For those of you catching up, I recently assisted The Mack House in pouring at Due South Brewing’s Trench Day, their event for the release of Mariana Trench. Of course, I had the opportunity to try many, many beers while I was there. And many of those beers were made in house at Due South.
Hang in there, dear readers. This one might be a little on the big side.
Chocolate Cherry Stout (Stout, 6.1% ABV) – Very simply, it’s a stout with the addition of chocolate and cherry. A lot of people at the event mentioned they couldn’t taste much of the cherry, and I don’t know why. It’s there. It’s light, as it should be. This is not a beer that should really taste like you’re drinking the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries. It’s got a great light cocoa flavor, nice and roasty, like the malts used in the beer.
One Night In Ybor (Scotch Ale, 8.1% ABV) – This one was easily one of my favorites not just of the event, but from Due South period. It also takes a little explanation. This beer starts as a wee heavy, then is allowed to age in bourbon oak barrels after additions of cherry and orange. They went for a beer version of an Old Fashioned. And they succeeded beautifully. It’s got a great taste of sweet fruit with the cherry and orange very prominent in the flavor profile, and additional sweetness coming from the bready malts. It’s pretty potent, so approach this one with caution.
Oaked Category 5 IPA (Imperial IPA, 8.5% ABV) – First of all, I got the first draft from a new keg. I’m not sure if that’s why the beer is so cloudy, but it didn’t impact the flavor at all. And that flavor can best be described as Giant. Really giant hop bitterness. Really, really giant. Definitely not for IPA detractors. The oakiness was very strong, too, but did not get in the way of the hoppiness at all. Strong, sweet, citrusy, and incredibly hoppy.
Mocha Stout (American Stout, 6.1% ABV) – It had a mocha coffee addition, and it certainly shows. Big coffee notes in both aroma and flavor. Not as much of the mocha, however. Very much an excellent example of a well-balanced, expertly crafted coffee stout.
Peanut Butter Pepper ICCA (Cream Ale, 8.1% ABV) – This cream ale has added infusions of peanuts and chili peppers. And it’s quite the strange combination, because of how strong the peanut flavor is. Where many other beers have their unique, novel flavors pushed somewhere towards the back, this beer roars with both its peanut flavors and the pepper. They’re strong, and it’s a unique flavor combination. Almost like Thai food ordered extremely hot. Actually, that’s not a bad idea for a pairing…
UXO (Imperial Red Ale, 8.2% ABV, 67 IBU) – Very sweet. I noticed an almost scotch ale quality to the beer. I’m sure it’s not too far off from one, but I expected a much stronger hoppiness to this beer. And I didn’t get it, so I was extremely happy. It’s very strong, but it’s also balanced, kinda chewy, and effortlessly flavorful.
Sweater Weather (Winter Warmer, 9.0% ABV) – Funny enough, based on other blog posts I’ve written, Justin from Mack House told me I’d really like this beer. This is a winter warmer style, brewed with ginger and spices. I’ve never had much luck with winter warmers, since I’ve always found them to be a bit too strong and brutal for my tastes. Sweater Weather, while still incredibly strong, tempers a potentially potentially brutal beatdown with some of the most flavorful spice profiles I’ve had in a winter beer. It’s almost gingerbread-esque. Very sweet and deserty, robust and flavorful, I can see wanting this one again.
Calling All Cars (American Porter, 5.6% ABV, 37 IBU) – So I am a bit conflicted about this beer. First, I was very apprehensive about this brew. The last time I tried a donut-flavored beer, I barely got through a pint, let along the entire bottle. Second, I feel bad if I go to a beer event based solely around a specific beer and finding another beer I liked better. But this was easily my favorite beer of the event. Having a coffee and donut flavored porter seems like an easy combination, but I haven’t found it before. This beer is a great combination of all of that. It’s got a big, sweet, coconut flavor and aroma. The dark roast of the malts and the coffee give it an incredible depth and body. All around fantastic beer.
If this ever goes on nitro, I’m done for.
I also want to give a special mention to a newly re-formulated Mexican Standoff (Imperial Porter, 8.5% ABV). The last time I had this, it was good, but face-meltingly hot. Really hot. I had heard they reformulated the beer, and talking with their brewer Joel (whose Twitter account is not sanctioned by Due South and is incredibly amusing, but very NSFW), was told the first time they brewed it, a lot of the pepper seeds stuck to the sides of the tanks. Because of this, the heat couldn’t be very high, right?
Nope. It was hot. Very much so. And that heat never tempered with aging, either. So they went back, brought the peppers down by around 20%, and the result is a much more balanced, more flavorful brew.
Drink Florida Craft,