Febrewary: Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

Hey there, denizens. Remember when I did Darktober? Thirty-one days of dark beer reviews. Pretty flippin’ sweet.

Seems I’ve gone an amassed a bunch of new beers (mostly dark, of course, since that’s how I roll) that I would like to try. Plus, I have a couple of beers that I’ve been aging for a few years and are now at a point where I think it’s time to crack them open, too.

Therefore, I deem this to be the beginning of….Febrewary. Oh yeah. It’s not going to be a daily thing this time, simply because I’d rather keep the workouts to my whole body rather than just my liver. So it will be a kind of semi-regular theme throughout this month. I’m posting this today because…well, I’ve had a frustrating evening thanks to some computer kerfuffling that left me wanting a beer to tame the tantrum.

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So let’s kick this off with a brand new purchase I just made this morning during a trip to Total Wine: Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. As with Darktober, here are the stats on this one:
Brewer: DuClaw Brewing Company
Location: Abingdon, Maryland
Type: American Porter
ABV: 6.5%

Obviously, the reason I picked up the beer in the first place is the name. Seriously, how do you resist picking up a beer named Sweet Baby Jesus!? Plus, it’s a local brewery, and I do try to support them whenever I can. Then I was pretty much sold upon reading that it was a chocolate peanut butter porter. I’ve never had such a thing. I honestly never even considered that such a beer could exist. Besides, just one bottle couldn’t hurt.

I poured this at room temperature, which is how I’ve taken to drinking my dark beers. These types of beers have so many complex layers that you completely miss if you drink them cold. So many smells and flavors that awaken with warmth.

At first, this beer had a bit of a…hinky bouquet. It smelled surprisingly hoppy and not at all chocolatey or peanut buttery. I let it sit for a few minutes, went back and smelled again and was greeted by a glorious dark chocolate nose, with a slight smoky undertone.

Took a sip and I could definitely taste the chocolate, although the taste was nowhere near as delightful as the smell. However, I wouldn’t describe the rest of the flavors as even remotely close to peanut butter. To me, it tasted more like…burnt mash doused in chocolate sauce. It was not the type of flavor that would cause me to proclaim “Sweet Baby Jesus” in a positive way.

The beer left a cloying aftertaste. It’s not even that it tasted overly sweet while drinking it, but something stayed behind with each sip—a syrupy coating that held that burnt taste on my palate much too long. I made it through slightly more than half the glass before the buildup finally became too much and I surrendered.

This is my second DuClaw letdown here at the lair. It’s not even that the beers are horrible. They just don’t live up to the expectation. I’ve got two more DuClaw beers that might be making future appearances during this month’s round of beery delights. Here’s hoping at least one of those two makes a positive impact.