Mikkeller Beer Hop Breakfast – Hoppy #StoutDay

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.

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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.

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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.

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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’sVital 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.

2 comments on “Mikkeller Beer Hop Breakfast – Hoppy #StoutDay

  1. I’ve often wondered about trying some of the Mikeller offerings, but have never given them a try. They always seem to be a little "off" the typical styles and I wonder how fresh the hoppy beers can really be, having to trek across the Atlantic to get here. This sounds more like a Black IPA than a stout, though the styles seem to be merging more and more these days. I wonder how it compares to the EIP from Pretty Thinks or NYX from White Birch. I might need to give it a try, since both of those are on my list of good beers. One question… did you give it a chance to warm up? It might have changed considerably after it go more up into the 50s. Thanks for a great review.

  2. Jim – I think your instincts are right, especially with the plethora of stout or Black IPA options available more locally. Although it does say on the bottle that it’s imported by a company from Massachusetts… I have a Firestone Walker Wookie Jack (Black IPA gold medal at GABF this year) waiting to reset my palate after this one. I did give it some time to work up without much noticeable difference – a little more burnt coffee flavor perhaps. I was talking to someone in the office this morning and came up with another flavor analogy: Take the old coffee that has sat on a burner too long, mix in some baker’s chocolate and pour it over fresh grass clippings. That’s the essence of the flavor I got.

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