Looking for a beer to celebrate all things frightful and fiendish on Oct. 31? Check out the label artwork on this spooky sixer (with absolutely no pumpkin beers!):
Tallgrass Zombie Monkie: The thought of undead monkeys roaming the streets is scary enough, but what sets this artwork apart is its texture. A bumpy, reptile skin-like surface coats the “Tactical Grip Can” along the black parts of the aluminum “to prevent slippage when fleeing,” according to Tallgrass Brewing Co. from Manhattan, Kansas. The robust porter boasts a bouquet of dark raisins, plums, dry cocoa powder and a touch of cola. Burnt toast and roasted coffee beans highlight the flavor initially with bittersweet chocolate and faint caramel joining in before an ashy finish. This beer would be a perfect pair for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Three Floyds Zombie Dust: The celebrated Zombie Dust pale ale with its undead warrior illustration by comic book artist Tim Seeley is simply too awesome: So is the beer. The bold aroma pulses with tropical tones of mango and pineapple along with light pine resin and dusty hay. Sweet lemon and mild floral spices mix with doughlike maltiness and contrast harmoniously with strong bitterness that hits hard but clean.
Adroit Theory White Noise: We’re pretty sure this label, replete with messages scrawled in blood all over a padded room and the most painful headphones ever, will give us nightmares for a week. Thankfully, this white IPA’s bright fragrance of lime zest and grapefruit set against a tart wheat backbone helps brighten the mood. Vibrant lemon and lime rinds lead the taste with a sugary middle act before a dry bitterness sweeps it all away.
Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett: A dark sour ale aged in Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels, Nightmare on Brett’s label by graphic designer Travis Olson features a poor soul with wide eyes, midscream. The beer will awaken anyone from half-dead slumber with a fantastic nose of tart cherries, dark chocolate, cinnamon sticks, reserved whiskey and damp funkiness resembling a city street after a downpour. Extreme tartness clamps down immediately upon the first sip; the sour cherry flavor is partially alleviated by an oaky roundness.
Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit: Adorned by the image of a young suspected witch being burned alive, Witch’s Wit sports a clean aroma of lemons and savory wheat blended with yeasty tones of clove and peach. Tart orange and grapefruit combine with coriander, hints of white pepper and a floral flourish, all of which are capped by a refreshing, dry swallow. There’s a lot of flavor packed into this 4.8% wheat beer.
Terrapin The Walking Dead Blood Orange IPA: OK, perhaps the artwork here isn’t very spine-chilling (the cartoon zombified turtle is more, well, cute), but this one gets the nod because the Athens, Georgia, brewery teamed up with AMC’s runaway hit series to create “the official beer of the undead.” A heavy-handed caramel malt note swirls up from the beautiful deep mahogany liquid (the beer is brewed with blood orange peel) with plenty of woody pine and some light orange struggling to get through. Dark orange oil and sweet caramel mingle with a pleasant bitterness through the full, nearly creamy body.