Aubrey (3432) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - MAY 26, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
From my beer column in the paper:
BOULDER, Colo. ó Staring at the inky-black "poo brew" in my globe glass, I hesitate before my first sip.
Like dipping toes in a pool to check the temperature, I dip my nose in the glass to take a whiff. It smells fine -- great, in fact.
My concerns quickly fade behind an orchestra of wholesome, earthy, peaty and oaty aromas with a heavy overtone of coffee.
A lot went into making the beer Iím about to drink. Or, more correctly, I should say it went through a lot.
It starts with Robusta coffee berries in Southeast Asia. Once theyíre ripe, civets, which are cat-sized weasels, carefully pick and eat the best and ripest berries. The flesh is digested and the beans are partially broken down by special enzymes in the civetís digestive system.
After the civets relieve themselves, farmers harvest the excrement (which looks a lot like PayDay candy bars), rinse off the beans, and then roast them.
Supposedly, the civetís digestive enzymes make the beans less acidic and more flavorful. The result is the most expensive coffee in the world, which goes for as much as $30 per cup -- or $100 to $400 per pound.
With that in mind, I summon the courage and take my first sip of Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, swishing it around in my mouth before swallowing. Its milkshake-like texture is heavy on my tongue.
A mild carbonation adds to its velvety feel.
The complex coffee flavors and aromas are unique, and they remind me of rich espresso sweetened with sugar and heavy cream, yet without the harsh bitterness.
The woodsy malt flavors and aromas are filled with notes of toffee, bread dough, light char and caramel. The grassy hops contain a curious fruity-spicy element and they provide a balanced bitterness, complementing the bitter dark chocolate note in the finish.
Meanwhile, warming alcohol soothes the throat.
I work my way down the bottle and I notice some curious aromas that Iíve never experienced before in an imperial stout. I detect earth and nuts, but with a slightly pungent humus-like quality, which causes my heart to skip a beat as I wonder what ingredient contributed to that aroma.
I reassure myself that itís just the coffee and itís safe to drink, especially after all that rinsing, roasting and boiling.
Plus, its 10.9-percent alcohol content acts as an additional sterilizer.
Taking my final sip of the tasty, luscious elixir, I realize that at least a portion of it is taking its second journey through a digestive tract.
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - MAY 25, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Black pour with a thin broken dark tan head. Interesting rich coffee aroma that is smooth and isnít overbearing with the roast component. Some chalkiness and alcohol apparent on the nose as well, but are background to the coffee/dark chocolate notes present. Very rich mouthfeel, a slight burst of alcohol and roast greet, followed by coffee, toasted grain, chocolate, and earthy hops. The Alesmith poop-coffee version was more brash than this with the coffee and hops, and I like it a bit more than that, but this is a damn good brew.
beerbill (3407) - Laurel, New York, USA - MAY 24, 2009
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
16.9 oz bottle courtesy of a trade with GAManiac. Pours black with a large brown head that lasted through the first third of the glass and initially left a thick layer of foam with each sip, eventually fading to a fine film. The aroma is spectacular. Superb fresh coffee in the nose that I could smell before I got my schnoz within a foot of the glass. The flavor is again loaded with fresh, rich coffee with some roasted malt and just a hint of chocolate. Bitter coffee finish. There is some moderate heat from the alcohol at the finish as well. A great way to start the day!
Hophead22 (2880) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - MAY 23, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from swolf3, thanks Steven. Dark black pour. Aroma of dark fruits and chocolate. Very smooth, lots of chocolate, very nice brew.
Beeronaut (176) - Cambridgeshire, ENGLAND - MAY 23, 2009
4.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Well...Looks great in the glass, aroma onec again is not as pronounced as I would have expected, especially considering it contains the Civet coffee. Doesnít taste much stronger than the beer geek breakfast alcohol-wise which I find astonishing! Iíd say I prefer this style of coffee flavour as itís more aromatic than acrid as in the BGbreakfast, and I suppose the abv. adds a little more sweetness which balances the coffee bitterness out. Lovely espresso notes, treacle and moscavado sugar, almost burnt sugar. Once again thereís some embers, a minerality that reminds me of wet slate and peat, some background vanilla essence. This beer makes me happy and content like a massive beer-cat. However, is it worth the extra dosh? I think Iíd be 95% as happy with the BGbreakfast, this is an excellent special treat and had to be done, and will be done a few more times, but for the extra spend I canít see it as being justifiably different enough to convert to, but if I had to I would say I prefer it to the BGbreakfast as it suits my palate better. A difficult one. But a flippiní fantastic beer!
Gorbalev (2924) - Ontario, CANADA - MAY 23, 2009
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle, Beer Bistro. Oily silky black with a chocolate brown head - looks amazing. Rich sweet aroma with a really nice coffee smell that I have not encountered before (I am not a coffee drinker though). Taste is very rich - tons of alcohol too. Nicely balanced coffee/malt/alcohol and really really silky and easy to drink. Smoother than the less alcohol breakfast. Easily the best coffee Imperial Stout I have ever had - not even Peche gets the coffee integration this right, and also the most complex yet drinkable imperial stout I have ever tried. My second perfect score.
Skeegle (566) - Maryland, USA - MAY 23, 2009
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wow, one of the best beers Iíve ever had, definitely in my top 5. The coffee in this was so lightly roasted and tasted of cherry coke flavored coffee. It was delicious and it was everywhere. Super balanced with a jet black ultra dry roast/malt complex that is harsh and biting, but the light and fruitiness of the other coffee/cherry flavors balances everything out so the beer is just wonderful. If this was sold in sixers Iíd sell my liver to get it.
Bigmmartin (603) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - MAY 20, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
This is the first Mikkeller stout Iíve tasted, thanks to 12many. Very dark beer with a small brown head. Has a decent aroma of coffee and malts. The flavor wasnít all that I had hoped though. It was smooth and balanced but seemed to be slightly lacking. I was also surprised at how thin the body was. I plan on trying this beer again though, maybe I was missing something today.
Habanero (2619) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - MAY 17, 2009
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2012 Bottled. Pours black with medium, brown head. Fair lacings Nose of black coffee, roasted malt and vanilla. Sweet flavour with honey, coffee, vanilla and dark chocolate. Full bodied. oily/creamy texture. Flat carbonation. More dry with some bitterness in the finish. It itís a very nice brew and it has developed with few years of storage.★★★★★
Suttree (5142) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - MAY 17, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 18, 2009 Trade with nqualls - Thanks! Pours black and syrupy, with a dark brown head. Aroma leans haevily toward coffee, as one might expect. Some molky, chocolatey notes in the background, as well as red wine and a few woodsy, earthy notes. Very smooth palate. Huge coffee flavor, supported by chocolate, hickory and earthy, and an odd savory note. Much more chocolatey as it warms, and a little more earthy, as well. Very impressive stuff. 2008 Vintage.