Brew Review

Beer Review – Karl Strauss Brewing Company Peanut Butter Cup Porter

Karl Strauss Nov 2014

While away in LA for Jersey Week, my better half, the urchins and I ventured over to Universal Studios. After conquering the park, the urchins were their ravenous selves and in need of feeding. After reviewing a few menus, we chose the Karl Strauss Brewing Company on the Universal CityWalk. We had been to the Karl Strauss in San Diego in 2011; so, we were familiar with the fare, and more importantly, I knew that I could squeeze in a quick tasting. The first thing I noticed about the sampler was that it has been cut back from six to four. I suppose that was a good idea as four 4oz samples of varying high test brews is a better idea than six. I also noticed that I could pick any four. In the prior sample, I received four of the “regular” line-up and then two “wild card” picks. For my four samples this time around, I picked the Pintail Pale Ale, the Blackball Belgian IPA, the Peanut Butter Cup Porter, and the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. This is a review of the Peanut Butter Cup Porter. I chose it because it’s a limited release and because I’ve been experimenting with more dessert style beers. I also picked it because my better half seemed intrigued with the name.

What they say…

Roasted malt flavors in the beer provide a simple balance to the sugary sweetness. In addition, the chocolate, coffee and peanut butter qualities of the beer complement like flavors in desserts.

I found the Peanut Butter Cup Porter to have the following characteristics…

  • Appearance: Ruby with a lot tan foam.
  • Aroma: Peanut butter, roasted malt, chocolate syrup and coffee grounds.
  • Taste: Not overly carbonated (almost a little flat) and a little watery; like a mouthful of melted Reese’s Pieces washed down with an above average porter (nice balance of dark chocolate and caramel).
  • ABV: 5.6%

Overall, I found that all of the robust flavors of the chocolate, caramel and vanilla in the porter are muted a bit by the intrusion of peanut butter. While fine on bread, celery, and Captain Crunch, I didn’t care for it in my beer. So, while I really like porters, I don’t think I can approve of throwing peanut butter in them (DuClaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus was an abomination). I will state that this is an affront to all things portery. That being said, if you like peanut butter and are looking for a dessert beer, this would be a good one, especially if paired with a chocolaty dessert.

2 replies »

  1. Delicious! The intrusion of peanut butter sounds like something I would want 🙂 It would be very delicious paired with a dessert- but maybe chocolate would be too intense? Maybe enjoyed with cheesecake or poured over vanilla ice cream? Either way this sounds like a beer I would enjoy!


    • I was going with a chocolate dessert in keeping with a Reese’s sort of vibe. Cheesecake or vanilla ice cream sound like they would be great pairings as well.


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