This Week’s Pour: Catharsis and Moment of Clarity

For this week’s review I was lucky enough to try two different beers from Treehouse Brewing Company’s lineup. Surprisingly, neither are IPAs.

During a trip to Treehouse’s new location in Charlton, Massachusetts last week, two options on the draft list caught my eye: Catharsis and Moment of Clarity. Both are newer additions to the Treehouse lineup, each released within the last two months. While they are different types of beer (Catharsis is a porter while Moment of Clarity is a stout), they still paired together quite nicely.

I’ll start with Catharsis, a “rich and hearty porter” as described by Treehouse. It poured extremely dark, almost black, with a light brown head that faded quickly. Thin streaks of bubbles were visible throughout the glass.

Catharsis smelled overwhelmingly of bitter chocolate, with a hint of caramel sweetness. The flavor followed suit with an interesting twist. Cocoa beans and raw chocolate flavor certainly made up most of the profile, but a good bit of cola flavor was also detectable. Not an excessively sweet and offensive cola flavor fortunately, more kola nut than Coca-Cola. The mouthfeel was soft, but not without body. A bit of light carbonation and some syrupy aftertaste gave it a thicker feel.

Catharsis was a very interesting beer. The cocoa and cola flavor is an unusual style for a porter, but it certainly was executed well. The pour temperature was rather low, and the brew never had a chance to warm. It’s definitely possible it could have opened up more as it warmed, but the 12 ounce pour split between me and two friends didn’t last long.

Next up, Moment of Clarity. This stout debuted not long before my visit to Treehouse, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Treehouse describes it as an American milk stout brewed with coffee, chocolate and maple syrup. This style of stout is one of my personal favorites, and Moment of Truth is executed very well.

The pour is pitch black, with a healthy bit of light-brown foam on the head. The retention was remarkable, the head faded slowly to a latte-esque swirl of foam that remained for most of the pour’s life.

The aroma is mostly of dark maple syrup, with hints of chocolate and vanilla hiding behind the burst of maple. Coffee was faintly detectable in the aroma as well, but not as pronounced as in many coffee stouts. The flavor matched the aroma, however the maple was not nearly as strong. Milk chocolate, vanilla and coffee made up the bulk of the flavor, with a hint of maple and caramel in the background. The mouthfeel was smooth and medium-thick, with medium carbonation.

Moment of Clarity was an excellent brew. Well-executed, breakfast-style stouts are difficult to come by, and the best ones are coveted by craft beer fans. This take on the style is certainly among the best I’ve had the chance to try so far.

Overall, Catharsis and Moment of Clarity were both excellent beers. If I had to pick a favorite between the two, Moment of Clarity would take the slight edge. The flavors are well balanced and complimentary, and the mouthfeel is luxurious without being excessively thick or difficult to drink. Don’t get me wrong, Catharsis is great, but Moment of Clarity is outstanding.

Ratings:

Catharsis: 4.25/5

Moment of Clarity: 4.75/5


Will Harris is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at will.harris@uconn.edu.