The Veil Brewing Company | Coconut Hornswoggler
The Veil Brewing Company’s is still gathering long lines of dedicated fans from across the United States for their phenomenal beers. Yet, what I really appreciate about them is that even though they are considered one of the best breweries in Virginia; they do not rest on their laurels. They are willing to alter a perfect recipe just to give drinkers a new flavor experience. Hornswoggler has worked as the great canvas to show off their brewing skills by using difficult ingredients beyond what anyone could have believed.
Hornswoggler is unique to The Veil’s line-up, being the only dark, roasted beer they’ve had since the beginning. The beer demands it’s own attention from the audience thanks to the great label by in-house artist Tim Skirven and marketing campaign. In true Willy Wonka fashion, every 4-pack of Hornswoggler has the chance to contain a golden token that can be redeemed for a gold-rimmed glass that the brewery does not sell. This gives the beer double incentive to anyone who wants to drink their newest, stunning beer and a cherished brewery keepsake.
The Milk Stout has come in a variety of flavors including vanilla, double chocolate, coffee, and Oreos, which earned The Veil national attention. They would later appear in public spotlight once again by making a double IPA made with Fried Chicken. I don’t know what The Veil will do next to wow food/drink outlets, but rest assured they have no fears in the brew house. They are already throwing their hat into the ring by using this notorious ingredient.
Coconut has been the key to some Virginia’s highest rated, most-desired beers: Brothers Craft Brewery’s Coconut Resolute, The Answer Brewpub’s King Kahuna, and Lickinghole Creek’s Bachelor’s Delight. The ingredient is difficult to use because it requires a fairly high amount to be noticeable yet dissipates rather quickly with age. Most coconut beers will have an oily mouthfeel and small amount of head due to coconut’s natural fat content. All the beers listed above either have a high ABV or are backed up by the presence of barrel aging.
Getting a picture of the head was a challenge due to the coconut but I was so happy to capture a moment of its fleeting beauty. This is one of the darkest heads I have seen, reminiscent of frothy cup of chocolate milk heavy on the cocoa powder. The aroma is sweet, featuring an elegant touch of toasty coconut and caramel malts. We’re talking less Mounds bar and more gourmet 60% dark cocoa featuring toasted coconut flakes.
What’s amazing about Hornswoggler is how it matches up against the imperial counterparts. The coconut is used flawlessly from the first step on the tongue to the lingering aftertaste. This is comparable to the finest coconut macaroons triple dipped in bittersweet chocolate. Don’t be afraid of the glossy head; the syrupy flecks that stick to the glass highlight the use of this hard to master ingredient. Hornswoggler is that kind of beer that’s so good, you’d be happy to cut open just to get those final everlasting drops.
The Veil’s top tier quality has spoken for itself once again outside the realm of juicy IPAs. I don’t know if they’ll ever make this variant of Hornswoggler again, but you should keep an eye out for any version they do. This beer was worth the wait in line for an experience I won’t soon forget.