by Hop Nation USA's Adam
As a functioning adult, it’s difficult to convince myself that making waffles at 8:15 at night is a good idea. The mess, the knowledge that I don’t have at least one needed ingredient on hand, and the fact that late night indigestion is slowly becoming a reality all are colliding to convince me that this is all really a bad idea. Not only that, I’m already in my PJs, so going and getting breakfast at the diner down the road just isn’t happening. Fortunately, the good people of Rusty Rail have solved that problem with their new Waffle Sauce Maple Pecan Imperial Brown Ale, a hefty beer that was created to take on the uptick in using maple in beers in the last few years.
The beer certainly has the thick mouthfeel that one would expect from something laden with maple syrup. This is certainly not a beer for mid-July yardwork. The thick mouthfeel actually works to the Waffle Sauce’s advantage, as it allows you to sip and enjoy it. Unlike the Saugatuck Blueberry Maple Stout, Rusty Rail brings a fresh approach with the addition of pecans to the mix. The maple and pecans actually do a good job of working with each other in the beer, with the pecans taking the back seat at the beginning of the sip, but ultimately finding its way to the front as a prominent part of the aftertaste. The combination of tastes does an admirable job of replicating the taste of a pecan waffle, or at least as best as one would expect. Bitterness is nonexistent, as was the head when it got poured. The party piece for this beer is its flavor, and there is no doubting that Rusty Rail nailed it.
At 8.2% ABV, you don’t want to chug this beer down, and the unique taste make sure that you don’t this is a beer that should be enjoyed, as it seemed to get better the warmer it got. A cool serving seems like the best bet here. Additionally, although this is a really good beer, I’m not sure I’d recommend drinking more than one in a session. If you’re in for a multi-beer evening, I’d definitely follow this one up with some lighter fare.
Overall, the Waffle Sauce is a good decision for two reasons. One, the beer is pretty darn good. Rusty Rail called their shot and nailed it with the flavors. Two, I only have to toss a single glass into the dishwasher instead of cleaning up the huge mess that making waffles at 8:15 would create. Win. Win.
4 stacks out of 5.