Making notes on a different coffee stout for All About Beer Magazine’s Beer Talk panel reviews inspired me to grab a bottle of this Wisconsin brew, which came to me as part of a set of samples a short time ago. (More on the other beers later.) A single sniff made me glad I did.
Not that there was anything wrong with the other coffee beer – no, I’m not telling you what it was; you’ll just have to buy the magazine – but the fresh, morning coffee-ish-ness of the New Glarus brew is enough to swell the heart of even a coffee beer-jaded guy like myself. (I’ve been seeing a lot of them lately, some good and others, well, not so much.) Deep brown rather than black in colour, the nose is lively with notes of lightly roasted coffee, dark berries, baked apple and a curious but very attractive hint of peppery spice.
The body of this brew is similarly vibrant, with some brown sugared fruity notes up front, emerging coffee and toffee notes in the middle and a gentle, coffee-laced and caramelly finish. Compared to some of the massive coffee beers I’ve come across, this is alight-roasted Costa Rican estate bean brewed on a French press compared to Starbucks dark roast in a percolator.
I’m reminded of my notes on the Colorado Demoiselle from Brazil: coffee flavour within beer rather than coffee layered over top of beer.