Ice cream season is fast approaching! While it’s become the object of public ridicule, labeled “boring” by the masses, vanilla, the quintessential ice cream flavor, still holds its ground against newcomers like rocky road, peanut butter cup, and other overly-complicated, bells-and-whistles offerings. When done right, simplicity in a cone trumps a globby mish-mash of colors, flavors, and textures. Don’t believe it? Perhaps one should try vanilla in a different medium: beer. Give Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter (5.4% ABV) from Odyssey Beerwerks a go.
Color: With a fluffy tan head, Psycho Penguin is a very dark brown color, not quite black, with russet highlights near the top.
Aroma: Psycho Penguin is awash with milk chocolate aromas while the vanilla, more muted than one might expect, plays second fiddle.
Taste: A tame, roasted touch imparts a glancing blow of bitterness in the aftertaste whereas the vanilla is the main attraction. Nonetheless, even though it’s the base flavor, vanilla remains subdued throughout. One expects a bit more in terms of the titular ingredient. As Psycho Penguin warms, the flavors round-out, take the edge off the roast and allow the vanilla to shine through with slightly more gusto.
Mouthfeel: Wet and slick, Psycho Penguin is a pretty hefty beer.
When the ice cream truck comes jingling down the street, get the kids a frozen treat and then treat yourself to a chilled, liquid treat of the same flavor. Look for cans of Psycho Penguin, with its disgruntled Chilly Willy logo, on store shelves in and around Denver (click this link to see exactly where).