stouts and porters have been around for years, which chocolate and
coffee usually being the most popular flavors. But why hasn’t anyone
tried making one with peanut butter flavoring? After all, the natural
chocolate flavors from a dark beer would seem to be a perfect complement
for peanut butter. If it has been done before I’m not aware of any
other than DuClaw’s “Sweet Baby Jesus!” It delivers exactly as promised,
and is exactly what I want a dessert beer to be.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 6/10/14 and was given to me by friends (thanks, Alex and Marissa!).
Appearance: Dark shade of mahogany/brown, mostly opaque. Pours to an
average-sized, tan, foamy head which never dissipates and leaves plenty
of lacing on the glass.
Smell: Almost exactly the aroma of chocolate and peanut butter candy. Very enticing.
Taste: This beer is a robust porter at the core, and it definitely shows
immediately with strong notes of dark malt, roasted barley, a hint of
coffee and perhaps burnt toast. There’s a dry bitterness through the
middle, but transitions to a sweetness on a hairpin turn with strong
milk chocolate flavors. The finish is the best part as an authentic
peanut butter flavor emerges to make for a delicious candy-like palette.
The label indicates the beer is brewed with “artificial flavors,” which
probably means that peanut butter character is simply a flavoring
concentrate, but it’s still impressive since it tastes like the real
deal and nothing faux (like so many fruit-flavored beers, I might add).
Perhaps it’s a bit unbalanced since the peanut butter component
distracts from the robust porter base, but that’s a flaw I can tolerate.
Drinkability: While I would describe the overall palette of DuClaw Sweet
Baby Jesus! as potent, I would not describe it as sickly sweet or
cloying (unlike some of those gigantic imperial stouts). At only 6.5%
ABV, this is much more approachable and easy-drinking than you’d think.
The mouthfeel is a bit thinner and calmer than I’d prefer, though it is
remarkably smooth. So much so that it’s difficult to not gulp it all
down quickly. It leaves a slightly dry, bitter aftertaste, but it fades
clean eventually. A perfect liquid dessert in a bottle.