The Answer Brewpub in Richmond, Va. is known for a great many things: over the top flavors in its sour creations, extremely interesting combinations of adjuncts and some of the best IPAs in the state. But one thing it was not known for was bottling any of its multitude of different stouts. Yes, the brewery has released crowlers of stouts on occasion in a very limited basis, but it was not until last year that any form of bottle was available, albeit a 12-ounce swing-top growler instead of a capped bottle.
One of the first stouts that The Answer put in swing-top growlers was Marshmallow Mathers Team Coconut, an 11.4 percent ABV Russian imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs, coconut, marshmallows, M&M’s and vanilla. That beer is a variant of the original Marshmallow Mathers, which was brewed sans coconut as a collaboration with Hop Culture Magazine and released in July 2018.
There have been four different Marshmallow Mathers variants released:
- Marshmallow Mathers (11.4 percent ABV) — Russian imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs, marshmallows, M&M’s and vanilla
- Marshmallow Mathers Team Coconut (11.4 percent ABV) — Russian imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs, coconut, marshmallows, M&M’s and vanilla
- Marshmallow Mathers: Team Fluffernutter (11.4 percent ABV) — Russian imperial stout brewed with JIF peanut butter, marshmallow, cacao nibs and vanilla
- Marshmallow Mathers: Team Chocolate M&Ms (11.4 percent ABV) — Russian imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs, “more” marshmallows, “more” M&M’s and vanilla
The original release of the collaboration also included a glass that was inspired by the battle scene in the comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
The swing top of the Marshmallow Mathers Team Coconut opens with absolutely no sound at all, so I am not surprised that the stout pours with no visible carbonation that I can discern. Visually, it is dark as night and so thick that I think it could pass for motor oil as it sticks to the sides of the glass like syrup. There are bits of marshmallow on the top of the beer, and the aroma is incredibly sweet, with maple, marshmallows, vanilla, graham crackers, cinnamon and dark chocolate.
Unsurprisingly, the profile of The Answer Marshmallow Mathers Team Coconut follows the nose almost exactly: an amazing combination of sweet chocolate and sweet cream dominates the palate, while graham crackers, coconut and vanilla are present in waves on the finish. The mouthfeel is exceedingly thick on the tongue—almost as thick as American Solera’s Life’s Distraction, which is saying something—an attribute that is not helped by the fact that there is no carbonation present at all to break it up.
As it warms, the sweetness in the profile of the Team Coconut sweetness becomes significantly more apparent—as well as quite a bit more cloying—overriding just about every other flavor other than dark chocolate and slight vanilla, something the lack of carbonation does nothing to help with.