Monday, October 8, 2018

Coconut Delight

"Nicaraguan rum barrels." Those three words caught my eye.  I follow the general rule of not buying beer or wine based on the label.  But, the label had those three words: "Nicaraguan rum barrels."  Those words were intriguing to me.  After all, I don't drink Flor de Cana (Nicaraguan rum).  

Those three words also include a "story," or at least a tale told by the brewers:

Like all great legends, the facts are in dispute.  Coconut Delight is named for one of the most notorious and important pirate ships in history.  Batchelors Delight. Captained by the infamous buccaneers Davis, Wafer and Kingson, who won the ship in a card game. After years of pirating in the Caribbean, the trio were set on retiring in Virginia.  They were arrested near Hampton Roads and spent nearly 3 years in prison.  They were able to negotiate their freedom by gicing up a large portion of their booty, which King William used for the "charitable purpose" of founding the College of William and Mary.

Pirates, rum, beer. That is quite the story for what turns out to be quite the beer.  At this point, I should say that, as much as the "Nicaraguan rum barrels" intrigued me, the notion of a coconut quadrupel ale gave me some pause.  I am not a big fan of any beer that is brewed with coconut.  While I like the flavor of coconut, I have a hard time finding a beer that works with the ingredient. 

Enter Lickinghole Creek.  This is a farm brewery that produces hops, barley and beer on 290 acres in Goochland, Virginia.  The beer is begins with well water that is drawn from the property and purified on site.  And, then there is the coconut.  So, let's get to the beer. 

The Coconut Delight pours pitch black, which is a hue that one expects from an Imperial Stout, not a Belgian-style quadrupel.  Likewise, there is a cream foam that, with the pitch black color of the beer is something that is more akin to a Harviestoun Old Dubh.  

Moving to the aroma, there are strong elements of coconut, wrapped with candy sugar.  One reviewer described it as a "Mound's bar."  I can see that description, which carries through to some extent in the taste of the beer.  The flavor is very coconut forward, with some boozy liquor in the background.  There is some indications of that rum in the background, but it has a difficult time breaking through the strong coconut flavor in the beer.  That rum becomes more present as the beer warms over time. 

This beer changed my opinion about the use of coconut in beer.  The Coconut Delight is a very good beer, even if it seems to stray a little from what one would expect from a quadrupel beer.  For $12.39, this beer is definitely worth the price and if I ever find it again on a shelf, I will definitely buy it again. 


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