By Ben Rodgers
Peanut butter and chocolate, the original dream team. I’m hard pressed to think of anything else that goes together quite so well.
When I was searching for the next great beer at Ridgeview Liquor Store in Green Bay, the owner Chris pointed out an interesting brew that combines the two.
This time in an imperial stout from Renegade Brewing Company in Denver. Depravity combines peanut butter and chocolate and beer. All three things are bad for you in excess, but in moderation, they could be great.
Each keg of Depravity has a pound of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a pound of dehydrated peanut butter. It’s also a stout, so it should be rich, and very strong.
It pours thick from the 12 oz. can and nearly blacks out my pint glass. With an ABV of 11 percent and 57 IBUs, this thick and dark beauty doesn’t skip on alcohol either.
Right away there isn’t much of a peanut butter taste. Per Chris’ instruction I slightly chilled this beer. About an hour, as he says the warmer the temp the more the peanut butter comes through.
There’s a hint of chocolate at the end, but nothing overwhelming. This is, after all, a stout, and a very strong one. I find it takes a few sips of a stout before the true flavor reveals itself. But this is a boozy brew, I can tell that already.
On my third sip, the peanut butter hits the front of the palate. Not overwhelming, but it’s evident.
The history of Depravity is that it began in 2011, when the brew master threw a bag of candy into a milk stout. This is the result. A winter seasonal that seems to be more about show than substance.
I’ve never really met a novelty brew that knocks me back. Most are good enough for a try, but not something I’d clamor for, and seek out time and time again.
Depravity is just that, a novelty beer that is fun to taste, but not climbing on my beer leaderboard.
I can safely say I’ve never had a beer quite like this. Sure, there are myriad stouts out there, but Depravity pulls sweetness not from cherries, but rather from chocolate. The flavor isn’t enhanced by coffee either. It’s just a quirky hodgepodge that earns points for trying something different.
This would make an excellent dessert beer, and it would probably go swimmingly with some vanilla ice cream. But on its own, it’s a super strong sipper.
At least the folks at Renegade got the timing part right. Depravity is perfect for the winter, or a chilly day in spring. This beer does a few things great, it warms you up and it tastes sweet.
Other breweries come out with their fancy stouts at weird times. The last thing I want on a hot day is a beer that makes me want to take a nap. No, Depravity is great for cold nights.
For what it is Depravity is worth a try. You won’t have another stout quite like this. Unfortunately due to a rather high alcohol content you’ll probably only want to have one.