To better understand today’s beer I had to do a little research on the name. While North Country Brewing has been around for right around ten years now, I’m not a hunter so I have no idea what “Buck Snort” means.
Not that I’m against hunting at all. I’ve just never had it on my radar as something to do. I do know many avid outdoorsmen who hunt and I’m perfectly content listening to their tales from the comfort of a barstool.
Now, this may reveal a certain modicum of ignorance on my behalf, but if you’re sitting camouflaged up high in a tree stand using man-made deer scents and calling devices to attract an unwitting critter, isn’t that more akin to ambushing and not hunting?
Yes, deer in particular have highly-developed olfactory senses and I fully understand the need to thin out herds, so any edge in aiding hunters in their sport makes sense. And I do love me some fresh venison, so I can’t be too critical of the modus operandi lest I end up a hypocrite.
Using deer calls is a highly effective method of attracting bucks as deer are an extremely vocal species. A doe will snort when annoyed, frustrated or angered. A buck’s sensitive hearing picks up on the noise and comes a calling in search of l’amour. Akin to the doe snort is a buck’s “grunt-snort-wheeze” which tells the alpha male in the area that another suitor is ready to swoop in on a doe like a Jersey Shore cast member on a tipsy spring breaker. “Not on my turf!” thinks the alpha and will race in to put the competition in its place. When hunters use the “grunt-snort-wheeze” call, if it’s done right at the right time they’re likely to be taking home a 4-point trophy and enough Bambi to feed a tribe.
Given that a buck snort is that effective, no wonder North Country gives that name to just one of the versions of stout beer they brew. Calling all serious beer drinkers: this is the stout to satisfy your innate urges!
With deer season having just closed, we cellared this beer for the occasion. This one is so perfectly black that photographing it proved a challenge. It’s so opaque that it became a mirror reflecting my hands and camera! The bubbly beige head lasts a couple of minutes before settling to a permanent cap giving off bold scents of French roast coffee, cocoa nib and dried cherry. Toasty and surprisingly light-bodied, rich flavors of dark chocolate, burnt marshmallow, molasses and toffee abound. The texture is silky and the finish sticks around ‘til next deer season.
There’s just a little bit left at Hopjacks, so happy hunting!