Friday, October 31, 2014

Beer Review: Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Speedway Stout

Reviewing the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Speedway Stout from the AleSmith Brewing Company out of San Diego, California

Score: 93

February 2014 vintage bottle served in a Ghandi Bot snifter and enjoyed on 08/15/14.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger and a half of khaki head that settles to a thin coating. Very good lacing and retention. Looks pretty much exactly like you would expect and desire a stout to look like. 4.75/5

Smell: Nutty, slightly grassy coffee with a light roastiness and a very pronounced chocolate character. A little bit of dark fruit too, which crescendos as the beer warms up. Quite lovely. 4.5/5

Taste: There is a lot more dark fruit in the taste than in the nose, which hits right away and lingers past the finish. Frankly, the taste is mostly about the dark fruit. Alcohol spiciness on the midpalate. Chocolate and a kiss of teriyaki sauce on the backhalf and finish, with some nuttiness and a wee bit of roast (much less than the nose) upfront. Solid integration. Tasty, but not on par with the likes of Kopi Coffee Speedway or Vietnamese Coffee Speedway. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. No acidity, mild bitterness and not much sweetness. Well-balanced save for the booziness, which is somewhat unexpected given my experiences with other iterations of Coffee Speedway, but perhaps, at the same time, this should not be too unexpected given that this beer is 12% ABV. 4.25/5

Overall: A quality stout and definite improvement over the base beer that just does not live up to the standard of excellence established by other iterations of this beer. Kopi Coffee Speedway is still king in my book, animal cruelty concerns notwithstanding.

Cost: $30 for a 750 ml bottle.

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