Apparently we’re putting bananas in stouts now. Not the craziest thing I’ve heard lately and it gave me a good excuse to go for a walk to the brewery. At the very least I figured it would be something different. It sure sounded intriguing.
Beer Name: Fireplace Bananas
Brewery: Trillium Brewing Company (Boston, MA/Canton, MA), Cloudwater Brewing Company (Manchester, UK), Monkish Brewing Company (Los Angeles, CA), Other Half Brewing Company (Brooklyn, NY), The Veil Brewing Company (Richmond, VA)
Style: Imperial Stout
Description: You can find a rather lengthy description and background of this beer on the Trillium website, but in a nutshell what we have here is a stout fermented with a whole lot of “advanced banana product.” The bomber cost $16.05, which is about mid-range for their bottled releases.
Appearance: Murky dark brown body topped by a thin line of thick yellowish-tan foam.
Smell: Sweet, with hints of banana and light roast.
Taste: A really interesting blend of sweetness, roast, and bananas. The brew started out with ripe bananas and chocolate leading the way. From there it took on more of a banana bread flavor in the middle. As it approached the finish, it turned a bit more roasty with notes of bittersweet dark chocolate and definitely a bit of heat on the end. The longer the beer sat, the stronger the roast and heat on the finish became.
Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy body and minimal carbonation.
Hype: Apparently rather high, which makes sense considering the scope of this collaboration and the breweries involved. Also of interest to me, the early reviews I saw were very divided; some people loved this while others denounced it as running on hype alone. My curiosity was even further piqued.
Overall: Put me in the faction of people who liked this beer. It had the perfect amount of roast for me and I really enjoyed the combination of sweetness, heat, and banana goodness. It brought to mind chocolate covered banana bread with a slightly boozy twist. It’s not really the kind of beer you need a lot of in one sitting, but I definitely enjoyed it in moderation as a dessert beverage. Props to the brewers for being adventurous. This easily could have been just another “New England” IPA, but instead they did something different. It might not be the beer for everyone, but I’d it sounds intriguing to you I recommend giving it a go.