Brewed by: Parallel 49 Brewing (Vancouver, BC)
Ingredients: various malts, hops, pumpkin, ginger and spices
An encounter with the dude at the liquor store:
Me: Do you guys have the Parallel 49 pumpkin beer, the chocolate porter?
Him: Yeah, it’s over here, but you know – it’s not very chocolatey.
Me: It’s called that because it has a chocolate malt. Not because it has chocolate in it.
Did I mention I’m an insufferable pedant?
I swear this will be the only time I’ll do this: I love Parallel
49’s goofy labels normally, but this one doesn’t make me think “abandon all hope, ye who enter here”. It makes me think Looney Tunes. I know it’s more in keeping with their latest label designs, but I liked last year’s better. I also want them to change the name of Gypsy Tears, though that’s a rant for another day.
I was surprised by the lack of head when I poured this one. I guess I was expecting something more like Guinness? Even when I tried to make it foam up more for a good picture, it dissipated quickly. The carbonation is pretty minimal, so I suppose that’s to blame.
This is by far the darkest beer I’ve done so far, and likely to remain so. Also the least pumpkin-y. The label assures me it contains pumpkin, ginger and cinnamon, but I can’t detect any of that – no spice, no squash. Also, I think Liquor Store Dude was wrong. Lost Souls may not taste like a candy bar, but it’s sweet and has definite cocoa notes. It’s porter all the way down, black as sin and heavy as hell. (Appropriately enough.) I drank it twenty minutes ago and I can still taste it. The hops are right on, and although it lingers, it doesn’t have an unpleasant aftertaste at all.
Basically I’m a little disappointed, even though if this were sold as just Lost Souls Chocolate (non-pumpkin) Porter, I’d probably be thrilled. A really solid beer, A+, would drink again, but if you’re looking for pie in a bottle, this ain’t it.
*Orphaned footnote: the Parade of Lost Souls is an awesome Vancouver tradition on the Drive, organized by the good folks at Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret. You should definitely go if you get the chance – it’s fun, cool, and best of all, free.