GarrettB (1617) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 5, 2013
January 18th, 2012 - Optimistically, boxes of beer have four offerings from a single brewery, and all four are wonderful and at the top of their class. Pessimistically, these beers are the chaff separate from the wheat, and bundled up for sale to the cubically inclined. Realistically, one or two beers out of every pack are noticeably above the others, sort of like a pack of Magic: The Gathering cards. The Samuel Adams Black and Brew was one of the better beers from the box I invested in. Dark with a velvety smooth head, and a fresh, creamy coffee aroma, the Black and Brew presents itself as a richer-than-usual dark brew. Also, unique scents of raw bell pepper and a sharp umami tanginess like soy sauce decorate the bouquet. Most notable in the sip is an intense carbonation, a light astringency, and more of the rich light roasted coffee flavors that seem sometimes cause the otherwise thin palate to buckle. Black pepper offers an extra layer of complexity, leaving a spicy trail in the aftertaste. All things considered, this is a solid dark beer and perhaps one that deserves to be paired with a sort of weekday red meat meal. Pot roast, maybe? Bassikpoet (93) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2013
Strong notes of coffee, chocolate and probably black patent malts. Pours dark brown with a sliver of tan head. Pleasantly carbonated but relatively thin (bordering on porter material) and a little oily. Mild and balanced with the bitterness of the coffee adding a small zing (not much though). Could be better, but could be worse. daleharshman (1067) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 5, 2013
12 ounce bottle from 2011 Winter Classics 12-pack, purchased at BevMo in Carmel Mountain ($13.99 for the 12-pack). Pours dark brown with a finger and a half of brown foam that soon recedes. Aroma of heavily milked and sugared coffee, thick sticky caramel, and brown sugar. Flavor of sweet-ish and somewhat milked-up coffee (like the canned milk coffee I used to buy from the machines when I lived in Japan), some dark chocolate, toffee, and lightly burnt dark malts. Finishes with a big burst of dark coffee. Very much a COFFEE stout and good on a "chilly" San Diego night. (323, 761) LeRose (73) - Massachusetts, USA - DEC 27, 2012
In the winter mix pack, poured into pint glass.
Dark, dark, dark almost to black. Kind of a thin head, but retained pretty well.
Aroma - coffee hit me first, then chocolate and not much beyond that for me.
Taste - I disliked the chocolate stout quite a bit so was prepared for the worst but was surprised. Although it had a lot of flavor and I could definitely taste the roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate clearly, it wasn’t overpowering. It wasn’t intensely sweet like the chocolate stout. The carbonation was pretty high too and I think that livened it up.
Enjoyable and I drank the second bottle as my "next" out of the holiday pack.
Serving type: bottle, reviewed from notes DCLawyer (2846) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - NOV 18, 2012
Bottle->SA glass. Dark brown with tanhead. Aroma of coffee and malt. Flavor is more coffee with dark chocolate, roasted malt. Solid coffee stout.
robforbes (2255) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - NOV 12, 2012
pours black with a ruby red tint, a medium size brown head, and very good lacing.
smell is of cocoa, slight coffee, and sour malt.
taste is dry yet smooth, chocolate, some coffee, malt, and some hops. ends on the dry side and slightly bitter. AirForceHops (7535) - Epping, New Hampshire, USA - OCT 26, 2012
Nitro draft @ Thirsty Moose for a Tap Take-over on 18 October, 2012. Excellent nose of fresh warm coffee and roasted malts. Medium-bodied with a richly infused coffee bean character. Flavors of caramel, chocolate powder and a weak, fruit type hop. I truly enjoy the lingering coffee blended with the sweet roasted malts. I can tell the coffee bean was a higher quality, it really shows. Glad I had this on Nitro, so good I ordered another. Lip-smacking good.
Could drink this all night. brokensail (16599) - Dublin, California, USA - OCT 25, 2012
Dark brown in color with a thick khaki head. Slight diacytel, sweet toffee, and a bit of roasted malt. Very mild coffee, some char, and a bit of chocolate. Light prune note, too. Bland and watery flavor, some roast, chocolate, and a light coffee flavor. Some burnt toast and coffee on the finish. bkurtz (1114) - LITHUANIA - OCT 6, 2012
As advertised, this is a solid expresso stout. It is well made, with a smooth finish and a definite expresso flavor. finn1918 (234) - Georgia, USA - SEP 19, 2012
Something different, but a good different. Pours amost black with a tan head that lingers for a bit. Coffee aroma and taste takes an aggressive stand here: a coffee stout with no apologies. Sweet at first, but coffee and hop bitterness play off of each other for a savory finish. This is a good candidate to convert the "light beer" crowd to the world of craft brews. Even my wife loved it, and she hates beer.