Brewery: Amager/Off Color Brewing
Type: Imperial Stout
One of the first times I came to Denmark, I brought the ingredients for s'mores. This was probably about ten years or more back now…hang on just realized how old I am drinks half beer. Ok so nowadays in Denmark marshmallows and s'mores are a relatively common site. American things tend to catch on pretty quickly. But back then when I told my now wife's family we were going to roast these white things over the camp fire then stick them between biscuits with chocolate they were a bit skeptical. But after consuming my entire bag of imported marshmallows and most of the chocolate in Jutland they were convinced of the awesomeness of this bit of Americana. Now I wish I had invested in a marshmallow factory as now they are in all the supermarkets and camp site stores in the country. That brings me to tonights beer. The next collaboration between Danish brewery Amager and one of four American breweries. Tonight's collaborator is Off Color Brewing. The reason I brought up my little S'more anecdote, is that this is an imperial stout brewed with vanilla beans, graham crackers, and marshmallows. Which makes this… A S'MORES BEER!!!
Pours a total blackout, no light shines through. Good sign for an imperial stout. Nice big eruption of deep tan head, lingers for quite some time and leaves thick sticky curtains on the glass. The smell is sickly sweet. Huge dark sweet sugary malt and candy sugar dominate the nose. The amount of sugar actually sort of reminds me of smelling a marshmallow, albeit one with some licorice powder sprinkled on. The taste is immensely sweet, tooth rotting and sugary. I started this beer very cold. When cold it is sweet and sticky, dark and syrupy with a touch of biscuit and a lot of dark malt. As it warms the flavors develop a lot more. I certainly get the Amager hr. Fredericksen base of this beer right off the bat. Lots of big dark malt and licorice. The massive quantities of sugar have however masked quite a lot of that bitter black licorice behemoth and made this into a sweet candy stout. The unfermentable sugars are alive in this one for sure. The sugar and vanilla beans, and I am sure the addition of the actual marshmallows, give it that sugar bomb marshmallow type flavoring. A bit of smokiness from the molasses may even sneak in for a bit of roast on those white sugar tubes. I can't really say I get a lot of chocolate or graham cracker, but I hardly expected it. The warmer this beer gets the more syrupy sweet it gets, and also the stronger the almost metallic twang of so many ingredients together kind of gives off. Now after you get over the sweetness, its the big alcohol taste that really brings up the rear on this beer. Weighing in at a big 10% it does not do much to hide that, especially at normal imperial stout drinking temps. You are going to get a lot of hotness and a bit of solvency from the ABV. If I held a lighter in front of my mouth and breathed out I might even be able to toast some marshmallows. Mouthfeel is massive, syrupy, and certainly a sipper. I recommend splitting this with a friend or two.
Now this is a serious mixed bag for me. The idea behind it tickles my crazy beer side and I have to admit a s'mores beer appeals to my decadent Americaness. I see exactly where this was going, the ingredients, the idea behind it, I love it. What came out in the end? Eh, not so much. I am glad to have tried it, I love trying experimental beers, if for nothing else then the experience of drinking a concept beer, and getting a taste of what happens when brewers go wild.
Again as this is a collaboration between American and Danish brewers I find it appropriate to point you to Stovt's review of this same beer. I believe he may have liked it more, but his heart is ever so slightly blacker then mine.