Adroit Theory Brewing Company | The Devil Made Me
ABV: 7.5% | IBU: 33
The beers at Adroit Theory Brewing Company are, as they say, “not for the faint of heart.” In keeping with their slogan of “Consume Life. Drink Art”, one might consider their beers quite the artistic achievement.
Art is about looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary and finding the unfamiliar in the familiar. It stirs up emotions. It might make you uncomfortable, or maybe you forge a deep and lasting connection with a certain piece that speaks to you. I’d say Adroit Theory is doing just that with their beers, adding what might be to some the “unfamiliar” (like fresh basil, various peppers or hibiscus) into what’s familiar to all of us (IPAs, porters and saisons). There’s a lot of creativity and imaginative thinking going on at Adroit Theory, and they’re forcing the craft beer drinker to move outside their comfort zone with unique and bold beer flavors.
Located in Purcelleville, Virginia, one of my favorite beers from Adroit Theory is The Devil Made Me. It’s a smoked porter brewed with Serrano peppers and then barrel aged in either bourbon barrels or mezcal barrels. The bourbon barrel variation is quite tasty, but I prefer those additional smoky flavors that aging in the mezcal barrels provides. Mezcal is an agave-based spirit similar to tequila. It’s made from the roasted piña, which is the heart of an agave plant. This is what lends those strong, smoky aromas and flavors and makes for aging beers to create this style a brewer’s dream.
If you’re looking for a spicy kick in the pants, The Devil Made Me is incredible with its smoky porter taste and a punch of pepper on the finish. It pours very deep brown in color, almost black, with a toffee-colored head. On the nose you’ll immediately pick up the smoky and mild booziness of the mezcal mixed with dark, roasted coffee aromas. With your first sip, those smoky mezcal flavors hit your palate up front with just a hint of the Serrano pepper lingering in the background. Don’t be fooled! The pepper flavors will begin to intensify as you move throughout the beer. Balancing out the smoke and peppers, you’ll also taste the rich, dark chocolate and coffee notes of the porter. The beer will leave an impression on you, with its lingering finish filled with a spicy heat that dances alongside the smoky mezcal flavor in the back of your throat. It’s not a heavy beer by any means; it’s actually easy drinking and very crisp on the palate. But it requires you to be a little bit adventurous, have an open mind and embrace “the uncomfortable”. Oh yeah, and to really love both heat and smoky flavors in your beer! Tell me, is there anything better?
I’d be remiss of me not to point out to you their bottle artwork and the stories behind each and every single beer. Their beer labels are just as interesting and distinctive as the beers they brew. The Devil Made Me features a few familiar faces – Gacy, Manson and Dahmer to name a few. “Why do they do it? Where does the evil come from? Are they products of their environment, or is there a darker force at work? Many questions, but few answers. Fill your glass, and brood on the wickedness latent in the human heart. Then raise the glass in a toast to judgment and justice. Just don’t look them in the eyes, for you might see yourself. ”