3fourths (9017) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 21, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: MAR 22, 2012 draft. deep brown body with a crema head, fine-bubbled and soft. first impression is how robust, earthy and natural the coffee is; there’s an enjoyably rich cocoa-butter and dark chocolate vibe going on, with medium-low acid and bitterness. big and full without unnecessary chewiness. rather it’s quite velvety and soft. incredibly layered roasted malts supply a stunningly soft though full-bodied and rich texture, with equally stunning depth of flavor and aroma. swirls of leather and tobacco mesh with cocoa butter and mossy hop cones. enjoyable moderate alcohol and low sweetness with balanced fuggle-like mustiness and bitterness make it a delicious coffee stout start to finish. a dark malt showcase one could even say! one of the better beers made by Mountain Sun in a while.
TAR (2627) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - FEB 19, 2012
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Full pint at Mountain Sun: Ebony with bronze highlights. Ornate dollop of persistent caramel froth sits atop. Incredibly vibrant yet well-composed java titillates the nose, along with peanut skins, blackberry, road tar, brownie batter, chocolate-covered toffee and malted milk balls. Light smoke and burnt cocoa. Velvety carbonation. Silky body. Vividly defined berry-rich java explodes on the palate alongside a juicy plum and black licorice base. Smoky and earthy seared malt lends a beautifully dialed-in sharpness yet with absolutely no graininess or astringency. Plenty of mystique to the malt which helps break up the coffee monotony. Malt is astoundingly deep, to boot, with cottony roast swirled with drying peanut skins and heaps of chewy bitter chocolate lapping the tongue. Fluffy nougat and a vanilla bean purity permeates the core. Dangerously quaffable despite the resounding complexity, however, as ample bean-derived acids gently buckle the cheeks with a mild twang and beckons you for another sip. Even some mineralic stiffness finds its way into the mix. Profusion of slippery fruitiness harmoniously contrasts with the roasty grit which snugly grips the palate. Closes with a juicy inundation of radiant java merging with snappy char and layer upon layer of palate-hugging fudge and liquefied toffee. Shew, this is a truly marvelous creation and possibly the best stout I’ve enjoyed from this brewery. A malt and coffee bomb, on one hand, yet there’s a plenitude of finely detailed malt nuance and texture, not to mention the staggeringly bright marriage of black fruit from the coffee and yeast, to go with the boundless malt complexity. Fingers and toes cross this becomes a mainstay at the brewery.
notalush (5671) - Denver, Colorado, USA - FEB 9, 2012
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Tap at Vine Street - holy hell, you have got to love coffee in order to drink this - in fact, even if you love it it might be tough - I love coffee, but this was a bit much, even for me - tastes like straight up coffee and not much else - like chewing on coffee beans - high quality beans, mind you, but still - a fairly high acidity, bright fruity notes - overall a ton of character from the beans - acidity and roast/bitterness gets a tad abrasive, and some bitterness from the dark malt intensifies things - the coffee flavor is nice, but this is over the top and difficult to finish a whole pint of.