“A delightful dessert beer that delivers exactly what the name says, cinnamon and chocolate in a deliciously crafted Imperial Brown Ale..”
From untappd’s entry/page for the beer:
This dessert style imperial brown ale has a sweet, full mouthfeel due to flaked oats and lactose. Specialty malts of pale chocolate and crystal malts bring a base of roasted chocolate and caramel. Additions of cinnamon and cacao nibs after fermentation bring together all the flavors of a delicious cinnamon roll with a sprinkling of chocolate chips.
The 20 Years 20 beers theme continues with this week’s beer review and introduces me to another new brewery! Braxton Brewing Company is a brewery I’m aware of, but prior to this beer I haven’t had the chance to try a beer from them.
Like the previous beer (and all 20 beers in this gift project), my wife gave me a taster of a few ounces to see if I could guess the beer. I was immediately hit with cinnamon, which stands out the most. Cinnamon is usually not what you’d call a subtle flavor element, after all. I thought the beer might be a Dessert/Pastry Stout, but looking at the beer, it isn’t quite dark enough to be a stout, so I guessed Brown Ale. I was close, my wife says, since it is an Imperial Brown Ale.
The full beer in the glass is a dark brown, a shade under black. In a certain light it *might* be mistaken for a Stout, but closer inspection reveals the beer’s true brown nature. The aroma of the full beer is largely cinnamon and very inviting.
Diving into the full pour, the cinnamon asserts itself immediately and plays very nicely with the roasted malt that gives a Brown Ale its smooth and sometimes chocolatey flavor. The fact that cocoa was added to the beer brings these flavors together even more strongly and makes for a delicious beer. The same disclaimer I make with big dark ales applies to Chocolate Cinnamon Roll: let the beer get a little closer to room temperature to allow the flavors to breathe a little and it tastes even better.
Perhaps the smartest thing Braxton Labs did with this beer was at the very beginning of the creative process. Now I’m not sure what came first, the style, or what they wanted to achieve with the end result in terms of flavor, but this works better as a big Brown Ale than it would have as a Stout, I think. The roasted elements of a Stout could potentially take over the cinnamon and chocolate and the more muted malt elements, as I pointed out previously, play really well with those two adjuncts.
Braxton Brewing has proven that a Brown Ale can be a flavorful, delicious beer when crafted well and that Brown Ales should not be overlooked. This is a great dessert beer. My wife is batting 1.000 with the 20 Beers 20 Years theme so far.
Highly recommended, link to Untappd 4.25-bottle cap rating.
Bravo for Brown (Level 10)
Tavour (Level 3)