Named for the Totonac people of Mexico, credited as the first to cultivate vanilla by hand-pollinating the vanilla orchid. A stout brewed with flaked oats and conditioned with whole bourbon vanilla beans.
Original Gravity: 1064
A beer with a mouthful of a name as well as flavor. It throws a deep collar of foam, followed by a russet-brown color and an intense aroma of oak, smoke, vanilla, cocoa beans and roasted grain. Dark grain, bitter hops, vanilla and oak notes are big on the palate, followed by a long, lingering finish with some malt sweetness but balanced by leafy hops and continuing notes of vanilla and roast.
- Roger Protz
The stream of beer is dark brown, merging to near-black as it hits the glass. The can gives not one clue of the beer within—it just says “seasonal.» Bourbon vanilla? Okay, yes, but also overripe banana, dark caramel, and not so much in the way of actual roast. The palate is sweet overall, with hops straining to find a balance. Somehow it doesn’t quite come together, but it does taste somewhat like a crème brûlée, so try it if that sounds good to you. It would also pair well with some desserts, especially chocolate mousse.
- Garrett Oliver
Author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. Respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and www.protzonbeer.co.uk.
Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Companion to Beer, the author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and a veteran host of more than 800 beer dinners in 15 countries.