[Blog written by our friend JC Holsapple. If you like beer and writing contact us to learn how to join the Beer You Go team]
In our inaugural Beer Run blog we are going to take a look (and taste) at an eclectic mix of Coffee Beer!
Before we get too invested it, first, let me explain how I plan to present this section to you, our readers. Sometimes, like this week, I will do a featured group of beers that all have something in common but other times I will use this as a mixed bag of whatever catches my fancy that week at the store. So this week and next week are themed but after that I have some mixed variety blogs so I hope that you keep coming back to check out what I’m sampling each time!
If you’re looking for a way to bridge your love of coffee over to your love of beer then this might be just the list for you!
Read on for this weeks fun mix of coffee infused stouts and ales and watch the video (coming soon!) to see my real life reactions as I try them all out.
In no particular order!
Son of a Baptist
Epic Brewing Company
Son of a Baptist is an 8% ABV imperial stout. It is not barrel aged like its father, Big Bad Baptist; instead its flavor profile was designed to highlight the complex and often unique flavors of small batch coffees. Instead of sourcing a coffee that would play well in a beer we sought out creative and innovative roasters, then asked them which beans they’re passionate about. Each resulting release of Son of a Baptist is widely different depending on the coffee selected. Some are fruity and sweet with notes of jam and chocolate, others are rich and earthy with a big roasted finish. Each limited release will return to the Roaster’s home market where the beer and the coffee can be sampled side by side.
If you are looking for a fun way to support local coffee roaster and independent brewing then look no further than this stout. The 6-pack I had some intense roasted coffee flavor but not a lot of chocolate notes.
Merdude Russian Imperial Coffee Milk Stout
Lorelei Brewing Company
From Lorelei Brewing in Corpus Christi, Texas. This Big Lebowski themed stout is a cutesy take on a serious beer. “Brewed in a beautiful collaboration with our very own local Coffee Waves Flour Bluff Coffee. It is breathtaking.”
The one with the cutest can art left me a bit underwhelmed. The flavor again was overwhelmingly strong burnt coffee beans. The high ABV is a strong positive but as a Coen Bros. fanatic I wish I would have enjoyed it more!
Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout
Elysian Brewing Company
Split Shot from Elysian Brewing combines the local talents of Elysian Brewing and Stumptown Coffee in a deliciously smooth, very Northwest beer.
Split Shot was one of my favorite beers that I tried during this session. A wonderful flavor that isn’t too over the top on coffee or lactose. Just a great blend overall!
Breakfast Beast Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Clown Shoes Brewing
“The Beast of Clown Shoes legend has been angry, very angry, and extremely angry. The Beast has flown from volcanic fire pits to fields of galloping unicorns. Now? The Beast wants a cup of coffee. We bourbon barrel aged Undead Party Crasher, Blaecorn Unidragon, and an experimental new Stout to blend together with Cold brewed coffee added from Barrington Roasting Company. Enjoy the morning, friends!”
Clown Shoes is known for their big bombers that have some interesting flavors. The first Barrel Aged beer that I’ve done for the blog but definitely not the first in my life. I love BA beers and this one was a solid take on a Coffee Stout. Great deep flavors that are well worth your time!
Fulton Street Blend Coffee Ale
Goose Island Brewing
“Goose Island is proud to introduce Fulton Street Blend, a coffee ale aged with House Blend beans from our neighbors at Intelligentsia. Named for the street in Chicago that we both call home, Fulton Street Blend is a golden ale infused with rich coffee flavor and aroma.”
I usually love everything that Goose Island puts out but this one was lacking. If you are going to say that it’s a Coffee Ale then it better taste like coffee. This was definitely the lightest and easiest to drink of this run of beers but it lacked any coffee flavor whatsoever. It was a great chaser for some of the other heavier stouts though!
Mocha Merlin Coffee Infused Oatmeal Stout
Firestone Walker Brewing
“With an infusion of local roast coffee, a dash of cocoa nibs and touch of seasonal sorcery, our signature Velvet Merlin oatmeal stout has been transformed into Mocha Merlin for fall and winter enjoyment. This beer is brewed with the Colombia La Granadilla blend from our friends and neighbors at HoneyCo Coffee Roasters. The Colombia La Granadilla coffee meshes perfectly with the chocolaty character from the cocoa nibs, providing an oatmeal stout experience like no other. A touch of lactose "milk sugar" provides suggestion of rounded sweetness on the finish.”
Firestone puts out some of my favorite beers and this one was no different. This and Split Shot were the clear winners of this run of beers. This oatmeal stout that was infused with coffee tasted great. It was perfect for sipping on a chilly night and had a deep flavor that made the 6-pack go away far too soon!
Sometimes after I already record a video and call it done I run across something that I think is still worth mentioning and that’s what happened here.
Santa Fe Brewing Company
“This Java Stout uses extra generous quantities of barley malt, followed by vigorous fermentation leaving this “imperial” heavy weight with 8% alcohol A.B.V. and a body as full as chocolate bread pudding. Santa Fe Brewing uses only top-quality ingredients like organic East Timor and New Guinea coffee beans locally roasted by O’hori’s Coffee House. Its heavenly flavor and aroma can’t be beat or imitated.”
This Imperial Java Stout just found it way to me and it has a string of medal at beer festivals to back up it’s flavor. I still think I would pick the Firestone or the Elysian given a chance but if you don’t have access to either of those then this is a solid coffee stout with a high ABV to boot.
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