There is such a thing as trying to do too much with your craft beer. Case in point, Wells Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale (5% ABV), a beer tasty in concept alone.
A little background on this brewery – Wells has a reputation for thinking outside the box with their recipes. While skeptical of how drinkable English Toffee Pudding could be, the brewers have a flagship ale modeled after banana bread. Banana Bread Beer is rather genius considering how well the malt works to capture the bready-ness, successful ingenuity that sadly doesn’t transfer to their English Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale.
There isn’t much personality beneath the cap in terms of smell – nothing that smells as wonderful as freshly baked toffee pudding anyway. While one could argue that this is actually an improvement, keeping the beer closer in nature to actual beer, I saw it as a disappointment. It’s perhaps impossible to suggest a beer flavored after an English dessert shouldn’t be sweet. Very faint scent of caramel with little else behind it.
The first sip was slightly mystifying, my palate was admittedly thrown. A second sip revealed the subtleties of the flavor but I found myself searching for the toffee. I can’t help but feel the candy flavorings might come out more as the beer warms, but who knows.
As someone who loves the Banana Bread Beer, it pains me to say that this additional English offering was at once forgettable. Any beer promising the delectable notes of sticky toffee pudding should have more character.