Broken Bow Brewery - Chloe
Serving Temperature:52–59° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Snifter, Mug, or Nonic Glass
As one of two Rare Beer Club exclusives this month, we’re thrilled to have gotten Chloe, a rum-barrel-aged coconut Baltic porter from the folks at Broken Bow. We’ve been loving the big beers we’ve had the chance to sample from these folks, and this offers up a number of the aspects that this brewery is doing great. The rum barrel comes through smoothly, with a nice degree of caramelized complexity to it. That Baltic-style porter core is well structured, a subtly bitter edge beneath the sweeter parts. And the coconut’s contribution is subtle, adding a roundness of umami-like mouthfeel that adds one more dimension to this delicious release.
Broken Bow’s Chloe pours a rich brown-sugar color; deeply roasted and dark at the core but with softer, honeyed tones around the edges. There’s a decent cap of off-white foam here, in spite of the high ABV, and it leaves behind some tiny-bubbled lacing around the perimeter. There’s a whole lot of aromatics present here from first pour: dried fruits and caramel and a touch of candied apple, a vibrant ripeness of fruit keeping things light. As this warms a bit in the glass, we start to get more of that charred character from the rum barrels, along with the roast and malty sweetness of the base porter. It’s malt-focused but never heavy, packed with an abundance of fruit, caramelization, and toast.
There’s a touch of pepper and baker’s chocolate. Maraschino cherry. Sweet toasted coconut.
Medium-light levels of carbonation lend themselves well to this beer, and it’s rounded and sweetness focused but streamlined with a subtle, vinous alcohol warmth. This is dense, big, but poised overall and layered in a manner that’s super smooth and explorable. The ripe red fruits counterpoint the caramelized sugars, toasty barrel char, and sweet vanilla. Coconut’s a secondary element for Chloe, contributing almost as much to the texture of this beer as the flavor, and there’s an overall vibe of toasted almond: like the orgeat syrup and, frankly, all the other aspects of a good mai tai minus the lime. This is rich, rewarding to dig into, and a very satisfying nightcap worth sharing. Give it a little time to warm up for the best results.
While present, the caramelization levels on this are on the restrained side right now, so a bit of oxidation and sherry-like character from further cellaring time should fit right in. Just go easy, and check after six months or so. For food pairings, the core notes of brown sugar and dried fruit have us looking to chili-rubbed pork, bread pudding, or crème brulee.
Broken Bow Brewery is situated in the small village of Tuckahoe, New York in the state’s Hudson Valley. This is southern Westchester County, a little over 15 miles from midtown Manhattan. Tuckahoe’s name, since you asked, translates to “it is globular,” and was used by Native Americans to refer to the area’s bulbous roots. We’re super-excited to showcase this up-and-coming brewery—which opened its doors in August 2013—to our thirsty Rare Beer Club members. We’ve been digging everything so far from these folks, from the core Broken Auger Lager and Broken Heart Stout to their most potent barrel-aged stuff. This month, we are able to offer up a Rare Beer Club exclusive from Broken Bow Brewery, showcasing what we think the brewery does especially well with their Chloe—a decadent coconut Baltic porter aged in rum barrels, packed with barrel-aged and malty expressiveness. This seemed a perfect introductory beer from this impressive brewery in the Hudson Valley.
Broken Bow founder Mike LaMothe started homebrewing around 20 years ago, back in Stamford, Connecticut. The homebrewing interest sparked a business idea around building a brewery within the family, and today many of Mike’s family members work in different parts of the company, including his parents and siblings. (The brewery’s named after the town in Nebraska where Mike’s mother was brought up.) Distribution of their core line of cans has been slowly expanding across New York, and the brewery’s a short train ride up from NYC.
For those curious to visit the family brewery and tasting room over at Broken Bow (maybe to check out our their Great American Beer Festival-medal-winning Old Split-Foot strong ale), they’re currently open 5pm–8pm Thursdays, 1pm–10pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 1pm–8pm on Sundays. (The tasting room’s closed Monday through Wednesday.) Tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays and can be booked online for a small fee. The brewery’s located at 173 Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe—readily accessible via either the Bronx River or Hutchinson River Parkways, or an easy walk from train stations nearby. If you do end up making the trip up to Tuckahoe, be sure to tell the folks at Broken Bow that The Rare Beer Club says hello! Also: leave some time in your visit to spend in Broken Bow’s beer garden (usually open April through October, weather permitting). Play some cornhole, snag some empanadas from License 2 Grill nearby, and enjoy some pints at one of the finest up-and-coming breweries in the beer-savvy state of New York.
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