Taste Test Thursday: Weird Beers

This week D Magazine staffers tasted a handful of bizarre brews.

This week D Magazine staffers tasted a handful of bizarre brews. Now, we’re not talking about artificially flavored chocolate-banana-doughnut ales. No way. These selections are all brewed with natural, and somewhat odd ingredients that aren’t typically associated with beer.

There’s a bottle brewed with oysters, another that tastes like a really great bowl of curry, and one that’ll keep vampires at bay (it actually has holy water in it). Pretty weird. Or awesome, depending how into vampire lore you are. Here’s what happened.

The beers:

A. Perle ai Porci Oyster Stout
B. Ballast Point Indra Kunindra
C. Dogfish Head Rosabi
D. Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout
E. Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin
F. Odell Foot Print Region Ale


Tasting notes:

Perle ai Porci Oyster Stout — Ale brewed with oysters and clams, 5.5% ABV

  • Chocolate and malty, good balance.
  • Malty dark; not much of a nose, or it’s overpowered by this cup’s paper smell. It’s just a solid dark beer, nothing remarkable.
  • Soy taste, with sesame? Drinks easier than its appearance.
  • Mostly harmless.
  • Dense malt, some chocolate herby nose, not great mouthfeel, tacky. Kind of boring except for the aroma.


Ballast Point Indra Kunindra — Stout with Madras curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut, and kaffir lime, 7% ABV

  • Can smell the spice before even tasting it. For some reason, reminds me of Indian food. Is it curry?
  • This smells like Thai food. Is that fish sauce? It also has a healthy kick at the end. Fun.
  • Curry spice nose, but not flavor. Cardamon-y. Delicious.
  • Smells better than it tastes, but tastes pretty good.
  • Sarsaparilla, evergreen, whoa that’s spicy. Cayenne, OK the heat won’t go away. No more, thanks, but well done, beer maker.


Dogfish Head Rosabi — Imperial pale ale brewed with wasabi, 8% ABV

  • Nice hops. A bit floral, and a bit sweet. Can’t figure out what the unique flavor is.
  • Has a nice lemongrass start, then the hops come in at the end. Very nice.
  • lemongrass. I enjoy this. Smooth backend. Some pickling spice. Juniper?
  • Bud Light?
  • Bold spice aroma, kinda don’t want to taste it. Pleasant out of the gate. Tangy cereal, good carb. This is good.


Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout — Stout with holy water, and malts smoked with hickory and ash, 11% ABV

  • Super malty. Would like to sip this one in front of a fire.
  • Thick, syrupy. It’s not bad, but I’m not a huge fan of beers this dark.
  • Taste is kind of muddy, but I like the maltiness. Some bitterness, not too sweet.
  • No comment.
  • Looks like oil. Nut skin nose. Thick bitter finish, interesting enough. Good balance.


Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin — India pale ale with habanero peppers added, 7% ABV

  • Smells like vinegar. Whoa! *Cough cough* that’s spicy! it hits you pretty fast, but kind of like it.
  • Oh, pepper smell. Good lord that’s immediate. Burns the esophagus goddamn immediately. Fun novelty, but no.
  • Smells like fresh cut jalapeños, with some peach. Good for one, but no more.
  • Spicy, kind of an Indian food thing going on.
  • Raunchy smell, like horse feed, sour seeds, and grass. Bell pepper, licorice spicy. Damn, hot, nice burn, though.


Odell Foot Print Region Ale — Ale brewed with a variety of hops and barely, wild rice, corn, green chiles, honey, prickly pear juice, and grapefruit juice, 9.6% ABV

  • Taste buds are little shot from last one. Kind of sweet. Pretty mellow.
  • Fruity, nice nose. Disappointing flavor, a little too sweet for my taste. Almost like beer Jell-O.
  • Like soapy cilantro. This does nothing for more.
  • About as harmless as “A.”
  • Fruit by the foot, strawberry, gummy goodness, grape, balanced, sweet and hopped. Gentle. I like. I want.


Tally up:

A. Perle ai Porci Oyster Stout 0
B. Ballast Point Indra Kunindra 1
C. Dogfish Head Rosabi 4
D. Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher American Imperial Stout 0
E. Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin 0
F. Odell Foot Print Region Ale 0


The winner is:
The taste testers chose Dogfish Head’s Rosabi imperial pale ale. The beer, which is made up of a combination of Munich and caramel malts, with a hint of red rice from Louisiana, is brewed with wasabi. It’s flavorful, hoppy, and a little fiery. So, what’s your take on wasabi beer? How about beer brewed with oysters? Let’s talk about it.


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