“Tapping the Keg” is a weekly review of craft beers brought to you by staff writer Dan Wood.
As I have said before in previous editions of Tapping the Keg, I’m a sucker for packaging (and cannolis) and that tendency has brought me to my most recent purchase, Shebeen Brewing Company’s Cannoli Beer. This beer is sold in a four pack of 12 ounce cans, each dressed up in a plastic jacket designed to look like a big cannoli with powdered sugar and shaved chocolate on top. Just the thought of a flavor so specific as a cannoli intrigued me enough to try this beer. It is also brewed in Wolcott, Connecticut, and I always try to support local artisans.
From the can: “The ultimate dessert beer made with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and special grains from Belgium and France. We like to serve this beer ‘dolled up’ with powdered sugar on the rim and shaved chocolate sprinkled on top. This beer is also great ‘naked’ or straight from the can. Truly an unique beer.”
Truly a unique beer indeed. This beer out of the bottle has superb head formation and retention, and has a dark amber color reminiscent of most Belgian ales. The nose is where this beer started to lose its luster. It has some notes of spice, and perhaps vanilla but there is something else there. An almost mustiness, but other than that it smells just like a Budweiser. The top of this beer has a stronger presence of the flavors that I mentioned in the nose. Stronger notes of vanilla and slightly nutty and a bit creamy, similar to the flavors found in almond milk. The middle notes of this cannoli beer are where the spices and warmth shine the most. Here we can taste the cinnamon and nutmeg more prominently only to have the flavors wash down with the incredibly mild finish. The finish is slightly bready, but it does not linger much on the tongue at all. This might have to do with the body of this beer being so incredibly light. It goes down as fast as water, with very little viscosity.
On that same note, this beer is 5.2 percent ABV so it is fairly easy to slam for the alcohol content. There is something about the flavor of this beer that I do not like, though I cannot seem to place it. I would suspect it is the “flavor added” that gives it a bit of a cheap candy taste. This was an ambitious and creative beer for a brewing company so young and small but ultimately, they fell short in my humble opinion. This is my first beer from this brewery but their boldness with this product leaves me eagerly curious to try their other beers.
This beer could possibly be improved by adding a scoop of high quality mascarpone flavored ice cream (yes it does exist) to make a float. The foamy qualities of this beer would make it ideal for floats. Only in this instance do I see the benefits of the “dolled up” serving suggestion mentioned in the description. Otherwise, I would refrain from adding shaved chocolate to any cold beverage. This cannoli beer would pair well with any chocolate-heavy dessert like a flourless tort. The spice and vanilla coupled with the carbonation would cut nicely through anything fatty or chocolate-heavy.
This beer is available in a four pack of 12 ounce cans at Storrs Wine and Spirits in Storrs Center for $10.
Overall Rating: 3/10
Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.