to create a beer that actually tasted like a crème brûlée. But after one sip of this beer, I was a believer. The taste is full of vanilla and burnt brown sugar. Crème Brûlée is a milk stout (meaning that lactose is added to the beer, giving it a rich and creamy mouthfeel) and the mouthfeel really makes the flavors work. The finish brings a touch of roasted malt and some charred brown sugar. Nicely, nicely done. Hats off to Southern Tier for this fantastic beer. If you're lucky enough to find this beer, just remember that it's probably not a great beer to have with a steak dinner. Save this one for dessert.
Final Grade: A
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 37