New Belgium Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale

Reviewed by on December 31, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

  • Origin: Fort Collins, CO, US

  • Rated On: December 31, 2015

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: American Brown Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Salted Caramel Brownie is a flavoured brown ale, made in collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s, they of the famous ice cream.  It also benefits the Protect Our Winters movement, which is something, as a denizen of the northern reaches of this continent, that I didn’t realize needed protecting!

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, dark red-brick amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and rather bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent disintegrating limestone cliff lace around the glass as it evenly and professionally recedes.

It smells of roasted, somewhat doughy caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa powder, faint salty breakfast biscuits, an oily bar-top nuttiness, and a twinge of day-old cafe-au-lait. The taste is bready, almost pastry-adjacent caramel malt, a lesser biscuity toffee sweetness – one barely tempered by a perhaps only imagined saltiness – a still adequate discount store chocolate wafer thing, waning and wan nutty notes, and a very, very subtle suggestion of some earthy hop bitterness. The carbonation is fairly low-key in its palpable and try-hard frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and mostly smooth, that chocolate and caramel joint venture going far here, full stop. It finishes on the sweet side, for the very same reasons as just elucidated for the mouthfeel – so, consistency, yo!

While this is not my first salted caramel ale rodeo (props to Parallel 49, once again!), I have to give New Belgium credit for trying to bring such a thing to the broader American beer-drinking masses. Maybe not quite as representative as it could have been on the salted and ice cream oriented brownie front, but enjoyable all the same, as a salve for winter’s long stay, something well known to all the parties concerned here.

Brady White

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