Posts tagged ‘stout’

Sam Adams Black and Brew

Yes, I know. It’s been awhile. Which is why this will be published as soon as I finish writing it, and not a minute later. 🙂

Anywho, tonight (this morning? It’s 12:38 am as I write this…) we are reviewing a coffee stout from Samuel Adams: Black and Brew. I don’t really consider Sam Adams to be a “craft” brewery; since they are one of the largest “microbreweries” around. That said, I do like to taste their craft-style concoctions such as this one. I’ve also looked at a few of their other microbrew styles. On to the review.

Style: American Stout.According to BeerAdvocate, “Coffee Stout” is not a style–it happens to fall under American Stout. Broad category if you ask me. Most of these are easy session stouts, with coffee or chocolate added for extra flavor. You may occasionally find one aged in bourbon or whiskey barrels (such as Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.)

Overall Impression: *thinking to self* “Robin, I can’t wait to drink this!” And I was right to be excited. It’s quite a good example of a coffee stout.  Honestly, the only reason this gets a 4-star rating is because it’s a very typical coffee stout. Great beer, but nothing amazing going on.

Appearance: Deep, thick black with a creamy head.

Aroma: It really smells like the grocery aisle where you can buy coffee beans in bulk. If you like that aisle, try this beer.

Taste: Deep, rich (but not too rich) coffee/malt taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but not very creamy with slight carbonation.

Try this if you like: New Glarus Coffee Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, Lakefront Brewery’s Fuel Cafe, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout,

4 stars

Dogfish Head: World Wide Stout

Mmm….is there anything Dogfish Head can’t do? Probably not. This World Wide Stout is absolutely fantastic–a perfect winter warming beer.

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout. Inspired by Russian Imperial Stouts, but bigger and better! More sweetness, more hops, and more alcohol!

Overall Impression: Mmmmmmm…..this is fantastic. It went really well with the spicy food I was eating at the time–almost quenched it in a way. This beer is what stouts aspire to be.

Appearance: Black with great head retention (the picture was taken after it sat for awhile.)

Smell: This beer had a very strong roasted aroma.

Taste: Lovely roasted malt flavor with a kick of barley. There isn’t much bitterness but there is enough to cut back on the malt and give it some bite.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Each sip made me want more.

Try this if you like: Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee

5 Stars

Irish Stout Homebrew Part 3: Tasting!

This is really the best part–tasting your creation.

Irish Stout 2 weeks post-bottling

The verdict? It tastes okay–after 2 weeks it was mostly just hops. After 4 weeks though, we got quite a bit more of the malt flavor and started to taste more like a stout.

On a scale of 1  to 5 pints, 5 being the best freakin’ homebrew I’ve ever had, and 1 being “Dear God we should give up now and pretend this never happened”, I give this attempt a 2.5, rounded up to 3. 🙂 We didn’t screw up royally-we did in fact succeed in making beer. The beer is the color it’s supposed to be. It’s just a little too hoppy and not enough malty for a stout.

Irish Stout Homebrew Part 2: Bottling

Here’s the bottling process of our Irish Stout homebrew:

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Guinness: Foreign Extra Stout

I know what you’re thinking. Guinness, Robin, really? But hear me out: in 2010 Guinness announced that they were going to start exporting Foreign Extra Stout to the U.S. And I got my hands on some of it.

Brewed by St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland; Guinness is probably one of the most recognizable beer brands. But to be perfectly honest, the standard Extra Stout is really not that good. This one’s different. Guys, this tastes NOTHING like the usual Guinness draught you buy by the four-pack to make Irish Car Bombs with. This is not the Guinness that squeaky girls drink to prove they like “dark” beer. In other words, this ain’t yo momma’s Guinness.

What all Guinness should taste like

Style:  Foreign/Export Stout. What this means is one of these beers is brewed like a normal stout except with an exorbitant amount of hops to keep it fresh for the overseas journey.

Overall Impression: Mmmmm….THIS is what Guinness should be. Regular old Guinness, you could probably drink buckets of. This stuff, this beer has some body to it! Drink it slow and savor it.

Appearance: Lovely black-dark brown color, beautiful head retention.

Smell: Roasted coffee/espresso

Taste: The bitterness doesn’t really come out until the second sip. At first you get roasted coffee with a hint of cocoa (as one would expect for a stout) , but then the hops hit you hard. And you like it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fairly creamy. Textbook stout.

Try this if you like: First of all, if you really, really like Guinness Extra Stout, don’t bother with this. But if you recognize ES’s shortcomings, here are some other beers to look for: Fade to Black Volume 1 by Left Hand Brewing Company, Black Hole XXX Stout, Goose Island’s Honest Stout

5 Stars

Irish Stout Homebrew Part 1: The Fermentation

Since my boyfriend and I have begun brewing our own beer, every once in a while you’ll get a photo post of our latest accomplishments. This one is our first beer ever, an Irish Stout from Midwest Brewing Supply. (At the time of publication, this is sitting in bottles in our pantry aging.)

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Lancaster Brewing Company: Milk Stout

Hi everyone. I know you missed me. I’ve missed you! I’m almost done with my first quarter of grad school, and I thought now that I’ve finished my homework for the weekend I’d write a few posts.

Tonight’s beer is from the Lancaster Brewing Company in (you guessed it) Lancaster, PA. About six weeks ago (which was, admittedly, a bit earlier for a stout) I tried their lovely Milk Stout.

Will you just look at the head and color on that? Beautiful.

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout. Characterized by being much less bitter than traditional stouts, but still thick and creamy. Definitely not a session beer.

Overall Impression:This was a great beer. It was an excellent balance of sweet and roasted flavor, with a creamy, full body, but not too thick. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to try this–go pick some up. Now.

Appearance: Beautiful dark brown color, lovely head retention.

Smell: Espresso and malt aroma. Perfect for a stout. The sweetness doesn’t really come through until you taste the beer.

Taste: Roasted espresso, decent bitterness, but with that overlying sweetness one expects from a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy

Try this if you like: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, Dark Horse Too Cream Stout,

4 stars

Old Dominion Brewing Company: Oak Barrel Stout

I’m always a little wary of true American Stouts. They just don’t seem to have much flavor unless you are specifically having a chocolate, coffee, or oatmeal stout. Though, every once in a while you find some fantastic gems amongst the roughage. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout comes to mind.

Old Dominion’s Oak Barrel Stout, however, was not one of the aforementioned gems. Don’t get me wrong, it was by no means a bad beer. However, it left a lot to be desired.

The aroma of this beer was faint roasted malts and coffee. It tasted about the same. A friend said it reminded him of Guinness (the kind you buy in America) and I agree. It was just too plain for my tastes. Oak Barrel Stout does, however, have an excellent mouthfeel: smooth and creamy.

It was a good stout, but I wish it had just a little bit more.

Try this if you like: Guinness

Homebrew: Oatmeal Stout by Matthew

I have quite a few friends who brew their own beer, and I’d like to start doing it myself once I move and my life calms down a little bit. With a little bit of practice, my friend Matthew has gotten quite good at homebrewing (just wait till you read my review of his Spotted Cow clone.) Since his beer is not (yet) available in stores, I’ve decided to talk a little bit about his homebrewing process. Once I finish reviewing his beer, of course!

Sadly I have no pictures of this beer, but then again, the beer was brewed in a plain brown bottle.

Matthew’s Oatmeal Stout is upon first sniff, most definitely an oatmeal stout. One point for him! It’s creamy, malty, just a hint of bitter, and full of good oaty taste. I would like to see a bit more espresso or chocolate flavor just to shake things up a bit though. All in all, I’m giving his oatmeal stout a solid 3 pints.

Some of you may be wondering what you need to start brewing your own beer. The American Homebrewers Association is a great resource for how to get started, and other related topics. Happy brewing!

Matthew got his equipment from South Hills Brewing Supply in Pittsburgh (and he says their store is better than their website.) Check out the AHA link above to find homebrew stores near you. He gets his ingredients from Austin Homebrew supply (here’s the oatmeal stout kit he used) or Northern Brewer, which has retail stores in St. Paul, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Laughing Dog Brewery: The Dogfather

Here’s another beer I purchased (well, okay, the boyfriend bought this one) just because of the name–but it turned out to be quite the beer!

Laughing Dog is a microbrewery based in Idaho. It’s a new state for this blog! I must say I’m impressed. I’ll have to try to find some more beers from this brewery.

Yes that IS in a plastic cup. I was in a hotel and four of us were sharing, what do you want? Anyway, The Dogfather is a lovely Imperial Stout, and it was quite good. It has a smokey, chocolatey aroma, and is thick and creamy. It has a smokey/chocolatey taste with a hint of bitterness.

While this isn’t the best beer for the gorgeous May weather we were having, it’s still an excellent choice.

Try this if you like: Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Imperial Stout

4 stars