Earlier this year, for the first time Wicked Weed Brewing of Asheville, N.C. put one of its beers in cans.
The beer in question was French Toast Stout, an 8.8 percent ABV imperial stout brewed with cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup. The stout was first released as a draft-only option in 2014, but this is the first time it had been packaged and it was released on Jan. 30 in four-packs of 16-ounce cans ($15) with a one case per person limit. According to the brewery, this batch of French Toast Stout was brewed on a 15bbl brewpub system, resulting in 1 1/2 pallets of cans being sold.
French Toast Stout was followed six weeks later by a second can release, S’Mores Stout, a “hearty” 9.8 percent ABV imperial stout brewed with graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows.
The French Toast Stout pours a deep, dark brown and features two fingers worth of mocha head that slowly dissipates, leaving a thick ring of the same color behind. There seems to be plenty of carbonation visible, and the aroma coming from the glass is a combination of dark chocolate, sweet malts, cinnamon, coffee beans and slight vanilla sweetness.
The flavors in the beer follow the nose almost exactly, with a rich dark chocolate the dominant note, followed by roasted coffee beans, licorice and some oak. There is a touch of vanilla sweetness on the finish, but not nearly as much as I expected, and while I do pick up some cinnamon every once in a while, it is too faint to really impact the overall profile all that much. The carbonation in the beer is nicely integrated, and sticks around for quite a while after it is poured in the glass.