Welcome all dark beer lovers to another installment of Tap Trail reviews. I have been waiting quite some time for this little guy to be released. Off Color has been consistently climbing the ranks in my own personal favorites. They have killer, unique artwork, and brew consistently well made inconsistent and variable styles of beer. You never quite know what you’re going to get, you just know that it is going to be exceptionally well made. From the Bare Bear Sahti, to their Eille Biere de Miel, and Troublesome Gose obscure styles made incredibly well. Off Color is a small brewery in Chicagoland with a 20bbl brewhouse and plenty of shenanigans to keep things interesting. Their mission / vision / motto simply reads — “WE BREW BEER. SOMETIMES WE DO OTHER STUFF, BUT NOT AS WELL.” I’ll buy that. The good news is they are all well equipped with years of experience. I could go on about the quirks and intricacies of Off-Color, but I think I just want to jump right into this delicious beer we have before us, what say you?
But first, let us try and understand the premise of this beer, it is obscure, and vague, but I really like that, sometimes the best things were never intended to be things at all — Collaboration with “amager Bryghus and West Lakeview Liquors. When we launched, BorrachaBaker made us some s’mores shaped like dinosaurs for our launch event. Then, we made an imperial stout with graham flour, marshmallow fluff, vanilla, and cocoa nibs with Amager and West Lakeview Liquors. Then, we brought this beer to the Brewpub Shootout and paired the beer named after the food with a food the beer wasn’t named after. People were confused and named it best beer (or was it food?) at the Shootout.”
ABV: 10.5% | IBU:40
Malts: Pale, Vienna, Wheat, Cara II, Extra Special, Flaked Oats, Dark Chocolate, Black, Roasted Barley
Secret Ingredients: Marshmallow fluff, vanilla beans, molasses, graham flour, cocoa nibs
Availability: Draft and Bottle
One of my favorite things that Off Color does is offer complete transparency and clearly states exactly what goes into the beer, no mysteries here, just read the label and know exactly what you’re in for.
Let’s do this!
Beer — DinoS’Mores
Brewery — Off Color / Chicago, IL
ABV / IBU — 10.5% / 40
Price / Availability — $6.49 / Limited Seasonally
12oz Bottle poured into slim Off Color Tulip Glass
Appearance (3/3) — Pours a nearly pitch black hue into the glass, there is a dark roasted chocolate colored head with light bubbles that sits on top. Lacing left behind is fairly oily and sticky, nice.
Aroma (9/12) — Loads of aromas and notes here, starts semi-dry with notes of bitter dark chocolate and roasted malts, little bit of a chewy molasses note as well. There is a touch of graham cracker and marshmallow, but overall this is fairly dry and not overpoweringly sweet.
Taste (17/20) — Wonderful notes of…S’Mores, this sound ridiculous but there are major notes of graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, Tahitian vanilla bean, Blackstrap Molasses, light cinnamon like spice note on top of a cocoa powder and chewy dark bitter chocolate body.
Mouthfeel (4/5) — Velvety smooth and creamy, no real alcohol presence even though this sits at over 10% ABV, just remarkable how all of these flavors meld together and go down so smooth with nothing overpowering anything else in the profile.
Overall (8/10) — Very well done, I expected this to be sweeter, but I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed by the balance and complexities brought forth here. I can’t say this was unexpected, but this absolutely exceeded my expectations. It is a bit spendy, but like everything Off Color, you truly do get what you pay for. I will be stocking up on this, once its gone its gone. Cheers!
OVERALL — 41 / 50 — EXCELLENT