Changing up breweries again! This time I have set my sight on one of my top favorite breweries in Buffalo, Community Beer Works! I cannot wait for the brewery to open back up after COVID and enjoy a pint down on 7th Street. The beer of choice for tonight is The Whale, throughout college this would be one of my main choices. Such a solid brown ale that is full of flavor and still easily drinkable!
The Beer: The Whale by Community Beer Works
Style: Brown Ale
Hops: Northern Brewer
Malts: Fawcett Brown
Fawcett Pale Chocolate
On their website and the sides of each can CBW gives us some insight on what is held within The Whale.
‘The Whale is an unmistakable brown ale–smooth, surprisingly drinkable and packed with flavor. We layer distinctive English malts with a touch of hops to create flavors and aromas of coffee, chocolate, and toasted grains. The Whale was awarded the 2017 TAP NY Governor’s Cup for being the best craft beer in NYS!’
Cracking It Open
The Whale’s pour is quite attractive, holding a very dark amber color that couldn’t be any closer to being black. On top of this dark joy is a small creamy head that has stuck with me since I starting getting everything ready to write.
The aromas of The Whale are magnificent! At first there seems to be a slight earthy/woody overcast but once you take a bigger sniff it gets even better. There is a nice chocolate base that is surrounded by a slightly bittered coffee aroma and finishes with a nice touch of toasted grains. The aromas are amazing with how they line up and then proceed in such an order. There is no way you are going to miss any of them. It’s almost as if they are preparing you for what is held within your glass.
‘Drinker beware, the beer that follows these aromas is frickin’ good!’
There She Blows
As drinkable as this beer is, it’s packed with flavor so I’m taking my time to ensure I don’t miss anything.
In the beginning of each sip there is a bitter coffee flavor that instantly hit me. That bitter flavor seems to be sticking with me throughout the entire sip. Though have no fear it’s not a very heavy bitter flavor, more like one that coincides with a dark coffee. Slightly after that there is a touch of chocolate that seems to help mellow out the coffee flavor, as well as lighten up the bitter flavor. There is a very nice sweet touch to it that you may notice if you really take the time to notice it. A nice pleasant touch. As I head toward mid sip there seems to be a collaboration of the coffee and chocolate flavors, only for a quick second though. After this passes I’m starting to get a touch of the Northern Brewer hops, a well added touch of earthy/woody tones. A very enjoyable moment in this beer if you ask me. Once you get past mid sip and head towards the swallow and end things there is a bit of a change up that occurs. There is a sudden lose of the bitter flavor and surge of a sweet chocolate flavor that quickly mellows out and ends with a touch of coffee and toasted grains.
At this point the aftertaste quickly jumps in and assumes control of the situation. This is where the bitter coffee flavor shows its strength. What I find amazing is how other flavors can push through and are easily noticed. One being a nice earthy flavor and the other being a pleasant chocolatey flavor. Altogether the aftertaste of The Whale is as complex as drinking the beer, amazing!
The mouthfeel is interesting. At points there is a sweet chocolatey feel left behind, at others point there is a bitter coffee feel, slightly acidic but not to an extreme. The body surprisingly is light to me. I expected it to be a bit thicker and heavier. But in no way am I complaining about anything in regards to The Whale.
If someone were to ask me what beer Batman drinks? I’d say The Whale because it’s dark, complex, and a possess a slight bitterness.
On a serious note though, The Whale is perfect for any manner in which you want to drink it. Fast or slow, either way you will have an enjoyable experience and become extremely sad when your glass is empty. Everything about The Whale flowed smooth and I was able to enjoy it to the very end.