Friday Happy Hour: The Curious Taste of Royal Extra Stout
With summer temps rising across the U.S. and the Caribbean, a stout may seem like an unusual choice for today’s Friday Happy Hour. Dark, heavy, strong and filling, stout beers are the polar opposite of the light, thirst-quenching lagers more commonly found and enjoyed throughout the Caribbean.
Trinidad’s Royal Extra Stout, however, is different.
A product of Trinidad’s Carib Brewery, Royal Extra Stout carries the trademark full-bodied flavor and texture of a traditional stout, but it’s also surprisingly refreshing. Surely the good folks at Carib, among the best and best-known Caribbean lager beers, added some of their tricks to the Royal Extra Stout formula when they acquired the brand from Walters’ Brewery, formerly of Port of Spain, in 1952.
I found out just how refreshing a Royal Extra Stout can be first-hand while enjoying the bottle pictured here during an especially hot spring day in Tobago earlier this year. As you can see, I almost drank the whole thing before remembering to snap the photo.
Another surprise: Royal Stout is pretty sweet. The taste is sort of like licorice, which is okay by me, but I’d say it’s definitely an acquired taste that’s not for everyone. Just check out what ThoseBeerSnobs.com had to say about the taste:
- I gave it a 5 (top score) in originality because it tastes like no other beer. I’m giving a low score in taste also because it tastes like no other beer. It doesn’t really taste like anything at first then kind of unleashes this odd, licorice-y, caramel-y taste before finishing with a strange, kinda thin chocolate-y flavor. I can’t really explain it. I had 3-bottles and still really can’t tell you if I like it or not. What I do know is that by the time I got toward the end of each bottle, I was just wishing it was over. I guess that indicates the flavor, while alarmingly original, was not all that pleasant.
Like I said, Royal Extra Stout is not for everyone. On this Friday Happy Hour, though, it’s reminding me of great times with my Dad in Tobago, and that tastes pretty damn good to me.