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Friday, December 7, 2012

Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout – New Belgium Brewing




                A week ago I noticed a bottle of Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout from New Belgium and thought it sounded good.  The nifty New Belgium rep that was there even offered me a glass since I bought a couple bottles, thank you NB!  Many types of stout have coffee and/or chocolate notes, and I was interested to try New Belgium’s take on the style.  Before I go on to the review, if you would like to read more on the background of New Belgium, check out my earlier posts on Shift Pale Lager, Brett Beer, or Grand Cru Abbey Ale.

                At Beeradvocate, Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout has an 85.  Over at ratebeer, it has a 98 overall and a 70 for style.


They Say:


                Serving up cold and jet black, this imperial stout should be taken seriously for about one minute as the dark foam builds. Then, enjoy its velvety chocolate-covered smoothness and delicious aroma of sustainably-grown, locally roasted coffee.
Just the facts Ma'am...

Birthdate -
October, 2012


ABV -
10%


IBU -
39


Hops -
Willamette


Malts -
Pale, Midnight, Barley


Fruits/Spice -
Coffee, Chocolate


Body -
Medium-Full


Aroma -
Rich, with lots of coffee and cocoa/baker’s chocolate aromatics. Lots of roasted and rich dark malts.


   Mouthfeel -
Smooth lip smacking and mouth coating. Warm, boozy and slight lingering astringency from the espresso.


Flavor -
Sweetness upfront, balanced with a welcome mild bitterness in the middle and finish.


Visual -
Moonless midnight. Opaque black, with tan foam and firm lacing.



I say:
                Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout pours opaque black with a thick, creamy tan head that holds moderate retention, fading back into the beer within 5 minutes of the pour, but leaves very nice lading in the glass.  The aromas are of roasted coffee, with slight dark chocolate notes and a subtle smokiness that becomes stronger as the beer warms, melding with the aromas of coffee roasting.  The chocolate notes were subdued in comparison to roasted coffee and smoky notes.
                The flavor was dominated by roasted coffee.  It tasted vaguely of stale coffee that has been left to sit in the pot for a few hours when cold, however the coffee flavor rounded out and became much more enjoyable.  Dark chocolate notes were blended throughout and became more prominent as the beer warmed.  Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout is medium to full-bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.
                The Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout from New Belgium is an enjoyable stout with nice coffee and chocolate notes that improve considerably as the beer warms.  If you see it, pick up a bottle, but be sure to let it warm outside of your fridge for a while before you pour and enjoy.  Trust me, the extra 10 minutes wait for the beer to warm will be well worth it!
                That’s all for tonight!  Have a great weekend!  Check back next week for more reviews!
                Happy Drinking!!

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