Oskar Blues Brewery out of Colorado has produced quite a few beers that are imaginative and outside the box. One of those is definitely Death By King Cake, an adventurous take on a white porter that is brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, orange peels, and pecans.
The beer pours a deep gold color, almost an orange-gold. There is a nice, foamy white head that stood around two fingers tall at its height, though it did start reducing fairly quickly. The aroma is one of vanilla, cocoa, and a touch of nutmeg. There are also notes of hops and malt on the nose. It looks and smells good.
The first sip was a little surprising. I expected sweetness overload and that was not the case. This had a malt forward taste complimented by touches of vanilla, nutmeg, and cocoa. I didn’t notice too much cinnamon flavor. There is just a touch of citrus from the hops and orange peel. If you have ever had a king cake, a Louisiana staple around Mardi Gras, you expect an overwhelming sweetness. This beer still manages to keep its identity as a beer while also offering a unique flavor.
The mouthfeel is lighter than you would expect from a porter. Then again, this is a white porter and prior to this brew I had never experienced a white porter. I would call this on the light side for mouthfeel certainly. Like a deadbeat father heading out for a pack of cigarettes the head didn’t stick around long and was gone almost completely after just a few sips. No big loss, however, as the flavor profile remained strong and consistent.
Overall, this was a fun take on a porter. I’m not entirely certain what a white porter is even to this point but it was a good, flavorful beer that didn’t overdo it on the sweetness. It is good enough to drink any time of the day, though at 6.5% ABV you might want to take it easy. This was a fun session that didn’t overwhelm and didn’t underwhelm either. I would certainly get this again if I saw it in the store. It might be fun to pair with an actual king cake.