Deconstructed Dessert Mocha Pie | Third Space
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Third Space Brewing, at least for me, has become a must stop whenever I go to or through Milwaukee. They brew a range of styles and almost all hit their intended mark. Things like Happy Place and Unite the Clans win awards and are sold at Brewers’ games. Their stouts, on the other hand, currently sit at a .333 batting average with me, with only Mystic Knot being a home run. (The other two being Double Barrel Nexus and Haunted Barrel 2019.) I’m hopeful their Deconstructed Dessert Mocha Pie can get that batting average to .500.
I flippin’ love this Deconstructed Dessert idea Third Space came up with. So Third Space planned on releasing a barrel-aged Mocha Pie stout but instead of just releasing that they broke it down into component beers. So the series comes in six beers – the base imperial stout, the components of the Mocha Pie (chocolate, graham cracker, coffee and vanilla) and the final Mocha Pie beer. I love being able to taste the individual components of the beer before everything comes together. It really lets some less flavorful adjuncts, like the graham crackers, really shine. For me to get 100% behind this idea, though, it needs to be released as a mix 6-pack with one of each beer included.
I love deconstructed food stuffs. Less work in prepping the kitchen, oven, and ingredients and more time eating what you have in front of you. But I’m reviewing the full and complete Mocha Pie beer, so no more time dawdling on the deconstruction!
Deconstructed Dessert Mocha Pie: The Beer (jeez) pours a dark brown color. While resting in the glass you cannot see through it at all – pitch black. If you’re not looking in the glass while you’re pouring it you’ll miss the head. A very thin layer forms and then quickly leaves. Some red and crimson highlights show up if you tilt the glass in the light. Some staining occurs – I’d give it a 4 on the GAS (Glass Alcohol Stain). Makin’ GAS happen.
These beers are always not fun to do nose flavor notes for as everything you should be getting aromatically is listed on the can. No exception here. Coffee and vanilla dominate out of the gate. Chocolate, bourbon, and oak support. But the exception! Butter. I kept smelling it and getting butter. Not diacetyl, popcorn, off-flavor butter, but more like a butter crust. I’m guessing this comes from the graham crackers, but since I wasn’t able to try the deconstructed parts, I have no idea. It does not detract from the beer or make you recoil at all while smelling.
Hello flavor balance! Chocolate and bitter coffee hit first and keep on hitting. Vanilla coaches ‘em along while staying in the background and providing support. Mocha Pie starts staying too close to being too sweet, but thankfully the bitter coffee finishes things off. That bitter finish keeps Mocha Pie from going off the sweet end. Mocha Pie drinks a bit on the boozy side, but not near the 13.5% ABV listed on the can.
If there wasn’t a hint of booze, you might not know that it’s a bourbon barrel stout. The barrel integration recalls their Mystic Knot barrel-aged Irish coffee stout – there in body mostly. The barrel provides a nice plump-up to the beer body along with some added vanilla and a hint of oak. Even deeper than that might be the graham crackers showing up with hints of honey and butter. To my knowledge I’d never had a beer that screams, “GRAHAM CRACKERS!” so I have some unbridled enthusiasm to try that one.
Deconstructed Dessert Mocha Pie: The Beer (it must be in trouble – I used its full name) does what Third Space does more often than not – making a supremely drinkable beer. I eagerly finished the 12 ounce can. The chocolate and coffee are there but don’t overwhelm. The vanilla and barrel add some supporting character that round off the beer. The booze warms the stomach and the beer remains a smooth ride throughout.
Unlike some previous dessert-style beers, Mocha Pie can exist as a dessert all by itself. It’s sweet enough to command dessert attention but that bitter coffee finish acts as a dessert coffee to keep things in check. Wholly drinkable, Deconstructed Dessert Mocha Pie: The Beer continues Third Space’s superb offerings. Just wish they sold this (and their recently released Mystic Knot variants) as a mixed 6-pack.