Lazy Magnolia brewing out of Kiln, Mississippi is a local craft outfit that's been around a little while now, and become surprisingly widespread, at least in Southeast Louisiana. Their Southern Pecan ale has made the rounds at any number of places with beers on tap, even some that don't really carry that many.
But it's another one of their darker offerings that has my attention at the moment, the Jefferson Stout. It's a cream-based stout that uses a quintessential southern ingredient (and a personal favorite) -- the sweet potato.
Now, in case you're thinking, no, this isn't a "sweet potato" beer, not really. They just add a bit of richness to this creamy, subtly sweet stout:
Jefferson Stout, Lazy Magnolia's original Sweet Potato Cream Stout, is Lazy Magnolia's version of the ideal Southern-Style Stout. Jefferson Stout is brewed with sweet potatoes and lactose (milk sugar). The sweet potatoes provide the background to an impressive taste with added notes of roasted chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors.
This one's available in six-pack bottles, or on draft, and is 4.65 alcohol-by-volume.
It's a thick, black beer with an appropriately ruddy brown head. If there's an area where the sweet potatoes really hit, it's on the bouquet. On the front end, you get just a teensy bit of hoppy flavor that slides really quick into a robust, sweet, rich, roasted malty flavor. Then it goes just a little further into the rich, creaminess the stout. The lactose really helps the beer kind of drift through the different flavors on each sip, and then slide into just a little bit of a sweet potato aftertaste. It's a little too rich to be a long session beer, but a couple won't leave you feeling too full. Great as an after-dinner desert as well. I give it a strong 4.5 out of five stars.