A sensational seasonal stout
A Review of Drake's Crude by Erie Brewing Company
Posted on 3/19/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
I realize that temperatures are on the rise and another seasonal change is upon us, but I refuse to let that stop me from putting as many stouts in my face as possible. It's a nice problem that I have, and in turn, I like to share any fun discoveries due to it. On a recent over the road outing, I happened upon a slightly out of the way beverage store. Now I will have to admit that their craft brew selection wasn't very large, but what it lacked in size it more than made up for it in selection. It only took me a few seconds of browsing before my eyes locked on my selection. I grabbed a package of Drake's Crude Oatmeal Stout from Erie Brewing Company and headed for the register.

In the glass, Drake's Crude has an almost perfect appearance for a stout. It is basically black with just the slightest edgings of deep ruby red. A creamy looking mocha head sits on top of it for a few minutes before dissipating down to just a spotty film across the surface and a ring around the edges. The aromas coming from the glass are dominated by roasted chocolate malts and cocoa powder, but the range runs from roasted nuts, to sour cherries, and even some light notes of vanilla. Some light digging uncovers a faint coffee layer, and after a bit of warming, the cherry noted earlier seems to switch to blackberry. To say this one smells intriguing as well as quite inviting would be an understatement on my part.

The first taste follows very closely to the nose, with the chocolate blending very well with the cherries and blackberries to make a somewhat candied introduction. The coffee layer detected comes across in a very silky smooth way, and blends very well with the overall taste train in the glass. The flavors start to do some pretty entertaining things as the brew warms, and at times a surprising thought might pop into your head as it did mine. In a strange way, it comes across as a slightly less carbonated, smooth and creamy Dr. Pepper with some chocolate tossed in. Hang on a minute. Is there such a thing as a Dr. Pepper chocolate malt? If there isn't, there damn well should be. You can look at that last line as many times as you want, and call me crazy for every time you do so, but guess what? My review, my opinion. And in my opinion, someone might need to call the people that make Dr. Pepper and tell them that some chocolate tossed in might not be a bad idea, because it sure as hell doesn't taste bad. Now I highly doubt that this taste is what the fine people at Erie Brewing Company had in mind, but when all is said and done, the taste and mouthfeel of this beer is about as good as it gets in the brew world for this style so they have no worries as far as I am concerned.

As I look back over it, this review took a bit of an unexpected turn, but that's what makes BrewChief.com and what we do here so fun. We don't have to adhere to the normal rules and regulations that the other guys do. We want you to ''experience'' the brew with us as closely as possible without you actually sitting next to us and sharing one. And while some of my descriptions might stray from the standards, I really hope they are more helpful than hurtful. As far as Drake's Crude Oatmeal Stout goes, I can do Erie Brewing Company and all of you a big favor and make it quite easy by saying that I would highly recommend it to all levels of drinkers. It is packed full of great qualities ranging from an awesome mouthfeel to a highly entertaining flavor train. Truth be told, not only could I see myself enjoying quite a few of these in any session opportunity, but I fully expect to do so several times in the upcoming weeks. Go ahead and try to stop me. Just know that while you may approach me with two arms and two legs, you might not be returning with the same count.

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Drake's Crude by Erie Brewing Company
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