Get sweet, salty and buzzed on salted caramel beers

Happy 2017, loyal readers! I've just spent a month drinking Double IPA, a challenging, high-alcohol style of beer. It's a new year, and I'm in the mood to break out of my hoppy rut. There are few factors driving my decision. First, my palate is momentarily fatigued by hops. Second, during these dark days, I crave a style of beer that I can provide simple, sweet pleasures. So, I'm dedicating January to darker beers, primarily stouts and porters. My year could use a little levity, so we'll start by sampling darker beers with unusual flavors. Even trying darker, more “serious” beers like stouts should be all about fun and exploring new flavors! This week, I'm going to sample a style I've never encountered before: salted caramel. Here's to a salty, sweet, and alcoholic first week of 2017!


Horny Goat Salted Caramel Brown Ale

Format Sampled: 12 oz can

ABV: 6.5%

Availability: Purchased at Old Port Spirits and Cigars

Tasting Notes: Pours a rich, clear brown with a thin tan head. Aroma is sweet, and cloyingly artificial, like liquefied butterscotch hard candies. Initial flavor kicks off with a pleasant blend of toffee, warm, rich malty sweetness, and a thick body. Shortly after, the sweet, sharp flavor of caramel candy cuts in. It's distinct, and slightly unnatural, but not as flagrantly fake as the aroma. It's fun and reminds me of munching on caramel candy at the movies. There's a slightly salty flavor mixed in, more like a savory broth than the seawater tang of a gose. The aftertaste is sticky-sweet. For drinkers with a serious sweet-tooth, this might be an excellent dessert beer.


Flying Dog Salted Caramel
Format Sampled: 12 oz capped bottle
ABV: 7.0%

Availability: Purchased at Old Port Spirits and Cigars

Tasting Notes: Pours a dark, reddish amber with a rapidly dissipating brown head. Aroma has echoes of sweet caramel, vanilla, and molasses. The initial flavor is like a fire in a candy factory! There's dark, burnt sugar, hot molasses, smokey caramel and chewy, toffee-like malt syrup. It's not as sweet as the Horny Goat, and the sugary flavors are so well-caramelized, they're more sophisticated. The sweetness fades rapidly and tapers down to the more restrained flavors of malt, still sweet, but featuring the moderate taste of roasted grain. There's a saucy, salty note at the end. It's sharper and more mineral than the savory salt in the Horny Goat. The salt is strong enough in the aftertaste to encourage thoughtful lip-licking, and begins to stimulate my thirst. It would make an incredible accompaniment to anything involving Dulce de Leche and would enliven vanilla ice cream.

Last modified onTuesday, 10 January 2017 15:36