With a mix of anticipation and trepidation, Jess and I tasted the results of my experimental S’mores beer. I told you I would be honest if something I brew doesn’t come out great, and I was put to the test on this batch.
We’re a little disappointed that You’re Killing Me, S’mores! didn’t knock it out of the park. However, I think I started with a strong enough recipe foundation that all it needs is a few different ingredients and a modified style before it will be a truly good brew.
The biggest issue with the recipe is that I was unable to find marshmallow flavoring in time; by the time I finally gave up my search at local stores, it was too late to order online before the beer needed to be bottled. I used vanilla extract instead and hoped it would be a good enough substitute. This turned out to be my biggest mistake.
The second improvement I will make for my next attempt is to change the base beer. I think a rauchbier would fit the flavor profile better than an amber ale. I will also add the graham crackers in with the specialty grains instead of putting it into the mash. This will help to get some better flavor from the graham and leave more room in the fermenter for the beer itself. This might seem like a lot of changes, but when it makes the difference between a passable beer and a great beer, it’s worth a shot.
Aroma: Very malty aroma, with hints of cinnamon and chocolate, as well as a bit of vanilla. I detect some graham too.
Appearance: It has a weird root beer color and is a bit hazy. It put up a nice brown head that fell quickly.
Flavor: It has an interesting mix of flavors. I can taste the chocolate and the graham crackers, as well as hints of vanilla. However, there is also a strange flavor I can’t place that dampens what would otherwise be a pleasant taste.
Mouthfeel: It has a bubbly creaminess on the palate. I would consider this a medium-weight brew.
Overall Impression: This brew came out a little strange. It will really require some tweaking on the recipe, as mentioned above.