Jack Nicholson and the LA Lakers, Chris Farley and David Spade, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. These dudes are inseparable, and although they wouldn’t admit to it, they all exhibit signs of the tell tale bromance. Usually a relationship between two close guy friends, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that exclusive. Looks like breweries are getting in the bromance action with their patrons. Omnipollo, a gypsy brewery from Sweden, came out with a brew that would appeal to every bearded beer and bourbon lover called Brewmance. Will it be a match made in heaven, or go south quicker than Peyton Manning and Mike Vanderjagt? Time to run them numbers…
Smell: Roasted grain, molasses, whiskey, milk chocolate, and the slightest bit of rubber.
Taste: Dark, thick grains are the first things to pop out at me. Really rich here, but the grains are a nice combination of dark and sweet. A lot of times in a big stout, one of those two flavors dominates and makes for an off putting brew, but there is a nice balance here. However, that’s not to say this stout doesn’t have its flaws. One of two things I notice that makes this beer a bit off is an odd rubbery taste I get at the finish. It’s not as bad as an overcompensating bro peeling out of every driveway he exits, but it’s noticeable in the brew, making it a little more bitter than it needs to be. The other thing that is more egregious to me is the carbonation of this beer (or lack there of). When I finally got the synthetic cork out of the bottle, you could here a pin drop. No “pfffff,” “poppp,” or “hooosh,” when the lip was exposed to the air, just silence. That lack of carbonation really takes away from the beer – it’s like I’m drinking a home brew right after fermentation is done and you’re about to keg/bottle. You get a microscopic portion, but it’s incredibly flat. I poured this vigorously into my glass, and you see the results.
Back to the taste for a second… I don’t really get noticeable amounts of whiskey from the beer, but you can detect the 11.2% ABV. The beer is kind of playing mind games with me here – nowhere on the bottle does it indicate it was barrel aged, but when consulting Beer Advocate, it appears that this brew spent time with some oak. I get some tannins from the wood, which could contribute to the rubbery taste, but I also get notes of sherry, brandy, and slight whiskey. Some dark fruits come out like raisins and prunes, but they are subordinate to the rich grains in here. The mouthfeel on this brew is thick, in part because it’s a hefty stout, but also because there are no bubbles in this Brewmance to keep the texture interesting.
Overall: I wanted to like Brewmance, but the lack of carbonation killed the my excitement as soon as the “cork” came out. The flavors were nice, but not nearly as good as other Bourbon aged stouts I’ve had. I’ll score Brewmance a B-. Any carbonation would have boosted this to a B+ or A-, but it was lifeless as I drank. I’m no longer crushin’ on this brew.