By the time my friend Mike and I made it to Trillium in Canton, we had been driving for about four and a half hours. It was about three hours from New Jersey to Tree House. We had a quick twenty minutes on the ground waiting for our twelve cans of Haze and Bright Citra and it was back in the car for another hour and a half to Trillium. Facing another three plus hours home, it was nice to take a beer break in the Trillium tasting room in Canton.
My wife gave me strict orders not to come home with any stout. For once, I had to agree with her as my beer cellar is bursting with prized stouts. I would rather spend my cash on a summer’s worth of world class IPA. I still wanted to try a stout and my taste buds couldn’t wait for a pour of Trillium Night and Day with cold brewed coffee.
If you do go to the tasting room in Canton, they allow you a total of 20 ounces and serve their beer in either five ounce or ten ounce portions. You can do the math. I started with a ten ounce pour of El Dorado Cutting Tiles. I had just purchased a case, as well as a couple of growlers of the IPA formerly known as Artaic. I couldn’t wait to have one. I followed Cutting Tiles with my long awaited five ounce pour of Trillium Night and Day with Cold Brewed Coffee from Barrinton Coffee Roasters. It did not disappoint. This stout is amazingly complex with dark roasted coffee, fudge, a hint of dark fruit and cherry. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Really hit the spot, amazing stout 96 points.
Back on the road with our combined haul of about nine cases of IPA. Thankfully, they didn’t have any bottles of this stout to go or I would have been in trouble at home.
Tasting: May 21, 2017 Style: American Double / Imperial Stout Beer #: 1,059 ABV: 8.3%
Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout
I’m fresh off the discussion of what defines an adjunct in beer. As a quick refresher, there are some that in order for it to be called an adjunct, it needs to be fermentable (yeast food). Things like honey or corn syrup come to mind. Others say adjuncts are simply any additives to beer outside the primary ingredients. Think things like peanut butter. It doesn’t lend to fermentation, yet it is an ingredient. I didn’t pick a side last time, but if push came to shove, I’d call any additive outside the primary ingredients an adjunct.
This peanut butter stout comes from Pennsylvania brewer, Spring House. Originally from Conestoga, Pennsylvania, the brewery relocated to downtown Lancaster in July of 2015. The name of the brewery relates to a freshwater spring located in the basement of the brewer’s house.
Big Gruesome Label
Wish I had more information on the label art because I really dig the simplistic, retro, sci-fi comic book style. Seems like a recurring theme as even the interior of the brewery is painted to match. See painting story by Two Dudes. A company called Hand Carved Graphics seems to have some work with the brewery and a few labels. But no information on this particular label. Anyway, If I only had some time. And it’s beer time.
Tasting Big Gruesome
The brewery describes Big Gruesome Peanut Butter Stout as being intense with roasted flavors from chocolate malt and cacao nibs. Spring House Brewing then ages this American double stout on vanilla beans and more raw cacao nibs. Peanut butter is also added throughout the entire brewing process.
Expected some chalky phony peanut butter flavoring but Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout is really authentic and well-balanced. Smooth creamy milk chocolate and nutty. Slightly on the sweet side. I don’t get the advertised intense roasted flavors but frankly, I’m glad. In conclusion, I’ll put Big Gruesome at 91 points.
It was 70 degrees a couple of weeks ago and today we were hammered with about 18 inches of snow. Such are the wild weather patterns of late winter here in northern New Jersey. Spring will eventually come and bring its pleasant warm days. For now, our temperatures and future forecast resemble Green Bay. Speaking of Wisconsin, this stout in front of me is from Central Waters Brewing located in Amherst, Wisconsin, just west of Green Bay. The Cassian, I assume, also refers to a Wisconsin town. Cassian, Wisconsin is a small town located about an hour north of Central Waters Brewing. According to the web, it looks to be filled with serene lakes. Certainly has me day dreaming of summer evenings at our local lake sipping on a beer watching the sunset. For now, we’re frozen like a Wisconsin winter.
Since the bottle of Cassian Sunset was labeled as a stout, I was expecting a stout. But I’ll have to say that this resembles more of a barley wine or a strong ale. Cola brown color. Brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and raisin flavors abound. Some earthy mossy and coconut undertone. Some of the advertised cinnamon pops, very little coffee. On the nit-picking negative side, a little thin and a tad boozy but not enough to complain. The finish is sweet, not a speck of bitterness. Really nice sipper for a snowy day in northern New Jersey. 94 points.