DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus!

Reviewed by on December 24, 2015 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: DuClaw Brewing Company

  • Origin: Baltimore, MD, US

  • Rated On: December 24, 2015

  • Best Before: bottled July 23, 2015

  • ABV: 6.2%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Porter

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

This offering is the final day of the 2015 Craft Beer Advent Calendar, and possesses a great name for a brew on Christmas Eve, AKA the day before ol’ whatshisname was born (not sure if he was into peanut butter and chocolate in his libations, however).

This 12oz bottle pours a pretty solid black, with prominent basal cola highlights, and a teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and creamy beige head, which leaves some excellent randomly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds away.

It smells of pungent grainy milk chocolate powder, a lighter dry roasted peanut butter essence, muddled caramel malt, and a sense of bittering hops that are not lacking their own character, just totally obfuscated at the current time. The taste is more dry Reese’s Pieces candy flavour, over top and alongside a gritty toasted caramel malt, hints of day-old cafe-au-lait, an ephemeral dark orchard fruitiness, with a growing, if still indistinct hoppy bitterness (maybe some dirt, maybe some acrid leafiness) providing a surprising countermeasure. The carbonation is adequate in its supportive structuring, as the frothiness keeps this way out of cloying territory, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly smooth, with a small airy creaminess there from the onset. It finishes sweet, from the expected vectors, but moderated just enough by that unseen and almost unknown hoppy bittering effort.

Wow, my second peanut butter adjunct beer in a little over a single week, and both have been more than all right. Here, the extra chocolate essence does indeed conjure up sturdy associations with a few of the Hershey Company’s more popular products, and the overall impression is one of a smirking acknowledgement of dessert-friendly drinking, and a little less than a desire to shout out the titular exclamation.

Brady White

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