Upon pouring Grimm’s Icing on the Cake into a globe glass, the initially sepia-colored liquid transforms into a deep jet black, setting the stage for a promising imperial stout experience. However, the moderate tan foam, coupled with lower-than-expected head retention, raises an early eyebrow.


The olfactory journey of this dessert stout kicks off with a robust punch of peanut butter powder and cocoa powder, concocting an intriguing Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup allure. However, the heavy reliance on adjuncts, particularly the artificial peanut butter powder, dominates the forefront of the palate. The subsequent shift to chocolate-covered hazelnut and praline introduces a nutty bitterness that strives for equilibrium but doesn’t entirely escape the pastry stout realm.


In navigating the flavor landscape, it becomes evident that Icing on the Cake teeters on the edge of the “pastry stout” category. While it successfully avoids plunging into the abyss of cloying sweetness, the beer lacks the expected richness. The body is surprisingly medium, with a subtle kettle hop bitterness dialed down to a mere whisper. The quest for a flourless chocolate cake flavor seems to be hindered by the prominence of nutty notes, straying away from the beer’s official description. The absence of a silkier, denser texture and a more pronounced bitterness, with melted chocolate taking center stage, leaves a lingering sense of unfulfilled potential.


Contrary to expectations, the body of Icing on the Cake falls short of the anticipated richness. Striking a more medium-bodied profile, the beer’s texture lacks the silkiness and density crucial for emulating the essence of a decadent flourless chocolate cake. The subdued kettle hop bitterness, although intentionally mild, might leave enthusiasts yearning for a bolder expression.


While personal preferences might not align with the characteristics of this particular brew, credit is due to Grimm for consistently crafting original recipes that manage to stand out in the bustling craft beer landscape. Despite my reservations, the brewery’s innovative approach and distinct design captivate the attention. The attempt to balance the scales with a praline and hazelnut infusion showcases a commendable effort, though the beer ultimately falls short of delivering the anticipated richness and bitterness reminiscent of a true flourless chocolate cake. The artificial tinge from the prominent peanut butter powder note may prove divisive, leaving some imbibers puzzled rather than satisfied. In the grand tapestry of craft beers, Icing on the Cake, while not my personal preference, adds a unique brushstroke to Grimm’s portfolio.