Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mississippi Mud Black & Tan Review

Brewery: Mississippi Brewing Co. | Beer: Mississippi Mud Black & Tan
Style: Black & Tan | ABV: 5.0%
Serving Method: 32 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

Mississippi Mud Black and TanTypically, when one thinks of a Black & Tan, visions of menacing Dry Irish Stout floating atop golden English Pale Ale come to mind. However, according to the bottle, this brew is a mix of "a robust English Porter with a fine Continental Pilsner." Still, the idea of being able to enjoy a good Black & Tan at home without all of the bent spoons and alchemy is attractive to those that either haven't learned the art or just can't be bothered. (Tip: buy one of those "turtles" they sell at good liquor stores, it couldn't be easier . I'm pretty sure even my English Bulldog could make a decent B&T using one, and she's nearly blind in one eye).

The first thing I think most people notice about this beer is it's signature bottle, featuring a particularly wicked looking gator. Designed to look like an old-timey jug (one you could imagine in, say, Mississippi perhaps), it sure stands out on the shelf. I've always been a big fan of traditional Black & Tans, so I approach this beer with healthy skepticism tempered with a good amount of optimism. By the way, Mississippi Mud is brewed by Mississippi Brewing Brewing Company, of... New York. Uh-oh.

Appearance: Mahogany with ruby highlights and a clear body, this beer doesn't really look much like mud. Pours a pleasant off-white creamy head that slowly settles into a creamy skin and then mild lacing.

Aroma: Medium malt with some of the coffee and chocolate notes you'd expect from something that's half Porter combined with hints of sweet, slightly hoppy lager - not much more here.

Taste: Watered down medium roasted malt body with a bit of dark fruit and the tang of cheap hops. It finishes with hints of weird metallic tones (think Shiner Bock). This doesn't resemble the real deal at all, it's closer to a shitty, watery macro attempt at a Stout, Porter or Dark Lager.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is certainly nowhere near mud - fizzy, thin and watery.

Drinkability: Easy enough to drink I suppose, but really, what's the point? I don't even really want to drink the rest of this glass, let alone the two 32 ouncers in the fridge I secured for testing purposes. (Fear not, dear reader, I eventually did finish all 96 oz. for you).

Verdict: Watery and thin, with the lackluster taste to match, the brewery has some stones to call this "Mississippi Mud," it's closer to St. Louis runoff. I'm assuming that the "Continental Lager" mentioned on the bottle is clever code for a typical American macro-lager. And it certainly does taste like a middle-of-the-road, bland, Porter mixed with swill and given a fancy name. While I certainly did not expect this to be as good as a real B&T, I had at least hoped it would be a somewhat decent analog. But alas, this beer lets down it's awesome bottle, name and premise. All marketing, no beer.

Grade: D

No comments: