Some our favorite beers that we brew here at Throwback have multiple levels or dimensions of flavor. You know, the kinds of beers where you take a sip and think one thing and then, in your next sip, you pick up other complementary flavors that make you want to take another sip, and another.. :). Our latest Unafraid of the Dark VI beer – Hammer Thyme – fits the bill here exactly.
Hammer Thyme is a smooth and warming baltic porter with multiple layers of flavor, including toffee, caramel, roasty, raisin, and fig, plus a bit of subtle lemon notes from the addition of fresh lemon thyme. Even with the addition of lemon thyme, this beer is very much to the style of traditional Baltic Porters. So if you are fans of that style, you will definitely be a fan of Hammer Thyme! We certainly are!
For those of you not too familiar with Baltic Porters, the simplest way to describe them is to say they taste like a Black Lager (also known as a Schwarzbier) married a Russian Imperial Stout. More specifically, you should get the aged alcohol warmth and big flavors as you do with Russian Imperial Stouts, and the smooth, roastiness common to Black Lagers. In addition, Baltic Porters are often lagered – and ours is no exception. In fact, we brewed this beer in early November, and it has been fermenting and lagering since!
Before getting to our tasting notes, I want to talk a little bit about the role of the lemon thyme in this beer. First off, lemon thyme is such a wonderful herb – it’s lemony and bright – and not overly herbaceous like straight up thyme can be. We used lemon thyme because we wanted to add some subtle lemon nuances and a very light herbaceousness that complemented, rather than distracted from the beer. So, if you taste the beer and say to yourself ‘I don’t taste thyme!’, then you are right, you shouldn’t be able to pick up any notes of thyme. However, you will likely taste the lemon as one of the dimensions of flavor in this beer.
Ok, ready? Let’s break it down..
– Appearance:Beautiful dark mahogany color with a thick, burnt caramel colored head
– Aroma: Malty sweet, toffee nose with some hints of molasses and dried, dark fruit. Aged alcohol notes are also present in the aroma.
– Taste & Mouthfeel: When you first take a sip, you will get the sweet flavors (malt, toffee, caramel), followed by dried fruit (raisin, fig, and currant), and finished with the sweet, warming alcohol on your tongue. For smelling so sweet, you would think the beer has a lingering sweetness, but it doesn’t. In fact, the beer finishes quite dry with a bit of lemon citrus. It also drinks very smoothly, with a mouth-filling medium body that feels light on the tongue.
– Pairing: If you have this beer while here at the brewery, we recommend pairing it with our Throwback Burger, Shepherd’s Pie, or Short Ribs. We tried the beer with a lamb stew, which paired very nicely, and some stinky cheeses, which a beer like this can stand up to exceptionally well. Dark chocolate, of course, would go perfectly, too!
– Serving glass: At the brewery we will be serving this beer in a 12-oz tulip glass.
– Stats: ABV is 8.0% (so share your growler with friends if you get one!) and IBU is 31.
Hammer Thyme will be available starting Wednesday, January 25th!