Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Coffee Stout

New Glarus Brewing Company
New Glarus, WI

Style: Stout
ABV: 5.7%

Nigel’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)

Hello again, fellow Beer Dorks. Let me begin with some casual bitching--it's January, it's the Midwest, and I gotta tell you, Nigel is freezing his ass off. While the thought of global warming is one of two things that scares the hell out of me (accidentally waking up next to Rosie O'Donnell is the other), believe me--in frigid times like this I'd like to tell Al Gore to stick a Birkenstock up his hippie tree-hugging ass, and BRING ON THE HEAT!! Nigel HATES winter, so pardon me if I'm a little bit cranky as I review the only thing keeping me somewhat sane right now--New Glarus Coffee Stout.

This beer is...wait, who the hell cares, I want to bitch some more. Earlier today, Nigel washed his car for the first time in a month. It took him TWO HOURS! You know why? Because there was enough salt on it to make the entire state of Utah run away in shame. Who the hell buys a black car when they live in a state where it's winter 8 months a year? Yours truly does because, as a native Englishman, I had no idea the misery involved in a Midwest winter. Nigel wanted to take the garbage out earlier tonight and had to spend 10 minutes layering himself to walk 300 yards to the dumpster. And now, Nigel sits at his computer sipping a Coffee Stout, bundled up in his extra-fuzzy blanket with the heat cranked, feeling a mysterious draft nipping at his toes. For God's sake, slippers are for Scots--don't make me wear them. "But Nigel," loyal cold weather lovers say, "just think of all the fun you could have skiing, and snowmobiling, and watching your snot freeze on contact". Are you kidding me? What kind of sick freak enjoys this? What, you want me to put on enough layers to clothe the entire continent of Africa, sit over a tiny hole on a frozen lake, and stick a maggot down there hoping some fish is stupid enough to bite? Anyone who voluntarily does this deserves to have their car fall through the ice, especially since only a complete jackass would be dumb enough to think that 5 inches of frozen water is sturdy enough to support an entire flippin' vehicle. "But Nigel, think of the snow bunnies all bundled up--get some craft brews in a cozy ski chalet in front of a roaring fireplace, know". Are you serious? Snow bunnies? Ya'll watch too many movies. Come to Nigeland, and you will see snow cows. The last thing the women here need is to be bundled up in a puffed-out bubble goose which causes them to have their own planetary orbit. Nigel can't wait, because in 7 weeks he will be enjoying a Beer Dorks vacation in the warm sunshine of paradise, playing golf, watching baseball, and drinking many new kinds of craft beer. Let the countdown begin.

Now that I've ranted, let me get back to what I was originally intending to write about, which was...uh...what was it again? The conflict in Darfur? The rising price and declining quality of citrus fruit? Oh yeah, Coffee Stout. Let's just say, this beer is aptly named. If you didn't know any better, you'd swear you were drinking an ice-cold cup of joe, one that was piping hot when you got it but froze in 6.3 seconds after being exposed to the Midwest chill. New Glarus is a phenomenal brewery, but Coffee Stout is not high on my list of their brews. Many craft stouts use dark roasted malt to try and create the flavor and aroma of coffee when sipping, hoping it adds to the already warming feeling you get when drinking a full-bodied brew on a cold day. Well, New Glarus has taken this to a whole new level. It's almost like a Frappucino with alcohol in it (come to think of it, Nigel would like to trademark that idea as it is likely the next attempt by one of the Big Three to lure the masses with a gimmicky "beer"). Coffee Stout pours very dark--it looks like a carbonated coffee in the glass. A mild head quickly evaporates, leaving only a slight, off-white bubbly trace. The aroma is, well, it's coffee. Very aromatic, but no question as to what the dominant flavor is--enough dark roasted malt to make Juan Valdez smile if it wasn't for the fact that he's dead. The taste is the same. It's not a complex brew, as it's a standard full-bodied, dark beer that tastes like one thing and one thing only...that's right, coffee. I'd like to give you a little more in this review than just "coffee, coffee, coffee", but hey--you work with what you're given. It's a brew that sort of layers the tongue and lingers forever, but retains the exact same flavor throughout, from the first sip until you finally brush your teeth to get that damn taste out of your mouth. Ultimately, it is a good beer, and definitely a welcome treat on a night when it's so cold the squirrels are falling from the trees and shattering at your feet, but it's not something Nigel would drink on a regular basis--and its DEFINITELY not a brew for anyone who dislikes coffee. Now let's close our eyes and dream of July. Cheers!

Reviewed by Nigel Tanner on January 28, 2007.
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