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And the Valley Drinks: Crooked Letter's Mystery Romp

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Billy Gomila

After a couple of weeks of experimentation, I decided to go back to what I know best and find a good dark beer. A recent trip over to the Chimes brought Crooked Letter Brewing's Mystery Romp to my eye. And hey, that name sounds intriguing enough, right?

Crooked Letter is out of Ocean Springs over in Mississippi. I've vaguely heard of them but haven't had the occasion to try many. They were at the recent Baton Rouge Beerfest last May, but my memories of that are...um...hazy.

Anyway, Mystery Romp is their porter. Right away, you gotta love a label like this.

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Nearest I can tell, it's not available in bottles anywhere in Louisiana, but it is on draught in some outlets. At 6.5 percent it's got some heart without being overwhelming.

Mystery Romp is a recipe that was a 5 yr evolution. Not that she was ever not a good beer. But, like any fancy lady she just always needed a little more. This porter has a gorgeous color at all stages. When brewed the swirl of earthy brown color dancing within the foam is picture worthy. When properly poured this beer vibrantly bubbles and sings. And as planned in the glass she is dark and mysterious. The smell of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate make her irresistible. This porter is Wanda's baby. Being a coffee and chocolate addict she probably went a little mad and over the top with this one. Surprisingly people besides her liked it, which makes us smile.

Review

The bouquet gives away the rich, chocolate flavor, as does the very dark brown head, but the open is still smooth. There's a bit of maltiness to give some texture, but the chocolate comes through and flows into just a little hint of coffee. There's enough of the roasted bean flavor to give it some depth and just a little hint of bitterness. But it's a very rich beer. Definitely not something you could session, but very enjoyable almost like a dessert. Not too sweet, just rich. I give it a nice 4.5 out of five stars. Would definitely enjoy again.