Guest Tasting w/ Jess (@Epicfaul) and Christine (@Revstich)
The holidays bring us together with family and friends and in that vein we review Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread Stout, a beer given as a Christmas gift, with two guest reviewers. Jess and Christine both enjoy beer, but neither is huge fan of imperial stouts.
A bayou is gross and smelly. In 1836 the Allen brothers founded Houston in Buffalo Bayou (or mother bayou), which now runs into a shipping port, then on to the Gulf of Mexico. There are scores of cars abandoned within the bayou, many with people still inside. But the city lacks the funding to remove the vehicles.
Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company founded in 2011 appears to be in better shape than their namesake bog. Part of the emerging Houston craft brewing scene, Buffalo Bayou has 2 lines of beer; the Heritage Series that has only 2 beers and appears to avoid style descriptions, and the Secessionist Series, from which our reviewed beer comes from.
According to the brewer this is “A limited batch brewed for Christmas in July”. So our late December tasting has given the brew about six months to age. The bottle is covered in seasonal red wax. The label contains a tiny gingerbread man with only one leg, frowning, upheld by a cane. The bottle reads:
This is brewed in homage to all the gingerbread men and women who lost their gumdrop buttons in the war against child sadness.
Ladies first as we all offer notes on Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread Stout…
Jess: Thin. Smells more of gingerbread/cinnamon than it actually tastes. Would expect more sweetness from a ‘gingerbread stout’. Heavy carbonation. 6.5
Christine: Thin. Slightly tart. Doesn’t pair well with cheese straws. 6.0
Steve: Great nose. Smells just like a gingerbread cookie; all cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Looks pitch black, like a traditional imperial stout. Strong carbonation leads to a modest brown head that dissipates soon. The taste is surprisingly subtle. The ginger and nutmeg are still there, but muted. Much less punch you in the face ‘holiday spice’ that many others in the Christmas Ale type beers. This is a positive, as spice bombs can fatigue the palette. However, I doubt the sour notes are intended, and may not of been there initially. The finish was mild roasted malt with some spice, although not sweet. Body, as noted above is much too thin for a stout. 7.0
Buffalo Bayou Gingerbread stout is the first Buffalo Bayou beer we have tasted. This beer was apparently brewed for release around July. We found a bottle in late November on the shelves for this ‘limited’ release. We all agreed the smell was spot on, an inviting gingerbread man cookie. After that it was less a stout than we expected, and less gingerbread. The sour note may have replaced an earlier sweetness which was missing, perhaps due to an infection. That aside, this was a very drinkable, especially as a spiced porter for winter. Would really enjoy trying the barrel aged version.