There’s folks that say a beer made to taste like something that isn’t beer, isn’t really beer. To such critics the Brit brewers at Wells – makers of Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale – likely would say, “Piss off.”
I, however, would say, “Hold off a moment.” Granted, there are plenty of sweet or savory or otherwise un-beery libations that would best be left in the bottle. Don’t even get me going on all the macrobrewed swills that end in “A-Rita” (unholy alliances of beer and margarita not fit to water your lawn with).
Then again, flavored beers can be fabulous, in the right brewmaster’s hands. Look at those crazy Belgians and their delicious lambics. Coffee stouts abound, and many of them are darned dandy drinks (quick question: is it okay to drink coffee stouts in the morning? No? Damn).
Then there’s this sweet ale, modelled after a classic British dessert. Is it worth a tipple, or should you wish it a hearty cheerio and throw it in the Thames? Let’s have a go, shall we?
Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale
If you’ve ever dug into this ale’s namesake, you know it’s strictly for folks with a serious sweet tooth. Half the big brown lump is sugar, and then mashed up, super-sweet dates. Might as well rip open a bag of brown sugar, grab a spoon, and dig in.
This ale doesn’t go that far. It very wisely reins in the diabetes-inducing sweetness so the bitterness of the hops can pop through—it’s a nice balance that reminds you you’re drinking beer, and not liquid sugar.
5.0% ABV. The IBU count stands at 40—probably a good number, to balance out the sweetness
At my local pub (literally 212 steps from my front door) it’ll put you back $5. Great value; however, Wells has cut the bottle down from 12 ounces to 11.2 ounces (cheeky bastards–I’d be miffed if the label weren’t so gosh-darned adorable).
Metasip Grade: B+
This would be a fantastic beer to go with a fruity dessert, like an apple crumble or peach cobbler—or skip the actual dessert and just knock back the Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale to finish off your meal.