Beer of the Week – June 2nd – Cigar City Brewing – Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale

This one is coming out a little later this week as the missus and I have been in Milwaukee this last week to see the sights, hear the sounds, and taste the food and beer of Brew City, USA.

One of the taprooms we stopped at was the MKE Brewing Ale House location in the Historic Third Ward district. Here, MKE carries about a dozen of their own brews along with a selected mix of some top notch breweries, a few that are not available across our Minnesota border. The pick for this week was found here, included on their menu of “guest” beers.

Cigar City Brewing out of of Tampa, Florida, makes some amazingly well crafted beer, the Jai Alai IPA being one of their most notable. However, that was not my selection. I choose their Oatmeal Raisin Cookie brown ale and had my eyes opened to the possibilities of a cookie-themed beer done perfectly. This now becomes my favorite cookie beer, ousting Southern Tier’s Thick Mint Imperial Stout from the top of that list.

Pours a thick, dark, clear brown and leaves with a finger-width, creamy tan head that sticks around. It smells just like an oatmeal cookie. Heavy on the oats, a touch of molasses, and a bit of spiciness.

The flavor is a bit of a shock for when it hits your tongue. You will openly wonder; “When did I take a bite of this?”, when clearly you’re sipping something. Rich oats again fill your mouth with soft smoothness. The raisin follows tasting just like it should and not overly sweet. Very much in balance with the amount of oats you’d expect from a well made oatmeal raisin cookie. Slight molasses and spice notes linger, making you want to take another bite.

In recent years, many breweries have taken to making candy bar and cookie themed beers, some good, some not so. I can count on one hand how many (to me) taste like the real thing. This is one of them. In reality, I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal raisin cookies. Not that I hate them, I just never seek them out. I will (and did) seek this beer out though. It’s one of the best desert/snack beers I’ve ever experienced and will most likely always pick up a 4-pack when out and about to keep in my fridge.