Wednesday, May 25, 2011

JavaHead Stout (Tröegs Brewing Company)

This was my contribution last week to the Beer Club. I'm always pleased to share brews from the Troëgs Brewing Company. Their HopBack Amber Ale and Troegenator Double Bock are regular visitors to our refrigerator. In fact, when I think about it, we've probably had more HopBack in the last year than any other single beer.

JavaHead is an oatmeal stout that is filtered through hops and ground coffee beans before fermentation, while that wort is still hot -- "similar to using a huge French press," Troëgs says. The resulting beer pours a nice silky, opaque black, with ruby edges in the glass and an inch of tawny, small-bubbled foam.

The nose is surprisingly sweet and floral, with undertones of malt, powdery chocolate, and a very faint hint of coffee. I find it a very inviting aroma.

When sipped, the first impression is a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The taste opens into a deep roasty body with excursions of dark chocolate, French roasted coffee, and nutty barley. Nice complexity to sort out as you go. The main body flavor is clearly a malt note, but the coffee and hops are such close neighbors that they blend in and out harmoniously.

What we have here is a very decent stout with a little extra flavor going on, but not to the point of being gimmicky. The java and char and sweetness work well together. This is a nice compromise between a straight, creamy oatmeal stout and a bolder, more intense imperial stout. Definitely recommended, at least to try.

From the bottle's label:

JavaHead Stout passes through a blend of coffee beans and whole flower hops -- akin to a French press -- releasing cocoa, citrus, and java flavors.

Featured beer:

JavaHead Stout

Honorable mentions:

HopBack Amber Ale

Troegenator Double Bock

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