Mikkeller & AleSmith: Beer Geek Speedway

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Ya’ll like coffee?  Me too.  AleSmith and that guy from Denmark… Mikkeller?  Yea, they did a collab.  Stout style.  Coffee.  Civet.  The numbers…

Appearance:  Black.  Tan Head.  Little Retention.

IMG_4037Smell:  Ehhhh… not so hot here.  It smells like old tools in a tool box.  Musty, metallic, little bit of dirty laundry.  HOWEVER… the cabinet I keep my Tekus in smells eerily similar to these descriptors (it was second hand so LAY OFF!); I’ll have to blame that on me not rinsing the glass out with water before pouring.  Stupid me.  Also smells chalky and a little soapy.  Some coffee, some roast.

Taste:  Hey now!!!  That’s what I’m talking about!  The flavors in here are darker than that Emo kid at the Dashboard concert.  A ton of charred roast and a decent amount of coffee.  I do feel that I get more coffee out of regular Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, but this incorporates more of the bitterness and booziness of Speedway.  The coffee is certainly there, but it melds so well with the grain build in here that it kind of gets lost in the shuffle.  I feel that that’s the rub with a lot of coffee and coffee/bourbon stouts.  It’s hard to make the adjunct shine when you have so many other complementary flavors… it’s like my Econ 101 class all over again.  On an off note, I do get some “ash-yness” out of this brew.  Cigerette butts and beer don’t make IMG_4048the best combo, but I mainly taste that on the mid palate.  The finish is espresso and chocolate… can’t complain about much there.

The mouthfeel is actually medium bodied considering the style.  For an oatmeal coffee stout, it’s not as thick as others and that aides to its drinkibility.  The first pour went down easy then the second filled me up, as a good oatmeal stout should.  The carbonation was slightly more prominent on this guy than others in its class, but nothing that would knock the brew at all.  ABV on here is a dozen.  It was awesome.

Overall:  Yes, very nice!  I give it an A-.  Those edges could be softened up like a Hamilton Beach lifeguard, but ya know… that’s a SoCal thing.

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Fremont Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition

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Beer, bourbon, coffee.  Three things that quite possibly are ranked 1, 2, and 3 on my culinary must haves if stranded on a desert island.  Thankfully, I would be able to add some food on that list because Fremont decided to make a brew with all three of my favorite liquid treats.  Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star: Coffee Edition is something that comes out every fall for Seattle based Fremont Brewing.  It’s an oatmeal stout gone wild and is something that I’m willing to tame.  Will this brew be desert island quality?  Time for them numbers…

IMG_3776Appearance:  Jet black with no head.  There were some tan bubbles that I saw for a few seconds until they vanished into the abyss.

Smell:  Big coffee nose with a light bourbon smell and some roasted, charred grain coming through.  There is no mistaking this for a coffee stout.  I also get some oaky tannins from the wood, but am surprised that I’m not getting more bourbon.  Fremont has a way to subtly let you know that their beers are barrel aged off of aroma.

Taste:  Oh my goodness.  This stout is incredible!  First thing I notice is vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel.  The toasted oak really imparts a lot of flavor in here without it being overly bourbony, although you do get a meaningful bourbon presence on the back end of this beer.  The bourbon and the booze found in this brew leave you with some heat in the back of the throat, but what else would you expect at 29 proof?  The coffee makes its way into the beer imparting some bitterness and additional roast, and its a little more subdued than the smell would suggest, but it’s definitely there.  The whiskey really rounds things out hIMG_3775ere – as mentioned before, it does not at all dominate the flavor of the beer but adds a lot of character with oak, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon flavors.

As alluded to earlier, this beer is a massive 14.5% ABV.  It drinks a little hot because of it, but it does not distract from the rest of the brew.  The mouthfeel on Coffee KDS is nice and silky with the addition of oats, and something that trumps BCBCS.  The carbonation is fine (if anything it’s lacking a bit) but I’d prefer that in a big ABV stout.  All of the factors combined makes this beer fairly drinkable, but the heat makes it a 2+ hour beer for sure.  I’m confident that I’ll finish it in one sitting, but it’s likely best to be shared.

Overall:  This is one heck of a BA coffee stout.  The flavors from the wood, the coffee, and the bourbon really come together and make this a memorable beer.  There are several of these blue waxed beers hanging out in my cellar, but I wanted to drink one fresh just for kicks; I am certain with age this beer will only get better.  It’ll be interesting drinking one of these with a few years on it.  All said and done, I have to give this Fremont an A.  Had this review taken place a year from now, it may get a different rating, but I’m judging with what I have in front of me.  Fremont shines again, and they can do no wrong.

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Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout

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If you’re a beer nerd, you know the appeal that “Bourbon County” has.  Their regular stout is much acclaimed, their barley wine is searched for, their varients are almost impossible to land, and their coffee stout requires some persistence to find in most liquor stores.  Well, persistence paid off for me.  I was lucky enough to purchase this brew a couple of years ago from a package store that knows my face and told myself I’d drink it on a special occasion.  That occasion happens to be today.  Why?  Because I’m sick of waiting.  Let’s figure out if the hype behind this beer is deserved.  Time for them numbers…

IMG_3746Appearance:  Jet black in color with no head.  Carbonation was apparent when I preyed off the cap, but I guess the ABV is keeping the froth away from this one.

Smell:  Rich dark coffee, faint bourbon, roasted and charred grain, molasses, and some spice (faint pepper).  Smell is pretty nice, but that spice is something I wasn’t expecting.  I doubt it will show up in the flavor, but there’s only one way to find out.

Taste:  Lucious.  I get more bourbon in the taste than I did in the smell – it hits you with a large whiskey presence and a touch of vanilla and caramel sweetness warming all the way to the core while easing the burn at the same time.  The grains in here are not to be forgotten about as they complement the bourbon with a rich and roasty taste – some toasted almond and coconut notes are coming out which are also likely accentuated by the wood and whiskey.  Even though this stout is less than a month from being 2 years old, the coffee can still be found.  It’s not as prominent as I would have thought, but it is there and it is delicious.  It of course adds some depth of flavor, to the beer, but also imparts a little bitterness to hold at bay the sweeter flavors identified before.  As I’m about halfway through the bottle, I also notice some maple syrup flavors that are staring to sprout in my palate.  Love the sweetness I’m getting from this brew.

The carbonation from BCBCS was present.  Although it left no head, the bubbles were more than I was expecting from a beer oIMG_3763f this style and would have actually prefered it to be toned down a tad.  Doesn’t impact the beer a whole lot, but just being a little nit-picky.  The mouthfeel on the brew is solid, but again would like it to be a little more hefty.  The addition of oats would do this beer wonders; why they don’t choose to chuck them in the boil is something that I won’t ever understand.  Regardless, the mouthfeel is on the heavier side, but I’d like to see a little more heft.  The ABV was big at 13.4% – and you could feel it – however it was actually very easy to drink despite this.  The flavors in here were on point.

Overall:  This is a decadent bourbon aged coffee stout.  I enjoyed drinking this very much, but the little things could have really made this a HOF beer – more mouthfeel, less carb, slightly more coffee in taste.  However, as the Rolling Stones once said, you can’t always get what you want.  So what are we left with?  A beer that has incredible flavor and an elusiveness that’s Barry Sanders-esque.  Overall, I’d give this brew an A: great flavors all around, however since this is so tough to find, I have to give it a knock there and down grade it to an A-.  If you have regular bourbon county, I don’t think this is all that much different since flavors of coffee prominent in that stout.  It’s worth a shot to find it, but I wouldn’t give up my first born.

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Tree House Brewing Good Morning

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I am not a morning person.  The sound of my alarm going off makes me want to jump from a sky scraper and slip into an eternal coma.  However, every weekday, I groggily make my way from the bed wiping the snot from my eyes and muscle my way into the bathroom, somehow finding the strength to pick up my toothbrush to get that morning breath out of my mouth.  Next is the face exfoliation and shower, which I tell myself will wake me up, but the warm water trickling down only makes me want to reach for my pillow for another eight hours.  Getting dressed is always a challenge, since at this point I find there no motivation to even use my legs, let alone to look proper for the day.  I find some clothes that aren’t wrinkled – if the colors match it’s a happenstancial bonus – and make my way downstairs.  I pretend to be excited to see my dog, start the Keurig machine, and begrudgingly take my keys and make it to the car.  The whole commute in I yearn for Saturday morning so I can finally sleep in and by the time I make it to my destination, I finally accept that life must go on.

IMG_3646Mornings are a struggle for me.  Good Morning can change all that.  A coffee stout brewed with the finest grain and freshly tapped maple syrup, it brings me back to the fun mornings in elementary school waking up early to watch Sonic the Hedgehog and Power Rangers.  Will this beer live up to my sentimental memories or be more disappointing than that sandbox, tree house, and finished basement my parents promised me when I was little?  Time to run them numbers!

Appearance:  Black with a cascading dark khaki head that quickly shrunk; no lacing as I drank.

Smell:  Big maple syrup notes… I got that as soon as I started pouring Good Morning into the matching teku.  I also got substantial coffee, roasted grain, chocolate, smoke, and fudge brownie.  This smells incredible… I can’t wait to dive in.

Taste:  That’s really, really nice.  There is a robustness to this brew fronted by charred grain and assertive coffee.  The maple syrup comes through nicely as it’s clearly identifiable and tastes like Grandma’s homemade pancakes early Sunday morning.  I get some nice dark chocolate that complements the bitterness of the grain and coffee while also adding to the body of the brew – it’s sticky, silky, and very rich.  Too much of this brew could probably give you gout.  I’m not sure if it’s the syrup or the coffee, but I’m also picking up on some vanilla sprinkled throughout the brew.  Everything melds so great together.  The flavors in here just work, and the name of this beer does a great job of describing it.  Imagine chocolate chip pancakes, with a sweet yet biscuity profile drizzled with authentic maple syrup straight from the sugar shack paired with your favorite cup of morning joe.  That’s this beer in a nutshell. 

IMG_3651As I continued to drink, Good Morning just kept getting gooder and gooder better and better.  I wasn’t wowed initially because I did detect a little chalkiness from the taste/texture, which I found off putting, however after a few sips into it, that vanished and more and more maple syrup came out.  I’m really surprised how prominent that flavor is within this beer.  The coffee and roasted grains are also stars of the show, but the maple syrup makes this beer elite.  The mouthfeel was nice and sticky and the carbonation was purposefully light, not to be a distraction.  The ABV on Good Morning was 8.4%, but I was able to taste the booze in here.  I actually thought it would be a bit bigger given the taste, but the alcohol flavor was far suppressed underneath all of the other notes in the brew.

Overall:  This beer is now ranked number one on Beer Advocate’s top 250 list.  Does it deserve this spot?  That’s really quite subjective, and I’m not sure the answer to that; what I can say is that this beer is an elite adjunct stout bursting with all the flavors you’d ever want in a stout.  This is the best non-barrel-aged stout I’ve had by a large margin as the syrup really puts it over the top.  I actually think if they put it in bourbon barrels, you wouldn’t be able to dissect all of the parts to it.  To cut to the chase, this beer gets an A+ and nod into the hall of fame.  A truly distinct beer with an amazing flavor profile.  I’m glad to have gotten my hands on this… it might even make me a morning person.

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Mikkeller Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

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What always makes things better?  Bourbon.  This American made elixir is fantastic on its own, but elevates other culinary goodies to a new level, most notably beer.  Mikkeller embraces the gift of bourbon and has allowed one of their better brews to rest in its barrel, Beer Geek Brunch Weasel.  This beer is packed with oats, coffee, charred grain, and of course, some of that vanillay, caramelly bourbon.  Enough said, let’s run them numbers!

IMG_3624Appearance:  Jet black, no head, no lacing as I drank, no more to say.

Smell:  Bourbon, molasses, chocolate, roasted grain, coffee, slight smoke, slightly tannic, and hints of vanilla.  This beer smells big, bold, and in your face – very much like the original version.

Taste:  Oh dear lord, this beer is insane.  On first taste there is so much going on: coffee, graham cracker, bourbon, roasted grain, vanilla… and those flavors are all identified individually, but also collaborate brilliantly with one another.  The depth of flavor in here is what makes this beer so great.  It starts off strong and finishes with the same tenaciousness.  The bourbon lingers from across the palate and its presence can be found from sip to swallow imparting whiskey flavors as well as cinnamon and vanilla.  The base of this beer is strong enough to hold up to the bourbon aging with a ton of coffee breaking through pairedIMG_3635 with grain that has a nice, deep toast to it.  The finish to this beer is ever so slightly bitter which can be attributed to the tannins in the wood or the bite of the coffee, either way it actually works with the other aggressive flavors in the brew.

The mouthfeel on BA Brunch was full bodied and silky smooth as if Mikkeller added tons of oats to the mash.  The carbonation was light as it should have been for an imperial stout and the ABV on this brew was 10.9%, which is actually the same as the non BA version.  You can taste a little more booze here, but it does not overshadow the flavors; with that said, it also is pretty drinkable for a BA stout.  I found my teku to be empty earlier than I wanted.

Overall:  This beer is awesome.  I loved the original beer, but the Bourbon aging process just elevates this to another level.  So many flavors, yet very cohesive at the same time gives this beer an A/A+.  The only think I would ask Mikkeller to improve upon is the finish, but that’d be really splitting hairs.  Enjoy this beer with a bourbon chaser.

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Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break

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Growing up (and even still to this day) my mother’s favorite dessert was a toasted biscotti with almonds and a chocolate coated bottom, along with a side of rich coffee.  As a kid, I hated biscottis because I couldn’t have coffee – to have one without the other is sacrilegious in my book, and now I realize the combination is more effective than Batman and Robin.  Evil Twin takes a page from my mother’s book to combine the flavors of coffee with rich roasted grain and added spices to create a very acclaimed stout in Imperial Biscotti Break.  Will it live up to the real thing?  Time for them numbers.

IMG_3585Appearance:  Jet black with zero head to speak of.  The brew came out of the bottle at a slow pace and you can tell this is going to be one thick beer.  No lacing as I drank.

Smell:  Heavy roasted grain, coffee, chocolate, hazelnuts, dark raisins, dates, and vanilla.  It also smells creamy, but I could be getting that from seeing how thick this brew poured.  Smells great.

Taste:  Roasted grain clings to your palate upon first sip, but is balanced out by so many flavors.  A lot of stouts can be overly charred with the grain dominating in the taste, but Evil Twin does a great job to incorporate sweet and bitter to make things a little more interesting.  After the big grain blast, I get notes of vanilla, marshmallow, and toasted nuts – all of these notes really help to compliment the the robust malt profile in here.  To round things out, there is some bitterness on the finish from the added coffee beans which not only helps the balance of the brew but also adds more depth and richness to the beer.  No one flavor jumps out to me and the more I drink the more balance this beer becomes to me.

IMG_3586Along the way in drinking this beer, brownie batter and chocolate make their way in during the mid palate, again complementing all the flavors found in here.  What also makes this beer harmonize is the body on it – I can say with certainty this is a heavy bodied beer.  It has a very silky texture and I wouldn’t be shocked if oats were thrown in during the mash.  The luscious mouthfeel pairs well with the low carbonation found in here.  Upon drinking this, I feel as if Evil Twin executed this beer flawlessly and it was made with a lot of thought.  The flavors work, the carbonation is great with a thick body, and the ABV in here is high, but cannot be detected; 11.5% can be tough to mask, but there is no heat coming from the liquid… amazing.

Overall:  This is one heck of an imperial stout and reminds me a bit of Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, only with less coffee.  That’s really not too surprising though as the head brewer at Evil Twin is actually the twin brother of Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, co-founder of Mikkeller.  All things considered I have to give this beer an A-/A.  The midpalate can be a bit much with its sweet flavors, but more so, serving this beer in a 22oz format makes it tough to finish in one sitting or by oneself.  Who needs coffee AND biscotti when you can find the flavors of both in one beverage.

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Fulton War & Peace

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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.

IMG_3496Appearance:  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 10IMG_3519%.  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.

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Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel

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For some, to find the word “weasel” in the title of one of Mikkeller’s flagship brews may be off putting.  But without the help of a small, Southeast Asian rodent this beer would not be possible.  Mikkeller whips up an oatmeal stout infused with coffee stout with this brew, however not just any coffee will meet their needs.  That’s were the little guy known as the civet comes into play.  This animal goes around eating coffee beans scattered around the trees but they cannot fully digest the beans, so when they pass it their system adds a unique flavor.  Farmers prize their scat for this, collect it, and wash and roast the beans afterwards.  Praise the guy who every had the courage to do that.  With that in mind, let’s see how this little dude affect Brunch Weasel.  Time for them numbers…

IMG_1705Appearance:  Jet black with a dark tan head that left no lacing on my glass.  The head stuck around for a little while, which was surprising given the ABV but eventually fell into the abyss.  Although there was no lacing appearant, there was a good deal of sediment that clung to the sides as I drank, but more on that later.

Smell:  Roasted grains, molasses, dark chocolate, some cardboard, a little booze, and a substantial amount of coffee.  I could smell it as soon as I pryed the cap off of this bad boy.

Taste:  That is some really good stuff right there.  Roasted grains lead the charge in this brew giving off hellacious flavor.  From those grains, I get flavors like charred veggies, brownie corners, and dark, bitter chocolate.  Then the coffee drops and just takes over the brew.  I like my dark roasts, but holy hell, is that an intense coffee flavor.  Imagine the boldest FrenchIMG_5326.JPG roast you have ever had and multiply it by 10… that’s the type of coffee flavor we’re talking about in Brunch Weasel.  It’s certainly enough to wake you up in the morning, but it’s not an afterthought at all.  The rich coffee flavors play perfectly with the assertiveness from the grain and balance it out a bit as well.  I am curious as to what the IBUs in this beer are as I am getting a distinct bitter charge, however it’s not a hoppy bitterness, but one you would find out of an espresso that is dry and lingering.  Towards the finish, things start to round out as I get a vanilla bean or vanilla extract flavor accompanied by a pinch of sweetness, which may be attributed to the ABV in this beer.

At 10.9%, the alcohol in here holds its own to the rich and robust flavors, but the shocking thing is that it cannot be detected at all in the taste.  No burn, no obscene nail polish taste.  The mouthfeel on Brunch Weasel was also superb for an imperial oatmeal coffee stout – silky and full bodied as it should have beIMG_1700en.  This beer has such depth of flavor and is quite punchy given the ABV, you might expect it to be tough to drink, but that is far from the case.  The 11.2 ounces in this beer went down nicely and if it was packaged as a bomber, I could have finished it in once sitting with ease.

Overall:  This brew was phenomenal.  The depth of flavor in here was incredible and the whole experience from start to finish was great.  The only knock on this beer was the amount of sediment in it… so much so that it clung to the sides of the teku.  I poured this beer aggressively to get as much head as I could, but towards the end of the bottle I saw chunks fall in.  My advise is to pour gingerly with your eye on the liquid coming out so you can leave the solids out.  Because of that I’ll give this brew an A, otherwise, we’re looking at a flawless beer.  And it’s all possible because of the civet.

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Fremont Brewing Company Bourbon Abominable with Coffee & Cinnamon

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Germany purity laws state that beer must only be brewed with four ingredients: water, grain, hops, and yeast.  Nothing more.  Thank god for rebel rousers.  Fremont Brewing spits in the face of those uptight Germans with their highly touted adjunct ale that not only has coffee and cinnamon to boot, but is also bourbon aged to perfection.  I have already reviewIMG_1653ed their Bourbon Abominable (AKA B-Bomb) and loved it – so much flavor and so drinkable for the style that it is, I can only imagine how this version of Abominable will be.  Let’s start imagining… time for the numbers.

Appearance:  Jet black with a dark khaki head that did lace a slightly as I drank from my old fashion NEBCo pint glass.

Smell:  Big bourbon presence, some roasted grain, oak, a little sugaIMG_1664r, but honesty – not much coffee and just a hint of cinnamon.

Taste:  Wow, again so incredible just like its younger brother.  Big vanilla flavors coming out initially and some sweetness for sure.  It tastes very similar to a roasted marshmallow – sugary, sweet, roasty.  The bourbon is definitely making an appearance in the brew, but it’s more subdued than the regular B-Bomb.  You get it all throughout the drinking experience, but it’s all flavor and no burn – which I love out of bourbon aged stouts.  I want it to be there, but I also want it to let the subtleties of the beer to shine through as well.  One subtlety that did not make it through was the coffee from this brew as I found it to be lacking In taste and aroma.  I really like my dark roasts, but the other adjunct can be identified as the beer has a spicy finish.  A little oak is tucked away mid palate the grain isn’t as prominent or roasty, but still seen underneath the sweeter flavors of the beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied to me and can benefit from oats, however that thinner mouthfeel equates to supreme drinkability.  For 11% ABV, this brew goes down easy.  I was finished with my first pint pretty quickly andIMG_1674 dived back into the bottle immediately for the second helping.

Overall:  I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.  I thought the coffee would put it over the top from the regular B-Bomb, but it was pretty subdued in my opinion.  I should also clearly state that I like my cup of joe black and the darkest roast possible.  Others may be able to find it, but for my palate, it was playing hide and seek.  Everything else about this brew was on point.  I think age may thicken up this beer a bit, but I’m not sure if one would be able to get more coffee with age.  That said, I’d have to give this beer an A, just like regular B-Bomb.  It’s wonderful, but I really wish the coffee was more in your face.  Love the creativity seen in this brew that you wont see in any pure German.

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Hopworks Urban Brewery Survival Stout

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It’s the winter time.  All of your friends are skiers and they want to take a trip up north to shred some fresh powder.  They invite you – which is awesome.  Only one caveat.  You don’t know how to ski.  You refuse to say no, but you know it’s going to be a rough day on the slopes.  You pack a little something to survive your trip on the mountain: a knee brace, some ace bandages, band-aids, and of course, beer.  What to reach for though?  You need a brew that will stand up to the elements and can help you out in a jam.  Thankfully, Hopworks Organic Brewery has just the beer: Survival Stout.  Will it save your life or leave you face down on the bunny hill?  Time to run them numbers…

IMG_1272Appearance:  Dark, dark, dark brown with a puny little tan head that could use a little motivation from Arnold Schwarzenegger.  No lacing as I drank.

Smell:  Molasses, sweet dark grains, chocolate, and just a touch of coffee.  Not a super roasty smell coming from this brew

Taste:  First thing to notice when sipping this brew is the earthy, coffee taste from it.  It may not have been overt in the smell, however in the mouth it’s a different story.  The earthiness may be an off flavor that I’m detecting, which kind makes this beer weird and confusing.  It’s not a deal breaker, but I’m just wondering if HUB intended it to be there, because it does sort of complement the coffee in an odd way… it’s kind of like Laura and Eddie’s relationship with Urkel.  Unfortunately, outside of that coffee note, I’m not getting too much.  The grains stay in the background and do not add much of a roasted flavor to the brew, which is disappointing when it comes to the style.  If anything, they add aIMG_1278 little bit of sweetness.

Also disappointing is the mouthfeel of this brew.  The label says it’s brewed with oats, but I really don’t get any of that silkiness that is accompanied by them.  Swishing it around, the beer is thinner than the hair on your grandfather’s head and the ABV could also use some of Arnold’s weight training as it’s only 5.3%.  The carbonation is creeping closer to the overcarbed side, but it’s not that impactful.

Overall:  With a name like Survival Stout, I was hoping that it would bring a bit more to my pint glass, but it failed to revive my taste-buds.  Not a bad brew by any stretch, but in order for it to live up to its name, it could use a few more CPR classes.  I’ll tick this one as a B.  You might want to reach for something a little more robust to put into your first aid kit.

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