Waconia Brewing Company has a sweet treat for adults to enjoy in their Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter while the kids hunt for baskets filled with candy. Just because spring has officially started doesn’t mean that we have to jump right into warm weather beer mode just yet. This is Minnesota, the land of casseroles, passive aggressiveness, and snowblowers. Mother Nature still has some tricks up her sleeve. Heck, we are supposed to get the second coming of a snownami today. While the chill in the air may be a burr in your saddle, I view it as a last chance of sorts to enjoy some of the fuller bodied beers until the deluge of IPAs and other beer styles that are congruous with the onslaught of patio weather. Waconia Brewing Company’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, part of their Triad Series (a collaboration series with Enki Brewing and Excelsior Brewing), helps us seasonal drinkers make the transition from the craft beers of winter to the lighter bodied warm weather quaffables. At 6.3% ABV and 25 IBUs, it is very approachable and will definitely appeal to wide array of palates. Another unique element of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter is that it was brewed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. From seasoned craft beer drinkers to folks just getting into craft beer, this beer is definitely worth a try.
When I set out to taste this beer, I took it out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a good fifteen minutes. This is because I really wanted to let the subtle flavors awaken with a little bit of warming up. I decided on a tulip glass for this beer to really showcase the head and the wonderfully dark and opaque color of the beer. Just as I thought it would, the pitch colored liquid raises a tawny head onto its shoulders as if to say, “Hello friend, I like the cut of your jib, why don’t you take a sip?” Raising the glass to my nose, I was pleasantly tantalized by a strong and rich peanut butter aroma, underneath that umbrella of olfactory heaven were slight whiffs of roasted malt and chocolate.
Because of the aroma, I was anticipating a sweetness in the beer that might conjure up an angry Wilford Brimley, waiting to pistol whip me into next week and warn me of the perils of diabetes. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the taste starts out with sweet chocolaty notes and then gives way to a bittersweet finish. The end of the sip is what I found to be really rewarding because as the sweetness from the chocolate faded slightly, it gave way to the bittersweet notes of dark chocolate and roasted malt lending a satisfying balance to the beer. As for mouthfeel, this beer is medium-bodied and not quite as thick or viscous-like as a lot of of other porters. There is a modicum of effervescence at the beginning that helps transition from sweet to toasty.
The Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter from Waconia Brewing Company is an absolute treat. For me, it hit all the notes I was hoping it would while constantly maintaining a balance. I never felt that any part of this beer was out of whack or didn’t make any sense. My only disappointment is that the taproom is 45 minutes away from where I live so I cannot get to the taproom as often as I would like. I would recommend this beer wholeheartedly. As a matter of fact, if you do happen to sift through a basket of candy that is left unattended, grab a grape jelly bean and then take a pull of the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, you will find that suddenly you are drinking the essence of a PB & J.
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