Tiramisu & Tast toe
Not traditional by any means, but I can’t imagine tiramisu being rendered into any other beer. A dubbel or stout? Too heavy, too sweet. A barley wine? Too much of a sugar hit. A quadruple, Tiramisu & Tast toe makes me realise, was the only way to do the caffeinated dessert justice without making you feel like you’re entering a sugar coma.
To that end, it’s unexpectedly refreshing and -perhaps almost too- drinkable beer. A sugared coffee taste (any espresso purists, be warned!) is the initial one to hit the tongue, before it melts a more traditional raisin-y quad taste with vanilla playing a prominent role (possibly underscored by a hint of banana).
It doesn’t rest long on the palate and the aftertaste tastes exactly like a boozy tiramisu. Am I entering a sugar coma at this point? Probably, but it doesn’t really feel like it thanks to the carbonation. Although very drinkable it definitely has the quadruple heft which later slims down so you can avoid feeling too overstuffed, although I’m still not sure I could do more than one in a single sitting. For me it seems like the perfect end to an impromptu dinner party when everyone’s stuffed with something carb-heavy (did someone say pizza to keep with the Italian theme?) and just need something sweet to finish the meal but couldn’t face a ‘proper’ kind of dessert.
One thing I would note is that it is best drunk while cold- the carbonation and refreshing drinking experience are really what carry the mad mix of beer and dessert and keeps it spritely rather than stodgy. So…drink up- cin cin!
Schwarzwalder & Kirsch
I’m going to be upfront and say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by Schwarzwalder & Kirsch. Name be damned, I was NOT expecting this to actually taste like a proper Black Forest gateau. Most beers imitating cakes in the past, especially stouts, have always hit me as too artificial and have left me feeling worse than Bruce Bogtrotter after his run-in with Miss Trunchbull. Should I have expected better from De Molen? Of course, the proof is in the pudding…
The reason for this beer succeeding? I suspect using bitter cacao as opposed to other chocolatey flavourings had something to do with it. This underpins the whole experience of the beer and balances the sweetness of the stout in a way which makes it taste dense and satisfying without veering into sickly-sweet-and-stodgy territory. The sour cherry is also prominent, though playing second fiddle to the cacao and continuing on the edges through the aftertaste- a balance that actually reminds me of some lambics, surely due to the use of fresh fruit as opposed to flavourings.
Personally, I usually avoid stouts under 10%, finding them to be quite watery and lacking (I know, I’m a monster), but I can happily say that the body of this beer leaves me coming back for more and rating it among some of my recent favourites, and perhaps saving a few bottles for after Christmas lunch when everyone’s dozed off and can’t nab them.
Want the experience of sitting in a snowy chalet in the middle of the German forests while being served a nice gateau for Kaffee und Kuchen but without the physical exertion or the frostbite? De Molen’s got you covered here!