Cookie Monster and I shared a delicious beer from a local brewery tonight. Here are Cookie Monster's well thought-out notes and tasting nuances:
Laurelwood is one of the many, many local breweries that we frequent, and we've always enjoyed the happy hour and its $3 pints. This particular beer blends organic beer with organic coffee from a local coffee roaster.
You won't find many beers with a richer, darker color: it looks like espresso. It's intensely fragrant, with heavy coffee aromas and malty sweetness. When I opened the bottle, our kitchen filled with these pleasant smells. It pours thick, with a head reminiscent of the edges of a dry cappuccino, appropriately enough, where the milk foam absorbs the rich brown of the espresso below.
What surprised me upon tasting was how dry it actually tasted; the sweetness of the malts was diminutive compared to the acidic espresso flavor, creating a beer that smelled considerably sweeter than it tasted. The espresso is bold and the beer has a smooth mouthfeel, if a bit astringent, with a modest chocolate flavor hiding behind the roast coffee.
The Espresso Stout sports a solid 6.3% ABV. I enjoyed this beer, though I might have appreciated just a touch of additional sweetness to bring out more of the complexity of the espresso. Others have rated it well...I'd give it a 8/10.
And here is my take (this is pretty par for the course for us):