JAK’S picks a selection of Winter-ready rich, dark beers
Every three months, What’s Brewing gets together with JAK’S Beer Wine Spirits to create a new installment of our Tasting Panel series. This episode, for the first time ever, we reviewed a class of tasty treats sometimes called ‘dessert beers’!
OUR LIVE PANEL GOES VIRTUAL!
Note: neither What’s Brewing nor JAK’S Beer Wine Spirits bear responsibility for the opinions expressed within, which are solely those of the individual panelists.
WHAT IS A DESSERT BEER?
Well, there’s no such thing. That is, you won’t find this category in any official list of beer styles. Because it’s not a style per se, but rather a broad class with some commonalities.
Think pastry stouts, salted caramel porters, flavours like coconut, peanut butter, Mexican chocolate, doughnuts, fudge and anything you’d associate with an after-dinner treat. If you count coffee, oatmeal and milk stouts, then you might want to have them with breakfast again the next morning (see our Winter 2017 panel episode for more on that).
With the onset of winter, it’s a great time to look for these darker, heavier beers with slightly above-average ABV, and save your sweet tooth from doing any of that inconvenient chewing.
HOW JUDGING IS DONE
Our unsanctioned competition uses a Zagat-like 30-point rating with a weighted scale based loosely on the BJCP Scoresheet. One of the great things about this format, as opposed to a simple 5-star blogger rating, is that it forces panellists to put more work into evaluating details of the flavour, balance and overall impression before scoring each category.
Panellists are instructed to give an honest rating, not a sugar-coating. As reflected in their scores, some panelists will love a particular beer and others will truly dislike it. Sometimes that’s influenced by factors that aren’t completely within a brewery’s contrul, such as freshness, or just a bad product sample. This is one of the reasons we have a panel rather than just one reviewer: it helps reduce the impact of factors like packaging flaws and personal tastes.
AND THE WINNER IS...
Bad Tattoo’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter. Check out the podcast episode to hear grown adults going gaga over its amazing aroma. Definitely use a tulip glass or similar vessel to capture its nose. As one of the reviewers said, it would be worth just inhaling this beer all night.
OVERALL GROUP / CATEGORY RATINGS
A general overview of how these beers did as a group.
Here’s how our six beers scored in these five categories, for a total possible score of 30. For a full list of individual scores, see above.
Pie chart tip: start at top of legend and work clockwise from 45 degree mark (3 o’clock)