Reviewed: Grimm Icing on the Cake
Product description: Icing on The Cake is a luscious dessert stout that tastes like a liquid slice of flourless chocolate cake. Like the best stouts, it improves as it warms from cellar temperature up to room temperature. Even dessert stouts must be in balance, and for us that means the last sip should taste better than the first. Imperial Milk Stout with Cacao and Vanilla. 10% ABV.
Grimm Artisanal Ales Icing on the Cake – 22oz poured into globe glassware – 10% ABV
Sampled from a 22oz bomber pulled out in the 60° range, Icing on the Cake comes out sepia-colored but looks jet black once in the glass. Moderate tan foam forms in the glass with lower than expected head retention. The aroma begins with a big hit of peanut butter powder and cocoa powder combining for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup character.
Digging in, this beer continues to be adjunct heavy with an artificial peanut butter powder flavor dominating the front of the palate. This transitions over to chocolate-covered hazelnut and praline that give enough nutty bitterness for balance. It still is firmly in the “pastry stout” category, but the sugar content doesn’t go overboard into a cloying, sticky mess. In fact, the body here isn’t nearly as rich as I expected. Things are more medium-bodied with background kettle hop bitterness dialed down to 1. I think in order to get to a flourless chocolate cake flavor, this beer needs to be silkier, denser, and more bitter with melted chocolate dominating. Instead, you have a lot of nutty flavors that aren’t a part of this beer’s official description. That may throw some drinkers off.
Though I wasn’t personally a big fan of this beer, I do really like how Grimm continues to make original recipes that stand out in the congested craft beer scene. I love their design and overall direction. I’m personally not the biggest fan of milk stouts or adjunct stouts, but Icing on the Cake makes an effort to balance things out with a praline and hazelnut character that I thought worked decently well. However, the beer isn’t rich or bitter enough to remind me of flourless chocolate cake. And some drinkers may walk away puzzled from the peanut butter powder character that gives it an artificial tinge that I could do without.