Soaking Up the Suds with James Crane

Wil Wheaton — your face is everywhere lately. You’ve become perhaps the best known ambassador of board games. I have to admit, you’ve turned me on to some really good ones. Fiasco? That is a great storytelling game. I first saw it played watching an episode of Table Top. You entertained me enough to make me want to go buy it. You use your nerd cred pretty well.

Little did I know until recently that you are also a beer lover. Are you just trying to get into everything that is good in life? If so, you’re doing a great job. Beer and board games really are some of my favorite things. I feel like we can be friends. Can we be friends?

For the rest of you that aren’t Wheaton, or are perhaps having trouble placing who he is, I have two words for you: Wesley Crusher. While likely best known for his portrayal of that Star Trek character, he boasts a lot of roles on his resume, including a lot of voice acting work. He’s done voices in everything from cartoons to video games to podcasts. His web presence is out of control as well with his best-known work there being the web show Table Top, where he plays board games with other celebrities.

While I can see how one could receive the impression that this column is just one big love letter to Wheaton, it does tie into a specific beer. He has taken his love of beer to the next level and conspired with one of my favorite breweries to create something unique. It first happened in 2013 and here I am three years later, trying it for the first time. Collaborating with author and internet personality Drew Curtis, founder of fark.com and the infamous Stone brewing, they created Farkin Wheaton WootStout, a barrel-aged dark brew made with wheat and pecans. Everything about the beer called to me. How could I say no?

The pour was super dark and super thick. No light made its way through the opaque liquid. A tiny bit of gray foam topped this liquid molasses. It looked sticky, like it would more likely drip than pour. It was very appealing, promising great mouth feel from its appearance.

The first thing in the scent was roasted malt and booze. This brew makes no effort to hide its 13 percent ABV. It almost burns in the nose. There is also a good deal of sweetness, almost like cherries. Anything more subtle than that is lost amongst these strong scents.

The taste is great. It is big, dark and boozy. All of those elements mentioned in its description come through, though that big, barrel-raged stout taste is on top. There is certainly a good amount of smoke and wood among the roasted malt. There are also notes of cherries, wheat, molasses and a delightful finish of pecans. The nuttyness adds to the savory sweet mix this brew has. All in all, it’s very satisfying.

Farkin Wheaton Wootstout is quite thick. I almost wanted to chew on it. As is Stone tradition, it’s a big, big brew. I’m glad I had someone to share the 22 ounces with as half of this one was good enough. Wil Wheaton, you have done well once again. Thanks for the beer.

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