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.
Oskar Blues Brewery, the folks who brought us Dale’s Pale Ale in a can back in 2002, have expanded from a small Colorado brewery and become fairly large and well known. They now have opened two additional breweries to meet demand. Even if you don’t recognize the name you will probably know Dale’s Pale Ale. Well, that isn’t the only beer they brew. In fact, it isn’t the only Pale Ale Oskar Blues brews. Up for review today is their Oskar Blues IPA.
Oskar Blues IPA pours a honey-golden yellow with a thick, white foamy head that stood about two fingers tall at its height. It has a nice aroma of hops, a little malt, and a fruit that I’m pretty sure is pineapple. It really is a unique fruit aroma for an IPA and is making me want a sip to find out what is causing that fruit smell. Some bubbles can be seen but it doesn’t appear to be an overly carbonated beer. It looks and smells inviting.
The first sip starts with a little malt. That is very quickly followed by a note of fruit, like pineapple and raspberry. There is a little sweetness and little tang to the fruit. Pineapple and raspberry are the two that come to mind. The fruit is mellowly followed by the bitterness of the hops. You would almost expect the hops to hit you hard after the fruit but that just isn’t the case. It’s a smooth transition. The mouthfeel of the brew is a light to medium body. It finishes dry with the bitterness of the hops hitting your tongue and reminding you that you just sipped an IPA.
The beer has kept its consistency throughout the session. There were no surprises. The glass laced very nicely, like that doily on your grandmother’s side table. The fruit never varied and every sip was smooth and rewarding.
Overall, this is a good India Pale Ale. It doesn’t have the citrus bite that many IPAs have and instead replaced it with two or more fruits to give it a unique and complex flavor. This was very enjoyable to sip. It clocks in at 6.43% ABV so it has some heft to it but it isn’t a lot. I really enjoyed this slight variation on an IPA. I would definitely buy this again.