In preparation for New Year’s Eve, I picked up what I thought might be a couple of good beers for the not so beer crazy crowd who might be looking more for a one-off dessert beer rather than a night of hop bombs or Belgian tripels. So, I picked up some lighter fare (Pear cider and chocolate ales). One of these was the Dirty Little Freak from Duclaw Brewing Company.
My first experience with Duclaw was that abomination of a peanut butter fest, the Sweet Baby Jesus. While this is a very well made beer, it is just not my cup of tea (or pint of ale). I just can’t get my head around a beverage that melds a quality beer with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. In any event, while I did not enjoy the end result, I was quite impressed with the effort that went into the bottle. With that thought in mind, I found the Dirty Little Freak, a coconut, caramel, chocolate brown ale. After the warm reception to the Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout and the Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Stout, I surmised that my better half and her friends would be quite pleased with something that combined coconut, caramel and chocolate.
Dirty Little Freak Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale, first brewed in 2014, takes the traditional American Brown Ale and gives it a sensual new twist – Coconut! This medium-bodied, 5.8% abv brown ale is a feast for the senses from its dominant blend of warm, roasted malt, coconut, caramel, and chocolate flavors barely restrained by a gentle hop bite, to its tantalizingly satisfying finish. But if you submit to our Dirty Little Freak, be warned: there is no safe word.
I found the Dirty Little Freak to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Brown (obviously); like a strong iced tea with very little, yet long lasting foam.
- Aroma: Heavily roasted, with a big blast of Baker’s chocolate and more subtle notes of vanilla, coconut and toffee.
- Taste: I pulled this one right out of the cooler and I found that the initial flavors were just too muted and the Freak needed a good half hour to warm up and release its flavor. It was a little thin but with a nice balance of the sweet coconut and the roasted chocolate.
- ABV: 5.8%
The Dirty Little Freak was very well balanced. This is certainly not a session beer, but if you’re looking for a night cap, or something to complement a heavy dessert (cheese cake, chocolate mousse, etc.), you’ve come to the right place.