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Monday, February 2, 2015

Slapshot Brewing's Curse of Muldoon

  • Style: Double Milk Stout
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Ease to locate: Just now being distributed to Chicago & some suburban locations.  Check their Beer Menu Page for locations.  
  • Color: Dark brown (with no black in it).  It reminded me of very rich hot chocolate
  • Head: One finger, light beige, fluffy foamed head  with small, tight trails of lacing sliding down the glass
  • Aroma: Heaps & heaps of milk chocolate with sweet milk sugar and a bit of dark fruit on the back.  But don't mistake it.  This is the  chocolate motherload
  • Mouthfeel: Medium body and a bit lighter than I expected, but easy to drink
  • Finish: Medium & with a well carbonated dryness that packs a wallop of a chocolate end. 
  • Food friendly?: Yes.  Rather versicle for such a chocolate bomb.   Try with beef stew or chicken in mole sauce.

Apple User's Link:  This is not safe for work, un earmuffed small children and mothers everywhere (unless you're one of those families...)

                        Again, this is not the video that you want to hit play on at work.  Or at the doctor's office.  Or when picking up your kid from daycare. 

Sports and cursing kind of go hand in hand in many ways.  Newly light in the pocket season ticket holders complaining about the fat cat yearly price increase.  Colorful locker room banter that doesn't involve thanking Jesus for the win (although God in some form may be mentioned).  And yes, there is always the obligatory screaming of vulgar terms at the ref concerning his questionable maternal upbringing.  But I'm actually speaking about the more serious notion of sports curses.   The Cubs have one involving a smelly goat, an empty bleacher seat and one royally ticked off Greek guy.  The Red Sox actually over came their longstanding Curse of the Bambino when they won the 2004 Worlds Series.  And the Bears just have Jay Cutler.  The Chicago Blackhawks (GO HAWKS) have their own curse to contend with.  And by contend with, I mean, ignore completely.  In 1927, the Blackhawks lost their first round playoff series to the Boston Bruins.  Fredrick McLaughlin, the Blackhawks owner at the time and Pete Muldoon, the head coach, had a slight disagreement (read Housewives of New Jersey table flipping sort of discussion).  The sacked Muldoon cursed the team as he was giving the heave ho.  His parting words were reported as "Fire me, Major, and you'll never finish first. I'll put a curse on this team that will hoodoo it until the end of time."   Since the Hawks have won  five Stanley Cups to date, as far as curses go, it's not the most accurate of inga tings.  

My Curse of Muldoon poured a dark dark brown color without a hint of black.  It reminded me of rich, coffee shop hot chocolate in a snifter glass.  A one finger, light beige head formed.  It settled quickly, leaving behind trails of soft lacing, and ended in a thick ring around the surface of the beer.  The aroma of the stout was all about the chocolate.  Milk chocolate, to be exact.   Sweet & rich, but only lightly bitter in scent.  A good amount of milk sugar and dark fruit notes rounded out the nose. The taste mirrored the aroma for the most part.  A good amount of rich milk chocolate and milk sugar hit my taste buds first and foremost, with the dark fruit and a hint of bitter coffee creating a certain much needed depth.  This wasn't a complex double milk stout and nor would I want it to be.  To paraphrase a line from The Quite Man: When I drink whisky, I drink whisky.  When I drink water, I drink water.  And when I drink a double milk stout, I had damn well taste that chocolate.  As the stout warms, the dark fruit notes of prune and possible raisin emerge to a greater extent, but still remain a background player.  The mouthfeel was lighter than I had expected from a double milk stout.  I would label it as solidly medium in body and not at all aggressive in carbonation. For a beer with this amount of richness, I had expected more of a tongue coating experience than was delivered.  Again, not necessarily a bad thing in this instance.  The medium body and slightly dry nature allows for an easier process of pairing this stout with savory dishes.  A medium finish began with the chocolate & milk sugar notes which slid nicely into a middle section with a hello wave from the dark fruit and coffee notes.  The finish ended with an explosive bang of the chocolate character.  Seriously.  The amount of chocolate that hit my mouth on the tail of the finish should almost come with a warning label.  And I mean that in the best way possible.

I was slightly daunted at the notion of pairing a double milk stout with savory dishes.  A normal first inclination is to take the easy way out and drink it as a desert beer.  But as I sipped my snifter of Slapshot's Curse of Muldoon, ideas began to form in my chocolate satiated noggin.  Notions of Chicken in a Simple Mole Sauce come to mind.  This particular recipe concentrates less on heat and more on the complex flavors in a mole sauce.   Alternatively, you could also pair this double milk stout with your favorite chili or stew recipes.  Try it along side a pot of Beef Stew with a Savory Chocolate sauce on your next  cold winter's night.  The dryness of the Curse of Muldoon should temper the richness of the stew without adding any unexpected flavors to the meal.  Coach Muldoon may not have been the most talented of curse bearers (or of hockey coaches if you think about it) but he did help to weave a richer history of one of my favorite local sports teams.  And really, what would one call a Chicago team be without a curse or two to give them some character?

Oh yeah.  We call them the White Sox.