The cold weather brews are starting to show up on store shelves. I love to wait and see what brewers will cook up in their pots to hold us over until the springtime. High alcohol wines are always welcome to warm bones coming in from the cold. Brooklyn’s Black Chocolate Stout is my go to beer for winter. Big and malty and loaded with flavor and just enough punch to keep you warm.
When I arrived in Richmond, VA people would talk about the “legendary” Hardywood Park Ginger Bread Stout (GBS) they released before Thanksgiving. Even non beer drinkers would gush about how the loved this ale. My first summer in Richmond I tasted their VIPA, Great Return and many others that they brew. They were all very enjoyable and added to my fridge. Finally the Ginger Bread Stout arrived and I picked up a bottle, I was worried about sweetness though and I have to admit, it’s not bad, but too sweet for me. The same brew aged in Bourbon barrels was a little more to my taste, but still not a favorite.
Now Hardywood’s Christmas Pancakes, Imperial Milk Stout with Spices, Honey and Maple Syrup 9.2%abv has reached the store shelves, and everyone says I have to try it. Hardywood describes it as the Christmas Pancakes take the GBS out for breakfast. Sounds sweet!
Christmas Pancakes is opaque black with a fluffy dark tan head. The first impression of the nose is dark roasted malt mixed with maple syrup and espresso, not bad, it smells like breakfast all right. The next whiff smells just like buttery pancakes, will this beer be the one that converts me into liking sweeter beers? The first sip turns into a big gulp so my taste buds can savor everything that is going on. It truly is like fresh made pancakes with butter and topped with maple syrup.
I’m not sure the Hardywood Park Christmas Pancakes will make it into my winter beer rotation list, but I have a better idea. I will mix up a batch of homemade pancakes and use this beer in place of milk. When I get the recipe down I will share it on richsworldofdrinks.comfor all to enjoy.