I have kind of been climbing the ladder in terms of darkness on this year’s Sam Adams Variety Pack. As the last beer of the pack this is the one that I was looking forward to the most. I have never had a coffee beer from the Boston Beer Company, where I have had other examples from Sam on the previous styles of beer. I suppose the last coffee beer that I had was Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter. Coffee is such a good ingredient in a porter or stout which is part of the reason I was looking so forward to this beer.
As I’m sure it is no surprise, this beer pours a black color with a tan head. The nose is full of rich coffee flavor with some chocolate tones. I didn’t get any hint of hops or anything other than coffee and chocolate. I think that coffee is one of those odors that covers up everything else in it’s presence. I’m not a coffee drinker, I believe that I have had only one cup in my life, but I love it in beer. Weird.
On my first taste I was happy with the amount of coffee delivered to my taste buds. It was solid, but not overpowering. The chocolate mixes in with the coffee in a very nice way. There is a smooth transition between flavors that I found very enjoyable. Unlike a lot of coffee beers which can give the bitter harshness of normal coffee, this beer was in no way bitter.
I really liked this one, it is certainly another solid beer from Sam Adams. The only thing that kind of bugs me (beer nerd alert) about Sam Adams beers is the vague description on the main logo. This one said “ale with coffee added.” No kidding, coffee in a coffee stout! I know that the neck label gives a lot more detail, but I would like to see a bit more imagination on their end for the main logo. Regardless of the label, this one is a solid coffee beer.