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.
Mornings 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.
As 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.