New Belgium Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale

I will admit to buying this beer completely out of curiosity. I mean - who is your target demographic with this freaking beer? As the holidays are approaching, I suppose this might be the kind of thing you would drink in the middle of the day instead of eggnog or somesuch while dealing with some troublesome family member or the like.

I expected a dark beer. Normally these chocolate beers are stouts or porters, so I'm really surprised to find a bright golden yellow ale in front of me with a few scant bubbles floating on top. The aroma is more malt than anything, but I do smell maybe a sweet vanilla. Aside from that, it's nothing out of the ordinary, and I wonder what's going on.

First sip, and things become clear. The vanilla is very strong with this one, and it is very, very sweet. The trail off reminds me of those little fake chocolate balls that come in a sleeve at Christmas... what were they called..... SIXLETS! They don't overpower the beer, though, they are just kind of there at the trail-off. I wonder what a full swig will bring.

Tip-in is sweet malt, vanilla, and kind of a pie crust. Carbonation is simply not a factor - it's there, but it isn't interfering at all. The middle is that fake chocolate with the malt becoming a very light dough. It is the finish that makes this beer fulfill its name - with a stronger chocolate, heightened vanilla, and that sweet dough. Jeebus, The finish brings everything together so nicely, and then the trail-off is like little sugar sprinkles.

Bottom Line: A very unusual beer, but it brings a very nice change of pace to the dessert beer class.

4.25/5

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