Wrapping up our Richmond weekend reviews is one that should surprise no one from Central Virginia. I completely understand the weather is now starting to catch up to the calendar, and I usually keep the porter/stout reviews chained in the basement, watching black and white pirate movies, and eating Baby Ruths until at least October, but this one is too good. While new-ish styles of beer comes and go, the Commonwealth has been inundated with a version of this brew from a state up north for a while, not fully knowing that there is a better product stateside. The key to this beer the interesting combination of the base beer and flavor that gives it a truly unique quality.
Choosy Mother, Isley Brewing Company (Richmond, VA)
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Porter, ABV: 6.6%, IBU: 19
Presentation: Tap pour into taster, then pint, then growler, then belly.
Appearance: Deep, dark brown bordering on black, tan head that sits for a moment, but dissipates quickly, lacing glass.
Aroma: Dark malts hide under the overpowering presence of peanuts.
Taste: The key to this beer is the use of an oatmeal porter as the base. While most dark peanut butter beers tend to be sweeter, this beer from front to back is more like fresh crushed peanuts. The oatmeal gives a dryer taste and really pushes out the peanut, while not overpowering the roasted malts of the porter.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: What is also great about this beer is that it is more of a medium body that doesn’t weigh you down. It is a dryer mouthfeel and you can carry that around for a little while after a taste, about the same as grabbing a mouthful of unsalted peanuts. ABV is right in line with standard American Porters and is slightly noticeable given the body of the beer. IBU for balance.
Overall: It’s hard enough to take two components of beer and make them work. It’s even harder to take three and make them play off of each other. To take roasted malts, oats, and peanut butter and each compliment each other is true genius. That growler I took away? Brought it to a get together and paired it with fresh brownies. Everyone was floored (because of the awesomeness, not the porter). We’ve reviewed 3 straight beers from RVA and had 3 straight 9-worthy brews. I would say I would not have an issue with placing this next to a select others from the US and see how they line up, but given that this is an oatmeal porter based, I can’t think of one that would be better.