07 January 2011

At the cooking stout

Session logoI don't cook. I'm married to someone who cooks wonderfully and who hates cleaning up after -- which I don't mind -- so we have a very practical arrangement in place that suits us both. It has me at a bit of a loss for The Session this month, though. Hosted at Beer 47, the theme is Cooking With Beer, but you can't cook with beer if you don't cook. I did briefly consider breaking out the pots and pans and attempting to put something together, but it would no doubt have ended up as awful to read about as to eat.

Instead, I'm sticking with what I know: consuming beer straight up in liquid form. My nod to the theme is that it's a beer which exists primarily for the purposes of cookery. Casseroles, chillis, beef pies, chocolate cakes: all can allegedly be enhanced by the addition of Mackeson Stout, brewed by A-B InBev in the UK (Luton? Magor?) and sold in 33cl cans.

Despite the lightness of 3% ABV, and rather a watery texture, it's totally opaque black. The fizz is gentle, maintaining a light beige froth once the initial head subsides. Soft creamy toffee on the nose, and while the taste begins with sweet and happy fudge, it suddenly becomes jarringly acrid and metallic. Thankfully the thinness means this doesn't last long and we move on to condensed milk in the aftertaste. I have to say that, despite it making no claims to be anything other than what it is, I expected better. Something that has been around this long shouldn't have that sort of off flavour in it, even if the brewery doesn't expect anyone to actually drink it.

It's probably unreasonable to be disappointed in a 3% ABV macro-brewed cooking stout, but this guy had me expecting much better things.

I've a feeling my last two cans will end up being used for culinary purposes after all.


  1. I quite liked it. for a 3% ABV macro-stout. It reminded me of those black rectangular penny sweets I used to get. Even though it tasted nothing like them.

  2. I made a creme brulee with Mackesons once and it was delicious!

    And your deal sounds good... my girlfriend neither cooks nor cleans up after the mess I make in the kitchen (and I make a lot of mess).

  3. Get Mrs Beernut to whip something up and post a follow up of how it turns out. Be interesting to try the recipe with and without the stout and see if there is any difference.

  4. Because gathering material for this blog isn't enough of a strain on my marriage, you want me to start publishing reviews of my wife's cooking? Might give that one a miss...

  5. I hate cans.

    But there is something undeniably appealing about this one, even though you just know what lies within.

    A curious, and probably accidental, marketing victory.

  6. Not brewed in Luton - that closed down in the early 1980s. I believe you'll find it's brewed not far away, though - in Bedford, by Wells & Young's.

  7. Early '80s? Really? So there was never an actual Interbrew brewery in Bedfordshire?