oatmeal stout

[Beer Review] Red Velvet by Ballast Point Brewing Company

bpredvelvet_tgofThe dessert beer is a tricky tart to perfect. Of course, opinions vary and some will swig down just about anything based on a name regardless if the beer actually delivers on the flavors it promises. The perils are real though. Dessert beers can verge on sickly sweet to flat out not being able to cash in on its promises. Ballast Point’s Red Velvet falls somewhere in the middle.

This review focuses on the release of the six pack of 12 oz nitro bottles that were recently released. As the bottle promises the beer is nitrogenated and pours light pink and cascades beautifully leaving a deep red hued beer with a creamy, slightly pink head that resembles cream cheese frosting. The aroma is lacking quite a bit with muted notes of light malts, vanilla and hints of chocolate.

It’s worth noting that this beer is an golden oatmeal stout with chocolate and natural flavors added. So, in being a “golden stout” it allows for the intense red color from the beets to come through so vividly. Before moving into the taste it’s also worth noting that I have never had a beet in my entire life. Prior to this beer I’ve only ever even had one beer that utilized beets and it was a sour…three years ago, so there’s no way to rely on my ability to recognize the actual beet characteristics of the use in this particular beer. If you’re lost, let me explain. (more…)


Beer Review: Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat w/Cinnamon by Tallgrass Brewing Company


tgof_bavbbs_tallgrassIt’s was not that long ago on this very site that I was articulating my criticisms of Tallgrass’ Bourbon Barrel Buffalo Sweat. Those criticisms gave life to serious concerns to the quality of upcoming Tallgrass beers in the newly minted Explorer Series. While I’m hoping to make some time to review Big Ricc, their Russian Imperial Stout with coffee and chocolate, I’m happy to say that those concerns- for the time being- been alleviated by the Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat. Henceforward to be referred to as BAVBBS, cause why not?

For as long as I can remember as a beer drinker I’ve heard people refer to inky black beers as being perfect for breakfast. Basically any beer that even a fleeting coffee note to the flavor. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually had any beer that met that criteria that I could legitimately see myself drinking for or during breakfast. Today I can confidently say that is no longer the case. BAVBBS, for this beer lover, perfectly mimics the breakfast classic of french toast with cup of coffee. (more…)

Beer Review: Tallgrass Brewing Company Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat

IMG_5198For the last few years Tallgrass has been, in my opinion, the one constant brewery easily accessible to this beer drinker do deliver always solid beers. To be more specific they deliver some of the only beers easily accessible in my locale that I happily buy every time I go to the store for some booze. There 8-Bit Pale Ale is one of my favorite pales that’s not brewed locally but is always on the shelf. They may not be flashy, but man can they brew some damn fine beer. Additionally, the last few years one of my go to seasonals is their Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat. I love it so much that I hate it’s only a seasonal release.

Vanilla Bean Buffalo sweat cures my winter woes every single year. The beer pours a thin dark brown with some highlights and a decent amount of light tan head. Once settled in the glass though the beer looks like oil- admittedly thin looking oil, but oil nonetheless. There is a very slight roast note on the initial aroma, which gets slightly deeper with a longer inhale. The aroma hints at a creamy sweetness from the vanilla beans giving the beer a frappuccino-like smell.