I love me some peanut butter. One of my favorite snacks growing up: a spoonful of peanut butter and a glass of milk. One of my favorite sandwiches: peanut butter and banana. Favorite ice cream mix-in: vanilla ice cream with peanut butter, banana, and chocolate syrup/fudge. If you don’t like peanut butter or, even worse, you’re allergic; this is going to be a pretty useless post (actually, one of the beers in question does NOT have any peanut allergens in it, so keep reading, I was just kidding).
But that sounds like a personal problem to me! Without further ado, I bring you the next installment of “I Need a Beer”, a battle between two pretty damn delicious peanut butter stouts. Because sometimes, I just need some peanut butter in my beer.
The Blue Corner
Brewery: Belching Beaver
Beer: Peanut Butter Milk Stout (an iteration of their delicious Beaver’s Milk)
Style: Milk Stout
Description: Don’t drink it first, smell it. It SMELLS creamy. You’ll smell the peanut butter but also get some hints of cocoa. It has a very rich aroma.
When you take a sip, you’ll be hit again by the peanut butter. But as with the aroma, there’s a subtle dark chocolate flavor to it. The flavors, pair perfectly with the creamy mouthfeel provided by the lactose and the oats used in the brewing of this milk stout.
As I enjoyed my beer, I imagined putting this in a large glass and dropping a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. Or pairing it with a piece of banana cream pie. This beer is a dessert and would go great with the final course of most meals.
Verdict: This beer is one of the best beers I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying in 2014. When “I need a beer”, this is definitely on my shortlist of brews to grab.
The Red Corner
Description: I take a whiff… huh? The peanut butter is subtle in this one. I get more of the standard roasted/malty/chocolatey notes that you come to expect in a stout. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not what I was expecting from a peanut butter stout. Well, let’s take a sip…
The flavor is a bit bitter, but chocolatey. So, more like liquid dark chocolate as opposed to a creamy peanut butter cup. Speaking of creamy, this one has a more silken mouthfeel, a lot less viscous. It’s a little dry. Oh wait, at the very end… I get some nuttiness. Cool. I like this.
As I finish the rest of my glass I can definitely feel the difference between the 3% difference in ABV the two beers have.
Verdict: This is not a beer that I would reach for if I was craving a peanut butter beer. But that does not make it any less worthwhile. This is a delicious stout that definitely needs to be shared and enjoyed. Additionally, it has no peanut butter allergens so it can be appreciated by a much wider swath of the population.
THE DECISION: In keeping with the peanut butter theme, if I need a beer and I’m craving peanut butter, then the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout is the way to go. The presence of peanut butter is more apparent in both the aroma and the flavor. Having said that, both of these beers are excellent and if I’m reaching for a beer, they are equally deserving of being the next brew to bless my glass.