Review: Off Color Scurry

Review of Off Color Scurry from Off Color Brewing in Chicago, IL.

Beer Type: Dark Honey Ale  ABV: 5.3%  IBUs: 18  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “Just cause it’s dark and German doesn’t mean it’s an alt. Based on the obscure Kottbusser style of beer, this surprisingly dry beer retains all the aroma and nuance of honey (from bees) and molasses (not from bees) creating a perception of sweetness through cool, controlled fermentation. Because we’re sweet enough damn it.”

The Reality: This beer starts with a malty molasses scent and dark brown color. The initial flavor is rich and malty with mild sweetness like honey & molasses, but they are right in saying it has a “perception of sweetness”, because just as you think you’re getting sweet tones, they dissipate into an herbal and subtly bitter finish with really dry carbonation. There are definitely spice and clove notes at work, as well as dark chocolate and hops towards the finish. Really complex, the full gulp almost feels like the tale of two beers because of the transition from one flavor profile to another. The aftertaste is a mild semi-sweet semi-bitter blend that leaves quickly.

Final Verdict: This is the first “kottbusser” style beer I’ve tried, or at least the first one that I’m aware that I’ve tried, and I think that just means an old German style made with honey and molasses. If you can get your hands on one I’d recommend trying it because it’s definitely a different beer drinking experience. The honey and molasses leave behind a lot of richness along with herbal, floral and spice notes that I found really interesting. Overall I liked this beer, but it took a little getting used to. I hope I can find more kottbusser styles in the future to compare it to and because I think the style has a lot of potential, much like Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake. Just Kidding! That movie looked like a roid-rage canon-killing train wreck from the beginning.