By Jonathan McNamara
Even the great Hindu sage Valmiki surely could not have predicted that when he penned life into Hanuman, the monkey god in the Hindu epic The Ramayana, the character would end up on a bottle of beer.
Yet that's exactly what seems to have happened as an ape-faced deity sits plastered (pun intended) on Arizona-based Nimbus Brewing Company's labels.
This week's brew: Today we'll determine if Nimbus' Oatmeal Stout is fit for a god.
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Tastes: Clean. Prior to letting the roasted, amber liquid hit my tongue, my nostrils detected a crisp cleanliness. Dark beer fans will have no trouble downing a few mugs of Oatmeal Stout without the unfortunate lead stomach effect other stout beers tend to result in. The oatmeal included in the brewing process gives this beer a soft finish with absolutely no aftertaste.
I had mine: while admiring a painting of business men whose feet and hands had changed places, at Lost Leaf. If you want to check out the other brews offered by Nimbus Brewing Co., they've got just about all of them here.
Goes with: Nimbus recommends drinking the oatmeal stout with "shellfish, rich cheeses, chocolates and steaks." I agree with most of their pairings, but I'd be wary of shellfish. If we're talking about an Old Bay-doused crawfish boil, you're probably okay, but a beer this full-bodied could easily overpower the subtle flavors of more subdued shellfish recipes.
Verdict: After a long day of leading his monkey army against the demon king Ravana, I'm positive that Hanuman would have enjoyed sitting back and watching the smoldering battlefield with an Oatmeal Stout in his paw. How fortunate that you merely have to hit up your local bar.