Sunday, December 25, 2011

Beer Review: Java Head Stout

Reviewing the Java Head Stout from Tröegs Brewing Company. This is the first beer that I have ever had from Tröegs. I am very excited.
Score: 87

2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Pours a black coffee color, opaque with ruby highlights at the top and bottom of the glass. Full finger of creamy mocha head from the pour that gradually settles into a thin lace and thick creamy ring around the edge of the glass. Excellent lacing. An absolutely gorgeous looking stout. 4.5/5

Smell: Percolating coffee, semi-sweet chocolate morsels and espresso. Also detecting oatmeal and some dark grains. Hints of toffee. 4/5

Taste: Smooth, earthy black coffee and roasted oats. Citrus hoppiness and a little toffee. Cocoa on the mid-palate. Finishes with coffee and a citrus twist. The citrus hops character of the beer was completely unexpected and quite interesting. The beer is not overly bitter, despite the coffee and hops flavors. 7.5% ABV is completely hidden. 4/5

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of this beer is a glaring weakness. An overly light body cost this beer an A- rating. Instead, it ends up being rated as a high B/low B+. Java Head Stout is medium-light bodied, which was surprising given the appearance. The mouthfeel is smooth and a little creamy with low carbonation. Finishes very dry and bitter. 3/5

Overall: A pretty solid coffee/oatmeal stout that could be something special if given a thicker mouthfeel and fuller bodied. Nonetheless, this is a really solid brew that is worth seeking out.

Recommendation: Safely recommendable for beer geeks and casual beer drinkers looking for a gateway into the craft scene.

Pairings: Biscotti.

Cost: $12.99 for a six pack.

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