Fall is the best beer-drinking season, hands down. Summer is when beer sales are highest, but for my money, I’ll take fall’s brown and amber ales, porters, and even pumpkin beers any day. After a summer of easy-drinking lagers, it’s comforting to cozy up with something a little boozy and spicy. Dogfish Head’s new Suddenly Comfy—a new imperial cream ale brewed with apple juice, cinnamon, allspice, and Madagascar vanilla beans—could not be more aptly named.
Pouring this beer is like opening the oven on a warming pie: Vanilla is the dominant aroma, backed by cinnamon and other baking spices, and graham cracker. The fruit notes aren’t straightforwardly apple juice, but apple, pear, and even golden raisins. It’s inviting, autumnal, cozy.
The flavor delivers on the aroma’s promise: it’s like liquid apple cobbler. Vanilla and cinnamon lead the charge, and the vanilla clicks with some of the cream ale’s malts to suggest caramel. Spiced pear and apple notes hang in the background, not overwhelming the vanilla and cinnamon up front. As sweet as these associations are, this beer isn’t too saccharine or syrupy. The cream ale base supplies just enough of an unobtrusive, bready base to carry the spices, which linger just a bit after the sip alongside a gentle alcohol warmth on the tongue (thanks to the beer’s 8% ABV).
Suddenly Comfy isn’t a beer I’d drink an entire six-pack of, but it would be a great dessert beer alongside a bowl of vanilla ice cream or as a brunch beer with cinnamon rolls. If you’re a fan of mulled cider, apple desserts, or oatmeal cookies, keep an eye out for this beer. And if you missed the news of Dogfish Head’s merger with Boston Beer Co./Sam Adams, it’s time to get caught up.
Dogfish Head Suddenly Comfy is available in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles through December across Dogfish Head’s 45-state distribution.
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