The name of the game is Beersport - two beers enter, one beer leaves. Beersport.
For this Shirtless edition of Beersport we have MAD Brewery’s Baseball Stout, a peanut butter stout inspired by Peanuts and Crackerjacks up against DuClaw’s Sweet Baby Jesus, a chocolate peanut butter porter. Both beers have been out of the fridge about a half hour, and both have been around for at least six months, which should be fine for the style. Both are around 6% ABV.
Full disclosure here: MAD Brewery is what I call my homebrew (My initials are MAD). This beer is a beer I brewed, and it’s a first edition. I submitted it to Sam Adams and received a score of 39.5, placing it firmly within the “Excellent” subcategory. I doubt this can stand up against a reputable professional breweries offering without some more refinement.
They’re both black beers. Dark stouts and porters. The Baseball Stout has a browner head and bigger carbonation bubbles, a lot like the froth on a delicious mocha. The head also has more lasting power.
Advantage Baseball Stout.
The Baseball Stout smells more like peanut oil than peanut butter. This is because the brewer didn’t de-oil his peanut butter well enough. It’s not a horrible smell, but it’s not appealing either. Jesus smells like a chocolate bar, specifically a Reeses Peanut Butter cup. You get just a hint of the syrupy maltiness behind that.
Wife’s thoughts: Jesus smells better.
The Baseball Stout is peanut-forward. You can taste peanuts predominantly. It’s a little creamy, perhaps from the faint oily nature of it. Underneath that is a full-bodied stout with hints of dark chocolate and perhaps molasses.
Jesus has more hops, at least more hop flavor. It’s definitely porter first with a bitter chocolate taste and a hint of peanut aftertaste. This is probably my bias showing, but I feel like you can tell it’s peanut butter powder versus fresh stuff.
Wife’s thoughts: Baseball stout tastes like peanuts, more so than the last time we tried it. Almost like it has ground up peanuts in it. (Spoiler alert, technically it did before I strained them out) Jesus’ peanut is just a hint and it took two sips to notice, perhaps the chocolate overpowers it. Both leave a tingling on the tongue.
The Baseball Stout is creamier and fuller. More viscous. Jesus slides past with a little less impact.
Advantage: Baseball Stout.
As much as I wanted to pat myself on the back and award my own beer the win over an established beer, it’s just not the case. The Sweet Baby Jesus is the better, more well-rounded beer. It’s by no means a runaway though, the Baseball Stout has a lot going for it. The Baseball Stout is certainly more interesting, but 12oz of it is a lot and it needs to be refined a little around the edges. Perhaps Baseball Stout: Inning Two will have a better shot.
Wife’s thoughts: They’re different beers, but I don’t think I could drink a whole bottle of the Baseball Stout.
Michael can be found on Twitter and Untappd where he's probably talking about how his next beer will be a Halvah Ale. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.