The third night of Chanukah falls on Christmas Eve this year, so I thought I’d reach deep into my beer hoard in the fridge and grab something I’ve been hanging onto for a “special day”. For today’s edition of #The8BeersOfChanukah, I’ve got a special treat – something with peanut butter. This is not your uncle Kevin’s two-four of lager – my love for all things peanut butter is only rivaled by my doggo’s admiration for the crushed legume.

Hailing from the Ottawa Valley, Whitewater Brewing Co.’s Peanut Butter Shake is a peanut butter stout that is light enough to enjoy after dinner with 4.5% ABV, and easy on the bitterness with 30 IBU. A can will set you back $3.75 at the LCBO – and please note that this can is an older one that’s been sitting in my fridge since the spring – there was a packaging date of February 27, 2019 on the bottom of the can. Allergy warning: this brew contains actual peanut extract as an adjunct, along with lactose.

You can still find this one in the LCBO but the packaging has been updated to look like this:

Whitewater Brewing Co. Peanut Butter Shake
Courtesy of the LCBO

Kole wasn’t sure about this beer. Although he loves peanut butter and he loves beer, he wasn’t sure what to think about combining the two in one unholy beverage. After all, it’s not a chocolate bar or part of the dessert buffet at your Bubby’s. I was a little unsure how fresh it would be after months hiding behind the mustard and a forgotten jar of kosher pickles.

We actually popped into the Whitewater Brewery brew pub in Foresters Falls, ON back in August while we were on our weeklong camping trip in Bon Echo. It was a bit of a chilly, rainy day at the time and we had the pupper with us, so we hung out on their patio for one beer before heading back to our campsite for a nap. If you’re out in cottage country along the Ontario / Quebec border, it’s worth a detour for a pint and a snack. We were trying to find the ghost town near Balaclava and decided to seek out the taproom for a change of pace.

Appearance: Dark brown colour, frothy tan head that lasted a lot longer than I expected for something hiding in the back of my fridge.

Aroma: Smells like an O’Henry candy bar. Peanut butter, milk chocolate, coffee grinds. Reminded me of a Coffee Crisp because of the coffee grinds – as if the two candy bars were on an illicit date.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel from the combination of oats in the grain bill and lactose. Flavours of milk chocolate, peanut butter, dark chocolate, coffee, and some bitter chocolate notes. The peanut notes were far more pronounced on the nose.

Aftertaste: Lingering flavour of Hershey’s bars, like walking along Stirling Road during production at the factory.

Food pairing: I think it would be a lovely accompaniment to a high quality vanilla ice cream or peanut brittle.

Overall: More than one can or pint would be overkill, but as part of a flight or as a single sipper, it works. I enjoyed it more than Kole, but as mentioned, I have an affinity for all things chocolate or peanut butter.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around. A dedicated Booze Hound, Shawna completed the Wine Specialist Certificate at George Brown College in 2018.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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