|Pig + Beer = Yum|
The smokey 2010 vintage pours flat with almost no head to speak of, and has a dark brown, almost reddish-yellow tinge reminiscent of sunlight shining through whiskey. The aroma is like an old house with a wood stove, and includes subtle hints of summer grilling. Charkoota, upon first smell, seems more like a food than a beverage.
The intimidating aroma is indicative of the initially overpowering smoke flavors. Charkoota is brewed with rye and four other malts, including barley, smoked over cherry wood by the brewers, which give the beer a barbecue flavor that is at first confusing, even disconcerting. But the beer quickly dulls into a caramel-butterscotch richness that finishes surprisingly clean.
If nothing else, Charkoota Rye, 19° Plato, Alc. 7.79% by Vol., is memorable -- sticks in your mind like hints of molasses. A 22 oz. bottle retails for about $9, and would be great for marinades and cooking, or paired with smoked sausage.