Oskar Blues is a brewery that can’t do wrong in my eyes, ever since I stumbled upon their Old Chub Scotch Ale. So I’d been dying to try their seasonal coconut extravaganza for quite some time. And Death is right up there with Oskar faves Dale’s Pale Ale, Ten Fiddy Imperial Stout, and G’knight Imperial Red IPA.
The head is a creamy light latte color, with an almost whipped-cream frothiness that lasts a good long while. That color matches well with the almost black color of the brew itself. That burnt-sienna (see, I remember my Crayolas) hue is absolutely opaque, with not a hint of light allowed through. It’s lovely to look at, and I found myself staring for quite a while, until I realized it’s best if I actually drank it.
So much for looks; how’s it taste? There’s a paper and coffee nose with the head, with zero hint of what’s to come once this hits your tongue. If you’re able to wait ‘til the head dissipates, there’s a switch to a coconut, caramel, chocolate scent. The taste though? Get ready y’all, because it’s coming in hot. SUPER coconut at first sip. And second. Third, fou…you get the picture. Like regular coconut, but with the cape and the utility belt and everything. It’s definitely loud and proud. Then the strong burnt coffee and chocolate comes into play, as well as a sharp but pleasing bitterness from the c&c combo. As your tongue gets used to these powerful flavors, light notes of caramel, cinnamon and vanilla swirl together, with a fresh water feel at the very end. What lingers on the tongue is coconut (naturally) with a final hint of smooth chocolate.
As with other Irish-style porters, this feels like a blend of porter and stout. Don’t be fooled by the powerhouse flavors; the brew itself is a mild one that doesn’t linger. There’s no heaviness to Death, just those strong flavors. Oskar says it uses “Cholaca.com’s pure liquid cacao” in this brew, and the lovely dark chocolate flavor not only stand up to everything else, but plays well with ‘em.
This is a tough one to pair, because it’s basically dessert in a glass. Pouring this to enjoy with a slice of chokka cake or any other rich after-supper treat would be overwhelming. A perfect cookie to go with this would be a Girl Scout Trefoil. Ah, you thought I’d say Samoa, didn’t you? Nope – again, too much of a good thing. You want to be able to enjoy both the brew and the nibble you’re having with it. Or, just pour yourself one and sip it slow, all by itself. It’s wonderful, and as it’s a seasonal, you’ll want to make the most of every sip.