So, the last time I wrote about Bradenton’s Darwin Brewing Company, the beer I reviewed got its name from a medicinal drink brewed in the Amazon jungle that is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from LSD.
Today, the beer we’re looking at is, according to my research, either 1) a river turtle or 2) a woman of questionable morals.
Take a look at the logo and see what you think:
I’m going with turtle, too. The Arrau River Turtle, or Charapa Turtle, lives in the Amazon basin. It also seems to be something of a delicacy, judging by the large amount of cooking videos and pictures I found while researching this piece. I don’t know if I could ever eat turtle. It just feels weird to me. I have zero problems having multiple pints of the similarly named beer Charapa (Porter, 7% ABV).
It’s a spiced porter, but little of that is really evident in the aroma. It’s a clean, deep smell that belies a rich, dark malt profile from the grain bill of Pale malt 2 row, chocolate & white wheat malts.
It’s when you taste Charapa that the big rich flavors come through. The biggest (and most surprising) adjunct added is from the aji charapita pepper, a small, round, red/yellow pepper found only in the Amazon basin. I would love to know how Darwin sources these peppers, too.
Now, I’m almost glad I didn’t know about the pepper in the beer, because I would be concerned that this was a pepper-forward beer. I’ve had so many pepper beers where it was all about the heat and less about the flavor, and it’s getting a little brutal on my palate. Not so with this; there’s just a touch of flavor. It’s truly used sparingly as a spice, not overwhelmingly like a hot sauce.
The beer also has annato, Florida orange blossom honey, and Amazonian cacao. I want to know how they source all of these wonderful things! Anywho, with all of these wonderful flavors, the beer is rich, deep, with a great kick from the peppers, annato, and the bold roast of the chocolate malts. It still retains a smooth mouthfeel and a easy drinkability.
This is easily a beer I will gladly drink again. It should also cost well north of $100 a pint with all the stuff they throw into it.
But at least there’s no turtle in the beer.
Drink Florida Craft,