Drink Magazine

Beer Review – Karl Strauss Brewing Company Peanut Butter Cup Porter

By Boozedancing @boozedancing

Karl Strauss Nov 2014

While away in LA for Jersey Week, my better half, the urchins and I ventured over to Universal Studios. After conquering the park, the urchins were their ravenous selves and in need of feeding. After reviewing a few menus, we chose the Karl Strauss Brewing Company on the Universal CityWalk. We had been to the Karl Strauss in San Diego in 2011; so, we were familiar with the fare and more importantly, I knew that I could squeeze in a quick tasting.  The first thing I noticed about the sampler was that it has been cut back from six to four. I suppose that was a good idea as four 4oz samples of varying high test brews is a better idea than six. I also noticed that I could pick any four. In the prior sample, I received four of the “regular” line-up and then two “wild card” picks. Four my four samples, I picked the Pintail Pale Ale, the Blackball Belgian IPA, the Peanut Butter Cup Porter (more for my better half than me) and the Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. This is a review of the Peanut Butter Cup Porter. I had selected that one as it is a limited release, I have been experimenting with more dessert style beers and my better half seemed intrigued with the name.

What they say…

Roasted malt flavors in the beer provide a simple balance to the sugary sweetness. In addition, the chocolate, coffee and peanut butter qualities of the beer complement like flavors in desserts.

I found the Peanut Butter Cup Porter to have the following characteristics…

  • Appearance: Ruby with a lot tan foam.
  • Aroma: Peanut butter, roasted malt, chocolate syrup and coffee grounds
  • Taste: Not overly carbonated (almost a little flat) and a little watery; like a mouthful of melted Reese’s Pieces washed down with an above average porter (nice balance of dark chocolate and caramel).
  • ABV: 5.6%

Overall, I found that all of the robust flavors of the chocolate, caramel and vanilla in the porter are muted a bit by the intrusion of peanut butter. While fine on bread, celery and Captain Crunch, I didn’t care for it in my beer. So, while I really like porters, I don’t think I can approve of throwing peanut butter in them (DuClaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus was an abomination). I will state that this is an affront to all things portery. That said; if you like peanut butter and were looking for a dessert beer, this would be a good one especially if paired with a chocolaty dessert.


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