3/13/21: Peanut Butter Weekend--New Holland Brewing's Peanut Butter Poet

2:45 PM

Peanut butter is one of my favorite flavors. I'm not just talking about on a sandwich with jelly, no, I'm talking in ice cream, in milkshakes, enveloped in a chocolate cup, in smoothies with bananas, on toast with honey, on celery with raisins, and everything in-between. Have you paired a Reese's with a pumpkin ale? Try it this fall--it's luxurious.

Yet, if you searched for "peanut butter" here on the blog, you'd probably never realize this about me. I've written about one peanut butter beer on here and rated it more highly then than I would now. That's because peanut butter beers haven't really ever clicked for me. Like, once in a while I get a pint of some peanut butter stout at a taproom that's amazing, sure, but that's an rare occurrence. Most of the time it seems this adjunct is either under-utilized or used in a way that shows the brewer doesn't quite know how to add it into their beer.

This weekend will (very hopefully) show how that can be done. I was able to nab two peanut butter-infused stouts from New Holland. If any brewery can show how to best use this adjunct, it's these guys. Today, I'm drinking and writing about the first one: Peanut Butter Poet. I'll dive into the second tomorrow. At the end of this short series, we'll see (again, very hopefully) just how well peanut butter can work in a beer.

I'll do the thing where I write about the brewery in this post so I can skim over it tomorrow--I'm sure you don't need to read the same thing twice in two days. 

New Holland, based in Holland, MI, was thought up in 1997 by founder Brett VanderKamp. The beer they brews, and the spirits they distill, have a wide distribution range: around the country and the world. Regardless of this wide range, New Holland's beverages pair perfectly with memorable moments wherever they're enjoyed.

An official writeup for Peanut Butter Poet (the fourth release in the brewery's Brewer's Best series) can be found on New Holland's January Releases page. It's a high-ABV (10%!) version of their The Poet (an oatmeal stout that I, strangely, have yet to feature on the blog. I'm sure I'll rectify that soon enough) with the addition of Reese's peanut butter. It's a full-bodied, velvety brew with a nutty sweetness to it.

The stout's bouquet definitely boasts that nutty sweetness. Okay, it's actually more of a roasted nuttiness, but potayto, potahto. What's here is a phenomenal oatmeal stout nose, full coffee and mild dark chocolate aromatics. Beneath that, however, is where I'm finding the peanut butter, providing a hearty oomph to everything this stout has going for it. I don't get any hint of that ABV in the aroma, but it's bound to turn up somewhere soon. Purrl gave my can twelve whiffs; I guess she's a peanut butter fan. Who knew?

And there's the ABV, hiding in the stout's flavor profile, way back in the finish with candied peanuts. Before we get there though, allow me to unpack what's going on here. I find coffee and caramel hitting my tongue first, followed some savory peanut butter goodness and a bit of milk stout sweetness (I have no idea if lactose was used in the brewing process). Finally, just before the long finish I mentioned at the start of this paragraph (and, yes, it's a long finish), there's more roasted peanut.

Peanut Butter Poet's mouthfeel is velvety smooth, but it also has a weight to it, like the best creamy peanut butter.

I've been to Hershey, PA one time, when I was twelve or thirteen years old. My family checked out Chocolate World for a hot minute before heading to Hersheypark. There, my brother and rode the roller coasters until the place closed. We realized, toward the end of the day, that there wasn't a line for Wildcat, an old wooden coaster. We sat ourselves in the front car and stayed there, ride after ride, until our parents came to collect us when it was time to leave. That time in Hershey is, thanks to my knowledge of this beer's employment of Reese's brand peanut butter, on the top of my mind.

Getting back to New Holland's Peanut Butter Poet, it's everything a peanut butter stout should be. It's dark and full, brimming with that savory yet sweet peanut butter goodness. I'm amazed at the quality in my can, but, given that this is a New Holland beer, I probably shouldn't be. The stout earns an easy 9.5/10 from me. That's a rating that I don't think I'll need to re-evaluate in the future.

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