Sunday, February 17, 2013

Burnside Brewing Company - Sweet Heat

Hot Stuff?

I like it hot. I once wolfed down a Bhut Jolokia, aka the Naga Ghost Chile, after spending a long afternoon at the Holiday Ale Festival. Yes, it caused me to have an out of body hallucinatory experience and, yes, I was in considerable agony for a full day afterward, but I can proudly say I took it like a man. That which does not kill you makes you strong, right? Am I right?

Personally, I've never met a chile-flavored beer I couldn't easily handle. Burnside Brewing Company's Sweet Heat wasn't any problem at all. I know, I know, the brewer's intention was most probably not to make a beer that's unbearably spicy. I'm sure the Scotch Bonnet peppers were added to the brew to provide a tasty little zing, not singe the tonsils. This is a wheat beer flavored with apricots and those pesky Scotch Bonnets. If you know your chiles, you know that in addition to being powerfully hot, Scotch Bonnets and their close cousins the Habaneros have a very pleasing, fruity, citrus flavor. The perfect pepper to combine with a fruit like a mango, or a peach, or...an apricot.

The beer poured from the bomber into my pint glass a hazy pale yellow color. The pure white head was quite fizzy and disappeared almost immediately, leaving very little lacing. The aroma is primarily--what else--sweet fruit with a distinctive chile pepper pungency. The primary taste is fruit and honey. The slightly acrid pepper hits as an aftertaste. Not too spicy at all. The pepper flavor is nice and rolls around on the palate for a few minutes without giving any kind of uncomfortable burn. I could actually use a little more heat from this beer to make it more interesting. Still, I like it. It went quite well with my wife's delicious chicken enchiladas.

If Burnside turned up the heat on this beer a few Scoville Units, I'd be a big fan. As it is, I'm giving Sweet Heat 2 crushed cans of of 4.



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