Duclaw “Sweet Baby Jesus” – Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter – 6.5% ABV – 53 IBU
Until I read “The Da Vinci Code” in 2004, I never had any clue that some humans are allergic to peanuts with enough severity that mere exposure to them could cause death. In the book one character was killed because peanut powder was sprinkled into his cognac, or his martini, or his Shirley Temple, or something like that. “Bullshit,” I thought. “No one is allergic to PEANUTS. They’re… FUCKING… PEANUTS!” I was wrong. Every year after that I was smacked continuously by news stories of children dropping dead when they had so much as glanced at a peanut the wrong way. Peanuts: banned from school cafeterias. Peanuts: banned from restaurants. “Allergic to peanuts” bracelets: a new fashion trend. I know it makes me sound like a crusty, hunched over, shuffling old curmudgeon to say this but children are pussies these days. But that’s the way it is. So, parents: please do not let your toddler drink DuClaw’s “Sweet Baby Jesus”. Why? There may be peanuts in it. That’s why.
One of the most notable characteristics of this brew is its aroma. It is very strong, and smells like sweet milk chocolate and peanut butter candy. It makes me psychologically regress to the days of my childhood when I would go trick-or-treating on Halloween, and be blasted with the aroma of chocolate and peanut butter when I dumped my sack full of goodies on the kitchen table so my mother could check them all for needles, broken glass, or poison. Nowadays since children are massive twats they don’t even get their fat assess off their sofas and away from their gaming consoles to go trick-or-treating. And when they do they don’t even respect their community by wearing costumes or at the very least saying “trick-or-treat!” when a homeowner answers that doorbell.
I used to sweat my pre-pubescent balls off in those costumes and trip over every fucking bush and curb, smashing my face in the fucking dirt because I couldn’t see any fucking better than Stevie fucking Wonder through whatever rubber mask I was wearing because the fucking eyeholes were 2 inches too fucking low. So now, how do I respond to these spoiled little shit-heels who refuse to muster the creativity and effort I did as a child? I pass out nothing but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The odds are at least a few of those obnoxious little cunts will clench their throats, break out into excruciating rashes on their little undeveloped genitals, and become asphyxiated corpses before the evening’s end. I hand out doses of Darwinism on Halloween, God damn it.
I think I’m supposed to be reviewing beer, here. My apologies. Moving on…
This porter is jet black with the pour. The head is vanilla colored and silky, but it is thin and therefore disappointing. However, the texture of the beer compensates for that. It is not too watery, not too prickly, not too creamy, not too carbonated, and not too thick. It is a perfect complement to the flavor, as it remains right in the middle of all the “mouth-feel” profiles. The flavor starts with salty peanut butter, then settles in the malt, sweet milk chocolate, and a tad of bitterness and metal. It finishes with another wave of peanut butter goodness, and then a noticeably strong bitterness sets in with a smoky cocoa flavor as well. The aftertaste also lasts for quite a while as the peanut butter flavor maintains a tight grip on the taste buds.
The lacing is a respectable, hazy film that coats the glass and fades, leaving lots of small globs and splotches. The peanut butter flavor of this brew is particularly interesting, because it strafes the senses like a series of drone strikes over a Pakistani village of farmers. It first hits hard in the aroma, and then again with the upfront initial taste. It comes back with the finish, and then returns for one last bombing after the bitterness of the aftertaste fades away.
Sweet Baby Jesus is a great tasting dessert beer. However, the candied peanut butter and chocolate flavors may turn some people off as it is conceivable they give it a “cheap and artificial” flavor. One might accuse DuClaw of sidestepping the art of quality brewing processes, and covering up their shortcut methods by dumping in sugary additives but I disagree with that notion. Sweet Baby Jesus contains 6 different grains/starches, 2 breeds of hops, and is fermented to a fairly high IBU and 6.5% ABV. It may not be a pure porter, but without a foundation of true brewing this beer would just taste like water with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup steeped in it. There is more to it than that. Sweet Baby Jesus delivers what it promises and still delights with malt, hops, and texture.
Style (as a chocolate peanut butter porter): 9/10
Style (as a porter): 7.5/10