As I’ve mentioned before a couple times, I had heart surgery at the end of March. I had the surgery done at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I had to go back up there last weekend for a check up, and I was able to convince my wife to let me stop at a liquor store and pick up some local beer (both in Minnesota and Wisconsin!). I had heard a lot about Surly, and knew that they had their roots in homebrewing. They had several for packs of cans, so I grabbed a few different ones. This one just happen to be the last one I loaded into the beer fridge, so it’s the first one out.
The can says, “ Here’s what happens when substance meets smooth. This oatmeal brown ale defies traditional categories. Bender begins crisp and lightly hoppy, Complemented by the velvety sleekness oats deliver. Belgian and British malts usher in cascades of cocoa, coffee, caramel and hints of vanilla and cream. An easy drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction. ”
Location: Poured into a slightly curved pint glass from the 16oz can at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 5.1% ABV, 45 IBUs, 45 SRM, 14 degrees Plato, 180 Calories
Ingredients: Malt: Pale Ale, Aromatic, Medium Crystal, Dark Crystal, Oats and Chocolate; Hops: Columbus, Willamette; Yeast: English Ale
Appearance & Aroma: It’s Dark brown in color, with plenty of ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head is thick and creamy, and had some very good retention. The aroma is nutty and roasty.
Taste & Feel: The body is light and the mouthfeel is crisp at first, but smooth in the finish. There’s a semi-sweet, lightly nutty and cocoa-like flavor up front, followed by some stronger roasty-chocolate flavors in the middle. It finishes with a good amount of cocoa, some roastiness, hints of nuttiness, and an earthy-roasty bitterness which lasts in the aftertaste for a minute or so.
Food Pairing: This beer is mostly cocoa and nutty roastiness, and its flavors would easily complement BBQ, steaks, or other hearty dishes. For me, I’d love this beer with some nice BBQed wet ribs, as the beer would probably go well with a nice sweet sauce with molasses, brown sugar, and spices.
Overall Impression: I enjoyed the mix of nutty and roasty flavors, and how they evolved throughout each sip. It wasn’t nearly as complex as indicated by the description on the can, but it still had some nice flavors. For me, this would be a very good beer for the fall, when I wanted something with warmer flavors (but not a pumpkin beer). The flavors almost reminded me of BBQ, and I’d love to try the pairing out. Fortunately, I have 3 more cans of this left to give it a try.