Music and beer just seem to always go together. It’s kind of like ice cream and apple pie. But in a more noisy and chaotic sort of way. And also when you think of bands drinking beer you are probably picturing them pounding a bunch of PBRs (like Evil Phil). Well craft beer and good music can come together and form perfect harmony, no matter how heavy the band may be. Three Floyds have done a number of beers in recognition of bands and now New Belgium is doing the same.
Clutch is a rock band from Maryland that has a unique sound that includes influence from blues, southern rock, heavy metal and funk. And to make a beer for them New Belgium decided to make a very unique beer to compliment that. It’s a blend of a 80% stout and 20% sour dark ale. Interesting sounding to say the least.
The brew arrives jet black in color inside of my New Belgium snifter glass. Pretty much opaque with no light coming through. Nice sized tan head sits on top.
The moment I popped the cap off I could smell chocolate. A deeper smell brings in some hints of roasted malts, coffee and cherries.
The taste brings you the chocolate upfront with some roasted malt character that is immediately followed be some slightly tart flavors of cherries, apples and pears. The body is actually a lot thinner than I was expecting but I assume with the blending that is the reason for it.
I admit, I’m a big fan of the band Clutch. I’ve never been disappointed by any of their albums. So when I heard about this beer I made it a point to have to get a bottle. I read mixed reviews on it but I didn’t let that deter me from getting one. Thankfully an online beer store had it and it was quite easy to get.
Overall I really enjoyed the beer. It is something I haven’t really had before. The sour flavors are subtle and not as in your face as some other sour stouts like The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness. I sat and sipped at this for a couple hours and eventually it was all gone.
I know we don’t get New Belgium down here in Florida and a lot of you are always in the stores asking when you can get Fat Tire. But if you find yourself traveling soon in an area where New Belgium is (Denver for GABF for example) then I think you should pick this up.
Grade – A-