Vanilla Bean Buffalo
Brewed by Tallgrass Brewing Company - Manhattan, Kansas
Tallgrass Brewing Company was caught off guard by the demand for its
winter seasonal, Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat, leaving many fans with
empty glasses. This year Tallgrass has taken steps to make sure
everyone can have a taste of this vanilla-infused stout.
Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat is a beer based on one of the brewery's
most loved cask beer recipes in their popular firkin program. As
soon as the first 16oz cans hit the shelf last winter, the small
Midwest brewery was overwhelmed with demand from its wholesalers.
wholesalers reordering large quantities, before some got their first
shipment," said Tallgrass founder, Jeff Gill. "We had many upset
retailers and disappointed fans, and we knew that this winter we
would have to do better."
Over the summer, in preparation for Vanilla Bean's release,
Tallgrass increased it's brewing capacity and worked on brewery
efficiencies to squeeze every last drop out of their tanks.
Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat starts its life as Tallgrass's best
selling beer, Buffalo Sweat, an award-winning oatmeal cream stout.
This seasonal is created by infusing Buffalo Sweat with whole
Ugandan vanilla beans. This addition further enhances the beer's
dark-roasted flavors of espresso, chocolate, and creamy sweetness
and also gives it a perfect and light vanilla finish. Fans of the
beer have described it as "liquid chocolate-chip cookies made with
Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat is available on tap and in 16oz cans. The
beer will be brewed and shipped until mid-February.
Beer Review from
Appearance - Pours a deep deep deep dark brown (at first glance it
almost appears black) with a bubbly fluffy 3 finger tan head.
Excellent head retention.
Aromo - The vanilla is noticeable right from the get go in the
aroma. The smells of oats and sweet lactose sugar are also quite
noticeable. The vanilla mellows out many of the roastier aromas from
the base stout. Notes of cocoa and milk chocolate dance up from the
Taste - The familiar flavors of rolled oats and lactose sugar come
out strong. The Vanilla is showcased best in the initial upfront
flavor and then again in the finish. It blends great with the sweet
and creamy milkiness that comes from the lactose sugar. Much like in
the aroma, the vanilla masks many of the toastier notes of
chocolate, cocoa and coffee that show up in the background. There's
a slight smokiness that's noticeable as well coming from the malts.
Mouthfeel - If I had to describe the mouthfeel of this beer in one
word, it would be: SMOOTH. The oats give the stout a silky smooth
slick feel and the lower carbonation makes it feel fuller bodied and
chewy. It's heavy but not super heavy.
Overall - This beer is smooth smooth smooth. It's smooth in flavor
from the vanilla as well as smooth in the feel. Everything about it
is just smooth. That, coupled with the lower abv make this a very
drinkable beer. I'm not completely sure if I like this better than
the original or not, but I'm leaning towards a "yes". Just like the
original however I still feel like it leans more towards an oatmeal
stout rather than a milk stout (although I definitely understand why
it's classified as a milk stout.) This is a great beer if you enjoy
The Story Behind Tallgrass Brewing
The decision to found Tallgrass Brewing Company was made by Jeff
Gill and his wife Tricia on April 8, 2006. Tricia had asked Jeff
THAT question: “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?”
Jeff had been thinking about that exact question quite a bit. “I
want to start a microbrewery!” Jeff answered. He had been an avid
homebrewer for six years and loved to brew beer that people enjoyed.
At that point, he and Tricia made a commitment to start a new
microbrewery in Kansas. It would mean moving from where they lived
at the time, Jeff giving up his career as geologist, and Tricia
After the decision was made, the next 12 months were a flurry of
activity: Jeff juggled a full-time job while trying to gain as much
experience in the craft beer business as possible, and Tricia gave
him her full support along the way. They chose Manhattan, Kan., for
the location of the brewery, and chose Tallgrass for the name. They
had always wanted to settle in this area to raise their family and
live near the scenic Flint Hills and Tallgrass Prairie surrounding
Manhattan. It just so happened that the water near Manhattan is an
excellent choice for brewing beer, too!
When the spring of 2007 rolled around, Jeff was ready to speak with
friends and family about investing in their dream to start Tallgrass
Brewing Company. With the money raised and a lot of hard work, the
brewery was built just off of Green Valley Road at the edge of the
Flint Hills. A beautiful copper-clad brewhouse arrived in June 2007
and the first beer was brewed in August 2007. Our beer is now
available on tap and in cans across the Midwest, Mississippi,
Minnesota, and more to come!