Monday, November 12, 2012

It's a's a dessert...a beersert?

My favorite dessert is creme brulee.

I worked as a salad and dessert prep cook at a country club when I was a teenager. At the end of my shift when I was allowed a certain amount of credit for my dinner, I almost always used it to eat one of those amazing desserts. Because I was in charge of preparing these wonders, I was able to make it just - how - I - liked it. That and I got to play with a blow torch. Yep. A lot of restaurants take the custard out of the fridge, sprinkle on the sugar, and blast it with 3000 degrees of propane flame so that it is hot and crispy on top, and cool and creamy on the bottom. There are places where they put flavors into their custard - fruits, flowers, or herbs - but me, I like my burnt cream nice and simple...vanilla.

A while back I wrote an article on a beer that tasted exactly like a chocolate bar. More recently I toasted Halloween with a beer that was flavored to mimic pumpkin pie. The common thread in all of these? Well there are two. First, they are all awesome beers that are patterned after desserts, and second, they are all by Southern Tier Brewing Company. This time STBC hit me up with a beer after my all-time favorite dessert.

When Drew cracked this bottle for Matty and I, we were immediately treated to an intense vanilla aroma that was so powerful that people three seats down the bar inquired as to what we were drinking. The vanilla smell was so strong that it seemed to taste sweet in the back of my throat before I even took a taste. Despite pouring from a decent height, Drew could not get any kind of head to form on this baby.  The flavor was totally in line with my olfactory experience. Heavy with vanilla bean, the stout flavors in this rich beer gave the whole thing the burnt sense that brought together the creme brulee experience. The mouth feel was solid and creamy. This beer was sweet, but not sickeningly so. That said, there was certianly enough sweetness to make it a dessert beer.  I don't think I would pair it with anything. I might not even be tempted to eat my favorite dessert afterward.


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