Lakefront Brewery: Snake Chaser

by: BeerAdvocate on 03-21-2007
Welcome to week 2 of our variety eight-pack from the Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, WI. Hopefully, by now, you’ve recovered from St. Patrick’s Day. Us? We’re still game for more, so this week’s tasting is most appropriate: Snake Chaser, an Irish-style Stout. The name and label are obviously a tip of the hat to St. Patrick, who drove pagans (oops, we meant snakes) out of Ireland. But we digress.

Lakefront Brewery Snake Chaser Irish-style StoutIrish Stouts tend to be dry, light to medium in body and low in alcohol content, with a distinct bitterness that comes from both roasted barley and some hops—though the roasted character will be more noticeable. They’re sometimes served on nitro-draught, to mimic Guinness Draught and provide that signature velvety-smooth head and feel on the palate, but the nitro serving method isn’t always preferred.

The Taste
The 12-ounce bottle pours a pitch-black, topped with a creamy tan-colored head that leaves a healthy ringed lace as it settles, with a bit of stick on the glass. Deep roasted malts, some acrid notes, blackstrap molasses, fresh grist, moist earth, and hints of chocolate and coffee grounds. Nearly medium-bodied, with a mineral-tasting and slightly sweet malty roundness. Some carbonation-induced creaminess on the palate segues to an expected dryness and tangy, astringent roasted barley bite. A touch of hop bitterness provides some citric edge and melds with the acridness of the brew for a perceived sourness. Smoky characters emerge as the beer warms, as do subtle drops of caramel. The overall dryness of the beer carries through to the finish, with a semi-burnt linger and bitter end.

Final Thoughts
Currently, there are only 20 reviews of Snake Chaser on our site, but it’s received fair marks so far. That said, we suspect that many of the reviewers are confused as to what a Stout like this is meant to be. Personally, we think Snake Chaser is pretty damn spot-on for the style. It’s not too thick; it has plenty of roasted malt and dryness for what you’d expect out of an Irish Dry Stout, and at 5 percent alcohol by volume, it’s a good candidate for a decent session brew. We recommend giving this beer a chance to warm up a bit before you enjoy it, and try pairing it with some barbecue or sharp cheddar cheese.

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