Brew Review

Beer Review – DuClaw Dirty Little Freak

DuClaw Dirty Little Freak

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.

What they say…

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.

3 replies »

  1. As you may have surmised, you and the tawdry band of Dwellers Upon Kipling Proper have once more distracted me from my morning’s quest to secure one of those”As Seen On TV” pocket mounted individual french fry deep fryers – the one that fits snuggly inside an empty BIC ballpoint case so as to allow for stealthy deep frying even during office meetings.

    When one contemplates the many potential manifestations of a dirty little freak, a range of visions comes to mind from Tyrion Lannister to the unwed co-habitating cousins who fit the falsetto section of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir into their one size too small satin white shoes. Where, then, does DuClaw’s entry belong?

    The Mormons would spurn it. Tyrion would welcome it as a surprising change of pace to his herbal grog, and I would do the same (minus the grog). To be sure, I was initially suspicious. DuClaw’s brews have rarely impressed me as anything more than pedestrian. The often provocative names do little to change that opinion – in fact, they tend to support it.

    Enter the Dirty Little Freak… Obsidian pour… glints of ruby… mildly sweet tropical aroma on a raft of melted bittersweet chocolate… surprising and modestly bracing hop bitterness up front immediately followed by by a waterfall of toasted coconut, toffee, black coffee, milk chocolate, and undefined cirtusy zest. Silky mouthfeel and a lightning quick finish – very unexpected.

    Time to get that SAG Card after all. I need to saddle up with the Night Watch and protect Tyrion’s “other grog” from the White Walkers. Unwashed or not, freaky or forlorn. Duclaw’s Dirty Little Freak has a standing invitation to my research locker.

    Now, as the Frenchers are wont to declare: “Let Them Eat Chicken In A Biscuit”!!


    • Once again, where do I begin? I think a deep fryer in your pocket would be a bit of a hazard unless you are also wearing the As Seen on TV asbestos overalls. While the stealthy frying could still take place, overalls in a business meeting is probably a fashion faux pas.

      I cannot even attempt a comment on the slipper-wearing falsettos. But, I am fairly certain your Comments like that might impact your ability to obtain a SAG card. Lastly, while I believe they French do hope that everyone gets some cake, I’m not sure the French ever say “Let them eat chicken in a biscuit!” or even “Qu’ils mangent le poulet dans un biscuit!”

      You seem to have enjoyed the Duclaw’s a little more than I did. It was an interesting beer to say the least.


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