Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kuka Coffee + Cream Stout

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1317) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 31, 2015
I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of coffee, chocolate, milk, or just sweet stouts in general. You’d think those would be difficult styles to not get right but I’ve had plenty of duds over the year. Thankfully, Kuka Coffee + Cream Stout is not one of them. This is exactly what you want in a sweet coffee stout: roasted coffee bitterness balanced with sweet lactose goodness. Some chocolate or vanilla would be nice, but this is solid as is.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. There was no decipherable freshness date. It cost $3.15 ($0.26 per ounce).

Appearance: Jet black hue; slight brownish highlights. Pours to a small, tan, frothy head which retains well but doesn’t lace the glass.

Smell: Fresh brewed French Roast coffee. Lactose sugar sweetness.

Taste: There’s two basic flavors happening here: a general dark malty sweetness combined with lactose sugar and bitter deeply roasted coffee on the finish. That’s pretty much it, but both of these flavor components work pretty well. The lactose sugar is certainly noticeable, but not distracting from the base stout palette. This recipe might’ve worked just as well without it, but its addition is a nice pleasantry. The second half is all coffee. Initially, it’s bitter like black coffee, but it finishes with a significant sweetness like iced coffee with cream and sugar. There might be a hint of milk chocolate that emerges from the dark malts, but there’s no chocolate taste per se (though I wouldn’t have minded some). A solid coffee stout at a nice price I must say.

Drinkability: No matter the ABV, stouts brewed with lactose tend to have a thin mouthfeel. Kuka Coffee + Cream Stout would seem to be rather heady at 6% ABV, yet it’s as smooth as a sessionable, pub-style stout. Low carbonation and lactose create for silky smooth texture and easy finish. Some residual coffee bitterness in the aftertaste, but it’s tolerable. An ideal beer to pair with any kind of chocolate or vanilla confection or as a dessert in and of itself. 
Grade: 8/10

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