Whenever I have the chance to have two (or more) of my favorite things at the same time, I jump on it. That’s why when I saw this beautiful bottle from Lagunitas Brewing Company in the grocery store, I couldn’t help myself. As the name indicates, this beer is brewed with coffee in it, which according to the folks at Lagunitas, makes it a really nice breakfast beer.
Well, I didn’t want to wait until breakfast to have this beer. Plus, I have to work in the morning during the week. It pours a deep dark brown, as you would expect from a stout. On top is a cap of off white head that is fairly effervescent for a stout. The first thing to hit my nose was the coffee flavors. The official description of this beer touts it as beer first, coffee second. My experience, however, was coffee first, though this may have been due to my expectation of a strong coffee flavor. With that still lingering in my nose, the first sip was also a pretty strong coffee flavor.
The bitterness from the java gave way to the more malty toffee flavor of the beer. It was also more heavily carbonated than I had expected. This surprised me a bit, but didn’t really take away from the beer. It reminded me of the mouthfeel of New Castle Brown Ale. The finish was fairly dry and earthy, with hints of vanilla and of course coffee.
I liked this beer. I expected motor oil, as many coffee stouts tend to be thicker than mud; this one was pleasantly light (for a stout). Some reviews I have read rail against the coffee in it, calling it “overpowering.” As I was expecting a bunch of coffee, I didn’t mind that at all.