When it comes to a new brewery, making a world class aromatic IPA is difficult, as all the great hops are usually spoken for years in advance. Noble Ale Works, a young brewery in Anaheim, used this challenge to come up with their own world class aromatic beer, one which defies age-old style guidelines.
Noble created Naughty Sauce; a blonde milk stout with coffee, served on nitro.
Let’s break that down: Blonde—it’s not a black beer. Milk stout—lactose (milk sugar) is added which creates a sweeter-fuller beer. Coffee—a custom blend by local roaster Portola Coffee Lab. Nitro—ultra-fine nitrogen gas that provides a gorgeous cascading head and a silky-smooth beer known to give you a beer-stache on the first sip.
"I was inspired to make the beer version of a cappuccino," says head brewer of Noble, Evan Price. One whiff of the creamy white head and you'll say he nailed it. Despite being a blonde stout, with your eyes shut, it smells and tastes like a roasty stout.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, the beer was released quarterly as it's a difficult and expensive beer to brew. Release parties with food trucks, bands, and a view of the Angel Stadium fireworks made for many memorable nights in the packed tasting room. The popularity of the beer paved the way for the young brewery to expand quickly, and afford high quality IPA hops, which helped them win recently at the World Beer Cup.
What makes it blonde? Traditional stouts use roasted and kilned barley malt to achieve their dark hue. Contrary to popular belief, a dark beer isn't higher alcohol, "thicker" or worthy of being poured on pancakes. The more roasted malt used in a beer, the darker it is, and the darkness has nothing to do with alcohol. Naughty Sauce uses no roasted malt, thus it is not dark, or is it lighter in alcohol than dark beers.
What makes Naughty Sauce special is its approachability. If you like coffee, you'll love the beer. Simple as that! Naughty Sauce sadly isn't served with decorative latte foam art, but it's about what's in the glass that matters. Big coffee aroma is what you'll get right away on the nose, followed by notes of fresh pecan pie. It's kind of like a roadside diner in a glass.
Milk stouts, also commonly called sweet or cream stout, are still fairly common and were hugely popular in the U.K. in the early 20th century. Local craft brewers tend to brew the style as it doesn't require a lot of hops, and Americans have an inherent lust for all things sweet.
The name Naughty Sauce was coined by Noble’s brewer Brad Kominek, who comes up with the vast majority of Noble's kitschy beer names. "I thought it was a sexy beer and needed a sexy beer name," says Brad. Naughty Sauce is now a year-round offering with variants appearing seasonally. A personal favorite is the fall version, Yoga Pantz, which is the beer version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Ugg boots are not required to order a pint.
As the beer is only served on nitro, it hasn't been packaged in bottles, kegs, and can't be taken home in a growler. The only place to get this unique beer is at Noble Ale Works' tasting room in Anaheim, or select draft accounts that can serve beer on nitrogen.
Created in partnership with Visit Anaheim