Nutter Your Business – Milk Stout
Grand Armory Brewing
Nothing piques my interest like seeing a new brewery represented on the shelf of my liquor store Of course, I’m defining “new” as “new to me.” I’m a solipsist at heart, and only my own experiences are truly relevant. At any rate, Grand Armory is a cool name, and it’s a Michigan brewery- they’re in Grand Haven, the lesser of the “Grand” cities. And hey, who doesn’t like peanut butter? The scrawled writing on the label reminds me of Flying Dog’s aesthetic- hopefully Grand Armory proves to be a more reliable source of good beer.
The Brewer’s Pitch:
Grand Armory could certainly use a graphic design lesson, although lucky for them that doesn’t factor into my reviews. All of their beers are described in a sentence or two in miniscule white text on a gray background- with my trusty magnifying glass, I determined that Nutter Your Business is a sweetly smooth and chocolatey milk stout base with peanut butter flavors added. They claim it mimics the taste of “your favorite proprietary cookie.” Chocolate and peanut butter implies that they mean Reese’s cups, but is that a cookie? Maybe they mean Nutter Butter? The mystery is tantalizing!
Nutter pours very dark and very thick, with a huge creamy caramel head (so big it made a break for its escape out of the top of the glass, in fact). The smell is deep and sweet for beer but not as sweet as the peanut butter it otherwise evokes. It’s earthy and heavily roasted, promising something sweet and smooth and mellow. The beer is, indeed, extremely full bodied and velvety smooth on the palate. The first thing that you notice is the creamy milk-stout chocolate that is followed up quickly with sweet smoky bitterness. The peanut butter doesn’t come right through at first, and even when it develops it’s not quite a peanut BUTTER taste. Instead it’s more like the slightly-sweet but slightly-earthy taste of an unroasted peanut, made sweeter by the beer itself. The beer fades into a sweet sticky smoke flavor with the barest hint at a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
I’ve tried many a dark beer claiming to have peanuts or peanut butter, but generally it’s a slight sweetness or thickening of the flavor at the most. This beer really introduces the flavor in a way that seems to perfectly ride the line between too little peanut, and making the beer far too sugary with true peanut butter. The milk stout base handles most of the sweetness and it’s comfortingly familiar, while the peanut addition elevates without making it weird-tasting. It really DOES have some resemblance to a Reese’s cup (although much smokier) – if I can fault it for anything, the smoothness fades a bit in the stretch and it’s a little too bitter by the bottom of the glass.
The Bottom Line:
Grand Armory suggests that if anyone asks why you want a dessert-flavored beer, you tell them “Nutter Your Business!” I say, if they’re going to be dicks about your choices, make that pun while glassing them. Why limit yourself?