Leading up to this year’s family trip to Florida, my father-in-law mentioned that he had found some special beers for Ken and I to try on our respective visits. He would not tell us what they were though. Ray loves beer but keeps it simple, so I really was not sure what to expect. I have to say, Ray did a great job giving us new and interesting beers to try, this was the first of them that I had.
I had never heard of Gnarly Oak beers but there was a 3 pack- Hazelnut Dark, Chocolate Stout and Winter Bock. They all had cool labels too.
First, the good part. This beer was light and refreshing, not too sweet and easy to drink. The problem was that it was neither dark nor hazely. I was a little disappointed in this beer to be honest, since it really did not have much to it. It did come with a cool beer glass though.
Much like the Chocolate Stout, this beer smells good, but does not deliver in the flavour department. It poured out an amber brown and smelled like hazelnuts. I was expecting a flavour similar to Sam Adams Hazel Brown, but what I got was brown ale. No nuts, no sweetness, just brown.
Now, keep in mind, I was sitting outside in 80° weather in Florida when I drank this, so not the ideal environment for a winter style of beer. Mind you, when it warmed up (a lot, since it took me forever to drink it) it did start to taste more like a hazelnut coffee.
So lesson learned….drink Gnarly Oak beers warm. Very warm.