11/26/22: Rhinegeist Brewery's Maple Peanut Butter Mushhushshu

2:42 PM

I guess it's safe to say that November's gotten away from me. This'll be the first year since I started doing NaNoWriMo that I don't cross the finish line. Our damn heat pump's on the fritz. And, typically, I'd like to be starting into my Christmas beer posts this weekend, but I still have a maple beer or two (or three, if I can) to get around to.

So, without further ado, let's crack into my bottle of Rhinegeist's Maple Peanut Butter Mushhushshu.

I know I've been critical of Rhinegeist in the past (and I promise you I'll continue to be critical of them), but they're no stranger to the blog. Here's their official "Our Story" page. Essentially, Bryant Goulding and Bob Bonder thought to open a brewery in Cincinnati, OH's Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. In June of 2013, they did just that. They're one of the city's most widely-distributed breweries and are strangely proud (for some reason) to not brew pumpkin beer.

The Mushhushshu variant I'm drinking today was announced back in August. I can't find anything about it on the brewery's website but, as always, Untappd has our back. This 11.4% ABV dark ale blend was aged in a variety of liquor barrels (rye, bourbon, and brandy) before seeing an infusion of maple, and peanut butter (and, my bottle lists "chocolate flavors and vanilla").

I'm finding a delicious bouquet of maple syrup, warm and nutty peanut butter, dark fruits (plum and fig), oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, and (you guessed it) booze. Really, this nose is exactly what I'd hoped it be: decadent and good as hell. It might actually be a little too rich for Purrl; she only gave my bottle three quick whiffs.

Maple Peanut Butter Mushhushshu's flavor profile's complex. I get milk chocolate, maple syrup and oaky vanilla on the fore, followed in quick succession by peanut butter, more chocolate, dark fruit, and a mixture of whiskey, bourbon, and somewhat sweet brandy. All of these swell and combine to an almost minty quality (that's as near as I can describe the strange culmination of all this disparate flavors). This mellows as the finish drags on, until only peanut butter, a sticky maple, and boozy warmth lingers on my tongue and about my lips.

In the glass (because I poured this bottle into a glass), the head is a wet sand brown with sporadic, quickly dissipating lacing. This sits atop a low-viscosity body the color of used motor oil. If you handed me a glass and told me it was a stout, I'd believe you from the looks alone.

I would know that it's not a stout from the mouthfeel, though. This is thin, a gorgeous contrast to the full and complex flavor profile.

Have you ever woken up on a chilly late-November morning, wandered out into the kitchen, and pulled up the window shade? The way the sun catches in the frost blanketing the world is something special. Pair that morning with a pair of homemade chocolate chip pancakes smothered in maple syrup? That's a legendary combination.

Rhinegeist has made a near perfect beer with this variant. Maple Peanut Butter Mushhushshu captures everything I love about maple beers (and the best parts of peanut butter beers--which I usually don't enjoy) and made a 10/10 offering. 

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