In the words of Jon Snow, “Winter is Coming.” Or at least, it’s trying to. While the snow still remains absent from us, that doesn’t stop my palate from changing with the seasons. While I can drink porters all year long, some brews are best enjoyed with the different seasons. Since winter is coming – eventually – my taste buds are really starting to crave those fall and winter spices mixed with roasted malt and nuts with each coming week. Last week, I took a much needed vacation up to the mountains where I stayed in a quaint little cabin with a few friends. Before I left I thought, what better brew to take than a brand new Brown Ale by Resolute Brewing Company? The timing couldn’t have been more perfect because I got to experience one of the first decent sized winter storms during the time of this review.
Since my taproom review of Resolute Brewing Company, they have been one of my favorite breweries to follow. There was a post by Zac, the head brewer, that read, stated, “that moment you realize you’ve made the best tasting beer of your career, thus far”, but wouldn’t say what it was that caught my attention. I thought this post rather fitting since Resolute has done a great job of keeping us on the edge of our seats in the past!
After drinking copious amounts of his award winning Hefeweizen, I find it hard to believe that he has created something even better; another brew that I would be drinking copious amounts of.
Vanilla Chai Brown: The Basics
- Brewery: Resolute Brewing Company (Centennial, CO)
- Style: Brown Ale
- ABV: 5.7%
Vanilla Chai Brown: The Details
Resolute’s Vanilla Chai Brown is one of the most robust brown ales I’ve ever tried. It is teeming with complexities; my palate almost couldn’t keep up with everything that was going on. First of all, this brown ale presents a lot of aroma. The chai is very pronounced that is complemented by a little smooth sweetness (probably from the vanilla). It definitely reminded me of a warm cup of chai tea, and I just couldn’t stop nosing this beer. It presents a very dark, warm roasted brown color – almost that of a porter – but doesn’t look too heavy. Once the brew hit my palate, I was introduced with a very smooth, very creamy texture with some very elegant malt flavors, some vanilla that helped compliment the chai spice, and ending with a rich hazelnut nuttiness. There was also a slight roasted bitterness on the finish that I found very pleasing. The finish is medium-to-long, with enough flavor left over that lasted me until my next sip.
From my own personal experience, brews that incorporate vanilla have very little to offer in the overall development of the brew and or style of the brew. Almost always, I find myself tasting more of a booziness, kind of like what you would get with a vanilla extract, that I don’t find very pleasing and more often than not overpowers many of the other subtle flavors. However, the vanilla in this Vanilla Chai Brown really helps bring out that smooth creaminess of the vanilla that I think helps develop the brew, and is an actual taste note without the booziness. About ninety percent of the time, I love big, bold flavors that stick out in a brew to make me want to come back for more. This Vanilla Chai Brown packs those bold flavors but is not overly balanced, by any means. Now, is it the best brew Zac has made? I can say with confidence that this is by far the most complex and bold brew he has made, and it’s easily another one of my favorites. I can’t wait to make a visit and have a full pour on tap.