While off to LA for Jersey Week. I sought out libations and found a Sierra Nevada sample pack at the local Target. You have to love buying beer (and wine) at the same place where you can buy Granola cereal and super hero t-shirts. In Southern NJ, liquor stores are plentiful, so there isn’t much a difficulty in buying beer. It just takes a separate trip. The folks in CA appear to have streamlined the process, which is a bit shocking when you consider how over-complicated they have made many other practices. But I digress; in the Sierra Nevada “Snowpack”, I found their Pale Ale, their Boomerang IPA, their Porter and the Coffee Stout. I am a big fan of stouts and porters (we even had a Porter-Palooza) so the sample pack was right in my wheelhouse.
What they say…
Coffee and craft beer are both drinks that inspire passion in the faithful. As we dreamed up ideas for a winter beer, they seemed destined to come together. There isn’t much that’s more comforting on a cold day than a cup of great coffee, and even more so when blended with the rich flavors of a dark and roasty stout. Our Coffee Stout brings the best of both brews with flavors of baker’s cocoa, dark fruit, and a bittersweet roasted malt body.
I found the Coffee Stout to have the following characteristics…
- Appearance: Mahogany with good foam and great lacing.
- Aroma: Heavily roasted malt, dark chocolate syrup and, surprisingly only a faint coffee scent.
- Taste: Medium mouthfeel with a big coffee taste (duh!) followed by a pleasant blend of flavors (Lindt’s 70% dark chocolate, dried fruits (figs?) and vanilla) that were slightly sweet and slightly bitter. The finish was only a little acrid (that all too familiar coffee ground flavor) and any bitterness quickly subsided.
- ABV: 6.2%
As I said, I am a big fan of stouts and porters. I tend to favor the ones that are more cocoa than coffee. Thus, I was a little surprised by the Coffee Stout. I didn’t expect to like it anywhere near as much as I did. The flavors were so big, and yet so well balanced that it was hard not to enjoy it. Well done!