Wait, what? Bourbon barrel, sure. Stout, sure. Coffee… okay, sure. Mint?
A beer with mint?
I was skeptical the first time I tried it (which is actually exactly why I tried it). I enjoyed it so much that the next time I learned that it was on tap at the South Shore Brewery — 12 hours away from me — I asked my sister-in-law to get me a growler.
The thick-but-not-too-thick pour is a dark mahogany with a tan head. The head fades quickly, but the lacing remains. The nose is an immediate deep chocolate with an undeniable streak of mint.
Mint. In a beer.
The taste is a fudgy chocolate, prevalent but not intense, and notes of vanilla sneak in too. The mint seems to fade in and out as it crosses the palate.
In fact, the entire beer seems to be about hinting at power but holding it in reserve. There is no single flavor that overwhelms, but the combined taste is a strong one. Surprisingly, there is very little aftertaste other than that astonishing mint that turns out to be an ingredient that the majority of brewers have overlooked.
All in all, it’s almost like having a nice chocolate stout after having had a good mint julep.
Brilliantly confusing beer.