Hello LIBA readers! Today I have another guest review for you. Ben is the author and he’s new to LIBA. Thanks Ben!
Having recently moved to the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, I’ve been sampling the local brews. A local brewer out of Greenfield, MA , is Lefty’s Brewing Company. One of their most recent brews is a Maple Oatmeal Stout that I tasted the other evening.
Poured into a glass, it’s certainly of a dark and dense hue. Though it looks heavy (and it is a stout), it’s not as heavy as you would think. In fact, there’s a lightness to it; it has the effervescence and peppery finish of a saison on top of the stout character. The sweetness from the maple syrup is up front–you get the sweet first on the tip of your tongue, then the dark roundness of the oatmeal stout comes in. The maple is well integrated and subtle. In a blind taste test, you might not necessarily be able identify the flavor as maple.
The most surprising aspect of this beer is the alcohol content: a whopping 10%, which almost puts it in the Imperial Stout category (and it does taste a little like an Imperial). The maple syrup is local–coming from Shelburne Falls, MA–and it must give the yeast plenty of sugar to snack on to produce such a high alcohol count.
Ultimately, the beer is a novelty. It certainly won’t be a favorite that you keep in stock at our house, and I doubt you’ll see it on tap anywhere. It would be an interesting beverage to serve in small portions at a brunch; it would go well with pancakes or waffles. And for you bacon fiends, this would be an excellent pairing!