It’s been out on the market a while, but recently I got around to having my first taste of the Samuel Adams coffee stout. It’s always sounded like an interesting combination to me, as it manages to combine two of my favorite drinks in one. I’ve long been a coffee lover, and every day is started with me warming up my Nespresso pixie espresso machine, so I can pour myself a shot.
Here’s what Samuel Adams have to say about their coffee stout:
“Our coffee stout is a dark brew that combines roasted coffee with a rich, full-bodied stout. For the authentic coffee flavor, we use 1.5 pounds of Sumatran coffee beans per barrel, added late in the brewing process to provide the most flavor possible. This brew finishes with underlying roasty notes of chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit from our select blend of malts.”
And then there is this, more specifically about the coffee input:
“The Sumatran coffee beans are roasted to nearly an espresso level roast to ensure the strong coffee character. It is added late in the brewing cycle to capture the most flavor possible.”
This certainly sounded good to me, as Sumatran espresso is my favorite kind. The Samuel Adams coffee stout is similar in style to traditional English stouts, and it has quite a full bodied flavor. The coffee taste is very noticeable, and maybe is just a little too strong in the mix in my opinion. There is also a subtle hop flavor and aroma, which helps somewhat to balance out the complex flavors of the coffee and malt. The bitterness of the drink was nicely in balance, with a nice sweet edge making its presence felt. There are definite tastes of chocolate and nut, with a strong roasted flavor. Mouthfeel reveals quite a high level of carbonation.
Overall, I think it still needs a bit more work. There’s potential there, but I think the overall balance of the flavors is not quite right. I think maybe toning down the coffee slightly would result in a better tasting stout. I notice that it has received similarly luke warm reviews from other people who have posted about it online. If Samuel Adams want this one to really take off, then I think they are going to have to give it a bit more thought and experiment further with getting the right mix. At the moment I can definitely take it or leave it, and probably won’t be rushing out to buy more.