Beer Review 0290: Terrapin Side Project Volume 18 – Liquid Bliss Peanut Butter Porter

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A peanut butter and chocolate beer? Is this a gimmick?

Terrapin Beer Company, brewing out of Athens, Georgia, has a special series of beers they call “Side Projects.” These brews are limited release, a bit on the experimental side, and are released in bomber bottles.

The inspiration for this side dealing comes from the classic pairing of peanut butter and chocolate. So long as you aren’t allergic to peanuts, you probably love these two mixed together — yes, I’d define that marriage, when done correctly, as bliss.

Coming in at 6.7% ABV (alcohol by volume), this is a Porter-based beer that is brewed with peanut butter, Georgia boiled peanuts, and cocoa nibs from the Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Company (Nashville, Tennessee). The beer is even “dry-peanuted” with brewery-boiled green peanuts.

This isn’t the first time Terrapin have used cocoa nibs from Olive & Sinclair; they use them in their Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout, which I rated 90 points.

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The pour produced a fairly typical looking Porter, with a small, frothy head that didn’t last long atop a deep ruby-brown beer. You could see through the brew when held to the light, and there are no particles or sediment present. Lacing was sparse to fair, only leaving a few strings of bubbles on the glass.

The nose is simple and straightforward: plenty of chocolate and a dash of peanut butter. The chocolate is sweet and I couldn’t really define it as either milk or dark — it is sort of in between; the peanut butter leans more towards just boiled raw peanuts the more you sniff around. Honestly, this smells very much like Terrapin’s Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout with some peanuts added. That’s not a bad thing, but the nose on Moo-Hoo really isn’t all that outstanding…

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On the taste, I got a load of peanut butter up front. If you’ve ever eaten those chocolate and peanut butter candies that are shaped like a peanut and are wrapped in foil, it matches that flavor nearly perfectly. And I love those candies! There’s lots of sweet chocolate here, too; and as you get more into the taste, the boiled peanut flavor starts to come out. All of this sweetness is balanced by a touch of hop bitterness on the finish, but it’s not anything that alters the peanut butter/chocolate flavors too much. Mouthfeel was medium, with a solid creamy texture.

Is this a gimmick? Well, I think it probably is — but this is still a solid beer, and for a Porter, the mouthfeel here is top-notch. I still think this is Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout with some peanuts, but I liked Moo-Hoo, so it only serves that I like this, too. I think Terrapin are going to sell out of this brew fast and you’ll see this Side Project remade again sometime soon. If you see it, try it — who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?

Terrapin Side Project Volume 18 – Liquid Bliss Peanut Butter Porter, 87 points. Price: $8.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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