Tree House Brewing Company is a true gem of a brewery and one I am so glad to have in my backyard. They’re located in a Massachusetts town called Monson — which when given as the answer to “Where are you from?” inevitably generates the response: “Oh, is that near Boston?”
No, dear readers, it is not near Boston. No one around here grows up talking with a Boston accent, and if you ask us where we ‘pahk our cahs,’ we’re going to assume you’re an idiot.
I am glad to have them here because they’re just straight-up awesome people. Spending any time at the retail establishment they have will show you that — and their beer is, simply put, amazing. It came as no shock to me when they made it on the ‘Top 100 New Brewers in the World’ list for 2014. People come from far and wide to wait in line and get their growlers filled up, and each one of them is buzzing with the excitement of getting something they love. It’s downright infectious!
Tree House is most widely known for their IPA Julius, which some daring folks have called “The Next Heady Topper,” and sells out every time they toss it on their On Tap page. Truth be told, I think every beer sells out when it’s on their On Tap page, but if folks have heard of Tree House its likely due to that beer alone. I haven’t had the chance to sample Julius yet, but I did hear that they were selling a new take on their wonderful Coffee Stout Double Shot called Triple Shot, which is an Imperial Coffee Stout. I knew I had to make the short trip up to get some.
I have about a dozen additional things I would like to write about the brewery:
- how they’re in their new location across the street
- that they just started canning two weeks ago
- how soon they’re probably going to be making more beer in a week than they previously did in a month
- how my first visit there produced such a positive vibe that I honestly didn’t care if they made good beer or not — I was going to come back.
I will however hold off on all of that. I want that to be its own unique entry and am hoping to spend a little time hanging out there and talking with the crowd and possibly the guys in charge. What we’re going to focus on right now is Triple Shot and how amazing of a beer it is.
As soon as I undid the latch on my little 750ml bottle of Triple Shot, I could smell the sweet coffee aroma coming from it. You may have noticed I have a bit of an obsession with coffee-themed beers, and I was downright giddy to pour this stuff into a glass and taste it. It poured out honestly more like a syrup than a beer, and had a dark caramel color to it that was much closer to black than it was to brown. I knew right away this was gonna be a goooood night.
The first sip was just divine. This was definitely a coffee stout, but it had so much more going on in terms of chocolate and vanilla — now I can see how the staff gave some of their descriptions for the website (i.e., Chocolate Charleston Chew is spot-on). Something tells me these guys are not using Folgers in this beer; there was not a single instance of that sharp bitter black coffee taste that you find in a lot of other coffee stouts. What I liked the most about this beer was how balanced its flavor was; it never lingered on one single flavor for long. This beer really was a harmony of flavors: caramel, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and a nice alcohol finish — it’s no wonder why so many people were lined up at the chance to sample it.
I was shocked at how often I had to remind myself to slow down while drinking it. I couldn’t help it! This was adult chocolate milk I had in front of me! You know a beer is good when you’re honestly considering what a splash or two of it would do to liven up a Kahlua cocktail. Mmm Mmm!
I am tempted to compare this beer to the 2014 Dragons Milk, which I have had the chance to drink recently, but have not put up a review for. It obviously is not as strong as Dragons Milk is, but the subtle sophistication of flavor exists in both of these beers. You enter into it thinking you’re going to experience one flavor and then are pleasantly surprised as it turns and leads you to someplace you never expected.
Perhaps I am over-thinking it though; good beer tends to do that to me.
I now know two things that I didn’t know prior to drinking Triple Shot. One is that this is an easy A on the rating scale. You just can’t go wrong with this beer. I don’t expect I will be wanting to drink it in the hot summer months (if they ever get here), but I know each fall and winter I will crave this beer.
Two is that I was lucky enough to get a gift certificate worth enough for two of these bottles, and that means I have one more round of delicious beer to share with a friend — and that, dear readers, makes me very happy.