Morbidly Obese Pug: Cookies & Cream | Maplewood Brewing
In the beer world, October usually means a few things. Oktoberfests abound, sometimes the Great American Beer Festival, and Maplewood Brewing’s Pug Day. Now going strong in its fourth year, Pug Day celebrates pugs everywhere, but specifically the namesake of Maplewood’s Fat Pug beer Otto. And every year, on Pug Day, they release a new version of Morbidly Obese Pug. For this year, that means Morbidly Obese Pug: Cookies and Cream.
Pug Day is one of my favorite events of the year. Maplewood opens their brewery and lounge up to our four-legged friends, taps special beers, and has food trucks for both human and canine. The biggest draw – at least for me – comes from the dog photo booth they provide. It’s a nice little perk that makes this event even more of a must-attend for me.
Morbidly Obese Pug is the imperial version of their Fat Pug milk stout. Every year it changes. 2018 featured salted caramel, 2019 extra fudge, and 2020 banana split. This year Maplewood scaled back a little from the adjuncts (especially compared to banana split) and simply did chocolate and lactose to make the cookies and cream version.
Morbidly Obese Pug: Cookies and Creme (MOP:CC) pours black with some red and brown highlights. It’s much darker than a standard milk stout. Two fingers of nice khaki head forms and it takes a while to go away. It eventually does, eventually resulting in a thin layer of brown head that stays around. Over time it goes down to nothing but the rim of the glass.
Remember having ice cream cake? MOP:CC reminds me of that. More vanilla comes off of the beer than any cookie or chocolate character and the aroma comes off as very balanced. The ice cream cake forms as aromas combine, so there’s a delay with that aroma. Nothing presents as overly powerful, obnoxious, or sweet like you would assume of either a pastry stout or one billed as cookies and cream. Beyond any vanilla, a nice current of chocolate arrives as well.
This Morbidly Obese Pug hits you with a ton of bitter chocolate and a hint of sweet vanilla near the finish. Don’t expect pastry stout levels of flavors on this one as everything is subtle. Dangerously, MOP:CC does not drink 10% at all thanks to all the lactose smoothing out the mouthfeel. Moments after sipping everything comes together and you’ll get a hint of that ice cream cake. But that bitter chocolate does dominate and might throw people for a loop.
That lactose makes MOP:CC nice and smooth across the tongue. The bitter chocolate hangs around long enough for the vanilla to join it and then things go away. Again, dangerous at 10%, as you’ll be able to kill the can with relative ease.
If you table the label on MOP:CC, you’ll be happy. It’s a competent imperial milk stout with some lovely subtle flavors that combine to make something bigger. If you’re looking for bash you over the head cookie flavor, Maplewood does have their Cuppa series and, specifically, Cuppa Stufff (which tastes exactly like an Oreo).
Where does Cookies and Cream rank in the Morbidly Obese Pug series though? I still think Extra Fudge rules the dog house, with the impressive Banana Split version from last year right behind it. Cookies and Cream exists somewhere near Salted Caramel for me. Both beers are exceedingly well done, but I’d just like more coming off them. Not to the level of their Cuppa series, but some bigger flavors like the top two. As always I’ll be back for next year’s Pug Day and Morbidly Obese Pug variant. It’s always a good time at Maplewood, even more so when the puppers are allowed in.