Garage Project ‘Cookies & Cream’ Dark Ale


1005544_465712533612897_7557056305675698471_n“A touch of sweet indulgence made in collaboration with Auckland’s iconic Moustache milk & cookie bar. Brewed with Belgian yeast, dark caramelized malts and milk sugars to create a beer with a rich, juicy dark malt and biscuit character with just a hint of chocolate and a touch of spice. Go on, treat yourself.”

Ever since the first Garage Project beer we bought back in early 2013 these guys have always had the propensity to be creative with the artwork on their labels. Just recently they’ve stepped it up a few notches with the introduction of cans along with some really intricate strips on their bottled range. They return with another interesting piece here – a swirly and almost tripped out pattern that kind of reminds us of a vanilla milkshake with raspberry swirls down the glass. An ode to the milk & cookie bar perhaps. OK let’s roll on.

Served in a beer tulip. The attractive crimson appearance is covered by a frothy three finger crown. Some wavy lace patterns are omitted as the head gradually subsides. It’s distinctly Belgian on the nose. A sweet, grainy scent is nicely worked in to a somewhat creamy and lactosey character initially. Cookie dough comes through while a subtle hint of white chocolate drops is uncovered. What isn’t working well is this unwelcome fresh pear/apple scent that is usually an aroma imparted by Belgian yeast. It works well with Belgian beer, just not as well in this dark ale. The mouth feel offers a good consistency. Co2 is up and the body holds a decent weight. The 6.2% ABV is well concealed and the light texture makes for effortless progression down the throat. A tasty combo of dark malts are offset by a subtle creaminess upfront as a delicate bitterness flows through. As it carries across the mid a slight roast comes forward leading in to a mildly dry and doughy finish with reasonable length to the rear palate. We’d have to admit this wasn’t what we were expecting. It’s similar to Lord Nelsons Old Admiral where we were hoping for something thicker and creamier. Don’t get us wrong though, the cookies and cream flavors do come through but in our opinion this yeasty pear/apple flavour really didn’t work in well with the fundamental character of the bale. Not bad, we’re just a little deflated by it.