Posted on July 19th, 2011
Every trip I take begins with the mapping out of local breweries. This week I am vacationing in Chautauqua Lake, located in Western New York, with my fiancée’s family. Along the road-trip from Boston to Chautauqua lie two of the east coast’s greatest breweries Southern Tier and Ommegang. This week I will focus on the prior.
Since Lakewood, New York is home to one of my all-time favorite craft breweries this was a must stop. When I think of amazing imperial stouts I think Southern Tier Brewing Company. My first encounter with the brewery was with their Pumking. Appropriately named considering it is the king of all imperial pumpkin beer (fact, not opinion, ok opinion, but still). If you have had this beer – if not, shame on you – and agree of its greatness then you should trust that the beer I am about to suggest is an absolute must buy…
About The Beer:
The Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout is brewed with pale malt, dark caramel malt, vanilla bean, lactose sugar, and kettle hops – you get the picture – this defines dessert beer. If you live in the area you can pick up a growler, but if not, you may find this beer either on tap or in a 22 oz. bottle. For an imperial stout, it comes in about average at 9.6% ABV. If you have ever eaten crème brûlée before then you already know what this beer tastes like. This is its 22oz boozy sibling.
In A Nutshell:
Southern Tier’s Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout is an absolute must buy. This beer is top of its class and does not disappoint. Find it and buy it.
Seldom do I find a beer that has that “it” factor. That thing that grabs you and shakes you and makes you wonder why it is, that before today, you have been clueless it ever existed. Saturday I was shaken after taking my first sip of a Crème Brûlée Imperial Milk Stout fresh off the brewery’s private taps at the end of their bottling line. The sweet flavors lather the tongue in a silky deliciousness. I realize that deliciousness is a technical beer nut term so let me break that down a bit. In this case it is defined as the specific combination of malt, caramel, vanilla, and sugar sweetness. Next time you are looking for a dessert beer pairing for your grilled chicken, steaks, or burgers give this one a shot.
5 out of 5
On a side note, if you are interested check out some of the pictures I snapped from the tour. We lucked out and winded up taking the tour on the day of their annual Summer Fest. For the record though keg bowling is way more difficult than it looks.