Nov 14, 2013

DuClaw Brewing Sweet Baby Jesus

I’m not sure about the rest of the world (or even the rest of the U.S.), but locally along the East Coast few beer have been getting as much hype this year as DuClaw Brewing’s Sweet Baby Jesus. It’s been getting so much attention, in fact, that it’s become the brewery’s top selling product (Baltimore City Paper article). That’s great for the company and fans that want more of this beer, but what’s so special about it?

Perhaps it’s my natural inclination to be skeptical of the amount of attention any one thing gets, but I found the 6.5% ABV porter a bit one-dimensional. Oh, it’s tasty, but like most gimmicky beers didn’t go too far beyond that which makes it such — in this case the peanut buttery influence. Personally, I think the company makes some outstanding beers and many that are far better than this particular one.


Sweet Baby Jesus pours a dark, dark brown in color with a smallish cap of tan foam that dropped quickly to a thin, patchy surface cover.


Loads of peanut butter, distant chocolate and a soft roast fill the nose smoothly.


Cocoa, roast malt and a solid bit of nuttiness arrive all together in a combination that reminds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but only really late in the drying finish. There’s a touch of hop bitterness in the mix as well that lingers gently. This is not an overly complexly flavored brew. It’s got the right body for a porter and drinks smoothly.


Sweet Baby Jesus is not a bad beer. It’s actually pretty darn tasty. I just don’t think it’s deserving of the hype that it receives. I’m thrilled that it’s helping DuClaw leave its mark on the craft beer map and the company is growing as a result, but that truly make much better beer than this. That said, I don’t think any of their products would go quite as well with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream as I believe this porter would. Looks like I have to buy at least one more bottle to test that theory.

Rating: 3.5/5

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