I like a good brew. In this day and age, the Budweisers, Millers, and Coors of the world are that norm. Craft beers, especially micro brews, are straying from the norm. For me, I tend to stray from the norm, and go out and try to find something different to try. Whether it be a lager, an ale, a stout, a porter, a saison, even a sour, I will try it, and give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.
For this post, I decided to try a flavored porter. Now, flavored porters have been around for years, with chocolate and coffee usually being the most popular flavors. The question I had though when looking for a good porter was this – why hasn’t anyone tried making one with peanut butter flavoring? After all, the natural chocolate flavors from a dark beer would seem to be a perfect complement for peanut butter. Well, I found that porter in DuClaw Brewing Company’s “Sweet Baby Jesus!”
I found a six pack at the local liquor store by me in Howell, New Jersey, and on Saturday, I poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Here is how I found the DuClaw Brewing Company beer to look, smell, and taste.
It was a dark shade of mahogany/brown, mostly opaque. Pours to an average-sized, tan, foamy head which never dissipates and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.
Almost exactly the aroma of chocolate and peanut butter candy. Very enticing.
This beer is a robust porter at the core, and it shows immediately with strong notes of dark malt, roasted barley, a hint of coffee and perhaps burnt toast. There’s a dry bitterness through the middle, but transitions to a sweetness on a hairpin turn with strong milk chocolate flavors. The finish is the best part as an authentic peanut butter flavor emerges to make for a delicious candy-like palette.
The label indicates the beer is brewed with “artificial flavors,” which probably means that peanut butter character is simply a flavoring concentrate, but it’s still impressive since it tastes like the real deal and nothing faux (like so many fruit-flavored beers, I might add). Perhaps it’s a bit unbalanced since the peanut butter component distracts from the robust porter base, but that’s a flaw I can tolerate.
While I would describe the overall palette of DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus! as potent. It is not as sickly sweet or cloying (unlike some of those gigantic imperial stouts). At only 6.5% ABV, this is much more approachable and easy-drinking than you’d think. The feel is a bit thinner and calmer than I’d prefer, though it is remarkably smooth. So much so that it’s difficult not to gulp it all down quickly. It leaves a slightly dry, bitter aftertaste, but it fades clean eventually. A perfect liquid dessert in a bottle.
In the end, I found this to be very enjoyable, and would highly recommend any beer drinker to go out of their way and buy a DuClaw Brewing Company’s “Sweet Baby Jesus.”