Well, fellow beer geeks… we have reached yet another Wednesday and we’re all still here. We’re only two sleeps away from Friday and all the indulgences and debauchery that come along with it. Friday also brings to mind the vast array of cultural experiences available, at least in my home town.
Outside of the visual and performing arts, brewing is perhaps my favorite art form. It is a total sensory experience designed by the brewmaster and limited only by your personal tastes. Over the last few weeks we’ve explored beers with tasting notes which run the gamut from standard (grapefruit) to adventurous and bizarre (sriracha).
While we here at The Grown-Up Geek certainly enjoy taking a walk on the wild side, this week is a bit tame comparatively. Josh and I each cracked open a bottle containing elements of chocolate. Like beer, chocolate can be an incredibly complex and rewarding experience–one we wanted to share with you in this week’s reviews. Josh’s review will be up first this week, followed by mine.
Beverage: Death by Coconut Irish Porter
Crafted by: Oskar Blues Brewery — Longmont Colorado (Collaboration with Shamrock Brewing)
Have you ever sat there and thought to yourself, “Man, I really wish I could drink a Mounds bar right now?”
Oskar Blues must have heard our thoughts, because Death by Coconut is the closest I’ve been able to come. The heavy coconut flavor, backed by dark chocolate notes, all while layered over a dry porter base–this beer was simply delicious, although more-so for dessert than with a meal.
The beer poured a dark brown, with a much lighter brown head. The coconut immediately hit my nose, mostly overpowering the more subtle scent from the beer. While dry, Death by Coconut is rather sweet, although not cloyingly so, and the chocolate flavor was a bit muted at first, but came through stronger as the beer warmed up.
Beverage: Joemmegang – Belgian Dark Ale
Crafted by: Brewery Ommegang – Cooperstown, NY
For this latest offering in their Brewmaster’s Obsession series, Ommegang worked hand in hand with Stagecoach Coffee. If you are curious about the brewing process, Ommegang explains it here. As noted above, this is a limited edition so get your hands on it while you still can.
This ale poured a beautiful dark amber with a creamy head that receded slowly. The aroma in the glass was a mixture of caramel/vanilla and bold coffee, though the scent of the cocoa nibs clung to the cork.
I did let this come up to temperature and strongly recommend not drinking it below 50°. If sipped cold, the Sumatra light roast overpowers everything else in the glass to the point where you might as well just dump some Starbucks into a can of Steel Reserve and call it a day, rather than pay sticker price for Joemmegang.
Enjoyed at temperature there is a wonderful complexity to this ale. The mouth feel was surprisingly light, with only a slight hint of bitterness to balance out the rich, semi-sweet chocolate, this was truly well-crafted beer. I did get hints of the French Roast coming through as this continued to warm, but in terms of the coffee the Sumatra really shone here adding bright, fruity notes. Definitely something to enjoy if you want your coffee and chocolate fix in tandem.
With that in mind, we toast to you as always. Hopefully this will help you carry on ’til Friday. Leave a comment below with suggestions for what you’d like to see us review in future. Prost!