Yes the 10W30 is also a beer, not just a high viscosity engine oil. But when you pour the Neustadt version you may get confused as to which is which. Well, not really – there is quite a big difference between a dark brown ale and engine oil. But the point is that the 10W30 was designed to be a dark, malty, rich and creamy brown ale that would resemble the depth of engine oil. Point taken.
This is a classic English Style Premium Dark Mild Beer. What does that mean? Its very malty, only lightly bitter, has creamy and nutty flavors with a smooth, and just lightly carbonated texture. I like these, especially when done well. They can be so satisfying and delicious, and make the perfect pairing with a huge range of foods, deserts and cheeses.
This version was brewed in Neustadt Ontario, pretty much in the middle of nowhere right between Kitchener and Owen Sound. But if you are ever lost in that area of Ontario, the brewery is absolutely worth the visit. It shouts craft beer a million miles away, as does the 10W30. The 10W30 is widely available in Ontario at practically all well stocked LCBO locations. It comes in a 473ml can at 5.5% abv, and is best enjoyed fresh, and should not be cellared. I have come back to this beer so many times and am always superbly satisfied. If you ever see it on draught, and it does make its way around, you have to try it. The draught version accentuates the creamy and smooth mouthfeel to a level of sheer perfection.
I poured the 10W30 cool around 10C (50F) into an English Tulip Pint Glass. It poured smoothly building huge life the second it hit the glass. A large fluffy and airy tan to light mocha brown head was formed a good 2 inches on top the beer forming a creamy and mountainous cap. The beer glowed a transparent dark amber brown leaning on red brick. Into the light ruby reds and golden brown peered through with a glow of mahogany and oak always lingering in the back.
The nose is lightly sweet but very malty. It is soft and not overly powerful, but very apparent roast malts and grains float into your olfactory sensors. A touch of whiskey-like sweetness shows up on the end with a hint of peat and mossy earth. Little if any hops are noticeable, but the beer comes off as very clean and rather subtle.
Letting in a large gulp brings a big round wave of juicy malt flavors that initially favor browned butter and caramel, but smoothly fade into brown sugar, molasses, vanilla bean, and roasted walnuts. The malt is wide and flowing touching your tongue, cheeks and throat with elegantly smooth, but richly flavorful grain-like flavors. Here again, from the grain, comes a touch of the whiskey and mossy peat flavor. It adds a nice layer of complexity and also a some bitterness to balance a malt focused beer.
Theres no hiding it though, this is a malty beer, and it was designed to be. As the beer warms bigger nut flavors develop, as does a creamy and mellow toffee sweetness and smoother flavors of prunes and bread dough. Hops are only lightly floral, and can’t really play a role here with the strength of the malt. There is a light bitter cocoa flavor that hides in at the end, and another round soft nutty flavor that I can’t quite pin.
The mouthfeel is very soft and silky – the beer has very little carbonation to speak of, and does work brilliantly with the flavors found here. This was a well constructed beer and leaves me with a sweetly malty flavor in my mouth wanting more.
This all makes it a very versatile beer. It is not aggressive or potent, it just has big round and lush flavors that sooth the palate in a mellow sweet, and slightly warming manner. I would start with cheese, aiming for melty brie, smoked cheeses, old white cheddar or gouda. This beer will also fit anything roasted or anything with char marks. It may have been designed for the pub, and as such try anything fried or smoked as well. It would even do well with cheesecake or rich chocolate deserts.