Let me start off this review by saying I was not prepared to drink this beer when I got it. The very first thing that came to my mind when seeing a beer that describes itself as a ‘chocolate peanut butter porter’ was more ‘what the hell’ and less ‘Sweet Baby Jesus!’. However I was intrigued and honored as my fiance squirreled one of these back home to me to review from a trip to Virginia. I have always been a big fan of chocolate stouts ever since I got into dark beers, and I half expected this beer to be like that but with a slight peanut butter taste. I was wrong, and it was wonderful.
Sweet Baby Jesus! is made by the fine folks at DuClaw Brewing Company out of Baltimore, MD, home of this years ‘close but not close enough’ Baltimore Ravens which I believe can explain the similarities between their logos. Sad loss guys, better luck next year. They have an excellent saying on their cap which is ‘Craft be cherished; rules be damned’ which just about sums up some of their awesome and innovative offerings! Started by Dave Benfield back in 1996 DuClaw brewing company isn’t interested in being just another brewpub, they want to be cool, and I believe this shows in their overall style and advantageous beer list. They aren’t currently doing brewery tours, but once they do I will definitely be putting them on my ‘must visit list’. Enough about them already, let’s dive into this peculiar beer!
The pour on this beer was excellent, I had to approach it a little aggressively but once I did a nice head appeared. Immediately I noticed something amazing; this beer smelled exactly like a peanut butter cup. I am not big on the classic beer blogs insistence to point out the ‘nose’ on every beer, but this one is truly unique in that one smell entices you to try a sip. The taste is especially balanced, peanut butter starts you off, but its not cloying, the chocolate then appears and mellows the flavor out. The finish is remarkable, tastes exactly like a salted peanut! At first this was odd, but it fits the whole beer so well that I found myself anticipating and appreciating it. At 6.5% ABV this beer isn’t very strong in the alcohol category, I honestly would have liked more of a kick to this beer as the peanut taste really leaves me wanting more.
It’s important to note that this beer isn’t too strong in one particular flavor, the peanut butter and chocolate are equally represented and neither is overpowering. Basically it’s not a dessert beer which is what I thought I was getting into, the taste is light for a dark beer and basically is a flavored porter done very correctly. This beer was definitely a positive experience and overall I am impressed with it! DuClaw has touched on something that is both ambitious and rewarding here and they deserve the kudos they’re getting for it. I would definitely seek this out to drink again, but not all the time, just as an every once in awhile treat.
Overall I give Sweet Baby Jesus! a solid ‘B’ which I have just decided is my scoring system for beer reviews on this site.