Maplewood Brewing | Morbidly Obese Pug Banana Split
Leaves are changing color. Temperatures drop to where a light coat is necessary. Football and schools begin again. Maplewood hosts Natioanl Pug Day and releases Morbidly Obese Pug. Must mean autumn!
Every year since 2018, Maplewood opens its doors on the second Monday in October to all dogs (fat pugs preferred) and humans alike for their National Pug Day party at The Lounge. As is the case with everything this year, it’s Virtual Pug Week with mixology classes, a virtual pug meet up, and an event with the anti-cruelty society. Beer-wise, it means a new take on their Morbidly Obese Pug. This year Banana Split gets the liquid treatment.
Previous iterations of Morbidly Obese Pug have been ok (Salted Caramel) to excellent (Extra Fudge), so Maplewood doing a Banana Split version had me interested (and certain other podcaster texting me the minute it was announced). All the parts of a banana split represent, with banana, peanuts, chocolate and vanilla and lactose (in for the ice cream). This one’s not for the kiddos however, as it clocks in at a big 10% ABV.
Morbidly Obese Pug Banana Split pours a thick black with a fair amount of brown head. My can actually gushed out, but that may have occurred due to my transportation. The head dies down to absolutely nothing and the beer stains the glass ever so slightly. Even before I went in for a smell, peanuts permeated the air (mainly due to the can gushing and me not right over a sink). Peanuts still dominated when I quaffed my nose over it, but over time the banana and chocolate started to gain some nose real estate. A hint of sweetness might’ve been the vanilla, but the other aromas definitely overpowered it.
Surprisingly Morbidly Obese Pug Banana Split doesn’t stay around long unlike its Extra Fudge older brother. I don’t know if that’s because of the banana or not, but I would’ve liked a little less carbonation on this so the flavors stick around a bit longer.
And those flavors are balanced! A bitter chocolate with a hint of nuttiness gives way to banana flavor that floats above the tongue with a slight hit of vanilla and an all-around smooth lactose body. I figured peanuts would be at the forefront of this beer based on the aroma, but surprisingly it was the bitter chocolate and banana flavor that stood out the most. That being said, not one flavor asserted itself over all the others – it was more of a progression, with the vanilla and lactose starting things, followed by the peanuts, bitter chocolate, and then banana. It all went down extremely easy and as I stated earlier, left the tongue far too soon. I would have appreciated some lingering chocolate and/or banana, but that’s me nitpicking.
While I still prefer Morbidly Obese Pug Extra Fudge, Banana Split represents extremely well what Maplewood can do and has done with a pastry-style stout. The fact that all of the flavors showed up at some point and none were overpowering speaks to this. The 10% ABV hides well and it’s an overall enjoyable drinking experience. Banana lovers should definitely try to get a can. Pastry stout lovers should as well, only to see how one can be balanced and not a vanilla bomb. Between this Morbidly Obese Pug series and their Mr. Shakey milkshake IPA series, Maplewood’s got two line-ups that I eagerly anticipate the next release.