Ever have a craving for something you shouldn’t have a craving for? At a Michelin Star restaurant, all of a sudden you’re hoping that they have Drake’s Cakes Devil Dogs for dessert? Or on a hot summer day when you should be drinking an IPA or sour, all of a sudden you get a hankering for some coffee stout? Yea, you know what I’m talking about. The lucky winner for this craving was Fulton Beer Company with their War and Peach Coffee Stout. Coming from Minnesooooooooooota, these guys know a thing or two about producing a cold weather classic. Let’s run them numbers to see if that’s truth.
Appearance: Mystifying. Figured my Tate Modern coffee mug would make a great choice for this beer seeing it’s clearly a morning brew. Anywho, the head was tan and there was no lacing. Want me to give you a risky prediction?… It was jet black in color.
Smell: Coffee milk shake. Huge notes of chocolate, coffee, lactose, and mild roasted grain. It smells incredibly creamy – like freshly churned Vermont ice cream. The aroma is much more sweet than other coffee stouts I’ve had and is probably the best smelling of them all.
Taste: Woah… that’s powerful stuff. First sip is much more punchy than I was expecting and the coffee astringency is giving off a fair amount of tongue jabbing bitterness, most notably on the finish. In addition to the bitterness, the other thing that jumps out at me upon first impression is the booze in here. You can feel the warmth in the back of your throat from the heightened ABV, almost 10%. After the palate gets trained to the bitterness in the beer, more of the stout flavors emerge including those typical roasted grains, dark chocolate, and toasted coconut. The sweeter flavors I picked up on in the smell really aren’t giving way in the taste. Outside of the bitterness on the finish, I also pick up on a “grain tea” taste, especially when the beer warms up. Homebrewers can relate to this… it tastes like wort after mashing – kind of sweet and grain concentrated after the first run off. Other than those flavors, I’m not getting much else.
The ABV on here, as mentioned before, is close to double digits and clocks in at 9.5%. It was a bit boozy, but what do you expect for an imperial stout? The mouthfeel is medium to ful bodied and the carbonation wasn’t fine for a stout.
Overall: I liked War & Peace, but didn’t love it; it gets a B/B+ from me. It could have benefited with a little less bitterness and a little more sweetness. Vanilla would have made this brew phenomenal and a touch thicker mouthfeel would have been nice too, however it did satisfy my craving.