My reasons for picking this beer were not because of the hops raining down on the label. Not because I was particularly craving a hoppy brew, nor because seeing anything from Stoudts brewery around here is rare enough to turn my head.
To make a long story short, the label reminded me of a friend of mine. Smooth with the ladies, and always inspiring a little bit of chaos in his wake, he embodies the characteristics of Pan, a greek god playing on his pipes all day. Pan (or at least a goat in a suit) is featured on the label of this beer, and goes strikingly well with some of his profile pictures on facebook.
The beer itself is a very dark orange, a pleasant sight. The hops on the label made me think that it was an IPA, but there seems to be some debate about that over at BA. It does end in “or” like dopplebocks usually do (think Smuttonator), and has a color unlike an IPA. The head had a yellowish tinge as well, and the head sprang up surprisingly and almost overwhelmed my glass. The smell is a familiar one – and not overwhelmingly hoppy. Huh?
The taste is sweet and lightly malty, not a lot of hops going on. It has a sweetness, though, that you don’t usually get unless you’re sipping a barleywine.
I sipped some more.
Yes, there are nice malts, but they’re not nutty, more caramel. Its complex and really soft on the tongue – not a lot of bite from carbonation – and that makes it seem sweeter and heavier. I like this one but it is very difficult to compare to anything else I’ve ever consumed, and I was pleasantly surprised. It is not often that I pick something knowing nothing about it and end up really enjoying it.
Stoudt’s brews are hard to come by around here, so I hope I run into this (and others) again soon!