I love my stouts….there’s nothing like a nice stout in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s day. The smoke of a wood fire complements very well the roasted malt, chocolate and coffee flavors of a good stout. So when I saw Schlafly Coffee Stout at the store, I was eager to give it a try. According to the bottle, “this oatmeal stout with natural flavor added uses locally roasted Kaldi’s coffee.” Let’s give this a try.
My usual pour (the first half poured gently in a 45-degree glass, the other half poured vigorously into a glass straight up and down) gives the beer a two finger thick head that is beige in color and consists of dense pillowy foam. It dissipates relatively quickly, leaving a small bit of lacing on the glass. This is a very dark brown brew, with very faint tinges of red noticeable at the very narrowest part of the pint glass, where a tiny bit of light can peek through. This looks quite thick and full-bodied. After a couple of bottles, I noticed some floating particles at the bottom of the glass. Leftover coffee grounds from the brewing process? I’m not sure.
There is definitely an oatmeal stout nose present, but with good coffee notes as well. Smells like a glass of freshly ground coffee beans. It has a good roasted scent and a very slight touch of sweetness, like hints of brown sugar or, more closely, molasses.
My first taste was overpowering with coffee. It tasted like I was chewing up a bunch of espresso beans, then swigging from an oatmeal stout. It soon mellows, though, and the oatmeal stout flavor and the coffee flavors grow to balance each other. This is a full-bodied brew and starts off quite carbonated, but it mellows somewhat as it warms.
This is probably not something I’ll pick up quite often but it was definitely interesting. It ended up being better than I thought from my initial sip, but I prefer my stouts to have more subtle coffee flavors. I prefer the depth and character some stouts bring to the table, with a revolving cast of flavors from roasted malt to chocolate to caramel to hints of coffee. This coffee stout really kind of hits you over the head to remind you it is a coffee stout. It’s an aggressive beer, in the way some Rogue brews are aggressive in their flavors.
Recommended: If you like stouts but wish they tasted a LOT more like fresh espresso beans, sure!
Read this and other beer reviews at my blog, The Beer Snob!
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