Tasting: March 4, 2017
Style: Imperial Stout
Michigan Maple Jesus
Someone asked me if some craft beers are simply copies of other craft beer recipes. While I have had many similar beers, it seems to me that the variables with hops alone make the options limitless. There are about 100 commercial hop varieties and each can be added in any quantity and combination. Hops can also be added at the various brewing stages, bittering, aroma or even dry/wet-hopping. If you note similarity, it may be that you pick up similar use of hops or other ingredients. I’ll give the example that a hop like Mosaic imparts an acrid cat pee and tangerine flavor while Galaxy imparts a citrus and passion fruit flavor.
It’s not to say that people don’t attempt to replicate or interpret a recipe. If you are going to attempt, why not pursue a legend? In this case, does Michigan Maple Jesus resemble Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) from Founders Brewing? Evil Twin owner, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso offered the following tweet.
Even the Michigan reference ties this to Michigan Maple Jesus Stout to the Michigan based brewer of CBS – Founders Brewing. I’ll also note that this beer is made by Michigan brewer, Dark Horse Brewing for the nomadic brewer.
It’s been about four years since I last had a CBS so my palate memory (if there is such a thing) is long forgotten. This is where my blog comes in handy. I noted five years ago that CBS was unmistakeable in maple sweetness. The sweetness initially masked the vanilla and wood of the barrel influence. Yet, the vanilla and oak influence eventually made their way to the surface. Initially, the same impression here. A wallop of maple syrup and some raisin. However, a wave of rum booziness that scorches quickly overruns. That’s where the comparison to CBS ends. A vigorous swirl in the glass tames a little but this beast needs to settle down. I have another bottle in my cellar and I’ll check back another time. For now, I’ll but the semi-clone at 90 points.