I probably didn’t need to head to Denmark to enjoy a good American Stout, but my local beer guy recommended it and the description “Oatmeal stout brewed with coffee” seemed harmless enough. I was definitely curious what Scandinavians would do with the American style hops.
Pours a dark black with very little head. I was surprised at the combination of smells – woodsy hops and coffee aren’t smells I would imagine together and it was actually less poignant than I would have expected. A little touch of fresh cut grass and bitter chocolate.
First taste was more piney hops with a mix of coffee grinds. I tasted more coffee than I smelled and the big hops flavor turned into a dry burnt caramel aftertaste. That bitter sting stays to remind you that, oh yes, there are a lot of hops in here. Despite the darkness and even a little oily feel to the taste, this is a medium body stout that doesn’t feel too heavy. Not a hint of sweet at all either and that bitterness lingers a longggg time. It feels like the Frankenstein love child of a Cascadian IPA and a true oatmeal stout. This is a very good beer, just not sure it’s a style I’d seek out again.
Given the wide varieties of stouts I’ve been reading about for International Stout Day today, I think there are more things to try. Gotta get me some of that Lawson’s… Vital Stats: Served at 45F in a small tulip (thanks Derek). 7.5% ABV. Taste: A-. I love the hops, coffee and baker’s chocolate combo, but leans a little too much on the bitter side and could be more balanced. Curious what the IBUs are. Drinkability: B. ABV isn’t too high and it’s not a “knife and fork” stout, but I had to muscle through a growler and wouldn’t opt for more than one in a session. Packaging: C. The artwork has some subtle dark green hops pictured on the otherwise all-black label, and is all Nordic mystical on us. No story or information and very modern art. Value: D. $10.99? Really? There are lots of better options out there for the price.