I've got a sweet tooth. No surprises there. That being said, I have not had creme brulee in a long time. Maybe once or twice in my life. I definitely recall being out at a bar in NYC at 2 or 3am about 10 years ago having wine and "creme caramel" and feeling pretty fancy-pants about it. Fast forward to yesterday.
Southern Tier is located in Lakewood, NY and has a large and diverse selection of beer. The Creme Brulee Imperial Cream Stout is among its unusual imperial styles, which include an imperial cherry saison, and an imperial pumpkin ale (you know I'm excited to try that one!) The bottle has some interesting facts on it, including the cultural disputes over where creme brulee originated (there are similar desserts with roots in England and Spain, but it's generally attributed to the French).
Cream stouts are sweet stouts made with lactose (milk sugar) which regular stouts are not. There you go.
Appearance: is typical for a stout. Pitch black. When held to the light it's slightly lighter around the edges (like a dark cola-esque brown). A foamy brown head forms on top and sticks around for a minute, leaving a thin layer on top for quite some time. Spider-webby lace coats the glass. It's attractive.
Smell: Upon opening the bottle the smell of pure vanilla bean pours out. I poured it into a pint glass and woah sweetness. Caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, cream. Subtle malts and hops. Did I mention this is "sweet?"
Taste: "Sugar...Doo doo doo doo doo do ohhh honey honey...." Caramel-sugar-vanilla-cream topped with marshmallow. Faint hops contribute a bitter edge which helps bring this beverage some slight semblance of balance, but it is overwhelmingly sweet. I ate a little l'creme vanilla et cookie-chips-ahoy et hershey's syrup with this beer. The ice cream in my mouth mixed with a little beer turned into a ridiculously delicious vanilla-beer-milkshake.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and good consistency. It actually felt a little flat after a while. I was glad it was not any thicker...That may have been overkill.
Drinkability: This comes in a 22 ounce bottle which I paid $8.95 for. I recommend it, but split it with a friend or 2. About 8 ounces was plenty. This is dessert. It is also 10% ABV which was not noticeable at first, but as it warmed, the alcohol became more noticeable in smell and taste. This is super sweet. Beer and dessert are not mutually exclusive. Have this with super dark chocolate. Or vanilla ice cream. Or alone. And enjoy.
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