Crème Brûlée is just one of those phrases that reeks of pretension. I mean, three accented letters… Come on Crème Brûlée… You’re better than that! Southern Tier’s Crème Brûlée Stout brings this phrase back down to earth by offering up an image of the humble cow on the bottle. Few animals are as giving as the noble cow. Milk, cheese, beef, cheese and beef (hello cheeseburger), leather… There’s nothing this beast can’t do. Thinking about it a little more, it is kind of messed up that we use the product of their milk as a topping for their meat (hello cheeseburger). But I digress…
This stouts pours about as dark a brown as you can have without being black. The head is a shroud of creamy, off-white bubbles that give it the look and feel of chocolate milk. The aroma is dominated by notes of vanilla and a smoky, sweet creaminess. The sweetness combined with the smokiness give the aroma a quality that is reminiscent of hookah smoke, not something I’ve experienced from a beer before.
The flavor profile is very similar to the aroma with robust vanilla, sweet cream, and smoke qualities. These flavors are supplemented by caramel and a light presence of hops, citrus and bitterness. It’s pretty amazing that these kind of flavors can come through in a beer. It almost tastes like this was made by fermenting burnt marshmallows. The body is super heavy with a velvety smoothness that makes it feel like dessert.
The Crème Brûlée Stout by Southern Tier is an intriguing beverage that is to beer what port is to wine. The overwhelming sweetness would make this bottle difficult to finish by yourself unless you’re a straight dessert junky, but this would be a great bottle to share after a nice steak dinner or on a night by the camp fire. No cows were injured during the drafting of this review.
- Appearance: Very dark brown (black)
- Aroma: Vanilla, smoke, sweet cream
- Flavor: Vanilla, caramel, cream, smoky malt, light underlying hop tones
- Mouthfeel: Heavy
- ABV: 9.5%
- Size/Price: 22 oz. / $7 – $9
- Score: 86