Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jefferson Stout Sweet Potato Cream Stout Beer Review

Yep, I’m trying another weird ingredient beer. This time, Mississippi’s Lazy Magnolia Brewing has come up with a dark, dark stout that’s flavored with sweet potatoes. If you want a layer of marshmallows across the top, you’re on your own.

There is absolutely no light passing through this coffee-colored pour with a short head the color of cappuccino. The aroma is what you’d expect from a brew this dark – charred grain, smoke, and yes, maybe I can get just the faintest whiff of those sweet potatoes.

Taking that first sip, Jeff Stout is sharper than expected. Since it’s brewed with lactose (milk sugar), I expected sweet. That’s there on the finish, but this is a little more tart. There’s also a mineral edge that reminds me of Guinness, though this is edgier. I can’t taste anything I would call "sweet potato," so let’s wait a minute and try again.

Nope, still nothing.

Jefferson Stout is a nice cross between a full-on creamy milk stout and something heavier and scorchy like an imperial stout. At a relatively low 4.65% ABV, it’s also a session stout (beer snob talk for “you can drink more than two in a night without taking a nap in the corner). Still no idea what the sweet potatoes bring to the table besides a good gimmick.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

ApriHop Beer Review

Go back over my reviews of India Pale Ales, and you’ll see I tend to think they taste a bit like apricots. When I spotted Dogfish Head Brewery’s ApriHop – a spring seasonal IPA actually brewed with the velvety little things, I was in. Dogfish bottles it in four-packs, calling Aprihop “a fruit beer for people who hate fruit beers.”

Aprihop pours a fizzy, rusty, orange with a hoppy, piney aroma very much like a big, booming IPA. I can smell the fruity apricot in the background, but it’s very close to pineapple too.

In the drinking, the apricot is buried, which is a little disappointing. If it’s in the name and on the label, you shouldn’t have to hunt for the flavor. At least the apricot does serve a purpose while hiding in the background. That faint sweet fruitiness mellows the double-barreled hops, buffing the raspy edge off the resiny green that makes an IPA.

Doghead’s Aprihop is a pleasant and (at 7% ABV) powerful IPA. I’d like to see a little more fruit in the flavor, but after a pretty dreadful flavored beer, I’ll take some subtle.