So this is a beer I didn’t know I needed until now.
Vancouver’s Doan’s Craft Brewing Company and Sons of Vancouver Distillery teamed up to create this delicious little number, combining Doan’s Altbier with SoV’s No. 82 Amaretto to create… you guessed it… Altaretto!
There’s actually some history to mixing amaretto and beer, but it’s not very compelling. Remember the Dr. Pepper cocktail? Half a shot of amaretto and half a shot of rum into half a glass of beer and you’ll get a fully wasted. Or you could just drink like a goddamn adult, that’s always an option.
Thankfully, Altaretto tastes nothing like a Dr. Pepper. And at 5.0% ABV, you’re not going to get shittered if you have a couple.
The base of this beer is Doan’s Altbier, and it’s the perfect pairing for the amaretto. Altbier is kind of like a German take on an English brown ale. It’s a malt-forward beer with a lovely nutty character, but with a very clean finish, owing to the fact that it’s a lagered ale, like it’s cousin from up the Rhine, the kölsch. Those nutty malt characteristics do a wonderful job of complementing the amaretto’s almond and fruit flavours.
The result is sweet and complex: there are flavours of marzipan, vanilla, caramel, dried fruit and even cola (but NOT Dr. Pepper). The finish is slightly creamy and lingering, but that’s OK because you want this beer to stick around. You want it to hang out all day. You want it to make you breakfast and take you to the Farmer’s Market after.
I guess it makes sense that Doan’s and SoV would come up with something so awesome, since they both produce such amazing stuff. Also, Evan Doan and James Lester are two of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet, so that probably has something to do with it, too.
Altaretto by Doan’s Craft Brewing Company / Sons of Vancouver Distillery (5.0% ABV, 20 IBU)
Appearance: Ruby brown with a light tan persistent head.
Aroma: Marzipan, caramel, vanilla, nut
Flavour: Almond, marzipan, vanilla, caramel, nutty malt character, dried fruit, sweet fig, cola, subtle earthy hop character.
Body: Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel (ugh, I hate that word), moderate carbonation and a sweet lingering finish.