It’s been a busy week, and I was thinking we might do a firepit night tonight (although we didn’t end up doing it). Therefore, I thought I’d try this beer, which the label says, “In honor of Beer Camp, our friends at New Zealand’s Garage Project brewery wanted to carry the camping theme straight through to the flavor of our beer. Featuring a unique malt smoked over manuka wood, rare manuka honey and vanilla beans, this robust porter has sweet notes reminiscent of marshmallows toasted over a campfire.” This beer was sent to me by Sierra Nevada to try all of their 2017 Beer Camp Across the World beers. The bottle says it was packaged on 04/19/17.
Location: Poured into a goblet style pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL.
Numbers: 7.7% ABV, 32 IBUs, 18.3 Plato OG,4.75 Plato FG, ~240 Calories
Appearance & Aroma: It’s dark brown, almost black in color with lots of ruby highlights when held up to the light. It appears to be pretty clear with an off-white head that was a bit fluffy and fell after a few minutes to a thin layer over the top. The aroma was mostly roasty with some hints of sweetness underneath.
Taste & Feel: The body was medium and the mouthfeel was lightly crisp from the amount of carbonation in it. Up front, the flavor was mostly roasty bitter, which continued into the middle – which was then joined by a good dose of malty sweetness. In the finish, there was a good amount of roastiness with some roasty – almost burnt chocolate and coffee – bitterness and some underlying sweetness. The aftertaste was a mix of roasty flavors and roasty, burnt malt bitterness.
Food Pairing: Without a doubt, as this beer states, I’d pair this beer with either s’mores or toasted marshmallows. I think the sweetness of the marshmallow and chocolate would help cut through the bitterness, and would make it a perfect beer pairing.
Overall Impression: This beer definitely had a roasty flavor that reminded me of a campout. The burnt malt added a roastiness and roasty bitterness reminiscent of campouts or firepits in the back yard. While it was a good beer, the roastiness dominated, and the sweetness from the vanilla and honey never really broke through at all. I think a good dose of lactose in this recipe might be what it needs to really make it spectacular, but otherwise, you should really have some marshmallows on hand to make the most of this one.