Mike Castagno's picture

Sweet Potato Casserole

November, 2015
Judges Rating: 
81
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
6 / 6
Flavor: 
30 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

When evaluating a beer like this, a judge needs to look at two things: the quality of the base style (in this case an American Strong Ale) and how the added ingredient(s) are expressed in the beer. I give credit here for originality, as the unusual addition of sweet potato creates a gently sweet, creamy quality with a velvety mouthfeel. It is not intense, but rather subtle and smooth. However, the marshmallow characteristic is over-the-top and quite distracting. Vanilla cream soda and cotton candy dominate the palate (notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and amaretto lie underneath), which overwhelms any potential "beer character" this product might have had. The strong ale attributes fade quitely out of the picture, losing out to the overpowering marshmallow. This flavoring is like a blaring electric guitar solo crashing into an intimate acoustic concert. It's all you'll notice and that's a shame. The product leaves a cloying sweetness that is hard to ignore making this very much a 2-oz. sample type of beer rather than a 12 or 16-oz. pour. If this could be brought more into balance, allowing the depth of the sweet potato and strong ale qualities to shine, it would be a highly enjoyable beer.

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