Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout

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Peas and carrots. Peanut butter and Jelly. 8-8 seasons and the Dallas Cowboys. Seafood and New England. Some things are just meant to be together. One more we can add to that list: coffee and stout. I’m always game for a beer, but I get excited when it’s December and I see coffee and stout together.  (Now that’s something that your local Barista won’t be able to offer you.)  The flavors meld so well together that it’s awfully hard to be disappointed by such a combination, but it’s not like it can’t happen. I was curious to see if Oakshire Brewing, from the rugged and rainy state of Oregon (hence the Overcast in the name), would meet my expectations or let them wither away like the hopes of Cowboy fans around the nation. Only one way to find out… time to run those numbers.

IMG_4277Appearance: Black as night, extremely thick and long lasting light brown head. It took a long time to pour this one, as the head just did not want to go away. It made picture taking fun, but the wait to drink it was excruciating.

Smell: Roasted dark malt, coco, almond nuttiness, creamy coffee, burnt wood. Smells wonderful and has the feeling of winter, snow, fireplaces, and fat people in red suits. Really fits the bill for December.

Taste: Dark roasted malts… and when I say dark I mean darker than that kid who went to Florida for spring break, darker than the monsters that live under your bed, and darker than the emo kid’s nail polish. Dark. I waited a bit until I had my second sip, and it feels as if someone lit a fire in my stomach… in a good way. This beer warms you up and is quite comforting. Beyond those fire roasted malts, the espresso taste kicks in leaving a bitter coating of goodness on your mouth. There is a bit of coco in there, but to be honest, I could be confusing it with the espresso as I feel those blend together seamlessly in a brew.

IMG_4332The mouthfeel is very rich and creamy, but I can say that for a stout, it was too carbonated. I noticed this as soon as I popped the cap of of this guy as it let out a burp louder than Barny’s – the lovable drunkard perched on a stool at Moe’s from The Simpsons. It was something that stood out to me because this type of beer tastes better when it’s a bit flatter. It’s a bit nit-picky, but it was one of the few things that was off with the beer. On a more positive note, I love the fact that this beer was only 5.8% ABV – although it seems low, it was perfect for this beer and it left you a little happy when the bottle was empty. And the bottle was empty quickly. This beer was easy to drink. Its simplicity of roasted flavors was inviting and kept you coming back for more.

Overall, I’d give this beer an A-. I highly recommend it. Its simplicity is refreshing and it really warms you when you drink, as any good stout should. The coffee adds a nice flavor and bitterness, and it’s most certainly not overdone or artificial at all. It’s delicious! The one knock, and also the reason for the minus, is that it is too carbonated. As mentioned before, this is minor, but once you realize it, you notice it on every sip. A great stout for the winter months – get it if you can find it.

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